Enough’s Enough

“THEY” SAY THAT IT’S wise to avoid discussing politics and religion. Too controversial. Too much potential for conflict instead of peace.

But silence in the face of evil isn’t an option either—at least for me. And what’s happening in my country meets every definition of evil I’ve ever been taught—and violates every principle of what is right and good and noble to emerge from my own study of God’s Word.

So enough is enough.

I feel compelled to weigh in against what I see as a newly emerging America that bears little resemblance to what it once was—the America in which I grew up and which remained a beacon of freedom and honor and moral leadership in the world—until recently.

I’m encouraged in speaking out by the example of Jesus, who held nothing back in pointing out hypocrisy, facing down evil, and defending the oppressed.

What’s happening in my country is not just a matter of right versus left—of conservative versus liberal—of Fox News versus National Public Radio—of Republicans versus Democrats. It’s a matter of right versus wrong. And with the apathetic and complicit silence and capitulation of citizens—including far too many Christians—the leadership of the United States is systematically destroying every good thing for which this nation has stood for over 230 years.

While I personally believe that one national party is taking the lead in this radical attack on goodness and freedom, the other party gives new meaning to English philosopher Edmund Burke’s observation: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Or, I might add, to say nothing.

So even if it’s assumed that neither political party is filled exclusively with evil men and women—and the other only with good ones, it’s also true that neither political party holds moral high ground in the current crumbling of democracy. So for me, I say a pox on both their houses.

What have we seen in just these past few years?

  • For the first time in our history, we have attacked a country that neither attacked us first nor threatened to do so—in violation of international law and in contemptuous disregard of the world’s collective will and counsel. Never in our history had we become an aggressor nation launching preemptive attacks on another country.
  • My family buried my father on the day the Twin Towers fell. He was a good and decent man—a man of Christian principle. As a decorated veteran of World War II, he would have been appalled could he have seen that rather than respond to those who actually attacked us that day, we left that task unfinished and turned our aggression instead on a country that—while admittedly not friendly—had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11.
  • With relentless fear-programming of the American populace reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, our most basic freedoms are being stripped away in the name of “national security.” Among them, habeas corpus—the fundamental safeguard against unlawful detention and the guarantee of due process under the law.
  • My nation has always represented the moral high ground in the world community, yet now we have embraced torture as acceptable treatment of prisoners of war. This is diabolical—and to any true Christian, abhorrent and intolerable. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are examples of justifiable and ongoing national shame. We have ignored the Geneva Conventions in this war, stripping our opponents of basic human rights, even as some of our military have massacred civilians in Haditha and other areas of Iraq.
  • On a scale never seen before, the leadership of this country defies with contempt the will of the people in favor of serving moneyed interests. Meanwhile, $600 billion has been added to an uncontrolled national debt, spent on a war justified by lies, as millions in this country must decide between a little food or needed medicines.
  • The most corrupt, freedom-destroying leadership in our history trumpets piously and loudly their “born-again” brand of Christianity—a “Christianity” built on fear, intolerance, and condemnation—even as they violate every tenet of the Sermon on the Mount, every principle of true morality. While they noisily claim to stand for “family values,” their personal record of adherence to those values can only be characterized as hypocritical.

Whatever may be your knowledge or assessment of the ministry of early Adventist author Ellen White, some of her comments can hardly be improved upon. Consider this from her book Education, page 57:

“The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”

Men—and women—of such principle are desperately needed to “stand for the right” as we witness the destruction of all the freedoms and values we’ve cherished.

Yes, Revelation 13 indicates that the United States will, before the end of time, transform from being lamb-like to being dragon-like. Adventists have believed that ultimately, even the freedom to worship guaranteed by the Constitution will come to an end. For that to happen, the Constitution itself would need to be set aside. Clearly, that process is now underway and accelerating.

I fear that some Christians will be so blinded by partisan allegiances, so duped by leaders who wish to legislate their own intolerant brand of morality, that they cannot see what is really going on right in front of them. I fear that some Christians will so buy into this “apparent” morality that they will sell out their own convictions and begin to rationalize even torture and the dismantling of the Constitution rather than abandon their reflexive political loyalties.

It will be little consolation that you voted for someone whose Christianity seemed comprised mostly of being anti-gay and anti-abortion and pro-school prayer, when you’re languishing alone in a prison cell without any formal charges, without representation, and without a fair trial—because you chose to worship on a day and in a way dictated by your conscience.

It’s time to wake up.

 

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7 responses to this post.

  1. My sentiments exactly.
    To quote an old blog question of my own:
    “Isn’t the only true Christian view of war an abhorrence of it, an absolute rejection of its use as anything but a last, last resort; an extremely temporary emergency solution?

    Diplomacy is difficult, but much more to be desired than bombs and death. Isn’t this a better way to ‘support our troops’?: be careful to let our government only send them to fight wars when all other options have been completely exhausted, and the purpose of the war is completely just and justifiable? And if there is any doubt about the war’s purpose, or victorious outcome, to support our troops by bringing them home from unjust, unwinnable wars?

    Certainly, states have sovereign territory, loyal citizens, and an obligation to protect both of them for the good of all. But isn’t this true: the Christian residing within any state which chooses war before it becomes absolutely necessary (which would be a subjective, individual opinion, in most cases) must protest that war, and work to prevent it?

    How else could he or she retain a clear conscience, considering all the potential suffering which could be unleashed on generations of innocent people should war occur? Compare how the present administration is using war with this philosophy, and it is found wanting.

    And how is it Christian, or American, or even human, to shout down and obstruct and insult those who promote peace by protesting war?

    Reply

  2. Your comment is right on target, Jim. Your last sentence really says it all.

    Reply

  3. Posted by H. Myer on July 18, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Ken,
    As a Christian, I also struggle with the concept of the so called “just war. For disussion purpouses, do our conflicts with England, Native Americans, the Union, the Confederate States, Spain, Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq (first Gulf War) qualify as just wars?
    Although most of these are presumed to be worthy causes now; is this just because the United States won the war and the outcome was favorable?

    Reply

  4. Thanks, H.M….

    I certainly can’t presume to be an expert on the ethics and morality of war. And I know that God Himself has long been involved in His own great controversy with Satan.

    But I can’t personally believe that it’s acceptable for our nation to attack other nations simply because we fear them or want something they have…oil…or strategic places to set up permanent military bases, for example.

    Our military policy as an established nation has always been to defend freedom…not try to impose it on others. It’s been to respond to provocation…not to be the provocateurs.

    A case could be made that the use of force, except defensively, originates not with God but with His enemy.

    Reply

  5. I hope this war will help decrease rather than increase the sin of nationalism.

    Reply

  6. I highly recommend Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States. Should be available in any bookstore (Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, etc.).
    Having served in an air force bomber unit in WWII, and subsequently taught history at the university level ever since, Zinn’s perspective on the ‘just war’ is refreshing.
    It starts (by the way, H. Myer) with the Arawok natives meeting Columbus on his first voyage. It has been updated to the post-9/11 war on terror.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Kevin on July 20, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    There could be so many more items to add to your list of what’s happened in recent years, including the politicization of the justice department, the increased secrecy surrounding what ought to be a fairly transparent government, the enabling behavior of the media, the appointment of “friends” over men and women who are truly capable of performing their jobs, the “you cross me, I’ll make you pay” mentality that seems to be today’s norm, the grotesque twisting of reality so that arrogance, stubborness and failure to take counsel is called fierce determination, the immature behavior of public servants…

    I could go on, but I’ll stop with the wisdom of the Bible. We’re told that we’ll know people by their fruits. The current state of affairs is the result of installing people in positions of power whose fruits, plainly visible years ago, could have been seen by Americans if they had paid as much attention to character as they do to entertainment.

    However, given the further prophetic counsel found in scripture, I think we’d best fasten our seatbelts. The ride is going to get a whole lot bumpier.

    Thank God, we know the King of kings, Lord of lords… and the final outcome.

    Reply

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