I'm a southern girl. which is to say Mom and Grandmommie taught me to be socially gracious, pleasant, and complimentary — polite at all cost. Because of their fine examples, my introvert tendencies, and almost 50 years of practice, I'm the Polite Ninja.
Controversy makes my skin crawl, my stomach knot, my blood pressure rise, and both sleep and appetite to evade me. I'm a middle child and, hence, a people-pleaser. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, I don't know how to do politics publicly.
But I'm beginning to take issue with my generations-long "polite at any cost" path. The price is too high now, because this is not my grandmother's America anymore.
Our nation moves farther and farther left. For example, the Democrat Party of President Kennedy was more conservative than the Republican Party of today. Socially we are going the way of post-Christian Europe. Economically, we are moving toward socialism, a philosophy and social experiment called evil by our beloved President Reagan, which doesn't seem like ancient American history to me. The drift has felt, until recently anyway, like one inconsequential Conservative concession at a time, none of which was foundation-shaking alone.
I am the frog in the proverbial kettle.
When you add them all together and top the boiling concoction with President Obama's most recent executive orders and SCOTUS's recent rulings, we are likely witnessing the end of marriage, family, and gender as defined by a biblical worldview (historically the view of Americans) in American society. Have we learned nothing from the fall of Rome?
Christians are to blame. Me, to be exact, and maybe you, too. I have done a terrible job of passing on my Christian faith and values to those around me. Oh, I've done a superlative job in this with my children and as a leader in my church. But I'm talking about acquaintances, neighbors, store clerks, the mail carrier, and my kids' Geometry teacher and PTO president. In other words, the people with whom I am the Polite Ninja. When I and Christians like me leave a vacuum in a society's values, another worldview is happy to fill the void. So here we are, on the precipice of the systematic dismantling of the nation I love and feel obligated to preserve.
Two of my children are of voting age and neither lived in the Reagan era. Although it doesn't feel like it to some of us, Reagan was a long time ago. We are not that country anymore, and I have been waking up to that hard truth over the last months.
I am part of the generation that birthed a generation who are embracing the very socialism we called evil not so long ago. That, dear friend, is an epic fail.
This season of unorthodox American primary elections tells us we are at a crossroads in our country, and no matter how uncomfortable for me to bring my social engagement to such a place of social faux pas, I am doing it. I am doing so because our son Adrian recently attended a private Christian college where, to my surprise, there are lots of Christian students supporting Bernie Sanders.
The conservative Christian kids are feeling the Bern. Let that sink in. Christian, we are failing.
There are social progressives that label themselves Christians and stand directly opposed to biblical social mores as dictated by God's precepts plainly stated in scripture, whose infallibility we in American Christianity no longer agree upon.
When we abdicate our biblical mandate to pass our faith and our biblical social values to the next generation, we become a godless society and have no one to blame but ourselves.
We have forfeited enough — too much, actually. So I'm coming out of my comfort zone and joining the public discourse.
Social media feels like a safe place to start. I can post thoughts from the distance of my keyboard and my screen and hope to make a difference, but most of my friends are like-minded and that means I'm not converting the views of others to Christian values. But it's a start.
Beyond that, we need to make a difference by socially engaging the people we come into contact with each day one-on-one. For me, face to face is scary.
But if we don't, we may find ourselves not only going the way or Rome, but also the way of ancient Israel.
After Israel wandered in the wilderness for their unbelief, they were about to finally enter the promised land. God warned them that when they entered the land of promise and experienced life blessed of God (That was a good life, indeed!), they would be tempted, in their ease, to forget God.
Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers ... to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery (Deuteronomy 6:10-12).
God commanded Israel to teach his precepts to their sons and daughters, reminded them of his instructions on how to live as a holy society before him in what we know as the book of Deuteronomy. He warned them of an upcoming temptation and not to succumb to it. But succumb they did.
After Israel's godly leader who was valiant and full of faith (Joshua) died, the people buried him in the hill country of Ephraim, and...
All the generations also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord ... (Judges 2:10-11).
I cannot go the way of Israel a a lamb to slaughter. I must resist if there is a shred of hope that it's not too late for America. So I'm getting my brave on and defying my Southern charm and fighting the political and cultural fight. I will do it through social media and in my real life as much and as often as possible, so help me God. And I will need God's help. The Culture Warrior suit makes me sweat.
But it's a suit I will wear because losing our nation to humanism or secularism and nationally turning our back on all God has done and blessed to bring us into this land I have always known as the land of plenty is not a viable option.
I want America to stay great. God has shown societies of people how to do that in his word.
So I want to be Joshua, the scared but faithful man who needed to hear the life-giving words, "Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. do not turn from it to the right or to the left... (Joshua 1:7)."