I'm so tired of being bullied.
Bullied by Obama, for instance. (In fact, my new name for him is Obambully.)
He now even bullies people who want privacy- bathroom privacy, at that.
He bullies small businesses owners who want to stay in business.
He bullies patients who want to choose their own doctors and make their own health care decisions.
He bullies people of Christian faith who want to be able to practice their faith in all they do.
He's just a big government bully who is doubling down on his oppressive measures while the clock ticks down on his abusive reign of power.
Aren't you tired of the bullying too?
The trouble is, barring some miracle, we're now faced with the sad choice of deciding which bully currently running for president is going to be worse than the other.
Is it the she-bully Clinton who makes my head spin every time she opens her shrill mouth?
Or the playboy bully Trump who has threatened to punch people in the face and said he would order our men and women in uniform to commit war crimes? He later rolled that latter statement back. But too late: I've seen his temper flare and his mouth flap one too many times to trust anything he says or view him as anything other than a bully of a different sort.
So how is it that in America, we've become so accustomed to bullies that we've actually voluntarily narrowed our choices for president to the worst political bullies?
I submit that we are now reaping the consequences of the crass cultural sewage that we've been ingesting for the last thirty or so years. Fed on a steady media and entertainment diet composed of foul language, gratuitous violence and sex, and the degradation of women through porn, it's no wonder that our chosen leading candidates for president represent the worst of the culture we live in.
I've heard it said that, "People get the government they deserve." Now I know that is true.
Mind you, I'm no pessimist. But I am a realist. And what I've had to come to grips with since Ted Cruz had to end his quest for the presidency is that sometimes, good guys do finish last. It happens in an environment where formerly decent people have lost their ability to distinguish between the bad and the good.
Unless and until we begin to turn our hearts and homes toward what is honorable, and loving, and true and just, we can expect to be governed by bullies - whether they are bullies fixated on the ills of socialism, which robs hard workers of the fruits of their labor and their wills to be successful; or whether they are bullies fixated on greed and getting rich at the expense of others. Both philosophies are wrong. Both say that the end justifies the means. Both can be accomplished only through the strong arm of oppressive government. Both require a loud-mouthed bully at the top willing to use whatever power is necessary in order to obtain their goals.
So, after over 200 years of opportunity and the steady progression of ensuring that all people are treated equally, America now finds herself enslaved again - and moving at a very fast pace toward the loss of yet more personal and ordered liberties. The "anything goes" mentality espoused by both Clinton and Trump - and embraced by our schools, organized religion and the entertainment culture, has resulted in further enslavement to the all-mighty state.
When we study the book of Galatians, we hear Paul earnestly warn us what happens when we abuse freedom. It always leads us back into bondage - spiritual and physical.
When we forget that everything we do, every freedom we enjoy, should be bound only by living out the two greatest commands: love God with all your being and love your neighbor as you love yourself, we end up where we are today. We end up being subject to a life run by bullies of one kind or another.
The solution is a spiritual one, starting with each of us. It includes the Church of Jesus being just that - the Church of Jesus. Life and freedom come from living boldly and joyfully in a faith community that lives boldly and joyfully in the grace of Christ, a church that dares to fight the powers that enslave people; things like pornography, greed, anger, and the endless quest for power over others. In short, a church willing to stand up to bullies of all persuasions.
The solution also involves remaking our families into the safe places where we learn from mistakes and rest secure in the unconditional love and accountability that family members are supposed to have for each other. Families composed of a mother and father who are committed to each other; who care enough for their children to dare to challenge the status quo. Families composed of a mom and dad who seek, above all else, to raise children who exude love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith and self-control. Of course, since we are all fallen people, such things can only be fully developed in the power of the Holy Spirit, who gives us such things for the asking.
My heart is to help strengthen families, even as I continue to strengthen my own. There's another old saying that I've reflected on quite a bit over the years, but never more than I do now: "As the family goes, so goes the nation." I pray that during this dark political time in which we live, that we actually do come out of the next presidency, whichever one that is, with stronger families and stronger churches. Families and churches that understand the importance of getting our own houses in order; who know that if we practice and live by those two great commands, that America can be a nation of free people, with a government of great leaders, not bullies.