“In all your undertakings and in every way of life, whether you are living in obedience, or are not submitting your work to anyone, whether in outward or in spiritual matters, let it be your rule and practice to ask yourself: Am I really doing this in accordance with God’s will?” A quote from the Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus.
It is the “day after” and most of my friends are reeling from an election we made assumptions about. It’s interesting to think that, well, we all thought we were right and our cause just, so we were, of course, going to win! But we did not win…pretty much nowhere was there a significant victory. We maintained some House balance, but not the Senate. And most states enacted some pretty horrendous things…we legalized gay marriage – well, not true. We re-defined marriage as between two persons, as Washington already acknowledged same-sex partnerships, and we removed the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman. A very interesting factoid in all that discussion is that something akin to 0.025% of the population in the State of Washington took advantage of the same-sex legislation as it was written and filed for domestic partnerships. There are about 9,000 same sex unions in a state of roughly 6.9 MILLION people. If you divide 9,000 by 6,900,000 you get 0.0013043478. So, the VERY few have dictated to the WHOLE, their opinion and their choices. In WA we are also legalizing marijuana for recreational, over-21, adult use. And, we have selected a former Democratic Senator, endorsed by the “I never tell a lie” former President himself, Bill Clinton, as our new Governor.
And I have been through such an emotional range here. And it keeps taking me back to what Mike Huckabee said, “It’s also increasingly apparent to me that our real problems are not political, but spiritual. Both parties have failed to acknowledge that. Democrats have not wanted to even acknowledge the need for God in our public institutions, but sadly, many of the Republican leadership will acknowledge God, but not because they believe we should be humble before Him, but to use God in our speeches and platforms. We wear our love of Israel like a badge of courage but on the issues of life and marriage too many of our leaders are more like lambs than Lions of Judah.” And because of our meekness and our complacency as sacrificial lambs, rather than Lions of Judah, we have allowed this Country of ours to slip into what it is becoming. Because the Left is not done, yet; they have another four years to bring this Country to its collective knees.
As I left a meeting with my 13-year-old son last night, he said, “Ah, Mom, I don’t want to pay $100 for a sweatshirt.” I immediately thought he was referring to some CAP (Civil Air Patrol) thing or something else he saw somewhere else, and I asked him which sweatshirt he was referring to and he said, “Doesn’t matter which one; President Obama is going to tax it so it will cost $100.” And I wondered what he had heard discussed; what he was taking away from this discussion of politics and faith in our home. I asked him what he thought and what his opinions were, and as I did so, I stressed that I wanted him to form his opinions and not parrot ours. It was interesting in that he noted that Mr. Obama always looked mad and angry and that he doesn’t really look at the people when he is talking. He also said that Mr. Romney sure seemed like a nice man and that he seemed to mean what he said. He said Mr. Obama always looked like he “lost his place” in a speech or something else confused him and that made him mad. He then said, “No, I thought about it and I agree with you; I don’t like President Obama.” I felt okay with that response. It is an ongoing conversation that I am sure will have many chapters over the next four years.
But I am concerned with our legacy; I’ve addressed that in other blogs. And my concern is that we all need to turn inward. We need to re-evaluate who we are to those around us. For me, with 94% of the state not being Churched, their outlook on life is very different to mine. And I may be the only Jesus they ever see or meet. How am I reflecting the Gospel message to those around me? And I came across this quote, “Faith must become a flaming love within us. A flame which burns in our lives and is propagated to our neighbors. This is the essence of evangelization.” (Pope Benedict XVI) And I fully believe that we have ALL let our neighbors down. Because if we truly lived this essence of evangelization, instead of hiding ourselves in comfortable groups or in our homes, the very fabric of this Country would change. America was founded on principles of freedom, and we citizens could all breathe when we were free and young…this Country inspired dozens around the world to become free. But where has that gone? We are rated 7th in the world among developed nations. We no longer hold that top position. Why? Our schools are failing, our finances are ridiculously in a mess, and our morals have “gone to hell in a hand-basket,” as my grandma would say. I grew up, in my politically formative years, thinking more like Barry Goldwater and actually volunteering as a Nixonette at his offices in Whittier, CA (never told my parents…lol!) and even working for Ronald Reagan at his office in southern Orange County, CA (also known then as the “Orange Curtain” where conservatism was alive and well). My thoughts have developed within a cocoon of conservative idealism, while still attending and being exposed to modernist ideology at a public university. I majored in Anthropology (minoring in Biblical Archeology) and was exposed to lots of ideologies. But I always thought differently than those around me. I remember diligently writing about, and protesting, one of the first right-to-life cases, that of Karen Ann Quinlan. This happened while I was in college, as a junior, and just a year younger than Karen was, at the time of her coma. I wrote about it and argued for her life. It was eventually extinguished by complications from pneumonia in 1985, after having won a battle in the courts nine years earlier her parents fought on her behalf. I wasn’t even Catholic at the time, but I felt a kinship with her and felt it was her right to live, and became diligently pro life from that point forward. A position I held, even with parents who were not pro life, and were certainly not Catholic, or religious, at that time in my life.
My point in all of this meandering down memory lane (May their memories be eternal to my Grandma and Karen Ann Quinlan) was to bring something up – these same arguments have been going on for more than 30 or 40 years. I was in college in the 1970s and we were arguing for the right to life, even then. I was a senior in High School when Roe v. Wade was made “law.” The difference now is that the Left has the upper hand in most areas of our lives, and they are winning the culture war. Do I roll over, let them slap me around, and silently turn the other cheek as they stomp my rights and mold this Republic into something not even dreamed of by our Founding Fathers? I do not. I am a child of God. I am required by my God to share the faith I have in Him and to affect those around me. I affect my children; I affect my friends. But what “effect” does this have on the countless millions (that pesky 47% mentioned by Mr. Romney on more than one occasion) who chose to vote for everything antithetical to who I am and what I believe? It can only be effective if every, single, person of conservative thought, those who posit themselves on the right of the discussion, takes to their knees and re-enlists for the long battle. Gird your loins (Eph 6:14 – “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness….”) and prepare your hearts and minds to affect the culture around you and to prepare this Country for a rebirth to the principles on which it was founded.
A quote from St. Peter’s List: “The Church has outlived every major empire. Think Twice.” And I am hoping that we all “think twice” before being solely angry and bitter. Think about how you affect those around you on a daily basis, and maybe just those affected once in awhile via social media. The effect of 1,000s of faithful praying for our Country and treating everyone they meet as Jesus, will ultimately affect our politics. If we are sincere in how we use our faith to better those around us, it will catch on in a big way. We can assume nothing and pray for everything. This is an opportunity, as a friend’s son stated to her this morning, for “four more years of redemptive suffering.” Make this count, so that in 2016, our loving ways will translate into an inspired electorate, who does the right thing and elects a leader who is first and foremost, a man of God. I think that in everything, we need to reflect on St. John Climacus’ quote I opened this with, “…Am I really doing this in accordance with God’s will?”