Friday, July 8, 2016

The Danger of Power Hungry Politicians

One of the big problems with American politics right now, on both sides of the aisle, is that a good number of politicians are making decisions with one main objective in mind, to retain power. When they become more concerned with retaining power than with doing what is right they become beholden to press, and popularity instead of principle. They become more concerned with who wins than they do about what is right. I think this is paralyzing, polarizing and antagonizing our country right now. 

I was thinking of this while studying Matthew chapter 2 in the Bible this morning. The thought occurred to me that many of the most notorious acts that were ever committed in the Bible were performed by those who were trying to gain or retain power. Just a couple of examples will suffice to make the point though I am sure that there are many more. 

Killing of Innocents by Herod, by Leon Cogniet,
Why did Herod slay all the children that were in Bethlehem from two years old and under? Because his power felt threatened when the wise men came to worship “the king of the Jews”? Maintaining power was so important to him that the tender feelings of mothers and fathers, siblings and others who would have to see their babies slain meant nothing to him. Pathetic

Why did the Sanhedrin want Jesus, who had taught peace, healed the sick, lame, and diseased, and even raised men from the dead to die so badly? Jesus was having a great influence and they were losing theirs. They wanted to hold on to power and popularity so badly that they violated common sense, lied, and were accessories to the death of the Son of God. Pathetic. Even Pilate recognized it was for envy (Mark 15:10).  

And what of Pilate? Why did Pilate deliver Jesus up to be crucified in spite of the fact that he knew Jesus was innocent and in spite of being warned not to do so by his own wife because of a dream that she had had the night before? He wanted to “content the people” (Mark 15:15). He was more worried about being popular with the people and maintaining power than he was about principle. Pathetic.

I think it is time for the even minded, everyday Americans to come together and to solve America’s problems instead of allowing politicians to continually use those problems as political footballs and to use platitudes and hyperbole to stir up fear, anger, mistrust and to make us all suspicious of one another in order to maintain their power and influence. It is time to punt the power hungry polarizing politicians out of their place, and replace them with those who are driven by true principles that we believe in. I believe that in the heart of most Americans are simple principles that if followed would solve many problems in our country. I hope that I am right. I know that when I sit down with some of my Democratic friends and hear their point of view, and share mine, we have a lot in common, they agree with my point of view and I agree with theirs in many many instances. Why is it that our politicians seem to agree on nothing? I think that Republicans fear that if they agree with a Democrat’s idea, even if it is a good one, it may come back to haunt them during reelection time and vice versa.  

We need to wake up, Republicans, Democrats and Others. We need to stop worrying about winning and start worrying about what’s right. We need to elect individuals who are driven by principle, not power. If when those individuals get into office, we the people sense that their sole goal is to stay there and maintain their power and benefit from it  rather than to do what is right for the American people, we need to get them out of there and put someone in their place who is principle driven not power driven. If in the coming days we become a polarized populous, elect a Pilate like President, a Sanhedrin like Senate and Herod like House, we will continue to become more and more divided. As each political party continues to pursue power, the irony is the United States of America will become less and less powerful. We can't let that happen. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I had a dream last week that changed my paradigm...

A few nights ago I had a dream that was very disturbing and that has been troubling me ever since. My family and I were in a unfamiliar place trying to escape the ravages of violent Islamic Extremists. We were sneaking through the woods trying to quietly escape them. In my dream I knew that if we were discovered, we would be abused or killed. I was terrified. I was trying to help my daughters not be afraid and to not let them sense my fear. We ended up getting into a cold river and swimming for safety. Every second was filled with fear and anxiety. I was trying to help my youngest daughter swim, and was struggling to keep both of our heads above the freezing cold water. At the same time I was trying to keep everyone quiet. Even the sound of their arms slapping the water as they were swimming stressed me to the core. I was especially worried about my two older daughters who we had to let swim on their own. I kept whispering to them, “Are you guys ok?” They were in tears, cold and terrified. I could see the fear in my wife’s eyes as she was helping them along. My eyes were scouring the river banks terrified that we would be discovered at any moment. Every sound I heard shot lightning bolt of fear throughout my entire body.
Suddenly I awoke laying in my safe bed in a cold sweat and the dream was over. I was filled with gratitude to be in my bed. I was so happy to be in a safe place where I didn’t have to worry about such things. I looked at my wife sleeping peacefully next to me, and went and checked on each of my daughters.  As I returned to my bed I laid there pondering the relief and gratitude I felt that it was just a dream. 
It was then that I was struck with an awful reality. There are fathers, and mothers, and children right now in various parts of the world who are dealing with the realities of my horrible fleeting dream.
My heart was filled with sorrow for those people. I know that even as I am writing this there is a Father somewhere in the world that is looking into the terrified eyes of his wife and children, who is dealing with the fear, anxiety and frustration that I was dealing with during my dream.
I hope that all of us who are fortunate enough to not live in such circumstances will lay aside politics and offer whatever help we can to people who are suffering such things. It may feel like there is little we can do to help, but If we can do nothing else we can cry unto our God on their behalf. Isaiah taught the following: “strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be Strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you” (Isaiah 35:3-4).
I pray that this will happen sooner than later. That may be all I can do right now so I will do it. I will pray for those whose reality parallels my horrible dream and I will pray that God will deliver them who have honest hearts, who just want peace for themselves and their families. My heart hurts for such people.