The 112th US Congress was seated yesterday, John Boehner was elected Speaker of the House by the Republican majority in the House, and the promise to repeal President Obama's health care bill was re-affirmed by many.
It's very important that the House vote to repeal the health care bill because they have promised to do so, however, the Senate won't vote to repeal it and President Obama will veto a bill to repeal.
Perhaps more important will be the level of creativity and resolve that is expressed by this new Congress. Particularly those who ran and were elected on a strong conservative position. As this new Congress moves beyond what is seen as a mostly symbolic vote to repeal Obama's health care bill and deal with real solutions, we will be watching.
There are at least two things I think we should watch very closely:
First, there is a new "measure of effectiveness" that has evolved since the election.
Prior to the election, the President and his far-left colleagues pushed through bills and policies with little to no discussion, often unread by members of Congress---and even more often in closed door meetings; all the while declaring themselves the party of transparency.
Now these same elites are defining the November election as a message from the people to "work together" in Congress---be bi-partisan---compromise.
Once these new public servants have settled into their offices, it will be incumbent upon all conservative citizens of faith to be vigilant and watchful.
Should they become intoxicated with the power of the place, get comfortable with DC, be "moderate," compromise and begin making friends on the other side to advance a new found career, citizens will need to speak again---more loudly.
In a letter to Horatio Gates on March 23, 1776, John Adams wrote, "I agree with you, that in politics, the middle way is none at all."
Secondly, we should all be aware that there is a fairly vigorous move within the Republican Party to place so-called social issues on hold---the back burner.
Last September, Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi and former head of the RNC; pro-life, pro-marriage, I think, generally supports our values and may run for president in 2012, said the "social issues"---sanctity of life, marriage, family, etc., "aren't what is going to win elections this fall."
He said taking a stand for those issues is a waste of time and money "that can be used to talk to people about what they care about."
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels( R), considering a run for president next year, said last summer that the next president of the United States "would have to call a truce on so-called social issues."
As lately as last month, he re-affirmed his position saying he had no regrets in his statements.
This year, for the first time, the Conservative Political Action Conference--CPAC has included GOProud, a Republican homosexual advocacy group, resulting in a number of "values" organizations withdrawing from the conference.
GOProud is calling on the Republican Party to focus only on fiscal issues and leave the social issues for "another time."
The argument essentially goes something like this:
* "If the country goes upside down the social issues won't matter anyway."
* "Social issues serve to divide us at a time when Americans need to be united against an out of control and over-reaching government."
* Limiting the government will reduce or cancel funding to unacceptable social issues."
Keep in mind these are "conservatives" making this argument.
Thomas Paine was never known to be a practicing Christian much less an evangelical one, however, he got this right: In his "The Rights of Man" (1791) he wrote, "A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice."
Those calling for moderation or abandonment of the principles of life, family, natural marriage, etc., according to Paine, are advancing vice---not virtue.
And please help me with this.
If we put social issues on hold, when will we get back to them?
Who decides when the economy is strong enough to become concerned about moral issues?
Who will say, "It's okay now to discuss and debate the issues of abortion, homosexual marriage, euthanasia, family values...? Barack Obama? Joe Biden?
The "How" of government is the fiscal issues.
The "Why" of government is the social or moral issues.
You can't put social issues on hold any more than you can put fiscal issues on hold. Are we not capable of addressing two challenges at one time?
Could it be that the moral decline and neglect of the "social" issues is the cause of our fiscal fiasco?
I believe it is. I also believe that conservative people of faith have the depth of commitment to stand in the gap for righteousness, but it will take a conscious effort on all our part.
Thank you for standing for what is right. And thank you for standing with us in this epic battle for the soul of our country and of the next generation.
Be Vigilant. Be Strong. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.
Faith and Freedom
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