Saturday, February 09, 2008

I have seen an evil under the sun ...

I have seen an evil under the sun.

I will never forget the night in 1979 that I attended a massive pro-life rally at the Mabee Center in Tulsa. In a conversion almost as profound as my first spiritual conversion, I became a Christian Activist.

In the years to follow, I would march in front of abortion clinics almost daily at times, organize demonstrations against pornography dealers and plumb the depths of local, state and national politics looking for solutions. I attended interminable meetings and joined a bewildering mass of groups and coalitions. I read Schaeffer and Whitehead and then Blackstone. I taught myself to write and then worked for a newspaper to perfect my skills. I studied journalism and then the law. After I discovered the law, I continued my education through law school, passionately devoting my skills to the cause of Christ. I studied jurisprudence and explored the depths of Aquinas and Augustine.

But, after twenty seven years of pursuing righteousness in the public square, I have come to believe that much of it was a fool’s errand. The abortion clinic that I once marched in front of almost daily still operates but the protesters are gone thanks to draconian Federal regulations enacted despite decades of Republican political control. The pornography that I once protested against in front of dirty little buildings in bad neighborhoods now flows freely into almost every American home through the internet, cable and satellite television. Our public schools are more hostile to a Christian presence than they were when I started, thanks in large part to a string of Supreme Court decisions decided by a court almost universally appointed by Republicans. Sodomy is now so accepted in our society that a public career can be destroyed for criticizing it and we are teetering on the edge of an ethical black hole over end of life decisions and human engineered, perhaps part animal, “beings” and body parts.

In fitful nights and tortured days, I asked myself, “How can this be?” How can the will of God and the people be so completely subverted? I found the answer in politics. I saw that our most impassioned and purely motivated political movements usually devour their creators in a very short time and are then inherited by politicians who care not for the cause but only the power attendant to it. I saw that the passionate marchers who initially fill the ranks of these movements are first despised and then feared for their passion and ultimately converted into or forcibly replaced by more docile “issue voters.” I saw motivated citizens who were willing to devote their time and treasure to reclaiming their government and culture almost inevitably replaced by cynical professional politicians and policy wonks whose only constant credo is, "politics is the art of compromise." I saw most of all that our principles, our raison detr’e, were always negotiable in pursuit of the elusive “mainstream majority” position. And, I saw that in some men's eyes God and a particular political party were sometimes so completely identified with each other that it was equally heretical to criticize the will of either.

I found the answer in the words of Solomon: “Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. Ecclesiastes 9:15, 16.
“If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they. Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.” Ecc: 5:8.9.

And, on Solomon’s advice, I decided to rest in the comfort of an honest day’s labor in the vineyard of the Lord and trust Him to dispense justice in His time.


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