On the Issues: Sit It Out or Dance?

Winds of historical change are blowing across our nation, and citizens are being scattered hither and yon by political influencers. They are being pushed and pulled this way and that by the magnetism of political candidates and controversial issues. As a result, the country is becoming more stratified and more polarized. The “loyal opposition” has somehow become the enemy. Some would say a political war is brewing, with progressives fighting against conservatives. Others would say it’s a culture war with radical social justice warriors arrayed against those who hold to traditional political values of God, family, and country. Still, others might go so far as to say it’s a religious war with the forces of evil arrayed against the forces of good. (Click the title above to continue reading if necessary.)

Whatever the characterization of the present situation, strong forces are trying to change the mood of this country for good and for ill. Regardless, those opposed to our traditional American values have value systems far removed from the mainstream, and they are battling to fundamentally transform this nation.

If the truth be told, most Americans don’t want to enter the fray. They are averse to confronting and contradicting others and value peace over conflict. Many just want to be left alone. Many have entirely disengaged. Some don’t even want to think or hear about the issues. Many don’t want to take a position or make a stance. This is unfortunate because failing to fight for what is right comes at a terrible price – political, social, and religious. Allow me to explain.

There are so many moral issues on which we, as American citizens, can and should take a stance: religious liberty, political correctness, marriage, school choice, parental rights, abortion, transgenderism, health care, economy, debt, welfare, taxes, social services, human trafficking, social security, hate crimes, law enforcement, gun rights, drugs, and addiction, overreach by the administrative state – the “hidden” fourth branch of government, weaponization of government agencies by political parties, social justice, national defense, foreign policy, immigration and border security, Israel, climate change, Islamic terrorism, censorship in social media, pornography, military spending, political corruption, and on and on…

Not fighting to promote the good and defend what we hold dear in the face of the opposition is problematic. Suppose we don’t formulate our thoughts and make our voices heard in public, in face-to-face communications with friends and colleagues, and in the voting booth’s privacy. In that case, someone else will make the important decisions for us, and woe to us when this happens because there are many malevolent forces out that “ape” (actively promote evil) the devil. To avoid the takeover of our nation by those who oppose much that is good, we must take a stance in public, on the personal level, and in private. Here’s how we can do this:

Taking a public stance in social media. Facebook, Instagram, 𝕏 (formerly Twitter), TikTok, and other forms of social media are extremely easy to access, and many of us spend a considerable amount of time on them daily. As a result, it should be easy to like and share posts of political value or even make a direct political statement. Granted, not everyone wants to see our political commentary if it’s an “in your face” sort of thing, but likes and shares can go a long way toward shaping your friends’ political thinking if they reflect your values. An excellent place to start is with the McLean County Republicans’ Facebook page. There, you can like and share to your heart’s content. For the more courageous among us, you might want to comment on existing social media posts or write letters to the editor.

Taking a personal stance in conversations with others. These conversations might be face-to-face, over the phone, or in written communication. When addressing political matters with others, I have found it wise never to tell someone they should believe this or that. That’s the quickest way to turn someone off. In effect, I say, “This is what I believe and why I believe it,” or “This is what I’m going to do, and here’s why.” This approach does not put people on the offensive; they are more likely to listen to you.

Taking a private stance in the voting booth. While this requires the least amount of courage, it is among the most important things we can do after convincing others of the worthiness of our cause. Still, it takes considerable time and effort – something many are unwilling to do. Showing up to vote requires the voter to be informed about the issues and the candidates who stand on opposing sides of them. We can serve our nation well by voting consistently with our traditional conservative values.

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Taking public stances is incredibly courageous, as individuals frequently diverge from the prevailing beliefs of their community and the mainstream media. A common trait among great leaders is their bravery in taking a public stance. Still, taking a private stance is incredibly important. Taking a private stance doesn’t require the same amount of courage, but it does require showing courage for one’s convictions in such places as the voting booth. So, why should we take a stance on the issues? Taking a stance is important for several reasons:

Persuading Others: Engaging in open discussions and debates on crucial matters by asserting a stance enables individuals to contribute to a robust exchange of ideas. This dynamic dialogue fosters a deeper understanding of and the potential for positive transformations.

Promoting Social Transformation: Historically, pivotal social changes have transpired when individuals or groups oppose injustice, discrimination, or inequality. Taking a stance becomes a catalyst for driving positive societal shifts.

Advocating for the Marginalized: By taking a stance, individuals provide a voice for those who may lack the power or opportunity to express themselves. This advocacy amplifies the concerns and perspectives of marginalized or oppressed groups.

Upholding Personal Principles: Taking a stance empowers individuals to uphold their principles and values, showcasing personal integrity and a steadfast commitment to what is perceived as right.

Establishing Trust and Respect: Consistently adopting a principled stance, whether as individuals or organizations, builds trust and respect within peer groups, colleagues, or the public. This commitment establishes credibility and a reputation for reliability.

Encouraging Accountability: Taking a stance involves accountability for one’s beliefs and actions. It promotes responsibility and accountability, particularly in positions of power or influence.

Growing Personally: Embracing a stance, especially in the face of opposition, contributes to personal growth. It demands courage, resilience, and a willingness to challenge oneself, fostering self-discovery and development.

In summary, taking a stance on the issues is a way to actively participate in shaping the world around us, contributing to positive change, and living in alignment with one’s values. Again, voting is one of the greatest ways to influence how the country will go. Early voting in Illinois begins this year on February 8 and continues until March 18, the day before the next primary election. Election Day is March 19. If you want to make a difference in the direction that this country is heading, then it’s imperative that you get out and vote. It’s more than just a matter of civics. It’s a matter of morality as well.

From Scripture, I am reminded that we must be doers of the word and not hearers only. When we see something wrong, we must do something about it. Much is good in our society, but plenty is still wrong, and we should take a stance against it. As members of that society, we can make a difference. While we might not be successful, we must at least try. The choice is between civilization and the desecration of what we know to be good and true.

We cannot force someone to accept our message they are not ready to receive. Still, we should never underestimate the power of planting a seed. Even when it is the smallest of seeds, “when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches” (Matthew 13:32). I urge you, don’t sit out these races; get out there. Have faith that our system of government will work if we rely on our nation’s founding principles. Decide where you stand on the issues, and let your voice be heard!

As I write these words, I am reminded of the lyrics from Lee Ann Womack’s song I Hope You Dance:

Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance... I hope you dance...

In fine, electoral campaigns often have a theme song played at rallies and other events. (Think Lee Greenwood’s inspiring song God Bless the USA.) Perhaps our Get-Out-the-Vote campaign should use I Hope You Dance as a theme song. Play the song here and give it some thought. More than that, let this song inspire you to get out there and take a stance.

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