Should We Give Up?

In next year’s elections, it looks more and more like we will be presented with a presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Rudolph Giuliani, both of whom are “pro-choice.” Any third party option virtually guarantees the Democrat will win. Think about that. Then think about the fact that two Supreme Court justices will likely be replaced by our next president. We were so close to overturning Roe v. Wade. Now it looks like that hope might be lost for another generation. With a growing sense of desperation, my wife and I have been begging the Lord to raise up someone to lead this country. We will never cast our votes for a politician who thinks killing unborn children is a basic human right. That means we may not in good conscience be able to vote in the next presidential election.

Over a quarter of a century ago in A Christian Manifesto, Francis Schaeffer said when there are no true ideological differences between candidates, democracy is dead. I fear that day is very near.

But the last seven years have taught me I cannot be a one-issue voter, not when there are so many other looming disasters. The rise of Muslim terrorism, a radically polarized and impotent legislature, ill will in nearly every nation on the planet, bitter divisions among Americans themselves, the vast gap between the rich and poor growing quickly wider just as millions of Baby Boomer Americans are entering their retirement years with no savings and no health insurance, spreading challenges to the fundamental right of every child to be raised by both a mother and a father, rampant fiscal irresponsibility at both the governmental and personal levels, an ongoing suicidal dependence on oil, religious freedom in this country on the ropes…the list goes on and on and on.

Fortunately, in these desperate times I think the man we need is right under our noses. Please, please, please, go to Mike Huckabee’s site, and read every word of his positions on these issues. Read about Huckabee’s experience in two terms as the Republican governor of a state with a Democrat controlled legislature. Compare Huckabee’s straightforward and clear statements about what he plans to do, to the vague position statements you will see on Mitt Romney’s site. You probably won’t agree with Huckabee’s ideas on everything (I don’t), but you will find that Romney’s position on the issues reads like public relations, while Huckabee’s position statement reads like an action plan.

As you read, also consider this: the evangelical kingmakers in this country have already decided Mike Huckabee is unelectable against Hillary Clinton. The Southern Baptists’ Richard Land has said it. James Dobson has said it. Mark DeMoss (former Jerry Falwell consultant) has said it. Yet they also say they wish they could support the man. Their reason for this paradox? As this article puts it: “They can’t support him because no one is supporting him.” In other words, in spite of the fact that evangelicals are the largest cohesive voting block in this nation, they have already given up on the idea that one of us can be elected.

I would like to send a message to the kingmakers that they are wrong, that we should not give up, that we should have some faith for crying out loud, that democracy is not yet dead and there can still be a real choice in 2008. Do you believe that’s possible? If you do, I strongly suggest that you get busy right now. Talk about Mike Huckabee on your blogs. Often. Talk about him at your churches. Send his campaign as much money as you can. (Even $20 says “I’m with you.”) Call and email Richard Land, James Dobson and every other evangelical leader you can think of to say, “Let’s support our own.”

It’s either that, or like them, we have already given up.

Posted byAthol Dickson at 8:25 AM  

18 comments:

J. Brisbin said... October 20, 2007 at 9:08 AM  

I agree with you on huckabee. I would probably still vote, but reluctantly, if Romney or Guiliani are the Republican nominees.

But I do not agree with the negative outlook on the state of the country. What about the Civil War? Are things now worse than they were during the Civil War? Is the government more or less transparent than in the the 19th and early 20th century? I would say it's far, far, more transparent and accountable now than it has ever been.

I also disagree that the gap between the rich and poor is greater now than it has ever been. What about the age of the Robber Barons? What about the Great Depression? What about the early years of our country? There were a very few rich and a lot of lower and lower-middle class. Not much in between.

I know things aren't optimal in our democratic-republic. But they never have been. We have never had a time when corruption wasn't in government, their weren't rich taking advantage of the poor; and the politicians have always been, at some level, liars and crooks.

Our country is as healthy today as we can expect it to be (despite the naysaying) given that the last 150 years of our country's development have been so tumultuous. How can what's going on today possibly compare to the 1850's? We could have ceased to exist as a nation. Literally.

I would say that a little historical perspective gives us hope that, God willing, America can survive Hillary Clinton as president (even though I personally feel it would be disastrous and I'll do everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen). We've certainly had worse. We've had worse threats to our democracy (Tammany Hall?). Society itself has also been in worse shape. Think of what the Temperance Movement grew out of!

As much as we need to support the RIGHT candidate and not just the one voted Most Likely To Succeed, we also need to keep in check that negativity that discourages people from participating. We need to reject the entire premise that we're on the losing, downhill side. It's just not true. Truth will win, even if not in this election--and even if not in this life. We have to cling to that hope so that we don't get so discouraged by the sin and depravity of a fallen world that we cut and run on it.

They (the unsaved) need us more now than ever before.

Nicole said... October 20, 2007 at 10:49 AM  

The conservative Christian element is not the largest voting block. There are too many Christians who are lifelong, well-meaning Democrats who choose to ignore the current platform because of older "faiths" in the party. It is amazing to me how many liberal-types there are who call themselves Christians. We do not present a united front capable of electing a noble candidate if he remains obscure.

gb said... October 20, 2007 at 1:23 PM  

Let us not take ourselves too seriously. As Believers, our mission takes us out of, beyond the affairs of the day, as grave as they may be or seem. We are to engage this life at street level, day by day, attentively learning and living out the Truth as best as we understand it... always seeking to acquire and be disciplined by it, to the extent that God's grace will reveal it to us.

Ultimately, God's "Plan" is not conditioned upon or affected by anything we think, do, say or how we vote. Though failing frequently to accomplish it, as we are destined to do, we should still steadfastly pursue discovering and pursuing His "Will" for each of us. In the doing of that act, we should make whatever choices come our way with the best judgment we have in that hour, knowing that our destiny rides not upon us (or how we vote) but upon what God (in His infinite and confounding mercy) is going to allow to occur.

Horribly disastrous "political" choices and leaders have routinely been utilized by God to bring about His Plan. Terrible social and economic issues of the day cannot distract us from the Truth that these types of matters will never go away and are not resolved by governments or rule of law. These matters are only resolved as hearts are changed, one by one, among the population... regardless the discouragement or even oppressiveness of current authorities.

That's where each of us comes in. To change the world, we focus on letting God continuously change us. If done, that, is a considerably radical move. That, should definitely, continuously change how we live and engage other people. God uses that to change the hearts of others and as He chooses... one by one, possibly the world.

Gary

Athol Dickson said... October 20, 2007 at 6:13 PM  

Jon,
I’m glad you mentioned “a historical perspective.” From that perspective in particular, it is impossible to look at the trajectory of any one of the problems I listed without seeing very clearly that all of them have been getting worse for a long time. It is also impossible to look at that list with a historical perspective (and I am going as far back now as ancient Rome) without seeing that any problem on it can—in and of itself—destroy the American way of life if allowed to continue to its logical worst-case scenario. And there are other looming issues to add to the list. So yes, I do believe these are very desperate times.

You say these times compare favorably to the Civil War. Let’s consider the historical numbers for a moment. According to the National Abortion Federation, a pro-choice organization by the way, approximately 1.3 million women get an abortion every year. (See prochoice.org.) That exceeds the total American deaths in all of WW II. According to most historians’ figures, it is roughly twice the total deaths of the entire Civil War. Maybe it would help to think about it this way: if one believes an aborted fetus is a human death, it’s as if we’re fighting the whole Civil War twice over, every single year.

You speak of ceasing to exist as a nation, as if that is the worst case scenario. According to what I read of history, most of the founding fathers would very strongly disagree. Consider the most obvious example: Patrick Henry’s famous, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” There are far worse things than the division of a nation, even ours.

If you really doubt that our liberties are in danger, consider this: If Giuliani becomes the Republican candidate, for the first time in history it will mean your only choices in the so-called “democratic process” will be to vote for a candidate who supports the “right” to murder 1.3 million unborn human beings every year, or not to vote at all. You will be able to “choose” between one candidate who supports gay marriage, and another who supports gay marriage. Is such a “choice” on fundamental social issues really liberty?

Nicole,
I wrote that evangelicals are the largest “cohesive” voting block, because the 1980 presidential election proved that evangelicals can and will vote together as the largest demographically consistent block of voters, IF we have a candidate who unites us. Huckabee could be that candidate. No other contender fits the bill, as far as I can see. I just wish Land and Dobson and the others would stop their self-fulfilling prophecies and go to work to get him on the ballot. They are robbing us of the one real choice available.

Gary,
I think I understand what you’re saying, and I agree with almost everything…as far as it goes. But you wrote, “our mission takes us out of, beyond the affairs of the day, as grave as they may be or seem.” Of course, if the founding fathers had agreed with that, this country would not exist. Even so, until recently I also believed there is an either/or aspect to the affairs of the day versus my duty to love my neighbor. Now I see that, while it’s absolutely true God changes people one heart at a time, it’s also true He follows that by sending us into the world with work to do.

In other words, I no longer see a difference between doing love locally and doing love globally. Loving my neighbor equals social action insofar as I have the capacity to act. This is a universal truth: Jesus must be Lord of every part of a Christian’s life.

This boils down to the question: if not me, who? I beg you to seriously ponder that. If not me, who? For many of our neighbors, it is quite literally a life and death question.


Everyone,
Nothing I have written here should be construed as advocating a theocracy. I would oppose such a thing as strongly as any atheist. And I am no toe-the-line Republican. On the contrary, I hold Republicans most responsible for some of the concerns I listed above. Democrats deserve most of the blame for others. And a few have been joint effort disasters. And I am not saying we must all devote ourselves full-time to politics, heaven forbid. I am simply saying this matter is urgent and deserves your attention, as much as you can spare. Here we have a man—Mike Huckabee—who actually offers us a moral and ethical choice at the polls, yet the people who style themselves as “evangelical leaders,” the people who have in years past rallied us to get at least three presidents elected and re-elected, are now convinced for some reason that we cannot get this man elected. They have already given up. I am saying as a Christian and American, if you want a real choice in 2008, now is the time to do what you can to change that.

Thank you all for your comments. I appreciate them very much.

Athol

gb said... October 20, 2007 at 7:31 PM  

Athol,
Lest I be a little misunderstood, I do believe in the need for our active involvement in "the issues of the day" hence my comment, "...we should make whatever choices come our way with the best judgment we have in that hour...". Speaking out, making decisions, taking a stand regardless of its popularity is not an option for the Believer who has placed the consequences (and the results) for doing so squarely in God's hands. However, we are not to get so distracted by the issues of the day that we lose our focus, our direction. Nor (despite the severe gravity of the issue, such as abortion on demand) should we take our political efforts too seriously or presume that in the big picture, any type of social matter or movement will effectively change the world for the better; make it more comfortable perhaps, maybe even more safe... but not better. As much as I really don't like the prospect, I will take an oppressive, brutal dictatorship with a thriving underground spiritual community over a peaceful, thriving democracy void of any voice of or hope for spiritual Truth.

Jesus told us to expect to be shunned, outcasts across the planet, which is the only real community He has placed us in. The Truth will never be embraced by any more than a minority (the narrow road). We can be expected to voice the Truth and be defeated in the street, perhaps even in the church and certainly, at the polls. But we must still voice the Truth.

Huckabee does indeed sound like an appealing option at this time and the issue of his electability should be left up to the public to decide. I'll vote my conscience at that time. But God can effect incredible positive changes regardless of who is in office and what their positions are. That's what God does. He answers the prayers of His people and will accomplish His purpose. Politicans, political parties, societies and nations will all come and go, every one. To date, God has never been hamstrung by a bad or immoral politician. I'm trusting in that to continue.
Gary

gb said... October 21, 2007 at 11:38 AM  

Athol,

This is interesting. After further thought on this, I believe that in the grand scheme of things the worst of localized, nationalistic or religious crises are but temporary, fleeting, albeit perhaps troublesome, costly or even deadly, circumstances. Spiritual and moral based causes are certainly worth pursuing, but without anxiety or fear. Regardless of even social, political or economic devastation, the sky is never going to fall for the Believer. If in our passion for a cause we lose or lessen our peace, our faith to some degree has been compromised; we have lost our way and haven't much to offer, especially during a perceived crisis.

One can and should pursue important and needed change, rally others to a noble cause yet, mobilize without anxiety or fear. Many, if not most, right causes on earth will be defeated at one time or another, yet we persist. Our valiant and worthy efforts notwithstanding, we should be peacefully resigned to the fact that the results are ultimately up to God, His Plan and His permissive Will.
However, our perhaps appropriate zeal should remain subservient to our faith in an omniscient, loving God who is ultimately in control and knows far better that we what He has planned.

Specific to this matter, not voting is a vote. I suspect that should the early threat of a growing "not voting" protest movement become a visible reality, an "appropriate" response will be mounted in hopes to deter that eventuality from occurring.

Gary

Brittanie said... October 21, 2007 at 12:58 PM  

Hi I found your site through Angela Hunt's blog. Just wanted to let you know that I linked this post on my Xanga site and my Google Blog.
http://www.abookloverforever.blogspot.com
It is www.xanga.com/booklover1983
Very thought provoking. I have not thought much about the coming election because I am so depressed about the choices we have to pick from. Thank you for your entry.
Brittanie :)

Athol Dickson said... October 21, 2007 at 4:01 PM  

Brittanie,
I'm so glad you came here, and really appreciate the links. Hopefully we can make a difference together!

Gary,
It is true God can use evil to accomplish good, but of course that is no excuse for failing to challenge evil in the world. You know this well (your “Heart of War” is an excellent example of just such a challenge), so I’m unclear why you mentioned God’s sovereignty at this point in our discussion. In both of your last two comments you caution against fear, so is that the reason? Did you remind us of God’s sovereignty as a way of offering comfort? If so, thank you. It is always comforting to remember that we serve a mighty God. But I don’t want anyone to have the impression that fear is not proper, or warranted, in our current circumstances.

On the contrary, fear is sometimes the most rational emotion possible for Christians. Paul says he is afraid three times in his second letter to the Corinthians, for example, and many of the things Paul says he fears are being discussed right here. For Christians, it’s not a matter of whether we should feel fear. What matters is WHY we are afraid, WHEN we are afraid, and WHAT we do with our fear. There’s a detailed discussion of this at: http://whatatholwrote.blogspot.com/2007/06/fearful-faith.html, but here’s the short version:

WHY: Jesus certainly felt fear just before they came for him in Gethsemane. Any sane man would fear the cross. In the same way, when a cause for grievous suffering is imminent, it is irrational for a Christian to pretend no fear.

WHEN: At the moment the cross was upon Jesus, and only then, he feared. He did not fear a few hours earlier at the last supper, because it was not yet time. Proper fear comes only at the proper time, otherwise it is worry, which is a sin.

WHAT: In the midst of his fear, Jesus turned to God. (“Your will be done.”) Fear did not drive Jesus from the Father, but toward Him. Properly experienced, fear will drive us toward the Father, too.

Given this, when we speak of issues such as these I see no Biblical justification for a response that says, “Never fear, God is in control.” These things are killing and corrupting millions of our neighbors, just as surely as any cross, and this suffering is already happening even as we type, and who could believe this is the will of God? So what we face is indeed worth fearing; it is imminent, and the only question left is how we let it turn us toward the Lord, toward loving Him. I try to remember that “agape” is a verb, or it is meaningless. When Jesus finished praying “Your will be done,” he did not sit and wait, but stood and went to meet the soldiers. He acted on his faith. He met his fear head on. That is what I am suggesting here.

It is time for us to stand and go to meet this thing.

Athol

Dayle James Arceneaux said... October 21, 2007 at 4:26 PM  

Athol, I completely agree with you on Huckabee. My only theory for his lack of support is the fact that his last name sounds too "hick" or too unpresidential. As far as I'm concerned, he has won every debate.

The latest good news is that he appears to be on the rise.

There's still time. If the kingmakers publicly support him, then the Evangel voting block might give him a fair look. The reason Romney and Guliani is leading is name recognition.

Dobson has already said he won't vote for Guliani and I think he said the same thing about Romney. I say before the good doctor defaults to electing Hilary by going third party, he should at least give Huckabee a shot.

I'm actually a little surprised by his defeatist attitude.

Tracy Ruckman said... October 21, 2007 at 10:45 PM  

I had been undecided until I read your post (I'm here, by way of Angie Hunt's blog) but you've helped my family decide.

We're throwing our support behind Huckabee, and will do what we can to get him elected.

One of his campaign members has started a ShoutLife page for him, so I'll add them as friends, and encourage others to do the same.

Thank you for your thoughtful, and thought-provoking post.

Athol Dickson said... October 22, 2007 at 7:51 AM  

Dayle,
I think you're right about the role of name recognition in this situation, although there is bound to be a certain "good ol' boy" or "smoke filled room" factor at work in the background, too. Thanks for pointing out that Huckabee has enjoyed a little good news the last few days, coming in LESS THAN ONE PERCENTAGE POINT behind Romney in the Family Research Council's straw poll over the weekend! (YAY!) But that's just one poll, so we still have a tough uphill climb.

Tracy,
How wonderful to hear you and your family are throwing your support behind Mike Huckabee! I hope you've visited his site and read the excellent thinking there under "Issues."

Will both of you join me in posting your own blogs about Mike Huckabee from time to time in these last few months before the state primaries? The choice about the two parties’ presidential candidates will be made long before the national primaries, of course. It will be made at the state level during the next six or eight months. So unless there is a strong rise in grass roots support for Huckabee NOW, it will be too late.

I don't like blogging about politics, and wish it was not necessary, but blogs are the new "grass roots" you know, and someone has to do it. If not us, who?

Athol

Cindy Swanson said... October 22, 2007 at 9:42 AM  

Hi Athol,

Just wanted you to know that I linked to this post on my blog today as well (also finding you courtesy of Angela Hunt).

I don't know if you read "Evangelical Outpost," but Joe Carter there also says that Huckabee could be a contender. You might want to check out his post on the Values Voter Summit.

SolaMeanie said... October 22, 2007 at 10:19 AM  

I wish the other fringe candidates would drop out and coalesce behind Huckabee. He clearly has the best chance (not to mention largely the best platform) of any GOP candidate.

It seems to me that the media is being allowed to pick the GOP nominee. I also have to wonder a bit if some of the "conservative" candidates aren't in there just to dilute the overall conservative bloc and thereby ensure a liberal victory at the polls.

Sherry said... October 22, 2007 at 11:25 AM  

Amen, and I'm linking.

Nicole said... October 22, 2007 at 4:26 PM  

This from Chuck Norris:

"On the rest of the field, Norris, who promised not to leave us “in suspense,” writes, “Though Giuliani might be savvy enough to lead people, Fred Thompson wise enough to wade through the tides of politics, McCain tough enough to fight terrorism and Romney business-minded enough to grow our economy, I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.”

Peggy Blann Phifer said... October 22, 2007 at 8:40 PM  

Athol,

I, too, found your blog link through Angie Hunt's blog. I've already begun my own grass-roots campaign, by forwarding this link to family and friends.

Tomorrow I will post your link on my blog--and--with permission, of course--quote some of what you wrote.

I've been all over Mike Huckabee's site, signed up for all the updates and alerts. This is one election I'm going pro-active!

We need this man in the Oval Office.

Athol Dickson said... October 23, 2007 at 11:27 AM  

Nicole,
Thanks for sharing that encouraging endorsement from Chuck Norris. Let's pray other high profile celebrities get on board in a very public way.

Peggy,
By all means, quote away! And how wonderful to read that you are getting active on this issue. You are so right: America needs this guy.

Athol

Cindy Swanson said... October 26, 2007 at 6:28 AM  

Hi Athol...for your info, uber-bloggers Joe Carter (Evangelical Outpost), Matthew Anderson (Mere Orthodoxy) and Justin Taylor (Between Two Worlds) are now officially endorsing Mike Huckabee.

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