Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Republicans--The Search For Identity

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It was a normal morning as I drove from La Canada into our church in North Hollywood. The traffic was moderate to heavy, people were running late and in a hurry. As I pulled into the parking lot across Burbank Blvd from the church, I noticed two legs wearing jeans and two feet with tennis shoes sticking out from under a large bush.

I first thought he was asleep, or stoned from a night of drugs.

But he was dead.

With forensics not so advanced as now, the North Hollywood police could not immediately identify the teenager. He had no police record.

They found only one single mark of identity. It was a cassette tape in his pocket with a recording of the band "Black Sabbath."

The one song on the tape seemed to sum up his life---and death. It became his identity.

Over the following days when I would speak to the police, we would refer to him as the "Black Sabbath" kid.

Which song was in his pocket?

The Republican Party is searching, no scrambling, to discover its own identity.

This past week was not a good week for the Republican Party.

Speaker of the House John Boehner told the press he "absolutely" trusts President Obama.

Brent Bozell, influencial president and founder of Media Research Council (MRC), told the Republican Party in front of the audience at the CPAC meeting, the press and the world, "You are not what you promised to be, conservative."

He said, "Paul Ryan, you're a good man and you mean well, and good for you for your courage trying to reform Medicare and rid us of Obamacare. But your proposed budget has the federal government spending $41 Trillion over the next ten years, with more and more and more spending increases every single year, and assumes all the oppressive Obamacare taxes. Congressman, that's what liberal Democrats do, not us."

"This is not conservatism," Bozell said, "It is, literally, Democrat lite."

He wasn't finished.

"Haley Barbour, my friend, when you call for unity and on conservatives to 'sing from the same hymnal' and then publicly trash good conservative groups, you're out of time , and you're out of line."

And to John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy he said, "You said all the right things to conservatives to propel the GOP back to the majority, and you to the top three leadership positions in the House."

"You," he said, "like virtually every single other Republican elected to Congress solemnly vowed to rid us of Obamacare, which you can do simply by refusing to fund it. Why haven't you done so?"

He then asked why they too have refused to de-fund "evil" organizations such as Planned Parenthood and others, "immorally funded by our tax dollars."

Phyllis Schlafly, author, speaker and legendary founder and president of the Eagle Forum, told the same audience that the Republican establishment had given America, "a series of losers as presidential candidates" over the last two decades---and the last winner, George W. Bush, was a bigger spender than the Democrats."

She challenged Karl Rove, saying he and his establishment GOP colleagues spent almost $400 million on the past election, ran ads for 31 candidates and only elected 7 of them.

That pattern was mirrored in Washington state, except the results were worse.

She said the establishment GOP only wants candidates who will "only talk about economic issues, not social or moral or even national security issues."

"That," she said, "is a mistake, because those social issues are the cause of the fiscal issues, and they get to the heart of people---issues like life and marriage."

I could not agree more.

Ari Fleisher, former Press Secretary for President George W. Bush, currently serving on a committee to discover the new identity of the Republican Party Tweeted yesterday, "The Party has to be more inclusive, inviting, and thoughtful." Later yesterday he Tweeted, "Our standard should not be universal purity. It should be a more welcoming conservative."

Karl Rove says we should support the most conservative candidate "who can win." I would ask, "Who decides who can win?"

The GOP is choking on the concept of "outreach," while they have a huge credibility gap within their own Party. And it isn't only the national party. The Washington State Party suffers from the same delusion.

Forget outreach. It isn't working. Republicans can't run fast enough to catch a fad that can win. Who needs a party would doesn't even know who they are or what they believe? At least secular progressives have a clear vision of where they are trying to take the country.

Are we now asking supporters of illegal aliens, pro-abortionists and same-sex marriage advocates to hold up the canopy of the big tent so our tent will be bigger---never mind that we aren't winning elections?

Why would a secular progressive leave the Democratic Party to join the Republican Party if it merely supports the same issues with less enthusiasm?

And while the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln and Reagan, runs to and fro across the nation trying to morph into something that will be acceptable to the Mexicans, the Latinos are changing, and the Party doesn't even know it.

Younger Latinos, age 30 and under, are becoming more spiritually involved and more conservative---particularly on the social issues, and that, Republican leaders don't want to talk about. The Latinos are very conflicted over same-sex marriage, while Republicans are joining the "pride parade" announcing they have "evolved" just like President Obama on the fundamental value of marriage. Particularly those who are thinking about running for national office.

The song the dead teenager had on the tape in his pocket was the Black Sabbath song from 1970, "Hand of Doom."

Here are some of the lyrics: "What you gonna do? Times caught up with you, Now you wait your turn, you know there's no return. Take your written rules, join the other fools, turn to something new, now its killing you."

And the final verse says: "Head starts spinning 'round, you fall down to the ground. Feel your body heave, death's hands starts to weave. It's too late to turn, you don't want to learn, Price of life you cry, now you're gonna die."

It isn't too late for the Republican Party. Or America. But we've got to stop popping pills that we think will make things better by giving us a win at any cost.

The Party is lying under a bush.

At a time when America needs a political party that articulates both moral and fiscal beliefs with conviction and then acts on those beliefs, the Republican Party is listening to those who are advocating a near abandonment of those very principles and values that have defined the Party. And a nation.

These are times that call for conviction and clarity on principles and values.

This is not a time to hide those principles and values under a bushel.

It's time to let them shine.

Thank you for supporting us as we advocate for biblical values in our culture.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.