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After the election

DALLAS (BP)–Following every election, my former boss, the late Christian talk radio pioneer Marlin Maddoux said the same thing. He found a different way to say it every time, of course; but it was essentially this: After elections, Christians tend to drop out of politics.

If our guys and gals win, we get complacent. We expect that our agenda will certainly be enacted simply because we have elected the right people. On the other hand, if our favorites lose, we get discouraged. We pull back into the pews, and into family life. This is not just true of presidential elections, but elections to all levels of government service.

“Why is it,” Marlin would ask his audience, “that even the believers who get really involved in campaigns, don’t stay the course? Why don’t they take the next logical step and hold those in elected office accountable to what they were elected to do?”

Marlin is gone now. The Lord took him home after a lifetime of hard work in the culture wars. But his message is timeless: The Christian influence is necessary for good government. It’s important not just to elect good and moral people, but to hold them to their promises and keep them from drinking the Potomac Kool-Aid. And, when candidates we oppose are elected anyway, we should play offense.

There’s an understandable discouragement that comes with a major loss, but we should not let that immobilize us. Instead, we should stay informed and support and encourage elected officials who are in the trenches fighting bad legislation.

Never has this been more important than after this particular election. The financial bailout brought premature pronouncements of the death of economic conservatism. And the election results have pundits wondering whether small-government conservatives will be able to regroup to fight the battles to come. The country is approaching a tipping point. When the non-taxpaying sector of the economy approaches 50 percent, it will become nearly impossible to re-implement the conservative principles under which we have prospered.

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Are we there? Not yet. But, in order to make sure the government ownership of private assets and institutions is temporary, we must take every opportunity to emphasize that America functions best when people work for what they consume and think of God, not government, as their provider.

Policies and laws dealing with the sanctity of human life and marriage go to the core of who we are as a nation. Hard-fought restrictions on abortion hang in the balance under the next administration. So does the institution of marriage. The successes of protecting marriage in California, Florida and Arizona demonstrate what happens when people of faith get their backs up and take action. Thirty states now have marriage amendments. The toughest battles remain. If Christians are not the watchmen and the diligent workers, who will be?

Cultural commentator Michael Craven asks the question: “Have we become unfit for democracy?” Only if Christians give up. Believers should involve themselves in the political process because our system was designed to operate best in the hands of religious people. Our constitution was written based upon the truth that man is inherently sinful and government must act as a restraint upon human nature. The less religious and moral the citizenry, the bigger and more powerful the government must be to control economic and moral chaos.

God is sovereign. He orders the events of history. Proverbs 8:15-16 says: “By me kings reign … By me princes rule.” The Lord raises leaders. He brings them down. The election results are no surprise to Him. He has a plan and we should look to Him for our next steps.
Penna Dexter is a conservative activist and an announcer on the syndicated pro-life radio program “Life on the Line” (information available at www.lifeontheline.com). She currently serves as a consultant for KMA Direct Communications in Plano, Texas. She formerly was a co-host of Marlin Maddoux’s “Point of View” syndicated radio program.

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  • Penna Dexter