I believe America and Western culture in general are in trouble right now. The real problems have little or nothing to do with which politician or which political party holds sway in any given place. The challenges are far deeper and more serious than any of our politicians seem able to grasp. Ours is a time of deep cultural upheaval, more serious than any since the Renaissance.The Enlightenment is at an end. Modernism is dead and we don’t know what tomorrow will look like.
I so wish I could say that the church, with a biblical clarity of vision, is sounding the trumpet and leading our culture into the future. But I can’t say that. We Christians hardly know what the questions are because we have created for ourselves safe little ghettos where we are sheltered from the real challenges the West is facing.
I’m stuck, too. I don’t have any great wisdom or prophetic powers. I am sophomoric, sure of what’s wrong with everybody else but not able to see much of what is right. I keep hoping that if I look at enough problems, I’ll see a solution or two. And, by the grace of God, that may yet happen.
Meanwhile, I just keep seeing wrong-headed Christians who are shaped more by culture than Scripture. And that makes me sad.
An online article from today’s USA TODAY looks at Mike Huckabee’s views as he begins his second presidential bid. Like much of what I hear from nearly every political leader, most of what Huckabee is saying is just old ideas, recycled and as unexamined as ever.
Huckabee wants us to believe the economy is in terrible shape, so he tells us there are 93 million Americans without jobs. True, but most of those are retired or are students or simply don’t want jobs. Only 6.1 million want a job but do not have one. That makes Huckabee’s exaggeration so great as to be fairly labeled a bald faced lie, doesn’t it? As Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee signed 94 tax cuts into law. He brags about that without mentioning that he also signed 21 tax increases into law. These resulted in a gross increase in taxation of $505.1 million.
He also brags that during his tenure, family income rose by 50%, which would be fantastic progress. Adjusted for inflation, however, the increase was only 9%, which is quite modest for the 12 year period.
Huckabee repeats the common claim that Obamcare has robbed Medicare of $700 billion. In fact, the long-term effect of Obamacare is projected to substantially increase the health of Medicare. But, like most of his fellow Republicans, long-term thinking is not one of Huckbee’s skills. Nor does he mention that the few ideas about the budget put forth by Republicans have Medicare numbers almost identical to those in Obamacare.
Yes, I know we are to expect our politicians to be liars but we don’t have to like it. And most certainly, when those leaders claim to be Christians, we have a right to protest long and loud. Which I do!