As another Christmas approaches, our communities, states, and country seem to be on a collision course with imminent disaster. But our leaders seem either unwilling or unable to pull us from the brink. In the mean time, a combination of general apathy and great deceit that both are signals of the end times, seem to overwhelm whatever people of good will try to make things better.
On that cheery note, here are just a few examples of how apathy and deceit are playing out in our culture and politics:
- Newt Gingrich is portrayed by various pundits and media outlets as everything from a conservative’s conservative to a progressive who’s to the left of Mitt Romney. Romney, on the other hand, has been proclaimed by no less a conservative pundit than Ann Coulter as the “most conservative” Republican candidate. Who’s right? And will we argue about that all the way to the convention as the Obama-ites laugh with delight?
- Newt Gingrich is in many ways the Richard Nixon of his time--highly intelligent; controversial simply for speaking simple truths; hated by the Left and their allies in the press, despite the fact that in reality neither was/is as conservative as they are painted by their foes. Nixon won a landslide against ultra-liberal George McGovern in 1972 because, despite the anti-Nixon fervor in the media and on college campuses, America wasn't yet ready for a socialist president. We have unfortunately now crossed that Rubicon; therefore, Gingrich may not be as electable now as Nixon was then. As part of what can make him off-putting, Gingrich apparently has an inflated ego and sense of his place in history in much the same way as Nixon did. If this doesn't trip him up in the primaries or even in the general election, it just might if he makes it to the White House.
- The Greatest Generation that raised us Baby Boomers made, collectively, one fundamental mistake--as they came out of the Depression and fighting the war and experienced post-war prosperity, they put their faith in material and technological progress instead of in God. As a result, our generation went on a spiritual journey looking for some deeper meaning in life. Some of us found the true meaning--that the One whose birth we celebrate in a few days was born of lowly estate and came here as the ultimate Sacrifice for all of us. Unfortunately, others found that meaning in creating a "better" and "more compassionate" world, with the faith that all mankind would someday listen and agree and we would have a glorious utopia on earth. This idea manifested itself in the presidencies of Lyndon "Great Society" Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, but most especially in that of Barack Obama. And although many of the utopians will hotly deny it, their ideology—in fact a religion to some—leaves no room for God.
- Our generation, which railed against the materialism of our parents, is the most materialistic--with the possible exception of the generations that followed us--in history. One of the many reasons there has been a class shift in this country and a widening gap between haves and have-nots, is that the haves are often grasping for more instead of being happy with what they have. In fact, what it means to be "middle-class" now versus 50 years ago is totally different, and far more affluent, than our parents' definition. They would have considered themselves upper-middle-class at the least if not downright wealthy if they had the lifestyle many so-called middle-classers have now.
- A college education is out of reach for many young Americans. About that the "occupiers" are right. However, they blame the wrong bogeymen. When was the last time Obama (or any politician, for that matter) took colleges and universities to task for the exorbitant cost of today's college degrees? Their tuition and boarding increases over the last 40 years--not coincidentally during the time campuses have swung far to the left politically--greatly exceeded the overall inflation rate. Yet the Democrats' answer to this conundrum is to have the government take over the student loan program and be more forgiving of those who cannot pay back timely or at all. As usual, they address the symptoms of the problem and not the cause.
- Jesus did admonish us to live in the moment and not worry about tomorrow. However, it's a tough thing to do as each passing day the stranglehold the prevailing culture and Democrats in Washington DC continue to have on America bring us closer to an increasingly grim-looking future. Jesus also did say that tomorrow has enough troubles of its own. These days, that appears obvious.
- The great deceit foisted upon us by Democrats is that if only we'd listen to them about the "rich paying their fair share," whatever that is, then all would be well. Although is was not a shining moment for a Republican president, if I were a candidate I would bring up Bush 41's caving in 1990 to Congressional Democrats who promised him $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increase, only to renege on that promise. In fact, candidate Gingrich should trumpet his role in balancing the budget back in the good ol' days of the 1990's.
As we move into 2012, we need to have our eyes wide open to the great deceit all around us. We need more than ever to have discerning hearts and minds for the truth, and trust the Savior whose birth we celebrate soon to illuminate that truth for us. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.