Who Are We Talking About Now?

We had some guests over the weekend in our home and Sunday I sat on the patio I picked up my reading from the Psalms. Soon others came to join me, so I read it out loud. I happened to be reading from Psalm 43, an this is how it begins:

Vindicate me, my God,
and plead my cause
against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
deceitful and wicked.

When I finished, I made the observation that I used to read Scriptures like that and immediately thought of Russia or other Communist countries who at the time wanted to force their views on the entire world. That morning, however, my mind had gone first to Washington, DC, and how unfaithful and deceitful our “ruling class” has become. (Someone else soon added, “Sacramento” as well, since our state politics is perhaps even more corrupt than our federal government.)

This led to an interesting discussion as to whether or not any of us could cite an historic example of those who gained power and advantage over others and did not end up using it for their own privilege and in doing ended up oppressing others. We could think of none that lasted any length of time. Perhaps this is why God never wanted some people to hold power over others. The advantages of power and wealth seems to always corrupt those in its clutches and their never-ending quest for more.

I wrote a few months ago about the unholy alliances that have usurped government by the people and only manipulate the anxiety of the masses to build their own power base. Where are the people of character and concern who will put the common good above their own personal gain? If we don’t find them we are surely in the waning days of the American experiment.

It does not delight me to talk about our state or national leaders in such terms. When I was younger I had great hope in the ideals of America. I never expected a democratic republic to be perfect, but I at least had hope that those in national service really wanted to do what was best for the country. I don’t know if I was more easily scammed then or if things really have gotten worse, but no one even pretends anymore to work for the common good. We are splintered into two political parties who fight over their own power, not the good of the country. And while they feign disgust at the other party, they seem content to trade the seats of power from time to time, since nothing substantively changes in the direction of our government and its relentless need to control every detail of our lives.

It seems to be that while they have us focused on liberal v. conservative politics and foment a class war between those who pay taxes and those who receive entitlements, they blind us to the real class warfare between an ever-more entrenched ruling elite who act for their own gain at the expense of normal people. They exempt themselves from laws that govern us, use “public service” to line their own pockets, and then retire from government service either with ridiculous pensions, or high-paying lobbyist jobs in the private sector.

As the first of two political conventions begin this week I found myself agreeing with the Psalmist, asking God to rescue us from deceitful and wicked leaders. I guess that prayer is in hopes that there are men and women of character somewhere who can stand in the gap of the excesses of power and ultimately do what is right and just for the people of this nation, and the world. But I don’t see them on the horizon at this point and certainly neither of our major political parties even give lip service to that ideal anymore.

It behooves us all in this country to think even beyond this election and stop playing into the hands of those who manipulate our political system to their own advantage. Don’t get caught up in the rhetoric of accusation and hatred for those you might disagree with. Don’t fall for negative campaign ads that hide the truth rather than illuminate it. And, demand better of your representatives than to just tow the party line when it only benefits the party and not the country.

Share this Post!

Related post

14 Comments
  1. Judy Gale August 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    “But I don’t see them on the horizon at this point and certainly neither of our major political parties even give lip service to that ideal anymore.” Wayne, when I read statements such as that, my initial thoughts are, “Why even vote, then!?”

  2. Judy Gale August 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    “But I don’t see them on the horizon at this point and certainly neither of our major political parties even give lip service to that ideal anymore.” Wayne, when I read statements such as that, my initial thoughts are, “Why even vote, then!?”

  3. Wayne August 30, 2012 at 11:24 am

    No, Judy, I’m not a no-vote kind of guy. While I don’t see anyone who fits the profile I would like there are certainly those closer to it than others. Mchange is always a matter of degrees. My hope is to move the conversation a bit further along this go around and hopefully inspire a different kind of person to think about candidacy in the future. There are candidates closer to this hope and others further away. I want to encourage both to come even closer.

  4. Wayne August 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    No, Judy, I’m not a no-vote kind of guy. While I don’t see anyone who fits the profile I would like there are certainly those closer to it than others. Mchange is always a matter of degrees. My hope is to move the conversation a bit further along this go around and hopefully inspire a different kind of person to think about candidacy in the future. There are candidates closer to this hope and others further away. I want to encourage both to come even closer.

  5. jacob August 31, 2012 at 6:11 am

    I was sick to my stomach when I found out some of the tactics used by the RNC to drown out opposing voices. Changing the rules last second, sending letters to delegates that times have changed (but forget to mention they still had to show up to get their passes or they wouldnt be let in), had all the states pro-romney up front and the states that were not put in the back and at the end of the rollcall. Stripping 10 of Maines delegates ( 7 of them being vets ) and replacing them with pro-Romney delegates. They couldn’t even speak the names of the other canidates who received delegates when getting the final vote.

    It is scary when they change the rules so that the presumptive nominee can now force states who are not going to give them their delegates to change them, and accomplishing that change by such dishonest tactics. What have we become??

    http://www.fox19.com/story/19423487/reality-check-rnc-rule-change-starting-a-republican-civil-war

  6. jacob August 31, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I was sick to my stomach when I found out some of the tactics used by the RNC to drown out opposing voices. Changing the rules last second, sending letters to delegates that times have changed (but forget to mention they still had to show up to get their passes or they wouldnt be let in), had all the states pro-romney up front and the states that were not put in the back and at the end of the rollcall. Stripping 10 of Maines delegates ( 7 of them being vets ) and replacing them with pro-Romney delegates. They couldn’t even speak the names of the other canidates who received delegates when getting the final vote.

    It is scary when they change the rules so that the presumptive nominee can now force states who are not going to give them their delegates to change them, and accomplishing that change by such dishonest tactics. What have we become??

    http://www.fox19.com/story/19423487/reality-check-rnc-rule-change-starting-a-republican-civil-war

  7. Michele August 31, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    A great book to check out… Myth of a Christian Nation by Gregory Boyd.

  8. David Takle August 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Thank you for these reminders, Wayne. We keep wanting to believe that a different party or a different man will fix things. But the truth is, government cannot solve the problems we have. Only changed hearts can heal our land. And in the mean time, we can pray that God will delay or minimize the damage that comes from poor leadership. Still, I am a strong proponent of voting. But I do not vote with any hope of saving the country. That will have to wait for deeper changes. I vote to slow the decline to give us time to do the work of the Kingdom.

  9. Michele August 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    A great book to check out… Myth of a Christian Nation by Gregory Boyd.

  10. David Takle August 31, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Thank you for these reminders, Wayne. We keep wanting to believe that a different party or a different man will fix things. But the truth is, government cannot solve the problems we have. Only changed hearts can heal our land. And in the mean time, we can pray that God will delay or minimize the damage that comes from poor leadership. Still, I am a strong proponent of voting. But I do not vote with any hope of saving the country. That will have to wait for deeper changes. I vote to slow the decline to give us time to do the work of the Kingdom.

  11. Judy P. September 2, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I really appreciated this topic and very timely. My husband and I went to see the movie Obama’s America 2016 yesterday. I thought that the movie was done tastefully as it really brought Mr. Obama’s past and where he may be headed in terms of his ideals, but still is pretty disturbing and sad at the same time. Both politicians seem to have extensive agendas and it is most difficult to know which candidate is the best of the worst. I agree with David that I do not vote with any real hopes of any meaningful recovery in this country.

    My husband and I were talking this morning that Father is in control and in order to preserve our sanity and have any sort of peace we need to keep on this journey and continue to learn to love each other as Jesus loved us. Easier said than done as it doesn’t take much to become sidetracked in our focus when the world and political system is so chaotic and sometimes scary. I think that we all know that man has always dominated man to his injury.

  12. Judy P. September 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I really appreciated this topic and very timely. My husband and I went to see the movie Obama’s America 2016 yesterday. I thought that the movie was done tastefully as it really brought Mr. Obama’s past and where he may be headed in terms of his ideals, but still is pretty disturbing and sad at the same time. Both politicians seem to have extensive agendas and it is most difficult to know which candidate is the best of the worst. I agree with David that I do not vote with any real hopes of any meaningful recovery in this country.

    My husband and I were talking this morning that Father is in control and in order to preserve our sanity and have any sort of peace we need to keep on this journey and continue to learn to love each other as Jesus loved us. Easier said than done as it doesn’t take much to become sidetracked in our focus when the world and political system is so chaotic and sometimes scary. I think that we all know that man has always dominated man to his injury.

Comments are closed.