Character versus Ideology

During the Bill Clinton campaign for president with all the evidence of his womanizing ways the mantra of the media was that character didn’t count. They were willing to overlook his character flaws and to encourage the American public to do the same because of his ideology and experience pushing a progressive agenda while Governor of Arkansas. So over and over they repeated that character wasn’t important. Apparently, enough people believed that lie and he was elected president.

The result of that vote brought eight years of lawsuits, corruption, embarrassment and dishonor to the position of President as he lied to Congress and the American people. Whatever the weakness of the candidate the media and elite in this country support they create a mantra that distracts from the truth or encourages us to ignore the weakness.

In 1789 Noah Webster said: “In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look to his character.”

The Founders and Framers of the United States Government had great wisdom and valued honor and character more than political position. They understood that with our Constitutional Republic we could not survive unless we, as a people, elected leaders who had character and integrity. Unfortunately we have four generations who have been raised without being taught these values and thus are voting out of self-interest and not what is best for the nation as a whole. As a result we end up with short-sighted politicians that never solve any problems.

The great downfall of this nation occurred when we allowed the teaching of traditional values and character to be removed from our schools. Prior to 1960 it was the norm in our schools to start the day with daily Bible reading, a prayer, and the Pledge of Allegiance. Our schools also posted the Ten Commandments. As a result the problems being experienced today in our schools were nonexistent. Students treated each other and their teachers with respect unlike today.

However, things are beginning to swing back the other way. The pendulum has swung so far left that people have reached their tipping point and are beginning to wake up and reject the negative cultural shifts brought on by these failed ideologies. That is good news.

Those who have decided that having men and women leaders who possess character and the ability to make decisions based on principle rather than what is convenient or easy need to stand up and speak up. We need to stress character first in our families so that our children and grandchildren have a solid example to follow. Helping them understand the difference between the culture of relativism versus character development and the importance of truth will have a lasting impact on the culture.

Proverbs 22:1 should be posted in every home, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver or gold.” Silver and gold are fickle and will pass away but having a good reputation of being honorable and true to your word will last. Being a parent is not for the faint-hearted or lazy because there are so many lessons to be taught on how to live a life that brings honor to God and you as the parents. Just because everyone else behaves with no respect for authority is not an excuse to say, “Oh, teenagers! What can you do?”

Our culture allows for many excuses but in the end when we stand before Jesus we will be held accountable for not standing strong as parents and teaching truth, integrity and respect for authority. Without basic Judeo-Christian values being held in high esteem and taught at home we cannot be a self-governing people. Governing ourselves is the basis of all governments. Without the ability to govern ourselves we cannot maintain a Constitutional Republic.

When there are no absolutes and everyone does what is right in their own eyes government, of necessity, grows in order to maintain order from all the negative consequences due to lack of self-control. Consequences such as the destruction of the family through no-fault divorce, illegitimate births, drugs and fatherlessness etc. – the list seems to be endless.

The Founders envisioned a nation with limited government that would allow the opportunity for citizens to follow their dreams and pursue liberty in the choices they make. This requires a government that is small/limited in order to provide the atmosphere for all to achieve the American dream (Liberty) without violating their conscience. The Founders purposely kept the Constitution brief by assigning a limited list of responsibilities for the federal government. They believed most of power should remain in the states.

Unfortunately, corrupted people have corrupted the American system of government at all levels. Therefore, character and integrity matter when choosing candidates for office – from local elected officials all the way up to the federal level. My prayer is that we all pay attention and notice when the media, elitist and establishment try to make light of these time honored values and purposely reject their lies, even speaking out against them. In other words it is time to take a stand and speak out.

Dinner Table Discussion: What is the best way to teach character? Whose responsibility is it and why?