As Christmas is the season to reflect and give thanks, it also gives us the opportunity to get a little closer to God. We realize our downfalls and ask for forgiveness from the Almighty. Well, that’s how it’s suppose to happen anyway.
For the past four years, I’ve watched the Republican leadership in North Carolina whittle down our progressive laws while Democrats could do nothing but look onward, helpless.
It makes us bitter. I hear Democrats say almost daily that they’ve worked too damn hard to get where we were only to have it knocked out from our feet.
Our Democratic leadership is shattered. There aren’t many standing up and speaking for our group. Where’s a Jim Hunt when you need him? Where’s our Terry Sanford? Where’s our Democratic knight in shining armor willing to fight the good fight and finish the race?
Frankly, I think they’re all around us. They just need a microphone to be heard. They need everyone else to shut up long enough to hear them speak. To listen to some common sense and maybe somehow appeal to our hearts, minds and souls. The way the old guard did it back in the day. Before they became the “old” in the guard.
Yes, for the last four years I watched the Republican effort. And, an effort it has been. Some of the laws they’ve enacted have defied common sense. At least by my standard of reason.
For example: why would you not want to expand Medicaid in North Carolina when it’s only to the states economic benefit and the public’s health to do so. There’s nothing to lose. Arizona, who vowed they’d never expand Medicaid, crunched the numbers and decided it was mismanagement not to expand.
Kentucky, who once said they would never embrace the Affordable Care Act, crunched the numbers and not only decided to embrace ACA but they came up with state run programs better than what the ACA had. That sounds like good leadership to me. It sounds like at least over there, people are willing to admit when they’re wrong and do what is right—not for political reasons, but because it’s the right thing to do.
So, how does Christianity play a part in all this “high-cotton” politics? Well, the way I see it, first you have to know what’s right and what’s wrong. Then you have to make a decision that no matter what you do, if you say you believe in the tenants of Christianity and believe in the pillars of the Church such as Christ as Savior, the Apostles, the early Church Fathers. If you believe in the truths that Christians hold dear, then you believe in brotherly love, helping the poor, righting a wrong, protecting those who can’t defend themselves.
And, as leaders—especially political leaders—we enact and make laws supporting not our spiritual belief system but we make laws—that govern the passions within our hearts of charity, free will, helping those in need, protecting those who have been wronged.
I’m serious about this: if you keep corporations and egos out of the system as much as possible, then what other reason is there to make or change—or strike down for that matter—other than to help and give benefit to the very ones who can’t speak for themselves.
But, here’s the key: Paul tells us in Timothy not to do what is right because it’s spiritual to do what is right. Paul said just do what is right because it’s the honorable thing to do. And, it’s reasonable to do what is right because it is in fact honorable to do it.
Now, I’m not a theologian but it seems clear that we were placed on this earth so that each of us can have free will. And, in fact, free will is the cornerstone of the Bible. The ability to think for ourselves, to act appropriately and in accordance with our heart and soul. To make mistakes and learn from them.
For that reason alone, I fail to see why so many Republicans in the North Carolina Legislature (especially those who have campaigned on the Righteousness of God and held to the Christian belief system) are so bent on limiting our citizens their right to free will.
Limiting a woman’s right to chose is tantamount to limiting her free will over her own body. The same freewill God himself proclaimed for us in the beginning of humanity. Do legislatures have the right to take that away? Would Paul consider that the spiritual or the honorable thing to do? I think not.
North Carolina was a progressive state because we did the right things for the right reasons. We wanted people to have freewill and the ability to think for themselves because it was the honorable thing to do.
Now, it’s all become political. Politics to raise money for the next election. Politics to keep the majority. Politics to hold the power.
We even have lobbying groups representing church organizations. The same groups trying to limit our freewill in the name of God. Tell me:
When was the last time you remember God needing a lobbying firm to represent him? Have we gone that far down the wrong road?