“I am hard pressed between the two [three actually].” ~ Philippians 1:23
Looking down the road a few months, I think I have somewhat of a handle on how the apostle Paul was feeling when he wrote those words. No, it isn’t a stay here on earth or be with Jesus in heaven dilemma as it was for him that I find myself sitting here contemplating today; but who to vote for in November – the bad guy or the bad girl?
I certainly cannot pull the handle for Hillary, she yays my nays, pretty much standing up for everything I stand against. But I find the hand holding the pencil a bit shaky blotting out the little box on the ballot beside the Donald too as he is continually shooting himself in the foot. Goodness gracious, if he were to make it to the inaugural ball I’m not sure he would be able to dance; and, NO, Johnson fans, I can’t go there either as that ship captain supports things this deckhand just can’t get on board with.
Although I will keep singing it, I suppose the “Impossible Dream” is indeed impossible. Thus for me, it is no longer a choice between candidates but between parties. I will throw my nickel in with the party that best supports my views as a Christian and pray it will be a good investment.
Come to think about it, going to be with Jesus doesn’t sound bad, it would indeed be the better of the available choices.
I really don’t consider myself a political activist but there has been an extremely loud alarm going off in my head of recent, thinking about our countries future and the impact third parties may have on our hopes for tomorrow. Granted, it may be that Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson would do an awesome job and make a great Commander in Chief, but we will probably never know. Looking at the track record for third-party and independent candidates (with the exception of a few having been elected to Congress over the years), history doesn’t find itself in their corner. Consider Teddy Roosevelt, although one of the most popular presidents to ever occupy the Oval Office, still yet, he came up short in his bid for re-election to the White House having left the Republican Party in 1912.
The fact is, no third-party candidate has ever won a U.S. presidential election, but what it appears they have done is split parties. It is the general consensus that “Roosevelt’s 1912 candidacy took votes away from the Republican candidate, incumbent President William Howard Taft, allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win with just 41.8 percent of the popular vote”. The same is believed true in the 2000 election when Ralph Nader ran to the left of Democrat Al Gore placing Florida’s 25 electoral votes in the Bush camp deciding the presidency.
CNN’s, Jim Dexter wrote, “Third-party candidates rarely win elections, but they can split parties. That can affect the outcome of an election when a third-party candidate is especially strong, or when the race between the two other candidates is especially close.”
I would encourage American voters to think long and hard and to pray fervently before siding with and marking the ballot in favor of a third-party or independent candidate as the best they can probably hope for (historically speaking) is coming in third place, just behind the major parties second place finisher who in this election year will most likely be Donald Trump – should you pitch tent with Johnson.
I feel this time around to be a pivotal and decisive moment for our nation to be taken most seriously. The values those of us claiming to be followers of Jesus cling too are in the balance. The direction to which the scales of justice, morality, and religious liberty will tip I believe rests squarely in our hands going to the polls this November. The wife and I have a basket full of beautiful grandchildren who will be left in the wake of the choice we make on Election Day as I am sure many of you do too. Therefore, pray – pray without ceasing. Go to church on Sundays, be in the company of Believers, surround yourself with those who love Jesus, who in sincerity pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. The relationship you share with Christ and his people will impact your views in every area of life including the ballot you cast.
Your vote is truly America’s Hope. Will history repeat itself? Will a third-party again be the reason the right party comes up on the short end of the stick? That, of course, will be your decision.
I am a fruit a fruit I am, My mind I find is in a jam; A round and round my thoughts they go, which one to choose I do not know. Which one’s legit, which one is spam; I am confused, confused I am,
I must decide, decide I must, who of the two that I should trust. If you can help, your help I’ll take, there is so much I find at stake,
Where will we be four years from now, behind a desk, behind a plow? At peace at war at war or peace? Perhaps it best to bend the knee;
To pray aloud and loudly pray, God please direct the choice I make,
Your will be done and may it be, the choice that keeps our country free.
Trump or Clinton, Clinton or Trump, We need to know which one to dump,
We’re in a jam, a jam we’re in, please help us through this jam again.
With both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions happening this month I sat at my dining room table Just Thinkin’ on this rainy 4th of July morning in Terrell, Texas, and what crossed my mind is this:
More frightening than the choices this election year offers are how little those making the choice know, not about the candidates, but about our government, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Polls conducted in the recent past indicate the average American knows very little about the political structure, how Washington works, the issues on the table, why there on the table, or how they got there in the first place. That being said, it appears to me the greatest danger to the American people is the American people themselves.
Most decisions made at the polls is based on cleverly worded rhetoric prepared by speech writers, the voice of spin doctors, nightly news anchors, and third party friends and family members with the latter being the more common generator of the consensus expressed on the ballot. Perhaps a test should be given before a person can be registered to vote. “Ridiculous”, you say? Is it not somewhat ironic that tests are given to ensure competency in so very many areas of life, that an individual must achieve a passing score to show himself/herself qualified to do this, that or the other, yet only a simple 5 minute (or less) form is required to be registered to vote, to allow a decision be made directing the future of our country – go figure.
No, I don’t suspect a Voters Registration Exam will be happening anytime soon, if ever. I do believe, however, that the American people should become more involved in the political process first by acquiring greater knowledge of the process and government in general. For me, it was a sad and eye opening day to find my German wife (a German citizen) knew more about my homeland than did I. Shame on me.
“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all” ~ John F. Kennedy.
Here I go again, most likely stirring up a hornet’s nest and running the risk of being unfriended by some, but I will be right up front in saying I am not an advocate of nor do I support abortion as a means of birth control. Inside the womb or out, a life is a life, precious to God and should be valued having the same rights as you and I. Please do not misconstrue my intended meaning as you read, I am Pro-Life and stand in support of legislation to that affect. I am opposed to Pro-Choice (as politically defined) – to me, it is murder. However, I strongly believe in the right to choose (freewill). Although I see our country continue following a destructive path that (in my humble opinion) will have at its end the end of a great nation – choice (freewill), is nonetheless a God granted, God-given, inalienable right clearly demonstrated in scripture. Although taking an innocent life can never be justified or made right on any level, and is forbidden by God, it happens every day. People choose to commit murder and God permits them to make that choice.
For followers of Christ, it is a most difficult prayer that speaks in humble refrain, “not my will, but thine, be done’. Perhaps more difficult for believers living in America today, though, is coming to terms with the thought that God may have already said to those living beneath the Stars and Stripes, “Okay, I have heard your voice, go ahead – your will be done, have it your way”. To me, that is a most frightening and very real possibility, one we find well documented in both Old and New Testaments.
Is there a place on this road where we can do a U-turn? Can we at least stall what appears to be the inevitable outcome of decisions being handed down by the United States Supreme Court? I’m not sure we can. However, in spite of what appears a continued descent away from any and all things godlike, let us continue to raise the banner of biblical truth high; not as militants, but in love, compassionately seeking salvation for those who are lost, or who have just lost their way. Our God desires all to be saved and none to perish (2 Peter 3:9), and we are to be the boots on the ground reporters getting out the news.
While we’re at it, let’s not make the tragic mistake of looking down on others who choose differently with a contemptuous snarl, or as they were a pathetic lot of misguided underlings unfit to walk among us. When we do, we are the misguided ones. We should know God’s love is not exclusive only to those who have chosen the Bible as a roadmap. He loves all and died for all.
As videos and comments posted by others who engaged in dialogue throughout my original post make clear, most women who choose to abort do so without knowledge of all the procedure entails or the risks involved – a case of ignorance. After being more fully educated, most (men and women alike) quickly change their position denouncing the Pro-Choice movement. Women of the world do not need our scorn or the verbal abuse of Pro-Lifer’s, they need compassionate guidance accompanied with an adequate education that will expose them to the facts concerning abortion. Yes, the choice will remain theirs to make, and as Believers, we should seek to further educate ourselves and pray a door of opportunity be opened to share truth both physical and spiritual.
It may be a dark, ominous cloud that hangs overhead right now, but in the not too distant future the clouds will be rolled back as a scroll, the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, then, at last, it will be well with my soul – and yours*. Never give up or resolve to defeat, Christian, “redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28 KJV); and as a side note, know this, the Supreme Court is not the SUPREME Court.
NOTE: I owe a debt of gratitude and want to thank my Physician friend who after reading my original post thoughtfully messaged me offering guidance in helping me to see through the muddy waters oy my hasty writing and clarify my position.
*Lyrics from “It Is Well with My Soul” by Horatio G. Spafford
Unfortunately, being with my church community group Thursday evening (an important part of my life that definitely trumps Trump and the gang), I did not see the Republican debate. But after having watched several video clips on television and social media, and listening to a few sound bites coming from the local news station I tune into each morning on my drive into work; perhaps I should have begun this writing with the word “fortunately” instead of “unfortunately”.
Other than what looked and sounded like a gloves off romper room brawl, it doesn’t appear that I missed much – how disappointing. What you want to hear are grown-up men, not squabbling boys, address issues that matter; where you plan to take us as a country, and how you plan to get us there. We watch to see strengths and weaknesses; who will effectively field the hard questions and successfully navigate the landmines that we might stand up and say, “I trust his leadership, I can sleep soundly at night on his watch, I am confident this guy knows the way and will get me and my family safely through this field of explosives without being blown to bits”.
Yes, I expect there to be differences, I anticipate argument and tune in to see who best articulates and defends their position laying out a clear roadmap, a strategy that is both reasonable and viable.
As it appears this debate didn’t get the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and was more a farce than a Face the Nation with ideas and pertinent facts expected in a Presidential debate, argument worthy of the office respectable men attain too – I am disappointed; but I won’t be giving up on the Grand Old Party and hope you won’t either. I feel quite certain that once the dust has settled and the blood coagulates in Cincinnati come July; we will have forgotten this insane free-for-all, get behind the chosen one and pray for him, pray for our nation, that America will be great again under a new Republican Commander in Chief. Just Thinkin’.