Voters need authenticity, not rhetoric, from candidates
By: Glen Spicer Special to the Messenger
By GLEN SPICER
Special to The Messenger
From pulpits and podiums, auditoriums and truck stops across this nation, political candidates profess to stand for moral responsibility, to be of upright character and be motivated by sincere conviction as they plead for our votes to put them into office. Morality is important to them, when the situation demands it but is far less a factor when they think we aren’t looking.
Morality, as defined by the dictionary, is a doctrine of man’s moral duties or ethics “without or apart from inspiration or guidance by religion or other spiritual influences.” Strictly speaking, morality is whatever man chooses it to be without any input from God or our spiritual self.
On that basis it is whatever man feels like it should be at the time and highly subjective making the obligation to be “moral” or not, also very convenient.
Our American right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is not a mandate for simply anything we can conceive in our minds to do, but one which must be tempered with a sense of moral responsibility and accountability and with a dash of common sense. The strength of our families, from which this country is comprised, and our survival as a nation, depends upon it.
Actions that you and I usually consider being ethically correct are those based on the principles we feel make the world a better place to hang our hats. Those principles, which as is usually the case in America, though fought against daily by some, are principles set forth in the Bible. Its Ten Commandments are a perfect example of moral guidelines that have stood valid for centuries but are under continuous attack by anti-Christian sentiment being lead by humanistic liberal politicians.
While the Ten Commandments do indeed come from a religious source, is that any reason to consider them any less valid? When you read them, are there ones that you feel are against man’s best interest and should be removed? Even though we don’t always follow them as closely as we should, it isn’t likely that we would suggest editing or rewriting them, considering who the true author is.
Sen. Barack Hussein Obama Jr. said in a 2004 debate that while displays of the Ten Commandments could remain in old historic buildings, they should not be allowed to be hung in new ones. What kind of stand is that for a self-proclaimed Christian? The effort to separate a person’s role in government from their own moral values is futile and impossible to do, not if they really have values that you truly live by.
In fact, there are laws established to protect and define our society that correspond with most of those commandments. Yet man has always sought ways to eliminate the role that God should play in his life starting with Adam and Eve, who thought that their moral judgment was more valid than following God’s laws. We have fought against His leadership ever since that day to claim our own autonomy. In the true sense of “humanism,” we think we know better.
We have always felt the urge to rebel against those in authority over us. As children, we rebelled, if only internally, against our parents, teachers, ministers, anyone that instructed us to do anything that we didn’t want to do. As we reached an age that gave us a little more power, we demanded the right to make our own rules. We became more vocal about it and even took our “right” to the streets.
Today, it is a part of our culture to allow every perverted choice men or women can imagine to be paraded proudly up and down our streets, open displays of the vulgar. As a nation, we even sponsor special days of celebration for those who have lost their true moral compass. There will always be those who rebel against being of moral character but why in God’s name should it be celebrated? Oh, that’s right, it isn’t in God’s name.
So, when politicians stand before us and proclaim their “faith” or their support of “family values,” we need to do more than merely take their word for it. We need to look at the real fruit of their beliefs, the actions they take or have taken in their careers of public service.
Contrary to what many of them are in essence saying, their moral character, as we see it, is an important part of the equation and we will make note of it. So, when Sen. Hillary Clinton stands in a church’s pulpit and asks for the support of a Christian congregation but refuses to discuss her stand on abortion, we need to take notice. She called it a “divisive” issue that need not be addressed.
Certainly it is a divisive issue because it does divide people. Yes, senator, some of us believe that the elimination of over 48 million babies by legally sanctioned abortion since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 is a disgrace to this nation, while others, as yourself who voted twice against the ban on partial-birth abortions, do not.
There is, indeed, a division and there will always be as long as the government of America demands that we accept this atrocity as the normal course of events. In cases such as these, we will not allow the government to regulate our moral code. It may be legal, but it is still not acceptable.
Is she alone in her stand as a pro-choice candidate? Since her greatest rival in this election appears to be Senator Obama, it should be noted that as senator of Illinois in 2002, he voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions. The first time the bill came up he voted, “present” (which shows neither support nor opposition) and the second time he voted an outright “no.” When he speaks of his Christian faith, I wonder where this refusal to protect viable life comes from.
I think, we, as voters, want authenticity more than rhetoric from candidates. They need not insult us by waving the flag of faith in God when they have already chosen to deny the basis from which that belief should have been spawned. It is disingenuous and lacks truth and certainly doesn’t inspire our support and will not get our vote. Neither do they gain our respect, though some really don’t care whether they are respected by us as long as they get our vote.
This article is not meant to denounce on all fronts any particular candidate but to remind voters to be aware that not everything we hear is the true reflection of the speaker that is asking for our confidence in them. It takes time and study and an involved effort to determine the candidate that most deserves our vote and is more qualified to represent you and I in Washington and before the world.
Similarly, we cannot take the appearance of some celebrity joining in their campaign as reason to jump on their train. Who are they but one person with their own opinion? Our decision is more important than that. While it would make our job easier to simply accept their sign of support as a reason to do likewise, we need to decide for ourselves.
Even though it takes work on our part to sort through a lot of empty promises, deceptive words, outright garbage and sometimes just plain B.S., it is a civil duty we need to embrace. We should also appreciate the responsibility it is to elect our country’s leaders.
And never lose sight of the fact that the people who elect the most inept and corrupt leaders to public office are the voters who didn’t vote.
Editor’s note: Glen Spicer, a Troy resident, is a longtime contributor to The Messenger.
Published in The Messenger 1.9.08