“We are one election away from the kind of dangerous rhetoric and behavior we saw last night – tyranny – taking over this country,” Rush Limbaugh warned in his analysis of the Democratic presidential primary debate on NBC. This is an incredible assessment considering that we are preparing tomorrow to celebrate 243 years of independence. Perhaps we as Christian citizens of America have become overly apathetic and disconnected from where our political leaders are guiding our nation.
Regardless of one’s politics, it is deeply disturbing the frequency with which serious presidential candidates proposed solving controversial matters through executive orders. Without blushing, multiple candidates readily declared their intention to ignore the will of the people and proper legislative process in favor of imposing their will upon the nation by executive fiat. This is particularly troubling when one considers the many extreme policy positions represented among the candidates. So progressive were many of these policies that Executive Director of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee Adam Green told TIME, “On many issues, the floor of the debate is higher than the ceiling was just a few years ago.”
- Rotating Justices on and off the Supreme Court in an effort to swing the Court’s political inclination
- Decriminalizing illegal border crossings
- A bevy of transgender rights, including protecting abortion rights for trans women (biological males)
- Abolishing the entire private health insurance system and creating a government run health system
- Providing free health care to illegal immigrants
- Punishing pharmaceutical companies for the opioid crisis, including jailing executives of drug companies
- Reinstating an administrative amnesty program for illegal aliens (DACA) begun by President Obama, who himself admitted that it was unconstitutional and which was halted by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Free college tuition
- Creating new taxes to pay-off an estimated $2.2 trillion of student debt
- Repealing the Hyde Amendment which prevents using federal taxpayer money to fund abortions
- Not deporting any illegal immigrants until they commit another major crime
- Repealing the Trump tax cut
- Criminalizing assault weapons, meaning guns that have two or more of five listed features: a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, a grenade launcher, a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor
- Confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens
- Granting citizenship to adults who illegally entered the country as children
- Giving every Latin American country sufficient money to build a strong enough economy and infrastructure that their citizens will not want to migrate to America
- Increasing taxes on the middle class and taxing the “ultra-rich” at 70%
- Giving every adult $1,000 every month indefinitely
- Ensuring that every woman has a right to kill her unborn baby up to the point of birth
These are radical policies, many of which are rooted in fundamentally different political and moral systems than those upon which our country was founded. In fact, they are extreme enough to spook even many avowed Democrat voters. Nevertheless, these policies could very likely define the agenda of the next president of the United States, reminding us that we cannot take for granted the freedoms and even moral standards that we have long known and loved. Celebrating our freedoms with barbeques and fireworks is not sufficient to protect what our founding fathers built. Rather, a government by the people and for the people requires the vigilance and participation of the people. This is why at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin famously answered the question of whether America was to be a Republic or a Monarchy by warning that America is, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
We at Forerunners of America are not motivated by which political party holds power in America. Neither do we believe the solution to our nation’s greatest challenges rests in political decisions. But we do believe that our nation’s political policies determine whether we will experience the blessing or the judgment of God (Jer 18:7–10). And we believe that each of us will be held accountable by God for our role in resisting evil and upholding righteousness where we have influence—which in our country includes the national conversation. As such, in a Democratic Republic, we as citizens have a responsibility to be aware of what is happening in our government and to seek to influence it.
With so much open talk about executive orders to accomplish extremely controversial policies, it becomes evident that we truly may be only one election away from a form of tyranny that would transform our country. As we celebrate our independence during the 4th of July, let us resolve to use our influence to uphold righteousness and to resist evil, not only in our families and communities but also in our local and national governments.
Not all of the above policies are evil, but many of them are fundamentally moral issues that the Bible does address. Be careful! There is a temptation to view political and legal victories as a substitution for our responsibility to change the hearts and minds of individuals. Political and legal victories only help to preserve an environment that is conducive to sharing the gospel and upholding God’s moral standard. If we fail to take advantage of these opportunities, then these victories are fairly meaningless because they will not change the hearts and minds of people—only their behavior. As such, our greatest efforts should be focused on changing people’s thinking, not changing our nation’s laws. But the two are inextricably linked together. Therefore, we must guard ourselves from becoming overly apathetic and disconnected from those areas of politics where we have influence. Done appropriately, our political engagement can be an important step in fulfilling the great commission and in protecting our nation from God’s judgment (Matt. 28:18–20).
1. “06/28/2019 Hour 1.” Rush Limbaugh Show video, 38:51. Posted by “Rush Limbaugh,” June 28, 2019. https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/videos/?groupId=23&episodeId=0?autoplay=true#!/23/0?autoplay=true/06282019-Hour-1.
2. Bergengruen, Vera and Philip Elliott. “The First Debate Showed How Far to the Left Democrats Have Moved.” TIME, June 27, 2019. https://time.com/5615488/2020-democratic-debate-progressives/.
3. “Democratic Presidential Debate – June 26 (Full) | NBC News.” YouTube video, 2:35:59. Posted by “NBC News,” June 26, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ6MrDO0kgY.
4. “Democratic Presidential Debate – June 27 (Full) | NBC News.” YouTube video, 4:02:47. Posted by “NBC News,” June 27, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX7hni-zGD8.
5. Von Spakovsky, Hans. “DACA Is Unconstitutional, as Obama Admitted.” Heritage Foundation, September 8, 2017. https://www.heritage.org/immigration/commentary/daca-unconstitutional-obama-admitted.
6. Cochrane, Emily. “Bernie Sanders Unveils Education Plan to Eliminate Student Loan Debt.” New York Times, June 24, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/24/us/politics/bernie-sanders-student-debt.html.
7. Sullum, Jacob. “‘Assault Weapons,’ Explained.” Reason, June 2018. https://reason.com/2018/05/14/assault-weapons-explained/.
8. Scher, Bill. “Did the Left Misread the 2020 Democratic Primary?” Politico, May 14, 2019. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/05/14/joe-biden-2020-226872.
9. Benjamin Franklin quote. Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations, 1989. https://www.bartleby.com/73/1593.html.