I’ve taken the last couple weeks off from writing my weekly column because; well – frankly, I was just tired. Weary of the relentless cultural debate, I wanted to rest a bit. I wanted to pretend that all was well with the world and that I could simply disengage. Feeling a bit like Rodney King, and wishing that “we could all just get along,” I needed a break. But in spite of my “conflict fatigue,” the news didn’t stop. In fact, while I was sitting poolside, sipping an iced tea, the “wheel in the sky kept on turning” (to paraphrase the eminent philosopher, Steve Perry, of the 1970s rock band; Journey).
During my hiatus, Planned Parenthood continued to kill babies and sell their hands, hearts and heads for profit. Democrats and Republicans continued to harden their hearts for power. Donald Trump continued to be rude and Hillary Clinton continued to deceive. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell continued to pretend and President Obama continued to golf. Debt continued to rise while our currency continued to decline. The courts continued to deconstruct the First Amendment. Religious freedom continued to erode. Marriage continued to mean nothing. Sex continued to mean everything. Lion’s lives continued to matter while babies’ lives continued to be taken. ISIS and Iran continued their conquests while the West continued its capitulation. Israel continued to shudder in disbelief. The wheel in the sky kept on turning…
This past week, Oklahoma Wesleyan University hosted a town hall meeting with Senator Ted Cruz, and Congressman Jim Bridenstine on our campus. Some have asked why. Well, first, it is because I take my obligation to liberal arts education seriously and I think the local university should be a showcase for an open and robust exchange of the ideas that matter most to our culture. In that spirit, I have asked several regional and national leaders, of various different persuasions, over the years to come to OKWU and share their best thinking with our students and our community. But there is a second and perhaps more important reason. My primary motive for hosting Cruz and Bridenstine is found in the words of the Great 19th Century attorney and reformer, Charles Finney:
“ If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours… If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, [we are] responsible for it. The time has come that [we] must vote for honest men… Instead of voting for a man because he belongs to [our] party, [we] must find out whether he is honest and upright, and fit to be trusted… [We] must act right or the country will be ruined. God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless [we] will take right ground… It seems sometimes as if the foundations of the nation were becoming rotten, and [we] seem to act as if… God did not see… But I tell you, he does see it, and he will bless or curse this nation, according to the course [we] take.”
Yes the wheel in the sky keeps on turning – the news doesn’t stop. I believe, however, the direction of this wheel and “course we take” in the days ahead will be guided by the leaders we elect. If we continue to choose charlatans, “the country will be ruined” and the “fault is ours.” But, if we instead elect “honest and upright” men and women of character, who are “fit to be trusted,” maybe, just maybe, the wheel can be turned and we will be saved from the cliffs of destruction that lie before us.
“As I looked… I saw a wheel…” Ezekiel 1:15