As you know, my wife, Carol, prepares a prayer alert about once a month. I hope you will share Carol's thoughts with your friends and fellow worshippers. Thank you for taking an interest in her monthly devotion. -- Gary
If an important election is not on the horizon it is easy to be complacent about the ebb and flow of politics. We get busy with family and work responsibilities and find it easy to disengage. Rest assured, those who do not share our values do not disengage. As Gary has often said, for many leftists, government is their god. It is times like these when much groundwork is being laid behind the scenes.
Right now the headlines of the day provide many opportunities to make an impact on issues important to us. As we talk to neighbors, co-workers and fellow men and women of faith, we can build relationships and find common ground on issues that are playing out in the news but that also have long term political ramifications. Thought provoking conversations can lead to re-evaluations of long held beliefs as people who are not politically active have their eyes opened. In fact, three major issues making headlines now should worry the other side if regular folks comprehend the ramifications and change their views.
- The trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia is a prime example. I will spare you too many details, but the following quote from a Weekly Standard article states: "Gosnell stands before a jury accused of murdering newborn babies over the course of a long, gruesome career as a doctor specializing in late-term abortion. These were infants old enough to 'scream' and 'jump', according to court testimony, when Gosnell or one of his employees stabbed scissors into their necks."
It was the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision by the Supreme Court, not a vote by Congress or the American people, that made abortion legal across the country at any time during the pregnancy and for virtually any reason. Though a few restrictions have been enacted, the country as a whole has not had a national conversation on this issue. For those who feel that changed political views will only come from changing hearts and minds, what better conversation starter is there than this trial, this doctor and his inhumane practice? Is this not sufficient to prompt anyone with a heart and conscience to re-examine their pro-abortion views?
- Another issue in the news is the broad societal impact of the same-sex marriage debate. What started out as a supposedly benign argument for tolerance sought by the homosexual rights movement has now moved at lightning speed to an issue of religious freedom for many who believe in traditional biblical values.
Business owners in states allowing same-sex marriage are being fined or run out of business. They are having to choose between practicing their faith and remaining in business. The original call for tolerance has morphed into shutting down the religious liberty of wide swaths of America. The conversation on the real-life impact of this issue gives all of us an opportunity to change hearts and minds separate from election year discussions.
- One final example would be Catholic hospitals and other institutions, such as Hobby Lobby, forced to choose between their convictions and being forced to implement Obamacare and its coverage of contraceptive services. Frankly, all men and women of faith should place themselves in common cause with practicing Catholics.
Add to these examples stories of athletic wins being disqualified because of a casual point above to the Creator or parents being shocked at the content of children's textbooks or classroom or homework assignments and you can see that the fields are ripe for discussions of current events.
Pray for time to really think about having an impact on those in your circle of influence. Ask God to put the headlines into a big picture focus. Ask Him to open your eyes to see how society got to this point on abortion and the current affirmation of same-sex marriage and to look to the future to see how this all plays out for us and for our children and grandchildren. Pray that our Heavenly Father would grant you wisdom, judgment, discernment, and the opportunity to impact the thinking of others as you participate in casual, non-confrontational conversations. And, pray that you would also be given such opportunities within your own family.
I thank God for your desire to be used by Him to make an impact for our shared values in an effort to change hearts and minds totally separate from an election year agenda.