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A scene from <em>For Greater Glory</em>
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A scene from For Greater Glory

Everybody loses

Politics

“Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute?” (Psalm 94:20)

That’s what I read on the morning of Election Day. That evening, my nerves were not up to speculating on exit polls, so I retreated to the guest house and popped my latest Netflix title into the DVD player: For Greater Glory. Turned out to be a good choice.

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The story of Mexican resistance to state-sponsored religious suppression in the 1920s is an inexact fit to the present day, and shouldn’t be pressed too hard. We are not yet, by and large, being tyrannized. No edicts have come down from Washington forbidding church bells to ring or preachers to preach. Though the triumph of same-sex “marriage” in four states and the validation of the odious Health and Human Services contraception mandate are ominous signs to be heeded, it’s too soon to claim the martyr’s crown. But we must get the message: What the election of 2012 demonstrates is that America’s biggest problems are cultural not political.

We can’t blame mainstream media or late-night talk-show hosts or airheads persuading other airheads to vote for free birth control. We can’t blame voter fraud or dirty tricks. The truth is out there: Media slight-of-hand can’t disguise plain facts. Broken marriages lead to broken societies. Government largesse (with other people’s money) leads to citizen dependency. The borrower is slave to the lender. These truths are self-evident to anyone who chooses to see. Too many do not choose to see, and that’s the main reason why our fellow Americans, our friends and neighbors and family members, made bad—objectively and measurably bad—decisions on Nov. 6.

The Republican Party will be tempted, yet again, to let social issues slide. We hear it already: The GOP must give up its quixotic opposition to abortion and same-sex “marriage” and let people do what they want to do. But what people want to do (I am not excluding myself) is lead with their emotions, take free stuff, and not think too hard. The discipline of traditional family life has historically trained individuals for the discipline of citizenship. Can citizens be expected to resist the current of fiscal irresponsibility when they happily go with the flow of personal irresponsibility?

Our problems go much deeper than a four-year election cycle. But experience is the best teacher, and I suspect she’s going to get really mean, really soon. We can’t sustain the financial costs much longer, and social costs can only become more obvious. America lost last Tuesday, and one of the biggest losers might turn out to be Barack Obama, who sowed the wind in his first term and stands to reap the whirlwind in his second.

Which brings me back to For Greater Glory. The story ends with tragic losses and a shaky victory. But it also ends with one permanent, glorious hope: Viva Christo Rey, or long live Christ the King. We have a fight on our hands, but Christians should love a good fight.

Janie B. Cheaney
Janie B. Cheaney

Janie lives in Missouri, is a columnist for WORLD, writes novels for young adults, and is the author of the Wordsmith creative writing series. She also reviews books at RedeemedReader.com. Follow Janie on Twitter @jbcheaney.

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