Thursday, June 01, 2006

Moderating Extremism

"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." Barry Goldwater
"... Jacob I have loved; But Esau I have hated ..." (Malachi 1:2-3 NKJV)

Another third-party movement is underway. This time the group is calling itself Unity08. Their goal is "the election of a Unity Ticket for President and Vice-President of the United States in 2008 – headed by a woman and/or man from each major party or by an independent who presents a Unity Team from both parties."

Unity08 spells out four reasons why they believe they will succeed. Among those reason are "The American people know that the current political system is broken and that the time is short to fix it."

The above statement is true. But the remedy is misguided.

Coming together can be a good idea. But marrying the moderate and conciliatory of both parties, and coming together for the sake of coming together, can only produce a milqtoast offspring.

Unity08 is banking its success on an "us vs. them" kind of thinking. In this case, the "us" are everyday Americans fed up with business as usual in Washington, D.C. The "them" are the political elites, the power brokers, the professional politicians.

Are we sick of them? You bet we are!

But when I look at their list of "crucial" issues, I see that two of their top three will likely require more government bureaucracy to implement. Education (No.1) and quality health care (No. 3) are, from the true conservative position, issues that are best dealt with at the community or personal/private level, not the Federal level. Looking at this list, all I see are basically warmed over issues of the left.

The solution to our nation's present critical state is not an alliance of moderates. The solution is a radical return to the ideal of personal self-government (the concept that every individual is accountable for responsibly managing their own lives). And the only way to return us to that kind of an America—the kind of America our predecessors built—is to return the populace to a worldview rooted in Judeo-Christian truth.

This is the route that made America a beacon of hope for the world—a place where many in the world long to live. The massive influx of illegals across our Southern border attests to the success of our once-held principles—principles we've since forsaken. And yet because they are so sound, those principles continue to work beneath the surface producing our great freedom and wealth. But if we continue to abandon these principles as we have been, America truly will follow the same sad path of Greece, Rome, and the other once-great nations of history.

The attempt to merge the disaffected of both parties into some movement in the middle forsakes the principles of both right and left. What this attempt at "third-party" politics is really saying is that the "extreme" views of both, polarized sides, are the real problem in America.

I for one, am not convinced. Extremism, while potentially dangerous, even lethal if mishandled, is the road our God and Savior tread. Looking down from heaven, God did not see a misguided race, a dysfunctional human family. He saw utter lostness, depravity, sin.

His radical, yet effective solution to the problem required an extreme remedy—the actual sacrifice of His own Son in a gruesome and bloody death. He did not attempt to mitigate the sin situation by moderate, mild, and unoffensive means. He did not bring the corrupt and the Holy to the table for a series of talks or negotiations. Instead, He yielded up His own life as payment for our sins.

This is an extreme measure.

In Scripture, we learn of the divisive nature of truth, we see the opposing, warring kingdoms. There is no middle ground. There is a way that leads to life, and a way that leads to death. Compromise is not an option are we to return our nation to its once-held, though tarnished glory among the nations of the earth.

Submitting ourselves to the ideas held in a Biblical or Judeo-Christian worldview is an extreme and radical step. But it is clearly the right path to take. Even as a commitment to Christ often alienates and separates those committing from their friends and family, so America's early roots in Biblical truth separated her from the other nations, making her the envy of the rest of the world.

Only a return to the values and principles which made our nation great, will make her great again. Ours is not a political problem. Ours is a relationship problem. We have lost our relationship with God, and we have lost our relationship with truth.

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