Why Vote?

I’ve visited Australia five or six times over the last twenty-some years. Wonderful country,  even if it’s become too Americanized in some ways. If you question that, you should turn on a TV set in Oz and see how many American shows are popular there.

But one thing comes to mind as different. Quite different. Radically different.

Unless I was misinformed or things have changed over the last few years, Australians are legally required to vote. Can you believe that? As much freedom as Aussies enjoy otherwise, they don’t have the freedom to refrain from voting.

Hmm. How would that go over in the United States? I can’t begin to imagine the specifics, but “like a lead balloon” is the cliche that comes to mind.

As far as I can recall, I’ve always voted in presidential elections, even when I didn’t like either candidate. And I probably voted in other elections periodically, but not as faithfully. To tell you the truth, after attending a political rally as part of a political science class in college, I was so turned off by the political party system that I changed my major to English.

I say that to emphasize that I think I understand how the common man feels about politics in general. Let’s see if I can sum this up accurately. The people in Washington are all crooks, and they don’t care what we think or how we feel.

They don’t mind taking more and more of our money, which they spend recklessly, and still run the federal debt up beyond our ability to comprehend. They don’t even obey the Constitution, much less live by biblical principles. No matter what they say, we can’t believe them. And state and local politicians aren’t always much better.

Is that how you feel? While I don’t believe it’s true of every elected official, I think we’ve seen far too much evidence of the validity of these complaints and many others as well.  For all intents and purposes, it appears that too many politicians view their offices as a permanent position–permanent as long as they can keep them. A career. And it seems they’re not afraid we’ll vote them out.

And why don’t we? Is it because we feel the situation is hopeless? Is it because worthier candidates are non-existent? Is it because even the candidates who talked a good talk to get elected have let us down completely–time after time after time?

If those things bother you the way they bother me, and especially if they keep you from voting, here are some things  to consider. The 2016 election will affect America’s future as no other election has ever done. We have the chance to turn this nation around. If we fail to, America may very well end up a third world nation. If not that, we could continue to lose our rights–freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms–all in the name of political correctness.

What Washington needs, no matter who runs and no matter who wins the election, is changed hearts and changed lives. That’s the business God is in.  But we still need to put the right people in office.

I urge you to research the candidates–and don’t trust the media for the information you need. A vast majority of the main media sources are in the pockets of the current administration, and you won’t hear the truth from them. But there are other sources…more objective sources.

I can’t tell you who to vote for, although I could be tempted to tell you who I definitely won’t vote for. But the freedom to choose is yours, and I wouldn’t do anything to deny you that right. If you do your best to dig through the political landfill dump and make the best informed decisions you can–and then vote–I’ll be satisfied.

Sorry if I got a little wordy today, but this subject is important to me, and it’s something I can’t remain silent about. Not when so many Americans don’t vote. Please share a comment…whether you agree or disagree. As long as you do it politely and respectfully.

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Best regards,
Roger

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More Political Now–More Conservative

Some of you may have read my post about my decision not to major in political science in college. Attending one political rally during an election year really killed my enthusiasm. And that was during the mid-1960s, before things reached the point of deterioration they’re in now.

Let me make a couple of things clear, however. I always voted in presidential elections and occasionally in state and local elections. But it was a challenge.

For most of my adult life, I would probably have described myself as “apolitical”–not interested in or concerned about politics.

I suppose, however, that I got at least a mild charge out of shaking hands once with soon-to-be Vice President Spiro Agnew.

Agnew. Wasn’t he the one who later had to resign his office to avoid prosecution on a bunch of nasty criminal charges? Hmm. Not someone to help build my confidence in American politics.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, he served as VP under Richard Nixon. Need I say more?

Fast forward. Barack Obama was running for the presidency. He seemed like a pretty decent guy at the time, and I had no problem with the possibility of a black president.

But some people whose opinions I highly respected were dead set against him. And it wasn’t a racial thing for them, either.

Only when Mr. Obama took office and failed to live up to expectations did I regain an interest in politics. And whereas I had considered myself moderate in my outlook on a number of subjects up till then, I found myself becoming more and more conservative.

I signed up for email from a number of conservative groups. Boy, did I learn enough to discourage me. One of the most disillusioning revelations was the fact that most of the media I had counted on for truth were so much in the hands and pockets of the liberals that I would never learn anything bad about what was taking place in our country if I paid attention to them. Fox News seemed my best alternative, but they weren’t perfect, either.

Ironically, I’ve read that the BBC–the British Broadcasting Corporation–is probably the least biased news organization out there. Doesn’t say much for the United States media, does it?

The last few years have proven to be the time for me to assess what I believe about the United States.

I believe in the Constitution of the United States and the integrity of the men who created it. I believe–among other things–that the Constitution allows citizens to own guns. It also denies the President the power of making laws. I believe in and value the American way of life.

I question how many of our officials in Washington believe in the same things I do.

I also believe that the majority of Muslims are peace-loving. But the radical minority is the most dangerous threat America has ever had to face. Well, except for the people in Washington.

What am I really saying? And do I even feel safe in saying it?

America is losing her power and her status in the world, and her people are losing their freedoms at an alarming rate. Christians are treated as the enemy and homosexuals are treated as a long-mistreated minority.

I don’t belong to or support the Tea Party. Too inflexible. Neither am I a Republican. Too many broken promises by the very people I was counting on to turn things around.

The only thing I can count on is God’s ability to save the United States. The problem is, what reasons have we given Him for wanting to?

This post was originally much stronger. Much more critical of those in office. Should I have said more…or have I already said too much? Your comments are welcome.

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website. Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.
Tentative-Front-Cover
Best regards,
Roger

Right to Life

I’ve never wanted to be a politician. Politicians never please everyone, and they often seem to cave to the loudest voices rather than to the ones that are morally and ethically correct.

Nonetheless, some politicians do pay attention to their electorate—the very people who put them in office—and attempt to do the right thing, even in the face of strong opposition. I commend them.

In the November elections, We the People elected Senators and Representatives we believed were listening to us. In doing that, we sent a clear mandate to Washington about what the majority of Americans think about key issues.

Especially the need to honor and obey the Constitution.

I hadn’t read the Constitution for a while, but I skimmed through it a few minutes ago. Nowhere did I find the familiar “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” No wonder. That’s in the Declaration of Independence.

Nonetheless, no civilized nation permits murder to go unpunished. “Thou shalt not kill” is one of the Ten Commandments God gave Moses, and it applies just as much to America as it did to the Children of Israel long ago.

The issue seems to be “What is murder?”

Sounds silly to even ask, doesn’t it? The answer is obvious. Taking someone else’s life.

But what about war? Killing is taken for granted there.

I’ve heard it explained that God never forbade His people from killing their enemies. The Bible is filled with numerous examples of them doing that.

What about capital punishment, though?

I suppose one might say that the judicial system is executing the enemies of law and order. I’ve heard better explanations, but I don’t recall the details.

Finally, then, what about abortion?

Hmm. The Declaration of Independence is not a legal document. Not in the sense the United States Constitution is.

But if murder is “taking someone else’s life,” then the abortion question is one of  “At what point does someone become a person?”

Back in the days when I felt more neutral about abortion, I hadn’t yet seen any of those graphic pictures of the development of a baby at various stages of his or her life. But I’ve seen them time and again in recent years, and no one can convince me that unborn babies are not yet “persons.” Persons with human features. Persons who can feel pain by the time they’re twenty weeks old.

So I have no choice but to consider abortion the killing of a miniature—but a very real—person. Not the killing of an enemy in war. Not the killing of an enemy of law and order.

But the killing of a person whose continued presence is—at least in most cases—simply inconvenient.

I’m not unfeeling, however. Where rape, incest, or the health of the mother is involved, I’m not nearly as adamant in my opposition to abortion. But even then, abortion is still the killing of a very real person.

God never stops loving his children. He forgives everyone who confesses their sins to Him and asks forgiveness. I believe that is true of hardened criminals who repent and seek God’s forgiveness, and I believe it’s equally true of women who’ve had abortions and ask God’s forgiveness. But He doesn’t free them from the consequences of their actions.

I wonder how God feels about the unrepentant law makers who fail to take We the People seriously. Those who place political expediency above their promises—and above the civilized standard of not committing murder.

They, too, must ultimately live with the consequences of their decisions–including the loss of support from We the People.

[NOTE: My daughter is adopted. I cannot imagine how different–how less wonderful–my own life would have been if her birth mother had aborted her.]

Abortion is a hot topic. While I hope you will feel free to leave comments, I ask that you do it in a thoughtful and civilized manner.

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I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon.

Best regards,
Roger