Monday, January 26, 2004

Mini-Rant!

You know, until a little less than a year ago, I was a very different person. If you named any political issue, I could tell you who supported it and why, what the pros and cons of it were, the history and importance of the issue, and maybe even which side would likely prevail, and when. Now, I honestly just don't care, and I think I may finally have figured out why.

I feel betrayed.

Congress doesn't appear to do anything besides spend on pork, do stupid things like go on taxpayer-funded "fact-finding" missions to places like Iraq, and send several of their number to run for President every four years. These candidates always lose. I mean, get a clue, people; who was the last person to go directly from Congress to the Presidency?* Meanwhile, I still don't see any ban on abortion. Nearly everything done is either half-[donkey]ed or extremely short-term. It's nice that they pass occasional resolutions congratulating people on birthdays, on raising big watermelons, and such, but couldn't this be done a lot cheaper? I mean, the Representatives don't seem to have much desire to actually, you know, represent, and the Senate is full of wannabe-nobility who think that they should be the next President.

And, now it's time to savage Bush. Don't get me wrong; I think he's far-and-away better than anyone the Democrats will ever offer as competition. I'll probably hold my nose and vote for him in November, hoping that at least Republican administrations won't erode civil liberties and encourage libertinism as quickly as the Democrats will (and do). However, a lot of what Bush has been doing or proposing has been unconscionable. I have to say that unless we eventually get evidence that the Patriot Act has been doing a darn fine job of protecting, rather than harassing, us, I'm going to be mightily upset. I have absolutely no idea why someone calling themselves a conservative would advocate amnesty for illegal aliens. I can sort-of understand trade barriers, but not done stupidly and with poor timing (talk about restrictions on outsourcing and you've got my attention; talk about restrictions on steel and you've lost your marbles). I honestly don't know whether the prescription drug plan was a serious idea or just designed to embarrass the Democrats. If the former, then it was an extremely irresponsible thing to do. If the latter, it was smart yet also disheartening, as it showed the Democrats to be even more hypocritical than previously supposed. I will say that I'm disappointed that WMDs haven't been found in Iraq yet, though I don't doubt that Hussein at least believed that he had them. The war certainly was justified in that Iraq broke the ceasefire agreement, and thus was the aggressor. Instead, this entire thing has been largely premised on WMDs and the idea that Iraq was an imminent threat to the US. Since either our intelligence was faulty (no way!) or the goods have been hidden very well (or taken abroad), we look like fools, even though we did the correct thing.

It increasingly seems to me that all either side does is propose ideas and then never follow through on them. People are interested in things like immigration, Social Security, guns, drugs, and abortion. If you effectively close the issue, then what will you run on next time? The sad thing is that I see no better option than the Republicans. The Democrats would be bad, but there might be enough sane members to prevent an all-out hemorrhage of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. The LibertineLibertarian Party would probably be pretty good for trade and disastrous in everything else, which would eventually affect the economy. I think we all know what would happen if the Greens ever took control (Armageddon/Gotterdammerung/Ragnarok is my guess). Thus, we're faced with a situation where our only hope seems to be the whomever is least-worst.

And people wonder why I tend to favor amillenialism...

I mean, what other hope is there? Obviously, all things are possible through God, and so postmillenialism can't be ruled out, but you may have noticed that Christ didn't come when the Hebrews had finally shown that they could live by the Law and had brought about a Golden Age. So few among us can even master their own lives (and that's with God's help) that it seems unreasonable to think that we can actually create a society worthy of Christ. Instead, every good thing is perverted to serve the Enemy. Hospitals give way to abortion clinics and euthanasia. Charity gives way to supporting groups like the Irish Republican Army (incidentally, the IRA is disliked by the people in the Republic of Ireland) and Hezbollah. Music is taken over by groups singing about sex and drugs. Books give way to pornographic magazines and mind-rot such as Cosmopolitan. The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church splinters into Rome, the Eastern Patriarchates, Canterbury, and a whole host of small Protestant groups. None of these groups do an especially good job of presenting the Gospel, ensuring their own purity, and glorifying God. True, some can do one or two of these fairly decently, but eventually their deficit catches up with them and they have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

Just as the Law was intended to show the Jews that they cannot be Saved by their own actions but rather only by faith in God, I wonder how much of what goes on is designed to show us the very same thing. I see no reason why the Old Testament cycle of God doing miraculous things followed by the Israelites rejecting Him and then God needing to come and save the day again should be over. Christ has come, meaning that we know how it will end, but yet we still persist in our errors. I say we, because I know I sin all the time, though I like to think that I'm slowly bringing it down. Why can't we trust in Christ, when it's the obvious thing to do? Are the hollow pleasures of the world so tempting that we choose them, even though we know they won't quench our thirst?

Sadly, even the most faithful of us fall into this trap occasionally, while the rest of us do it a lot more than occasionally. How are we tricked into thinking that a GameCube, a nice car, or holding high office will make us happy? Probably the most tempting thing for guys out there is girls (I have no idea if the reverse is true). After getting frustrated in dating, I finally realized my problem: I'm simply not ready yet. I would expend a lot of effort to finally ask a girl out, and one of two things would happen. Sometimes I'd get shot down, in which case I felt as thought I'd wasted a lot. If she said yes, though, I noticed that I almost immediately lost interest in her. It was as though, having been affirmed by someone I found attractive, she was no longer necessary. This might be the Christian equivalent of how guys often change once they've finally managed to sleep with their girlfriend; I don't know. Whatever it is, it obviously was shameful, and I've quit doing it. As I already knew, I'm not ready yet, and so I should spend my time working on myself (my family has a history on both sides of marrying relatively late, so I'm not inclined to freak out about not being already engaged).

What's the point of all this babbling? Well, I think I'm just...tired. There's a lot of sin out there, and I may finally be seeing the scope of it. Knowing will help me out in the long run, but it's going to take a while to regroup and come up with a way to properly follow Christ and make my way through it all.

*the last person to go directly from Congress to the White House was JFK

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