By Jeff Ziegler
Published March 1, 2002
It stealthily slipped through the House of Representatives in the dead of night at 2:35 AM Eastern Time, when most of us were fast asleep. It was then our illustrious Congress passed the Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform bill. Now to the armchair inquirer who wishes a more pristine and less corrupted political process, this would seem to be a noble gesture. Unfortunately, Shays-Meehan is fraught with language that will severely curtail political speech and place a chilling effect upon the First Amendment of the Constitution. This was cognitively understood by all who voted in the affirmative for this onerous legislation, and thus brings into immediate question the motives for such actions.
Shays-Meehan is not a liberal or conservative issue. It is a case of the rulers against the ruled, of incumbent career politicians consolidating power and silencing potential adversaries. These ensconced politicos think of themselves as an indispensable element in the grand scheme of history, and hence, in order to maintain their office, are willing to trample under foot the very Constitution they were sworn to protect. While delusional as they may be, they are nonetheless men most dangerous to all things pertaining to the life and greatness of the Republic. These so-called “public servants” have succumbed to the “brass ring” syndrome and its intoxicating ale of power, intrigue, and self-aggrandizement.
A true statesman can ill-afford to be seduced by such perilous thinking, and yet robust examples of law-based ethical statecraft are very few and far between. Even the notion of statecraft itself seems to be outside the scope of popular political culture and the dazed ranks of the media. Hence, even well-meaning saints are susceptible to “offers” and quick promotions at the expense of accountability to the Constitution and, most importantly, to God. The temptation to tone down immutable moral positions, to wink at disloyalty to the nation, or to be “bought” by money or fame are constant, real, and present dangers. Yet, accountability to constituents, criticism from media or rival interests, debate, and the competition of ideas are all tools guaranteed by the First Amendment to help ensure that absolute unchallenged power will not corrupt a particular office holder. These basic examples of political discourse will all go silent under Shays-Meehan.
Those who would hold power at all costs hide in the shadows of campaign finance reform and its high sounding egalitarian words. Demagogic in their nature, insecure in their person, inflated in ego, these rueful magisterial creatures actually believe that we need them! Perhaps there may even be a few sincere, albeit naive, congressmen who with all the noble intentions in the world voted for this insidious bill. However, while naivete may be cute in a child, it is deadly for a statesman—especially one that would consider himself to be “Christian.”
The true Christian statesman must eschew childish thinking. He must be aware, alert, and have a mature acuity for his surroundings and the tactics of wickedness. His discernment must be properly exercised by reason of use and circumscribed by sound theology, applications of biblical law, and cogent understanding of the Constitution. He must develop the capacity for strategic thought so as to define the battlefield rather than allow his ideological enemies to define it for him. To this end, he must have an overarching, unflinching and godly political social theory. If he enters the public arena without one, someone else, or some special interest will be all too glad to provide one for him.
Unfortunately none of the aforementioned criteria is of much concern to the modern politico. Shays-Meehan was spawned by low-minded politicians who see politics as something of a soap opera. A soap opera filled with personal grudges, rumors, innuendos, petty self-centered tricksters, and paranoid weak personalities. In this play, Shays-Meehan supporters seek a vehicle to come out on top of this pathetic rabble.
At a minimum, Shays-Meehan will make for obnoxiously arrogant public servants. When played out to its furthest extent, such machinations lead to the reinforcement of the strong by the weak, the socialization of the unsociable by the antisocial, and the suppression of individualism by individualists. In other words, the creation of a great chasm between the rulers and the ruled. Such are the dangers of Shays-Meehan! Such corruptions are the bedrock for tyranny.
Rev. Jeffrey A. Ziegler, the president of the National Reform Association, is also founder and president of Christian Endeavors and Reformation Bible Institute, and host of “Christian Statesman Radio.” Jeff is also president of The Continental Group, a think tank for political activism. He can be reached at 35155 Beachpark Drive, Eastlake, Ohio 44095. E-mail: email@example.com.
Your comments are welcome!
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
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With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
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By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
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