Post-Election SackCloth and Ashes

I like what a local Baptist church sign marquee displayed the day after election: “Join us: Instead of 40 days of purpose, 40 days of repentance.”

Some say with clenched absoluteness,

“God is judging America!”

Which could be true. But in the midst of red-faced talking heads and predilections of coming doom we sometimes forget that judgment begins in the house of God first (1 Peter 4:17).

So I offer some post-election repentance on behalf of my fellow brethren and sist(ren), and mainly….on behalf of me. If you don’t consider yourself to be a apart of said “house” feel free to exclude yourself from the following tearing of garments!:

On behalf of my Republican brethren, I repent for pridefully acting as if my political stance is always the moral/spiritual/ high ground, from marriage to abortion to Fox News. We can appear to be right philosophically/religiously and still be very wrong in nature (Matt 23:27).

On behalf of my Democratic brethren, I repent for pridefully acting as if my political stance is always the moral/spiritual high ground, from welfare to women’s rights to MSNBC. The Red Letters of Jesus aren’t inherently more important than the rest of His inspired revelation (John 5:39).

On behalf of my Libertarian brethren, I repent for pridefully acting as if my political stance is always the moral/spiritual high ground, from the debt crisis to states rights to Ayn Rand. The Bible is the only totally inspired work of God, not the US Constitution (2 Tim 3:16).

On behalf of my non voting brethren, I repent for pridefully acting as if my political stance is always the moral/spiritual high ground, from end times prophecy to food storage to illuminati conspiracy theories. Jesus doesn’t want our vote for President anymore than He wanted to be the one up “Apostle” in the ancient Apollos/Paul argument (1 Cor 1:12).

So I personally turn, not mainly away from any of these convictions, but to something so much greater. This:

Christ is our treasure, only hope, and His love reigns supreme. We need not rescind into some monkish lifestyle. But our priorities should be blazingly clear in these days. The King lived, the King died, the King is coming again. Every president and king, living or dead, will one day bow to this One (Phill 2:10).

He is the only spiritual high ground, all other people and their ideologies must appear facedown before His righteousness.

Bryan Daniels

A Dead Brit On Modern American Politics (Chesterton)

GK Chesterton (1874-1936) is (probably) my favorite dead political/religious commentator. Compare him with some of the modern hacks who make appearances on the FoxNews/MSNBC celeb circuit.

The “Apostle of Common Sense” would be shocked to witness the un-commonness of such a virtue in the political/public arena of our day. Most all of these quotes are found in publications leading up to, or immediately after, World War I. Many are in reference to Great Britain, yet they also apply neatly to the current state of American politics.

On government:

“All government is an ugly necessity.”

“Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”

“Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern.” – The New Name, Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays, 1917

On the Declaration of Independence:

“The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man.”

On patriotism:

“My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.”

On war:

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

“War is not the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you.”

On political progressivism:

“Men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back.”

“My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.” – New York Times Magazine, 2/11/23

“He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.”

On the economy:

“There cannot be a nation of millionaires, and there never has been a nation of Utopian comrades; but there have been any number of nations of tolerably contented peasants.”

On liberty:

“The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.”

On his journalism career:

“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”

Why I Am No Longer a Glenn Beck Fan-From A Guy Who Should Be

Glenn Beck is a cultural mover and shaker.

There is a reason his opponents have been gleefully basking in the revelation of his Fox News show’s cancellation. For major liberal pundits to claim victory over Beck’s termination proves Beck has already won the battle. Beck (or Fox) is quitting while the show’s ratings are exponentially further ahead of any competitors. If this is a victory for the leftist apologist, it is a victory like beating Usain Bolt in a footrace because he slipped on a banana peel midway. You may be able to gloat, point and laugh at the Jamaican wonderkid, but you can’t say you deserve his Nike Contract.

Still, in some strange way Beck slipped, pulled a hamstring, or threw in the towel. Or maybe Fox News just called the fight altogether before it got…weird. 

If you read carefully into the words of Fox News Chairman Roger Allies, the rub location is apparent. When asked about Beck’s conservative conspiracy lecturing mode of operation: “I think he told that story as well as could be told. Whether you can just keep telling that story or not… we’re not so sure.”

Interpretation: The chalkboard prophet schtick was wearing thin. Even conservative guest panelists were rarely invited anymore; Beck was becoming the lone ranger in his world of illuminati type conspiracy theories and prophetic utterances of impending economic doom.

This post is coming from a committed “evangelical” Christian with strong conservative leanings mingled with libertarian tendencies. I believe the tea parties are saying something legitimate, and I believe any connection they have to greedy healthcare corporations is tenuous at best.

According to mainstream media, this is coming from someone who should be a Glenn Beck fan. Instead, this is coming from a one time Beck fan. A fan of his earlier radio days where “information and entertainment” used to collide with profound levity. We all knew we were getting the “news lite” back then, with hilarious conservative commentary sprinkled in for good measure.

But something dark happened 3-4 years ago. Instead of poking lighthearted fun at liberal idiosyncracies, Beck’s tone became somber. Political opponents like George Soros were no longer just liberal hackjobs, they became to Beck, manifestly evil.

Instead of enjoying what he was saying politically, I began worrying about what he was saying theologically.

I don’t claim to know the psyche of the man. He sincerely believes himself to be a “Paul Revere” type forerunner, sounding an alarm of danger to the unsuspecting masses. And many of his suspicions are probably not without warrant. But to spend one’s life chasing through the rabbit holes of a New World Order conspiracy must be mentally taxing, and apparently all-consuming.

I’m not kicking Beck while he is down, in reality, this was an amicable departure for us 2-3 years ago…around the time Beck started claiming the Constitution to be divinely inspired while coronating himself as an ecumenical politically driven modern leader of a new “Great Awakening.” This was around the time for me it got…strange.

Somewhere along the line, Beck lost what got him the Fox platform. There are only so many times one can scream “Fire!” in a crowded room of jealous pundits before one of them begins the charge of “Chicken Little.” Apart from Tea Party ties, Beck had isolated himself as the sole bearer of the bad news. The lonely voice crying out in the wilderness for America to return to her Constitutional roots. The prophetic voice for those with an ear to hear.

This is all too much responsibility for one mere man to bear.

Let this saga be a fair warning to the left and right.

Beck’s story is a tumultuous tale of a stars rise to astronomical heights. The higher the trajectory the more spectacular the media fizzle on the way down. Whether it’s Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann, or Tiger Woods, the lesson is the same: No man can stand for long under the weight of human adulation.

Either we stay grounded, or we crash and burn when we hit the ground.

For the sake of Glenn Beck I hope it is a safe landing.

Bryan Daniels

Post Election: The Donkey Wept

A few musings about Election Night 2010:

1. Big props to Steve and Steve. Or Steve squared. Or….whatever. Steve Moss won his local school board seat. Steve Southerland won the Congress seat over an entrenched incumbent, Allen Boyd. Both are stand up Christian family men who will be an asset to their community as public servants.

2. “The events suck for the Democrats tonight,” was Chris Matthews exact somber words last night. That tingly feeling he used have run up his leg seemed to be replaced by a swift kick to the man region. The MSNBC crew displayed snide remarks, sarcastic observations and sore loser syndrome throughout their election broadcast. Brewing bitterness was their food all night long.

3.  Conversely, Fox News was the epicenter of giddy school girls at a Justin Bieber concert. When I turned the channel to “America’s Newsroom”, confetti and silly string literally exploded out of my TV, hit me in the face, and fell into my bowl of cereal. The “Mastermind” Karl Rove and the “Martyr” Juan Williams waxed poetically about the massive conservative shifts in Washington.

That either Fox News or MSNBC would claim objective journalistic integrity is disingenuous at best. Both tend to serve as political lap dogs, one for the left one for the right.

4. God is sovereign (Daniel 4:35-36). We must pray (1 Timothy 2:1-2). We must pray for all our leaders, not just the ones we have a political affinity for. The Obama administration, leftist loons, redneck right, red state and blue state. It doesn’t matter. God is the only wise, loving, powerful KING in the universe. His Son is the only living hope for this nation; not reform, new bills, less taxes, or more populist uprisings. Let’s approach Him boldly, and He will grant the only change that will last in the end (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Bryan Daniels