By Jeff Ziegler
Published November 1, 2000
In scrutinizing the orgiastic exclamations of America’s political commentators, I am dismayed by the lack of critical thought and the convoluted reasoning so consistently displayed by the national media both electronic and via the printed page.
While media gurus on rare occasion give some tacit acknowledgment to the notion “ideas have consequences,” this lofty ideal is generally overshadowed by a folksy egalitarianism that sets raw emotion as the dominant impulse in national politics. In this sense, the modern media culture doesn’t even field an objective humanistic social-political agenda. Hence, we as reformers who often posit our biblical ideal as the antithesis to Humanism, are put in the unenviable position of having to inform the humanist as to the pinions of his own beliefs in order to articulate its persuasive defeat.
To modern media politicos, subjective warm fuzzies carry greater sway than objective policy. This was recently illustrated in Ohio with the endorsement by a major newspaper of a liberal female judge for the Ohio Supreme Court. That they endorsed a liberal judicial activist is not the great wonder but instead the rationale or lack thereof in doing so. The newspaper in question, had over the years, consistently opposed the statist and tyrannical views of this particular judge. Yet, when it was time to proffer endorsements in the latest election cycle, the newspaper enthusiastically endorsed the same wayward woman! The editorial staff lionized her as a judge who renders her decisions with “fearlessness and total passion” and fully ignored the injurious consequences of her judicial oppression which they had only recently opposed.
Such schizophrenic behavior is not confined to Ohio newspapers. In our current national crises regarding the Presidential election, the national media has passed some surreal boundary. Emotionalism marked by hourly polls has overshadowed all concerns for the Constitution, the thoughts of the Founders, or the objectivity of the rule of law. It matters not to the media culture whether the candidate is a socialist, a communist, or a fascist, all is acceptable as long as there is a demonstrative gush of total passion, and mercurial emotion. In other words, subjectivism rules supreme!
The media boys just don’t get it. Public officials make public policy. Those policies have real consequences which are beyond polite debate fraternities and stale, moribund think tanks. In the case of abortion, demonstrated sincerity on the part of the judges who enacted Roe v. Wade is of little consequence to the 40 million babies who have been slaughtered by their “total passion.” Raw emotion, while an underdeveloped humanistic urge, is just as dangerous, if not more so, than its more intellectually advanced and philosophical cousin. The challenge for the reformer is in cutting through the schizophrenia of hyper-emotionalism and exposing the lie of the humanistic ideal with the objective truth of God’s inscripturated will. This is not an easy task and is akin to nailing “Jell-O” to the wall. Indeed, when examining the national media and its political discourse, it has devolved, to coin a phrase, “from the vertebrate to the jellyfish.”
Rev. Jeffrey A. Ziegler, the president of the National Reform Association, is also founder and president of Christian Endeavors and Reformation Bible Institute, and co-founder and moderator of The Association of Free Reformed Churches, and a minister at Shiloh Christian Church in Leroy, Ohio. He has lectured in over 600 churches and ministerial conferences in North America, Great Britain, and Germany. Jeff is also president of The Continental Group, a think tank for political activism. His articles have appeared in the Chalcedon Report, and The Christian Statesman. He can be reached at 35155 Beachpark Drive, Eastlake, Ohio 44095. E-mail: email@example.com.
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
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