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“Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord” (Corinthians 6:17).
On Wednesday morning I registered my reaction to the outcome of the election. Mitt Romney has obligingly illustrated the reason for his loss with the statement he made during his concession statement: “We can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.” Given the spirit of supine capitulation that characterized the GOP’s record in Congress after the election of 2010, the question is “What partisan bickering is that?”
Romney dutifully played his role in the phony election melodrama orchestrated by the elitist faction that manipulates both the Democratic and Republican parties. In his statement, he simply continued to read from their script. Many of the folks who voted for him thought that he represented their view that Obama takes this country toward the doom of its strength and liberty. To them he seems now to say, “The election sham is over. Get with the program. Haven’t you heard? We’re all socialists now.”
During this election cycle, many leaders and organizations who profess to be conservative, Christian defenders of the unalienable right to life, the rights of conscience and the God-endowed rights of the natural family read from the same elitist-faction script. They hid the truth about Romney from their constituents. They allowed him to abuse the pro-life label for his political ends. They allowed people falsely to believe that, unlike Obama, he opposes the specious notion that the practice of abortion or homosexuality can properly claim the privileged status of God-endowed unalienable rights. By their silence about the real nature of the health-care policies he signed into law or implemented as governor of Massachusetts, they obscured the fact that he gave higher priority to establishing socialism in the health sector than to respecting the unalienable right to life and the right to follow the dictates of God-endowed conscience.
They did these things, they claimed, in order to prevent the victory of evil. But when they come to know the facts, people often react with greater anger and disaffection to being deceived than they do to the facts about which they were deceived. (Perhaps this explains why there was a lower turnout for this election than for the choice of evils in 2008.) When Romney held aloof from the outpouring of appreciation for Dan Cathy’s stand for the God-endowed family; when he joined in the attack against Todd Akin for his principled stand against punishing innocent offspring for their parent’s crime; when he approved ads touting his view that in certain cases women benefit from knowing that the law sanctions the murder of their nascent child; people learned what they should have been told by the leaders and organizations in which they mistakenly placed their trust. Some choked down their disappointment and bought into the argument that they had to vote for the “lesser evil.” But others saw past the arguments of expediency, and looked toward the perfection of goodwill that the words and example of the Lord challenged them to remember. They rejected both the evil choice and the tacit lies employed to hide it from them.
It’s not surprising that the calculus of evil on one side did not succeed in preventing the triumph of evil on the other. Why did anyone expect that it would? Since the end of the Reagan era, conservatives, and in particular those who give priority to respecting the nation’s moral premises, have time and again agreed to compromise what they knew to be the greater good; or what they knew to be (the supposedly “lesser”) evil. For a while the bad consequences of this compromising spirit were held in abeyance. We benefitted from the momentum built up by generations of Americans who openly acknowledged humanity’s dependence on God for our understanding of justice, law and government. But in 2008, bad came to worse, and now in 2012 worse has come to worst, and we seem likely to reap the whirlwind sowed by too many years of neglecting the standard of God’s perfection.
I have no idea what the leaders who have so continually eroded the credibility of their endorsements and recommendations will do, now that the sacrifice of truth and integrity they made for the sake of victory has produced the momentous loss they told people they should fear above all else. But there was a saving remnant that rejected their fear mongering because they remembered Christ’s warning to fear, more than any man, the one who can destroy body and soul in Hell. The people who act in remembrance of Christ are not now despairing. Nor are they or tempted to capitulate to what they know to be wrong before God and for their country. Perhaps at long last, though, they will withdraw their confidence from leaders God materially blessed with great influence, only to see that influence materially abused to please forces bent on banishing God from the courts and councils and laws of the nation. Perhaps they will instead search out the stones these worldly-minded builders cast out and rejected.
Does it seem to you to be too dark for such a search? I notice, though, in the midst of the darkness, a lamp is burning. It burns in the heart of Judge Roy Moore who won his campaign to return as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Does it burn in yours? After his victory Moore told his jubilant supporters to “Go home with the knowledge that we are going to stand for the acknowledgment of God.” Isn’t it long past time to build a political home for all Americans willing to do the same?