By popular demand, public and private, here it is. I wrote it early this morning. Today, a lament. Tomorrow or Monday, I hope to provide further theological reflection, and the start of stategerizing. Delicate (or guilty) souls may want to stay out of the blast zone. Perhaps you shouldn't. And so.....
I had a bad feeling when my Bible reading the morning of the 5th turned out to include 2 Kings 17. I gulped.
If the title gives you the impression that this won't be a happy-face, good-loser post, you are correct. Be warned. I'm in earnest. If you keep reading — which I seriously do not necessarily advise — you'll have that same experience that, to my bafflement, keeps surprising people. That is, you'll find that (oh, no!) I really meant everything I said.
I've mulled and tossed what to write. Some of you are here to gloat and lecture, some just to observe, and some wanting comfort and encouragement. What do I have for you here? You'll find some gallows humor, a wry comment or two. But the theme of this post could not be summarized as, "Ain't life grand right now?"
Wish I had that to give, at the moment. In due time, perhaps. I remember after the horrid election in which Bill Clinton first lied his way to the White House, Rush Limbaugh was very heartening. He observed that conservatism had actually won, because Clinton deceptively positioned himself to the right of Bush, Sr.
You could say that here, to a degree. Obama actually campaigned for cutting taxes and spending. It was a lie, of course, but McCain did not counter it effectively enough. Obama defeated McCain, and the perceived Bush legacy, and the recent GOP. Not conservatism, well and clearly and passionately articulated.
But anyone with two live neurons to rub together could have seen through The One's charade. Obama's mentors and allies are hardcore Marxists, socialists, racists. He marinated in anti-American, racist hatemongering for twenty years. His backers included the worst within America, and enemies outside America. It was all a paint-thin facade.
But, as David Wells has argued convincingly, people like paint. It's all about image.
So what do I write for you today? I think of Jeremiah, looking at the ruin of his beloved nation. Did the prophet write a happy-face booklet about how glorious God's sovereign providence always is? I don't think so. There's a reason that the 25th book in the Canon isn't titled "Happy Giggles," or "Jeremiah's Jolly Jokes."
There is, as Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, "a time to mourn." If you love what America was, what it should be, and what men with a Biblical worldview crafted it to be, this begins such a time.
I'll say one happy horizontal thing: I think it is a good thing that a black man won the presidency. It shows that America has long-since ceased being the country that Obama's bitter, angry, self-absorbed wife imagined.
But most of us already knew that. It is a bad thing that that black man won. I actually think it may well cause long-term harm to other blacks' presidential aspirations, which is a pity. Obama does not have the unsought blessing Bill Clinton had: he will not have robust opposition in Congress. So he may actually do many of the harmful, disastrous things he proposed. And future voters may, if unfairly, look even at totally-different black candidates and think, "Didn't we try that already?"
So who's in the Hall of Shame for this debacle? Too many to name. But here are a few.
Bush. I blame President Bush. Not for what the wingnuts blame him for; he was right about those things. History will view Bush as a visionary, amply-accomplished president.
But where W did miserably fail was as a politician. He did not learn from Bill Clinton, who got right the fact that he needed never to stop campaigning. Bush was like the anti-Clinton in that regard. W focused completely on governing, and did nothing about keeping the American people with him. Bush evidently thought results would speak for themselves, and people would figure things out. He was wrong.
Clinton always had instant-response squads, who overwhelmed all the media with unified, sharp, aggressive responses geared to make sure Clinton's view always prevailed. Bush couldn't be bothered. You can call it arrogance; I actually think it was misplaced modesty. But the net sum was that W left a disastrous political situation for his would-be successor.
Dick Cheney was an excellent VP (— you can tell that simply by the deranged sorts who hate him). But Cheney was never going to succeed Bush. So Bush should have replaced Cheney in his second term, and groomed a presidential replacement.
Bush was right in not being a slave to opinion polls; he was wrong in not trying to bring people along with him. As a consequence, McCain had two bad options. He could try to make up for eight years of Bush's failure to defend himself in his campaign, which he wasn't equipped to do. Or he could distance himself utterly from Bush, which McCain tried but found impossible to do.
And that's largely Bush's fault. It took down McCain, as well as GOP candidates for both houses. W's refusal to defend himself cost others badly.
MSM. Light a candle of mourning for the mainstream media. Obama lied and deceived and hid, true; but he never could have gotten away with it if we'd had a vigilant, ethical, non-partisan press. However, the MSM acted not as the press, but as Obama's press secretary.
The MSM kept the ugly and inconvenient truth out of the spotlight, diverted the public's attention, ran interference, carried water for his lies, and served as Obama's opposition research. Only a fool will trust them ever again. For that matter, only fools trusted them this time 'round.
An aside: I wonder how many Obama revelations will start seeing the light now? Or will they wait until after his first or second inauguration?
Voters. But of course that doesn't give the electorate a pass. Thirty years ago? When there were only CBSABCNBC and The Timeses? Maybe. But now, alternative news and analysis sources are readily available. For now. Look for the new triumvirate to target a free press and all soapboxes, cyber and otherwise. Perhaps even pulpits. Think Canada.
Government reeducation camps. The government school system didn't help, creating uneducated, uninformed, fact-starved glandlings, who mistake emoting for rational thought. These folks have been raised from toddlerhood on the state's teat. The State is a kindly face embodied in Miss Parkins in pre-school; when you're eighteen, you've long-since learned to see The State as your friend and guardian. As designed. And so you vote.
Quislings. But the most disgraceful of all are professedly Christian enablers.
[Last warning: this is going to be brutal.]
These are the hand-wringing, conflicted souls who just can't figure out whether or not it's a good thing to sweep aside thirty-five years of hard-fought, hard-won advances in the pro-life cause. Who just can't agonize themselves into seeing that they have a clear-cut moral obligation to stand athwart the most remorselessly, unrepentantly vicious pro-death advocate ever seriously to seek the White House.
How wretched are such souls?
It's like this. A man comes to attack your wife, or your child. You professed Christians who voted for Obama, you had every reason to know what that man was going to do. And your response was to toss him a knife, and tell him "Have at it, sport; I prayed about this, and I feel good about it. I'll just stand over here being deep and conflicted and nuanced, mocking anyone who tries to stop you, and congratulating myself on my new friends who cheer you on."
Your candidate was charismatic and confident. The people you wanted to accept you and think well of you swarmed after him. He was different, and novel, and exciting.
And when he said that his very first act in office would be to remove all legal restrictions against gassing Jews, and would compel taxpayers to pay for the gassing of Jews in foreign countries? Oh, well. It wasn't as if you would be pulling the lever yourself, right? Besides (you tried to convince yourself), removing all restrictions on Jew-gassing would actually result in fewer Jews being gassed!
This is what you've done. Obama was evasive and inconsistent about a great many things. Not about this. About this, he was emphatic, and crystal-clear: "first act as President."
And you knew it.
You Christians who did not vote or went third-party, you can tell yourselves you did otherwise. You didn't allow the attacker to assault that helpless victim. No, not you. You drew a picture of a devastating raygun, and waved it at him vigorously, yelling "Zap! Zap!", hoping he'd fall over.
Alas, he did not.
To both of you, I offer this: "Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).
You want to keep insisting that you did the right thing? Can't help you. Won't try. After January 20, you go to the dumpsters behind abortion clinics and explain to the sad, tragic, forsaken contents just how deep and nuanced you are.
But repentant believers in Christ always find mercy and forgiveness. And that's all the happy I have for you.
And you pastors who could not find it in yourselves even to say, from the pulpit, that life is an important consideration when voting... I don't know what to say to you. I know some very fine men are absolutely convinced that all politics should be kept out of the pulpit. But is life politics? Is the stewardship of one's vote politics? Are we really called to give no guidance whatever for the pressing moral issues of citizenship? Look at Roman Catholics, who deny and pervert the Gospel, who don't cherish the truths you cherish, and yet who managed to speak up for the unborn. Are you sure you did the right thing?
I'm really not.
We have grim days ahead, very grim days. We'll need to look to God more than ever, and that's a good thing. We'll need to cling to the Cross more than ever, and that's a good thing. We'll need to study and practice the Word more than ever, and that's a good thing.
But what President-elect Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid mean to do to our children's America?
That isn't a good thing.
What to do now? We'll talk about that in the future, Lord willing. "Pray for Obama," we're told. Indeed. Pray that Barack Obama be soundly converted to faith in Christ as his Lord and the only Savior. Pray that, evidently for the first time in his life, he'll take on Christ's yoke and learn from him. Pray that he will repent of his false beliefs and values, and embrace God's point of view, learning to think His thoughts after Him. Pray that President-elect Obama will repent of the evil he means to do, before he does it.
Pray for the church, where judgment will begin. Pray for pastors. Pray for America.
Then we'll have to figure out what the Nehemiah pattern of praying plus doing will mean for us.
UPDATE: the theologizing and strategerizing starts HERE.