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Two events this week should encourage and inform Americans who are determined to restore and preserve the constitutional liberty of their country. The national leadership of the Boy Scouts of America postponed the decision to admit practicing homosexuals into the ranks and leadership of the Scouting movement. They reacted to precursory tremors that signaled intense opposition from the organization’s grass-roots constituency and seriously foreshadowed its dissolution. Meanwhile, on the more explicitly political front, adverse reaction to Karl Rove’s move to wage open political warfare against the GOP’s grass-roots conservative base led him hastily to withdraw behind deceitful professions out of respect for their conservative views.
Along with the intense grass-roots opposition roused by Obama’s assault on the Second Amendment, these signs of courageous life from America’s rank-and-file conservatives convey critically important information about the depth and strength of support for America’s moral and political institutions. They put the lie to the elitist faction media’s determined effort to conceal the fact that those seeking to dissolve the fabric of America’s moral and political life are an elitist minority. They are out of touch with the large segment of Americans who believe in God’s moral authority and the provisions for individual rights and constitutional self-government that arise from it.
However, the BSA and Rove episodes also confirm the insidious, intractable nature of the forces that are now threatening to impose their regressive elitist views on people they now regard as recalcitrant subjects, rather than free citizens. The BSA’s policy prohibiting homosexuality in the Scouting movement enjoyed strong support from many of the people who participate in the movement, as well as many others who admired the organization’s integrity. It was more than holding its own against the gay lobby’s specious efforts to coerce people into accepting, as a good model for their children, behavior that good conscience requires them to condemn.
The sudden move to collapse the BSA’s thus far successful moral stand apparently came about because of pressure from large corporate donors. Having infiltrated the organization’s decision-making structure with their largesse, they threatened to withdraw their money unless the BSA caved to the pressure of the homosexual lobby. In effect, they weaponized their largess, turning it into an instrument of organizational destruction. They then used this weapon to terrorize the BSA’s decision makers. Either the BSA would abandon the moral identity that gave substance to the reputation it had built upon over more than a century of service to the nation’s moral strength, or the corporate money barons would withhold the financial fix that supports the organization’s materially high standard of living.
As usual, I’m struck by the way experience confirms the wisdom of Jesus Christ. He bluntly warned people of faith that “you cannot serve God and mammon.” First folks let themselves get hooked on a diet of food offered to the idols of material security, comfort and pleasure. Then they find that they have fallen prey to a Hobson’s choice that takes God’s course off the menu. That may be of no consequence to people who see and care for nothing in life that cannot be measured in material terms. But for people who have defined and dedicated their lives to activities and institutions built on moral and spiritual grounds, life in opposition to God-informed conscience is not life but living death.
Thus far the leaders of the BSA have decided to postpone adding the organization to the ranks of the living dead, which these days include the Girl Scouts, universities like Notre Dame and Harvard and all too many churches and parishes enlisted in the emerging American version of China’s state-dominated religion. Unhappily, in the political realm the party on which too many people who profess to be sincere conservatives still waste themselves seems long since to have crossed into the realm of the living dead. It got there on account of the very subversion-by-mammon strategy being deployed in the attempt to demoralize the BSA.
No one epitomizes that strategy more completely than Karl Rove. Money is the drug of choice he and those like him distill into the coffers of candidates, organizations and movements to lure them into the state of material addiction that enslaves their political will. The strategy has been so successful that they have trumped every other criterion of political worth with money and the things it can buy. Competence, integrity, wisdom, decency, justice – none of them matter. Neither does the likelihood that a person or policy will perpetuate the nation’s liberty, its free institutions, or its legacy to future generations. The only goal is power, and the only really essential qualification for office is the backing of money powers whose largess provides the means to win it.
Whether you’re the BSA or the sincere base of conservatives being exploited and abused by the GOP, there is only one way to avoid the fate of living death the mammon subversives have in store for you, and for America. When it comes to the largess of mammon, the author of Proverbs said it best:
“When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you, and put a knife to you throat if you are given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.” – Proverbs 23:1-3
Considering these pitfalls, the best place to sup with princes (or with the would-be tyrants who fancy themselves to be such) is in your own house. Though it was against their own interests to do so, this was exactly the lesson America’s founders bequeathed to future generations. They laid the foundations upon which the American people could build a house that would belong to them, and to their posterity. Today’s elites think that they have purchased an exclusive deed to the premises. They are inexorably moving to make Americans no better than government slaves in the land of promise that once belonged to them. But signs are growing that we still know how to resist these destroyers of liberty. That’s all to the good. But what remains to be seen is whether we still have within us the wherewithal to revitalize and renew what they are seeking to overthrow.