A couple weeks ago I decided to “like” several US Senators on Facebook. Specifically, it was fourteen of the sixteen Republican Senators that voted, in contradiction of their oath of office, on a resolution regarding gun control.
Since that time I have also “friended” Bryan Hyde (StGeorgeNews.com and host of 1-4 pm program “Perspectives” on 1450 KZNU). Today Bryan had posted a video of Mike Vanderboegh giving a speech regarding gun control. His flatter of Mike’s speech was infectious to a guy like me who always loves to listen to a good motivational speech. So, I listened.
Far better than I can summarize Mr. Vanderboegh boldly stated that he was a follower of the Constitution and laws that violate the constitution are void. He then confessed to having violated some “void” laws. He went further. He confessed that he intended to violate other “void” laws. For those who are alarmed at that behavior he cited a Judge’s ruling that stated that a law that violated the Constitution was in fact void. That, however, is not the intent of this commentary.
What is relevant and consequently the intent of this commentary is that Mike Vanderboegh resolutely “Confessed His Conviction”.
Confession of Conviction!
It motivates other people to believe, to be emotional, to laugh or weep. It motivates people occasionally to act! It always invites others to confess their convictions.
Through history we have witnessed confessions of people with conviction. They have changed the world. Imagine standing beside Patrick Henry when he said,
“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace – but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
He sort of just “laid it on the line”, didn’t he. That is why his words are still quoted over 200 years later. He had a conviction and he confessed boldly, as did most of the founders.
Ghandi was another such man. He was constantly putting his own life at peril…for the things he was convicted to, the freedom and character of his people. From the movie that bears his name Ben Kingsley did a remarkable portraying Ghandi. I enjoyed the movie and his role. However, for me the most moving scene was of his followers that caught his conviction and turned it into their own confession. There is a point where hundreds of his devotees walk forward, without violence, and are beaten to the side of the road by their countrymen. Yet, almost astonishingly, they kept coming. In the end we know that their conviction, and willingness to confess it boldly, won the day.
I began this essay talking about “friending” several senators on Facebook. Friending may be a misnomer. In actuality I wanted access to their pages so that I could express my profound disappointment in their failure to honor the oath of office which they had taken. I was not alone. Dozens of fellow Americans used sound logic to absurd insults toward these elected officials to convey their frustration.
But, here is what I noticed. In the following days senator after senator used their Facebook presence in an attempt to convince the reading public of their great value as leaders. One senator, Pat Toomey, from Pennsylvania has very prominently tried to sell himself to voter by describing all of the wonderful things his field staff is doing. Senator Lindsey Graham, on another hand has been posting repeatedly his attacks on President Obama, because the Chief Executive is doing precisely the same things which Graham himself did. Senator Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire, is evading scrutiny by lauding war veterans at every turn.
Well, the series of dodges go on by these elected folks. Although some of them speak up in opposition to a political opponent I have not seen any of them truly stand up FOR principles. I see no confession of conviction by any of them.
Now, my attack may seem to be focused on the senate. However, we see the same lack of integrity in the president. On the one hand we hear his promises of catching people, whom he refuses to refer to as terrorists, who killed four Americans. Yet, on the other hand he offers no opinion about a doctor that slaughtered thousands of children. One on hand he seeks to restrict Americans of their constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms. Yet, he then opts to arm those with a commitment to kill Americans. He spend public fund on himself and his family without reservation. Then he turns about and attempt to defend cutting essential and rightful government services. He speaks with a forked tongue.
Congress has the lowest approval rating in its history. The president’s approval rating is higher than congress, but only because he has the centralized effort and resources to focus his message. I believe that the people doubt elected officials in general!
I also believe that they feel this way because these “leaders” have a lack of conviction. If they are not lacking in conviction, than they are abundant in compromising the confession of their conviction. That is why the people cannot find full faith and confidence in them. That is why government is failing miserably to unite a nation, and, why the government officials are contributing to the disarray of America.
Friends and relatives had told me “you can’t say that”, it might be offensive. On the contrary, “I must say that”, not to offend but rather to be just. It is my sincere desire that our elected officials will discover their conviction, whether they agree with mine or not. Then, I hope they will be willing to confess those convictions. We do not need another Patrick Henry, George Washington, or even Ronald Reagan. We are in desperate need of men willing to stand at the helm of the ship of state, when fury rages around them, prepared with the conviction to sail on confessing their confidence in course to follow.