You can believe what you choose, But you will be judged by what you choose to believe
John Henry Neumann
This statement always stops me in my tracks. My paraphrase? Beliefs have consequences. What kinds of beliefs and choices am I referring to?
To begin with, anything from personal life choices to a political philosophy, from how to spend money to how to prioritize my time would be on the list. Certainly, what I think about spiritual issues, morality and truth would be significant.
Now, I think most people would agree that beliefs have consequences. What a person believes directly affects the choices made and those choices are subject to some form of judgment or evaluation.
On the political scene, what’s going on in Washington and out here in North Dakota—is not only a war of ideologies, but a crisis of conscience as well. On the one hand, there are those who believe that the government is better equipped to run our lives than we are. Leaders elected by the people aren’t really accountable for what they decide to do. They believe tax increases and more spending are the solution to huge deficits and high unemployment—even if history and their constituents disagree.
On the other hand, there are those who believe they have a moral obligation or mandate to carry out the wishes of those who put them in office. They act on the premise set before the American people in her founding documents—this is a government of, by and for the people. If the electorate has asked for no new taxes or unnecessary new spending, then every effort must be made to comply with their requests.
In between these two ideological poles are a group of lawmakers and officials who call themselves one thing and make decisions which reflect a philosophy which is quite different.
What the American people witnessed as an unpopular piece of legislation was rammed through both houses of Congress last year is an example of this crisis of conscience—and the outcome!
The members of Congress may have exercised their freedom—Believe what you choose. What happened at the ballot box was the judgment which ensued—You will be judged by what you choose to believe.
I believe that the platform of the Republican party is a reflection of the values and principles that this country was founded upon; many of the ideas presented in this platform form the basis for my choice to be a Republican.
Given the response to the majority party in the 2010 elections, I have a hunch there are others like me—others who expect those who align themselves with a party to believe what the party stands for and act accordingly.
I think the people in America—AND IN ND– are awake, watching and ready to act.