Friday, March 18, 2016

A Word About Politics

Every three to four years I become extremely glued to politics. I did major in political science, after all. Perhaps if I'd come from a politically inactive family, it would have been different, but the truth is, we all invest ourselves heavily in it in my family, sometimes to our detriment. My father is a staunch Republican and my sister and I used to be as well. After her divorce my sister jumped ship on the Republicans, who aren't known for their gentleness or support of the downtrodden.

My mother and step-father have always been militant Democrats and with my sister now following suit, I don't dare bring up politics in my semi-regular email contact with her. I happen to agree with most Republican principles, but mostly I vote Republican because they support the unborn and champion people helping people, which is God's way as well.

I've never been interested in changing anyone's politics, however. I enjoy studying politics, not discussing it. The White House does well to change parties every four to eight years because good government requires a balance, just like a good marriage requires balance. The generous spouse needs to be tempered by the fiscally conservative spouse, or nothing ever gets paid (or saved).

I'm careful to tell my boys--who seem to be developing into Republicans--that they need to think carefully about the issues and come to their own conclusions. They owe no loyalty to their parents in terms of party affiliation or philosophy. I want them to leave our home with their heads full of their own, carefully considered positions.

Paul seems to have inherited the political gene. He spent hours studying the issues and watching the debates with me. His attention to and passion for the process amazed me. I was the same at his age, though I didn't have as many resources to learn from. Young people like Paul--who very early have a passion for the process--sometimes grow up to run for public office, as Marco Rubio did at age 26, winning a local race in Florida.

Paul has a gifted intelligence and a magnetic personality, so we'll see what happens.

When, last Tuesday, Marco Rubio suspended his campaign, Paul and I cried. Marco was our guy--someone who was conservative but loved immigrants, loved the unborn, admitted when he was wrong, openly spoke about his faith, loved his family, worked and fought hard, and spoke with vision and hope.

The next morning, March 16, I knew that I had to help Paul move on. He had gone to bed the night before still in tears, depressed.

"I didn't know politics could be so depressing," he offered as I kissed him goodnight.

It truly can be, as so many Americans are feeling this season, with the rise of Donald Trump. Perhaps I don't need to say...we align ourselves with the NeverTrump crowd.

Here is what China thinks about Trump. He's making enemies globally, and he's not even a nominee yet.

I shudder to think of what's to come, but as I told my son...our hope is not in politics. It's not in a single person, either, or in a single political party.

We can trust the Lord in all seasons. He puts leaders in place and we can trust his plan. The Republican party may not have a plan right now, but God does. We can trust that no matter what, He loves us and works all things for our good, for the good of those who love him...who are called according to his purpose.

It's good to know the issues, to know the candidates, to know the process. It's good to exercise the privileges open to us as citizens of a republic. We are blessed to be a part of this great nation. If we are losing any of our greatness, it's because we've taken God out of our lives, not because we have bad trade deals or open borders. The drugs, the addictions, the panic and hopelessness, the emphasis on jobs and the economy over morals and decency? These loom so large because God has become so small to us. Trump can only look like a savior to those who don't know what true Hope is. It's not in negotiation or in isolation. It's not in the empty, contradictory rhetoric of a bully.

Hope is Jesus Christ, resurrected, his blood shed for all, his presence in Heaven preparing a place for all who believe.

Remember, we are citizens of Heaven first...followers of Jesus Christ. We can't put aside our Bibles and our prayers for any season. They ground us in Him. They help us remember to whom we really pledge allegiance, above all other people or interests or passions.

God willing, someone will be sworn in as President next January, appointed by our Almighty Father. And no matter who it is, we can wake up and smile, knowing the Lord is our strength and our song.

Psalm 27:1 “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

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