Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Asleep at the Wheel

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke
There is a disturbing trend (only one?, you may ask.) in our nation that is garnering so little attention that it brings out the conspiracy theorist in me. Today the City Council of Washington, DC by a 12-1 vote decided to recognize the legality of out-of-state same sex marriages. This follows the recent decisions by the Iowa State Supreme Court and others that essentially removed the will of the people from the policy making process. My intention here is not to debate the merits, whatever and however few they may be, of same sex marriage. The greater concern is the very dangerous precedent of bypassing the mechanism of democracy. I seem to remember from my American history classes that one of the bedrock principles of our government was the idea of "one man, one vote." I would like to ask the council members and justices who have made these decisions if they bothered with the arduous task of asking the citizens of their municipalities or jurisdictions. I seem to recall that Iowa, along with 38 other states having laws on their books that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Californians even amended their state constitution to ensure such a definition was out of the reach of judges. Yet seemingly the law nor the will of the people are unimportant to the all too often appointed and not elected justices. Shockingly, the California Attorney General willfully ignored his own oath of office to file suit against the will of the people of his state. Again, this is not about same sex marriage, but about the action of a judiciary or other governmental body making decisions without seeking to know the will of the people.
For me the even more shocking aspect of these events has been the absolute silence of the mainstream media concerning this abuse of power. I have yet to see a NY Times editorial or a CNN report. There are frighteningly few voices raising the alarm. Edmund Burke is right...evil will triumph if good men do nothing. What I am calling for is nothing less than a truly American revolution. Our Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, gave us the mechanism for accomplishing this revolution: the vote. The few have for too long dictated to the many the direction of our nation. The time has come for the people of this great nation to rise up and elect men and women of honor and integrity and to replace them as need be. My opinion is that career politicians (don't you dare call them "public servants") should join the dinosaurs and dodo's in the list of extinct species.
In short, it's time to clean house!
The church faces a very similar dilemma as well. Too few church members are sufficiently informed about the Bible or the doctrines of their church to know when their leadership has forsaken the faith. Entire denominations are becoming shipwreck because the members of the local churches have become silent while the leadership of their denominations lead them down a path of compromise that can only lead to irrelevancy. The time has come for the membership of the church to rise up and hold their leadership, both locally and denominational, accountable for the conditions of our churches.
Yet, as the late Paul Harvey would say, now for the rest of the story. The church faces still another challenge. Membership that is all too willing to let the few do all the work while they reap the benefits. The widely held belief is that 20% of the membership of any church does all the work while the other 80% sit back and watch. That is not acceptable. Such indifference, selfishness, and yes, laziness is crippling our churches and burning out those who lead (both pastoral leadership and laity). Those who sit back and do nothing (except criticize, usually) have no right to speak or complain. They will wake up one day and wonder where there church has gone.
Which, I am afraid, is precisely what is happening to our country.


  1. Hi Larry! I read all your posts & enjoyed them immensely. Think I will follow your blog...

  2. This is so true. Our constitution is suppose to be built with checks and balances. Who checks the supreme court? Seems this has been lost. Who is it? Our vote seems so far down the line to get to them. As they are appointed??? You are very interesting in your blog. Keep up the good work. Shirley