Election 2016: The Political Incarnation of American Values

t-cEvery day, the level of political discourse in our country seems to hit a new low. As much as Secretary Clinton likes to quote Michelle Obama’s dictum, “when they go low, we go high,” both candidates have shown themselves to be comfortable fighting in the gutter (this was the premise of the second debate’s final question).

Had the first two presidential debates been actual political debates, it would have been perfectly appropriate to have someone like Lester Holt, Anderson Cooper, or Martha Raddatz moderate. Instead, we got a couple of mud wrestling contests. Someone with the skill set of Jerry Springer or Howard Stern would no doubt have been a more apt referee.

For President Obama, Mr. Trump and the Republican party serve as a convenient scapegoat for this state of affairs. Interestingly, Secretary Clinton has painted Mr. Trump as an outlier: not a true Republican, but part of a radical fringe which is threatening to overtake the GOP.

While both candidates are certainly contributing to the problem, neither has created it. As a country, we’ve come a long way from any sense of decency and morality. While our founding fathers were careful to avoid framing America as a Christian nation, they shared the conviction that some sort of religious belief was an essential mooring for the stability of any nation. Had the Declaration of Independence been written today, you can be certain it wouldn’t contain any talk of “nature’s God” or being “endowed by [the] Creator with certain unalienable rights.”

We’ve come a long way since 1776. There can be little doubt that the rampant secularism of modern society is fundamentally incompatible with the values upon which our nation was founded. This is why we have arrived at a point where we speak of “women’s health” rather than the murder of the unborn and the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage was met with cheers of “love wins” rather than the normalization of sexual perversion.

It’s also why reprehensible toys like Matchbox’s Stinky the Garbage Truck have become so popular for children. Billed as your “bestest buddy ever,” Stinky burps, farts, barks out demands for food, and proudly announces, “Dump time!” prior to “defecating.”

As a society, we have become unhinged from any sense of decency and morality. This pervades every aspect of our life, including our laws and politics; our music, media, and television, and even our children’s toys. It’s time we acknowledge that the things we want aren’t always good for us.

Thank God a seven-year-old child knows right from wrong, even if we, by our unrighteousness, have suppressed the truth (Romans 1:18). But if we keep catechizing our children with toys like Stinky, we have little reason for optimism about our future even if it doesn’t end in nuclear warfare.

We live in a dark time, and the nomination of two “deeply flawed” candidates should come as no surprise. We live in a deeply flawed society, where conscience and natural law are becoming increasingly dismissed in favor of allowing everyone to do what is right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). Far from receiving their nominations by accident, Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton are the political incarnation of everything America holds dear.

Rather than look for scapegoats, we ought to look in the mirror. While Christians may not advocate a secular agenda, we have contributed to the problem by staying quiet, going with the flow, and regarding one’s religion and morality as an essentially private, personal affair. Whatever the outcome of the election, we can be certain of one thing: God will give our nation exactly what it deserves.


Election 2016: The Political Incarnation of American Values — 8 Comments

  1. O Lord, heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, You have commanded us to pray and have promised to hear us. Our times are in Your hands, O Lord, make us know our end and what is the measure of our days; let us know how fleeting we are!
    There is a struggle for the leadership of our nation and an important election in just a few weeks. We ask of You, almighty and everlasting God, that, whatever the results, we are spared of the lawless tyranny of an idolatrous government that threatens the religious liberties that were secured for us and all generations in the Constitution. We renounce the Devil in all his works and in all his ways including the culture of nihilism and death in our society. We therefore implore You of Your boundless mercy, interceding on behalf of our neighbors and churches in this land to spare us this impending evil tyranny that rivals Nero’s Rome. We intercede for Your people who are called by Your name, much the way Abraham interceded for the righteous who resided in Sodom, calling on You to spare Sodom for their sake and for Christ’s. Help us breathe the celestial air of political freedom that we may better witness to the world of Your goodness and mercy. Enable us, despite persecutions and trials that are sure to come, to love and serve our neighbors by pointing them to Your gracious salvation. Whatever the outcome next month, give us a repentant heart, a firm faith, and a lively hope. Continue to provide far more abundantly than all that we might ask or think, according to the power at work within us. Mercifully grant that Your Holy Spirit may direct and govern our hearts in all things that we may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

  2. We just recently started going thorough Romans in Sunday morning Bible Study (or, if we want to fit in with the culture, we can affectionately refer to it as “B.S.” (Har, har! Nudge, nudge! Get it?! “Bible Study”?! “B.S.”?! Clever, eh?)). This time through I was struck by the fact that we are not as a nation being punished because our culture is so awful. On the contrary, Romans 1 makes it clear that our horrible culture IS the punishment. It is the punishment for our cultural unbelief. Rom. 1:24 “Therefore God gave them up in…”; v.26 “For this reason God gave them up to…”; v.28 “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to…” We are so far past merit, we don’t need to fear “getting what’s coming to us.” It is here.

    soli Deo gloria,

    p.s. And no, I am not making any kind of a “Christian nation” argument, past, present or future.

  3. Both may be deeply flawed, but only one brags about sexually assaulting women. Any equivocation on this issue or support for this man from the clergy is a clear symbol to Christian women- run.

  4. @Matt Mills #6

    I’m writing in Queen Elizabeth II.

    It’s a thought. I know at least one person who thinks the “Great Rebellion” (aka American Revolution) was a mistake.
    But I look at Canada, prosecuting Pastors for [Biblical but non-PC] things said from their pulpits and I am afraid we have come to the same place. Certainly we’ll be there if the more anti-Catholic (anti-Christian) takes over.

  5. @helen #7
    “I know at least one person who thinks the “Great Rebellion” (aka American Revolution) was a mistake.” — Now you know two!

    Just a thought here Helen, but the truth is that politically we as Christians have lost already, and we are likely to continue losing until the parousia. Whether we started to lose politically with the conversion of Constantine, the growth of nominalism in the 12th century, the 18th Century “Enlightenment” or the sexual revolution in the 1960’s we are there now.

    The real question is: how do we want to lose? Do we want to stop compromising w/ jerks and go into the last fight as a small despised but pure(ish) minority w/ our colors nailed to the mast, fighting for what we really believe? Or do we want to compromise and die as lackeys for people who show no respect for our Lord or faith? I can understand being talked into supporting one set of self-interested and Christ-less politicians who hate us against a second set of self-interested and Christ-less politicians who hate us, but I’m not there anymore. I guess for me the realization that compromising my faith in the voting booth has a higher likelihood of harming my immortal soul, than of helping my non-immortal country is part of my decision, but it’s also a less altruistic desire not to be taken advantage of anymore.

    We’re going to end up w/ a shamelessly self-interested and Christ-less president, but whichever one we end up w/, I’m going to be able to say: I didn’t vote for them. For me, that’s worth more than any incremental hastening or slowing of the inevitable decline of the post-Christian West.

    -Matt Mills

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