By Doug Newman
September 16, 2008
"I have labored
to no purpose;
I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.
Yet what is due me is in the LORD's hand,
and my reward is with my God."
-- Isaiah 49:4
I want to spend more time with my family.
Wait a minute. I can’t use that one. I have no wife or kids and my nearest relatives are 1000 miles away.
Let me think of another.
Here is what I will tell them: I am starting rehab. Yeah, yeah. I am starting rehab!
No. I can’t use that one either as I have nothing to rehab from.
Oh, well. I guess I will just have to tell you all the truth.
I had sensed it coming, but I did not expect it to go down quite this way.
My last piece on why Sarah Palin should step aside gathered more attention than almost anything else I have written to date. I almost didn’t broadcast it as I had thought most people would be burned out on the issue.
Well, I was wrong. Not only was it stressful for me to write, but the e-mail response was overwhelming. It took a week to answer all the worthwhile responses I received.
Don’t feel sorry for me, but I was physically sick over the whole mess for four days. All I can say is that my immune system crapped out leaving me with the worst allergies I have had in years as well as a short bout with the flu.
Overall, my health is excellent. My weight is down 18 pounds in recent months. I exercise very vigorously at the gym three times a week. While I have a few dietary vices, I avoid a lot of bad stuff too. My illness was very, very temporary.
I have been frustrated in my blogging (1) and political pursuits for quite some time. In the world of politics, the lies anger me and the truth depresses me. Too much attention to it can really wear on a person. This is why I do not pay nearly as much attention as many people think I do. It just turns the brain into apple sauce.
I have been sounding the alarm since late 1991, when I realized that the Republicans were just as dangerous as the Democrats. I figured that the least I could do would be to withdraw my vote and start telling others to do likewise. Hence, I registered as a Libertarian and remained there for 15 years. I re-registered as a Republican to support Ron Paul in late 2007. (2)
I never obsessed about Bill Clinton. Yes, he was a bad guy and a bad president. However, while he was a problem, he was not The Problem. The defining moment of the 1996 presidential race was when Bob Dole told us that, if Bill Clinton were re-elected, the FEDGOV would grow at 20 percent while, if Bob Dole -- remember the third-person thing? -- were elected the FEDGOV would grow at only 14 percent. Some choice.
(I did not really understand the New World Order at the time. However, I did believe in the existence of a shadow government and that things were heading in a very perilous direction.)
Ever since GWB said something about Jesus back in 2000, I have been warning people, and especially my fellow evangelical Christians, to beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing atop the Republican hierarchy as well as the unholy alliance that had developed between evangelicals and Republicans.
It is not as if I haven’t had results. On an average day, I receive 100 hits on my web page. Last Saturday, I received 625, as well as another 750 or so at another web forum where I post my work. You wouldn’t believe not only the volume of e-mail I receive, but who and where it comes from.
Since 2000, it has not been about party politics, but the blind loyalty so many people have toward their party. Starting in 1986, when I became a Christian, I was heavily involved in the evangelical community in Phoenix, Tucson and Denver. Not only were large suburban “megachurches” my places of worship, but they also were, in many ways, my family setting. I am the only Christian in my family and everyone else is east of the Mississippi River.
There was always a drumbeat about the Republican Party in these places. However, things really went crazy with the election of GWB. As Chuck Baldwin has said, it is as if evangelicals wanted to add Bush to the Holy Trinity. This partisanship has poisoned the evangelical movement.
These people properly saw the evil in Bill Clinton lying under oath about a wingding with an intern. However, they are in total denial about the evil of the Bush-McCain agenda of unprovoked war, torture, warrantless spying and searches, rogue police and guilt and imprisonment without trial. The Prince of Peace became the prince of war and conquest.
And these “values voters” would have you think the way Christians should influence their society is from the top down through politics. One of the best one liners I have heard in recent years is “values voters have strange values.” Because of this baseless infatuation with Bush and the Republicans, too many secular people now think of Christians as warmongers, cultural control freaks and partisan jerks. This is not the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible tells Christians time and again to discern their world and to stand firm against evil. Yet spiritual blindness has manifested itself in an obsession with party politics that has run rampant in the evangelical community. I have been heartsick over it for quite some time. For a few days last week, I was physically sick.
And, try as I and many others may, these people just do not want to listen. It as is if they want to be lied to! I should heed Scripture on this as Paul prophesied such a time:
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. – II Timothy 4:3-4
Perhaps I have been too worldly, expecting results I cannot attain. We all know that insanity happens when you do the same thing over and over and expect different results. The problem wasn’t in my activity, but in my expectations. As John Quincy Adams once said, "Duty is ours. Results are God's." I am just exhausted, run down, hung down, brung down, burned out, spent, cashed, thrashed and just plain sick and tired of the whole wretched mess.
In any case, I will be stepping aside from any serious political or blogging activity for the next few months. It has just become unhealthy for me.
I have one project I need to follow through with. In early October, I plan to release the text of an Election Day church sermon I would like to preach. It will mention no party, candidate or contemporary political figure.
Please keep me ON your lists. I am not going anywhere. I just need a break.
If you have a question you want to ask, send me an e-mail and I will to try and help you.
The Ron Paul campaign was a special time. It reassured me that there are millions of Americans who are just plain fed up with runaway government and encroachments on their freedoms. They simply no longer buy the lies foisted on them by Big Government, Big Media, Big Business and Big Religion. It also gave me hope that there are millions more out there that are just waiting for someone to reach out to them with the freedom message. Just because I may not be very active in cyberspace doesn’t mean I won’t be quietly active in other ways.
It is not just Ron Paul’s Revolution. It is yours and mine. It is not about a man, but about a set of ideas. America has two constitutions: one is on paper and the other lies in the hearts and minds of the people. And if “we the people” are not vigilant in defense of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, this noble document becomes just a piece of paper.
The future of the freedom movement lies with we the people. I will be back in this fight. I just don't know quite when. I am not sure what form my activism will take, but don’t count me out. Just consider me sidelined for a time.
I would be remiss if I did not say one other thing about the Ron Paul campaign: I met a lot of awesome people and made some really great friends. I am very thankful that all of you are in my life. We are going to need each other more and more in the coming days and years.
May God enrich your lives!
Please do NOT post on your pages, blogs, etc. Thanks!!!
(1) Okay, so it is not officially a "blog". But this is what people call my web page.
(2) I have no interest in Libertarian activism right now either.
A reader sent me this quote:
Christian men are but men. They may have a bad liver, or an attack of bile, or some trial, and then they get depressed if they have ever so much grace. But what then? Well, then you can get joy and peace through believing. I am the subject of depressions of spirit so fearful that I hope none of you ever gets to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to. But I always get back again by this: I know I trust Christ. I have no reliance but in Him. Because He lives, I shall live also, and I spring to my legs again and fight with my depressions of spirit and my downcast soul and get the victory through it. So may you do, and so you must, for there is no other way of escaping from it. In your most depressed seasons, you are to get joy and peace through believing. -- Charles Spurgeon
It's uncanny that the very things you write in your "blog" are the same things my wife and I discuss at the dinner table before we even read your post.
We have no hope or belief in our government for the first time in our lives. This does help us focus more on the only real hope, Jesus Christ though.
Thank you for all you do. Keep bringing forth the truth. -- MS in North Carolina
I only wanted to say that God doesn't need a large "pivot" of faithful believers to preserve a nation, just a "pivot." And you mention the millions who love freedom -- which comes from God -- although freedom must be defended by men to be kept. As with Sodom and Gomorrah, a city of approx. 100,000? people, God would have spared it if there had only been 5 believers!! I am in the pivot and as long as I keep my eyes on God and duplicate His very character in my life, well, whatever happens will be OK because He has allowed it and "in all things give thanks." If God allows something, He has a reason, whether that reason is for personal or national discipline, or for spiritual blessings, or for spiritual growth for a beliver or salvation for an unbeliever, or for His glory. Being thankful in ALL things is not the first thing a human being is wont to do, but it develops a real attitude of gratitude that allows one to function well knowing that God is in control of history, yet is a gentleman when it comes to freewill, He will not force individuals or nations.
You and I and possibly a few million out of what, 360 million, are in the pivot. This nation may or may not be preserved. I love this country and I love its history and founding. But God holds the future and it is possible that we may be soon living in a time of great testing and trials and even hardship if this stiff-necked country of ignorant and deceived evangelicals continues on its arrogant path. Nothing makes one more stupid than arrogance. And God hates idolatry whether it is specific or general, which would be anything that takes priority over a vital relationship with Him. And evangelicals have certainly elevated politics to a position higher than the accurate teaching of the Scriptures and their leaders have become experts at twisting them.
Well, of course I am saddened to hear that your wonderful site and superb writing are on hold for a bit, but it is probably the right thing to do, after all. Even God rested on the 7th day.
That said, as soon as you are able to leap back into the fray, we few libertarian Christians will welcome you back with some loud Alleluias!
Be assured that the good work you have done is truly God's work, and that it has had effects. We Christians must keep in mind the "butterfly effect", in which the slightest whisper of the truth can eventually cause a typhoon of God's holy Word.
I, too, am the sole Christian in my immediate family. And I, too, have just about broken with the church into which I was baptised back in 1984. So even in these things you are not alone. -- MM in CanadaListen to your body. On the day after Labor Day I had a heart attack. I am still out of work. I should have listened more carefully to mine. -- BW in Pennsylvania
Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman