Duty and Consequences

This week’s radio commentary…

“Elections have consequences.”  It’s almost a cliché today.  But it’s true nonetheless. We’ve been living the results of the November 2, 2010 election for the past seven months. Here in Wisconsin it’s meant unprecedented union protests and media frenzy, a balanced state budget, 13,000 new jobs, more and more balanced school budgets, recall elections; the list goes on.

Perhaps like no other time in our recent history, we’re experiencing how the decisions made in Madison affect us as individuals, families and communities. Public policy is not just a political game—it is a critical component of our society that affects people at every level of their lives. Sometimes, it can even mean life and death, as the legalization of abortion tragically illustrates.

Let’s put this in perspective. The eight senate recall elections we are having this summer are important; they’re incredibly important. I can’t even begin to tell you what the consequences might be if an anti-life, anti-marriage, anti-liberty majority takes over the State Senate come August 16 because the consequences are too numerous to explain in the time we have.

We know, however, that whatever the outcome of the recalls may be, we do not put our hope and trust in government—whether it’s run by Republicans or Democrats. In God We Trust—it’s our national motto, in fact! Good thing, too, because we know from much experience that our elected officials—even those whose character we highly respect—are not perfect. Like us, they are decidedly human.

Obviously, that doesn’t mean we pray for our state and then go bury our heads in the ground. As John Quincy Adams put it, “Duty is ours, results are God’s.” Did you know John Quincy, son of the famous patriots John and Abigail Adams, was an ardent abolitionist? After serving as president of the United States, John Quincy went back into the U.S. House of Representatives to fight for abolition.

While serving in Congress, John Quincy fought for abolition the last 17 years of his life, enduring ridicule, censure and political attacks for his determined and frequently solitary legislative war on slavery. He died without seeing the emancipation of the slaves. But they were eventually freed, thanks to the dedication, perseverance and sacrifice of people of such as John Quincy.

My point is–we’re in this for the long haul. Elections come and go, majorities rise and fall, policies change and evolve but human nature does not change. We will always have cause to fight for justice, liberty, marriage and family, and the lives and rights of the helpless and vulnerable because we live in a fallen world.

In this life, there’s never a deadline, a finish line, for the just cause, for doing the right thing. Even when it seems we’re ahead, we need to keep working to protect innocent life, families, liberty and justice. We need perseverance, patience and great resolve to continue to do what is right.

But take heart! You and I are not in charge of the results! What a relief! Our responsibility is to simply do what we can, give when we can and leave the results, and the consequences, to God.

This summer of recall elections and the upcoming year, as we move into the 2012 presidential election, offer many opportunities for all of us to get involved, to fight for that just cause. As you get involved, remember to keep things in the bigger perspective. You’re not just making phone calls, knocking on doors, giving money or casting a vote. You’re part of a much larger effort, the results of which affect people’s lives. And it may take a while, may take years, for you to see the fruit of your efforts.

While elections most definitely have consequences, the fight for liberty and justice does not wax and wane with election cycles or legislative sessions. It is an ongoing effort.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint. But be encouraged for In God We Trust.   Let’s each faithfully do our part and leave the results—and the consequences—to our great God!

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

>> listen to/download the mp3


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