Monday, April 14, 2014


I'm aware of my political filter where government is concerned and I realize there are good people who will disagree with my filter, some of whom are my friends and even some who are family. But I love them and they love me although we differ. Disagreeing's without being disagreeable is OK. It's called respect. 

I also know that political views are SECONDARY to Kingdom living for me and always will be and I personally will never allow Americanism to be synonymous with the gospel of the Kingdom either.

That said, this IS my political view about present matters, so let's begin. 

The Israel/Palestinian conflict has LITTLE to do with 
what is an obvious disaster and failure of the Arab Spring, President Manduro and the Venezuelan crises, Iran's BOMB capabilities, Benghazi, The Ukraine crises with Crimea and Russia and the failure to settle the Syrian civil war. Not to mention America's spying on all her European allies with illegal tactics. [I have to say this because so many seem to blame EVERYTHING on that Jewish/Palestinian conflict]  

It certainly has NOTHING to do with our nation's poor domestic economic condition and the magnitude of the failures with the Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare" [admirable in it's desire to get the poor covered] and other things taking place politically in our nation. Again, not to mention a national surveillance 
that goes way beyond the Constitution.

All of these failures DO exist however because of the ineptness of the people in power, [White House and Congress] past and present, and the seemingly naive policies in foreign affairs that presently prevail and the over-extended regulations in domestic matters. This ineptness has led to disengagement and failures in most foreign matters and the loss of jobs on the domestic front. A leadership vacuum has been created.

I'm thinking we could very well [and I say this kindly] give that ignominious "Participant Trophy," [
where every one's a winner] that is so popular with so many in our present day, to our President [for whom I pray often] and his Administration. But that kind of award signifies very little really about the actual achievements, or lack thereof, of the person to whom it is given.

By the way, it seems to me as a student of history that President Franklin Pierce, the 14th President (1853–1857) and his administration might also have won that dubious trophy. What do I mean by this?

President Franklin Pierce was a really nice guy by all accounts. But historians will remember that he and Buchanan, our 15th President were criticized as being unsure as to how to govern a changing America and completely incapable of finding the much needed right answers for her in the decade that preceded the Civil war. 

Pierce's major problem was one of having committed himself to several ill-considered positions on the domestic front and 
staying the course on these bad positions despite valid opposition.

One such position, for example, was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. It was his major piece of legislation and one can argue that this Act helped lead directly to the civil war. It is true his personal tragedies in his family may have been partially to blame for his lack of good judgment. But lacking in judgment, whatever the reason, he was lacking.  

The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, if you recall your history, created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska and opened them to white settlers and left it to them to determine whether slavery would be allowed. It was called "popular sovereignty" and basically repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 which had forbidden slavery in the then territories.

Anti-slavery elements immediately declared as one person said, "This Act is a triumph for the hated slave power advocates [that is the political power of the rich slave owners] who will buy up the best lands in Kansas, and will leave ordinary men with the very little left." And that's the way things turned out. As I said, this Act played a large role in the start of a bloody civil war that split a nation a few years later.

Interestingly, it was DEMOCRATIC Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois who designed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It was the same Senator Douglas who had defeated Abe Lincoln for the Senatorial office earlier in Illinois and who then, as 
the Democratic standard-bearer, in a total turn-about of popularity, lost the1860 Presidential election to Lincoln.

Mary and I just recently had bit parts [Extras I think they call it.] in a movie being filmed in Guthrie Oklahoma, which is coming out July of 2014, that portrays those Senatorial debates between Douglas and Lincoln. The movie is entitled AMERICA and is directed by the same guys who directed Schindler's List and The God-father. [But I digress. Sorry!]

Senator Douglas declared he hoped that building "popular sovereignty" into the Kansas-Nebraska Act would ease national tensions over the issue of slavery. He probably hoped [who can know another's mind?] that it would keep him from having to take a side on the divisive issue as well. But, as usual, the real reason was big business was calling. The Railroad needed the territories.

However, with it's passage a wave of indignation erupted across the North in 1854 and the anti-slavery elements in the young nation cried betrayal. What did they do?

They formed the Republican Party in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. That original GOP began gearing up to stop the expansion of slavery and soon emerged as the dominant political party in the North and with it's anti-slavery platform was successful in electing its first president, Abraham Lincoln in the year of our Lord, 1860. [The GOP has not always stayed true to it's roots, by the way.] 

Back to President Pierce.

It could be argued that Franklin Pierce had little business being President in those years immediately before the civil war. [Along with his successor James Buchanan.] But in a nation fragmenting over slavery, too many believed only the kind of politician who was as someone described, "A
 nice, likable, affable political lightweight would be palatable to the electorate," and could carry the day. Whatever else he might have been, Pierce was that. Lightweight!

But how wrong could the Democrats and the electorate be! Both men were disastrous for not being able to take positions on a moral front and the changing economic conditions that cost our nation dearly.

But the HUGE irony of the Franklin Pierce administration was that a man who was really less than qualified to be President was behind one of the most far-reaching pieces of legislation in American history.

["Deja vu, all over again," as Jon Fogerty says in his new song?]

Once buying into the ill-advised Kansas-Nebraska Act, against the wishes of one side of the Legislature however, President Pierce only accelerated the course towards that inconceivable result of an horrendous civil war. Then followed Buchanan who was simply a repeat of Pierce. Both qualified for the "Participant trophy" mentioned above. But were qualified for little else.

Back to the present day. 

I think history DOES repeat itself and, apart from the production of another civil war, which is highly unlikely and will not happen, I'm left with the growing feeling that history very well could be repeating itself before our very eyes.

Our President and other politicians along with him are promoting some battles on the moral front that would have been thought totally inconceivable a few years ago. The horrible abortion atmosphere we're continuing to cultivated as a nation is an example. He didn't start it, but he has exploded it.

That's not to mention the shredding of the Constitutional guarantee of privacy and protection from government itself. And, sadly, he seems to know little of creating a business atmosphere where citizens feel safe to achieve what their dreams tell them can be done. Achievement is giving way to entitlement.

Have I mentioned the use of words that are oblique, over-stated and less than exact?

I am saddened as a citizen by it all.

Now, I close with these final thoughts.

My prayer for peace, honesty and godliness in government hasn't always been granted the way I had hoped under President Bush OR President Obama. Nonetheless, I offer respect, prayer and service to my Presidents past and present.

But since my confidence is in the One who knows the end from the beginning and who understands real peace and godliness, I will trust that in His time, He will have both His will and way with regards to such things and I'll keep trying to vote people into office I think can help.

Paul B.


Chuck Andrews said...


Excellent article with an apropos comparison to a former political environment in our history. I couldn't agree more with the concept of disagreeing without being disagreeable. It appears to me that the lack of respect among opposing political views has quickly disintegrated among so many. Unfortunately, included in that lack of respect are ungracious Christians.

Another comparison in recent history is the leadership vacuum that was created in the moral decline of the 1960's and 1970's. In my opinion it was unfortunate that that vacuum was filled by the movement called The Moral Majority, which caused great division in the Christian community by equating being Christian with being Republican. Prayerfully, that history will not be repeated.

You stated, "apart from the production of another civil war, which is highly unlikely and will not happen." I pray you are right. I'm not as confident in that as you but I sure hope you are right.

Anyway, thank you for voicing Part 1 & 2 and it encourages me to pray, wait, and vote. In the meantime trust our Sovereign Lord no matter what happens.


Paul Burleson said...


Thanks for an outstanding comment as well. You could NOT be more on target with the "Moral Majority" in my estimation.

Aussie John said...


Thank you for a most helpful discussion for a "furriner" such as I, who looks on with furrowed brow at what I see happening in a nation the whole world once looked up to.

Our recently deposed government led by Julia Gillard seemed to be very much of the same ilk as that you folk are saddled with.

We are yet to see what our new government can do: somehow I think not much quickly because of the horrendous debt they have inherited, which the taxpayers have to settle.

Methinks that we are all in for an economic hard road, at least for a few years.

I'm certainly of the same mind as yourself on the Isarael/Palestine issue.

Steve Miller said...


I eagerly awaited your recent post after reading part 1. What I read does not surprise me at all, it just reveals what I have known about your for many years. You love your country, those who serve and have served and sacrificed, and yet your love for the Father and the furtherance of His kingdom is your true motivation. So when our "elected" leadership goes in a direction opposite the Kingdom or in some cases shakes their fist at the creator or governs as if they have the final word it can become very disheartening or downright frustrating. I can handle a leader who is genuine in seeking prayers of the people like Truman, but may make many mistakes versus one who arrogantly says God bless the USA and yet shows no sign of one knowing what that relationship with God looks like and then expects me to accept style over substance.

I love reading the biographical history of our founding fathers. Perfect they were not, theologically on track not all of them, but they knew where their strength lies and it was not in them but their creator. You can't read their writings and miss it. The problem today is we have missed it because we never embraced it, historically, politically, and more so spiritually. When we as Christians are in this group then we tend to get what we elect and wonder what went wrong.

Don't mean to ramble but when I compare what I see today in so many of our elected officials to what our nation started with in its founding, no wonder the term amateur arises. Give me leaders led by The Lord acting as statesmen not politicians and yet also knowing God is the final arbitrator and one who is sovereign in all matters.

As a final thought, I believe I heard Chuck Colson once say after a bitter defeat for values, " we, as Christians, have enlisted for the duration, for the furtherance of the truth." We have no other options.

Thanks Paul


Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

I think your assessment here..."Methinks that we are all in for an economic hard road, at least for a few years." spot on.


What a compelling comment. Thanks so much.