When surrounded by enemies and increasingly complicated cultural complexities, ancient Israel demanded a king. It was simply too much work to continue with their system of judges. Personal responsibility, and constant vigilance was exhausting. When political exhaustion sets in, many people want to hand over the responsibilities that accompany a free society to a trusted leader, a king, a benevolent dictator, a social savior…a political candidate.
A wise man once said, that if it were possible to always have just men to be our kings, then it would be good to have a king. Then he pointed out that we could not always insure that the next king would be just and fair, and told how much damage can one wicked king cause? A corrupt king can set an example of immorality that spreads like a disease. A greedy leader can bring people into political bondage.
That same wise man said that when the time comes that the voice of the people choose iniquity, then the time has come for the judgments of God.
Many of us here were supporting Mitt Romney. The deflation we feel at his departing the race runs deep, but is not surprising. Roy and I discussed many times our concern that no outsider would be allowed to become president. In spite of that, we felt we were responsible for trying our best regardless of that concern since we are responsible for our own actions, and we did, as did many of you. We believe it was very important for Governor Romney to make the attempt. He has paved the way for the future and for constructive discussion. He has given us the stark contrast we need to help us make choices. He has brought the shameful hatred of Mormons into the open.
What we absolutely do not, and must not need, is for Mitt Romney to be our only hope; or Ron Paul for that matter. Two good men, with very different ideas but still good men. If we feel that one of them is our only hope, then we are trying to make them into kings. We are taking the lazy way out. In the United States of America, our leaders are meant to be representatives of the people they lead, raised up by the voice of that people, for from us stems the power of government. We the People are the key.
We are not defeated because we still stand for freedom. We did not go anywhere. There is an absolutely crucial truth that must be understood if we are to preserve our freedom. Unity is and has always been the key to accomplishing anything. The story of the tower of Babel, whether one believes its authenticity or not, shares an important lesson. The people unified and together determined to overthrow God. This was a time of famine and natural disasters and the people feared for their safety. They put safety above personal growth. In God, they did not trust. Without needed faith, they decided to take matters into their own hands by entering into Heaven by another way and imposing their own will. The reason the tower had to be destroyed and the languages confused was to thwart the destructive unity of their cause in leading people astray. The same social issues were in play during the time of Noah. And as Jesus told us, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be (Matt 24:37).
Jointly, a group of people can be focused like a laser-beam to accomplish powerful purposes, for good or for ill. I am sad to say that we are watching this happen among those who want to remove religion from our country, and who wish to impose their will on the people. They are attempting to replace God with the religion of Secularism. They understand very clearly that we can be defeated if they can fracture us. If we focus on Identity Politics, become rigid about every issue and demand complete loyalty for inclusion, then unity is not possible and freedoms cannot be protected. We lose.
There are others out there like us, who recognize the need for cohesive conservative thought. We desire here to be part of a general dialogue of ideas so that if current economic and social trends continue, and things begin to crumble, there is an ideological structure in place among Americans who love the Constitution (regardless of party affiliation) to create a foundation to catch us from that fall. None of us, hopefully, want our country to slide into chaos of any kind. Yet, we are not ignorant of what history teaches regarding the instability of socialism and rejection of a higher power. Once the straight jacket of lost freedoms and giving way to entitlements begins to choke average Americans, they will rebel and begin to understand. They will recognize that the loss of personal responsibility is decaying our society.
How brilliant for liberals to have once again, using labels, claimed the mantel of compassion. We all know the analogy that it is better to teach a man to fish so he can eat for a life time. It is a lie to claim compassion when it is simply the lazy way to give hand-outs instead of taking the time and effort to resist the quick fix and find real long-term solutions. True compassion is helping each other grow and develop and gain the skills to build a lasting family, community, and society.
When I took a Citizenship class in high school, we were each given a mythological Island with a set of difficult challenges to over come. We were instructed to set in place a government to run the Island, solve the challenges and then discuss what we had done. After two days of being made fun of and lectured to by every other student in the class, I was emotionally exhausted. Finally, the teacher stepped in and told everyone how disappointed he was. Every other student had chosen socialism because the problems were so challenging they felt the only way to address them was by force. My solutions, modeled on our Constitution, were too slow and people wanted a quick fix. This mind-set will be one our biggest challenges as our problems grow increasingly complex. Politicians, under pressure to deliver, will need courage to articulate and instigate long-term solutions and they will need our support and encouragement.
For this dialogue to be effective, we must learn to differentiate between timeless values and current issues. The first cannot be compromised. The second must not be held sacred with a rigidity that allows for no compromise or discussion. So, step one is for us each to learn to separate the two. After this, we can more easily see that there are grounds upon which we can create needed cohesiveness.
Later today, I will be putting up Part I, in a series called: Dialogue of Freedom.