In America those who care should and those with strong opinions often do speak out – some loudly, a few effectively. This is one of freedom’s privileges and also a responsibility for all who understand things necessary for a democracy to remain healthy.
It is time for the church to begin speaking out boldly with conviction and consistency. May God help all of us as people of faith to demonstrate the fact – actions always speak louder than words. No doubt when we live to be answers to someone’s prayer and fulfill the will of God, we will see our prayers answered more quickly and effectively. Christians should pray for all in authority and also for citizens who do openly challenge decisions and policies those in power impose on the population. I am thankful for concerns expressed by those attending tea parties and other protests regardless of how some elite media and politicians represent them. In no way is what they are doing dangerous. It is in fact healthy. The representatives we send to Washington must be encouraged to have open minded civil discussions if we expect to have effective civil government.
It is obvious that those in power along with very liberal elite media representatives want all lovers of God, family, church, freedom and principle to remain silent or shut up if they have ever dared to care enough to stand up and speak out. In my opinion it is the desire of those who want more government control, bigger government, the redefining of marriage, tax funded abortion, and more bureaucracies established to see to it that principled Americans keep sitting in churches with heads buried in the sand while they reestablish our future on unstable sifting sand by disregarding the truth, the Constitution, liberty and justice for all. Please pray for all who are standing up to become even more determined to speak out and do so with justifiable anger and righteous indignation under control.
Take civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s exhortation to his followers in his book Why We Can’t Wait where he wrote that no one would be sent out “to demonstrate who had not convinced himself and us that he could accept and endure violence without retaliating.” If volunteers could not respond nonviolently to violent situations, they were not allowed to march. They were required to sign a ten-point pledge, which included among its commandments promises to:
- Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
- Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.
- Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
- Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.
- Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
- Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.
- Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, and heart.
Let me share with you insight passed on by my close friend and fellow committed Christian writer Cal Thomas. Cal fully understands that Christians will most effectively influence others and the direction of our nation by introducing people to the transforming power of God through faith in Christ. Cal understands the manipulative misrepresentation and intent of misguided media and the liberal thinking of today’s relativists. Here is the editorial he published on April 20 entitled “Protesting the Protestors”:
“I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic, and we should stand up and say, ‘We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.’”
Was that a tea party protestor seeking to rile up white men and incite them to violence?
No, that was Hillary Clinton in 2003. The administration she was criticizing was that of George W. Bush.
She was right then. Protest can be patriotic, and no one should be thought less of an American because that person opposes the policies of a particular administration.
But now that the (left) shoe is on the other foot, we hear nothing about protest being patriotic. Instead, we hear from the left that it is dangerous and might lead to another Timothy McVeigh blowing up a federal building or trying to assassinate a president.
The left invented the modern protest movement. I recall covering some of the demonstrations against the Vietnam War in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Conservatives were on the side of American troops in Vietnam. They criticized the critics of presidents Johnson and Nixon. Conservatives believed it was unpatriotic to criticize a president fighting communists. Many conservatives supported Nixon almost to the very end in the Watergate scandal. Some said it was unpatriotic to belittle the president of the United States and that the media and Nixon’s enemies were conspiring to “get him.” That sounds like the “right-wing conspiracy” charges leveled against conservatives by the modern left.
No one suggested at the time that the protestors encouraged twisted minds that might lead to an attempt on a president’s life.
People like William Ayers, Tom Hayden, Eldridge Cleaver, Sam Brown and Jane Fonda, and groups like SNCC, were seen by the mainstream media and liberal cultural commentators as exercising free speech and assembly, even when that assembly sometimes turned violent. Fonda’s trip to Hanoi was treated by some on the left as legitimate protest.
Many on the left explained that protests — even when they became violent — were the result of pent-up emotions brought on by an “illegitimate” war about which the demonstrators could do nothing and so they had to protest in sometimes the most extreme ways. Now when the right becomes angry about what it sees as the systematic dismantling of the country through higher taxes, misspending (by both parties) and tone deafness, it is supposed to be setting the stage for the next Timothy McVeigh and is somehow illegitimate and outside constitutional boundaries.
If you don’t like President Obama’s policies, you are a racist who is setting him up for assassination by a neo-Nazi who is waiting in the (right) wings for sufficient inspiration. You should be lying down and taking it, because Obama wants only the best for all Americans.
If you don’t like what courts are doing — legitimizing behavior that used to be called sinful before that word fell into disrepute — you are a fundamentalist wacko who wants to impose your religion on the country.
If you think the Founders wanted to restrict the power of the federal government and that your taxes on hard work and initiative are too high, you are a greedy, uncaring person who disregards the poor and needy. If you think many of the poor and needy made wrong decisions about their lives which contributed to their poverty, and that by making right decisions they could better their circumstances, this proves you are insensitive, judgmental and a religious nut.
In this way of thinking, everything done by government when it is headed by leftists (though not by conservatives) is noble, righteous and good. If you disagree with any of it, you are opposing God, though of course to the left there is no real God. Government is God.
The left conveniently forgets people like the 1960s black-power apostle H. Rap Brown, who said, “Violence is American as cherry pie.” No it isn’t, but peaceful protest is.
Thank you, Cal. I encourage all readers to pray for strong Christians and gifted writers like Cal Thomas to continue inspiring us with reliable information. I hope you will encourage your friends to request my weekly commentaries and ask them to also remember our family as we seek to help preserve the freedom our soldiers are dying for.
Cal Thomas’ column (c) 2010 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.