The ‘Personal-is-Political’ Musing

September 26th, 2012 Posted by Susan's Musings 20 comments

A reader chided me the other week for writing too often about politics. He prefers to read about family events, holidays and the like. His perspective is shared by others, and I know that I have lost readers who are either bored with hearing about the coming election or whose political views differ from mine.


I appreciate the point. Last week, while celebrating Rosh HaShanah at a Jewish conference retreat at which my husband was speaking, I had no idea what was happening in the outside world. For two days, I, along with the 700 people with whom I shared the holy days, shut ourselves off from newspapers, radio, TV and Internet. It was wonderful. We focused on God, family, and friends enjoying ourselves even more for not knowing what President Obama and Governor Romney were doing.

Nevertheless, although I appreciate Bill’s letter, I’m afraid that I am not able to accommodate his request. I write about what is on my mind, and while holidays are treasured, they are, by definition, narrow spaces removed from time. One of the Rosh HaShana prayers increasingly sends chills down my spine. It speaks of God decreeing what will happen in the coming year during this very period of time. It cites how He is deciding – right now -which nations and which people will face war or peace; famine or plenty; health or illness in the coming year. We pray, repent for our transgressions and commit to doing better, with the plea that God will judge us with mercy rather than strict justice.

That prayer reminds me how tentative our lives are. It is terrifying to look at history and see how unaware people frequently were of events that were going to shatter their lives. One can read of those who took picnic baskets out to watch the “entertainment” as the first major battle of the Civil War took place. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria rated a footnote in many newspapers, yet led to World War I, which was itself a precursor of World War II. The day before Germany invaded Poland in 1939, families sat down to meals and went to work, unaware that their world was soon to be obliterated.

I love America and believe that she has been greatly blessed by Divine Providence. But I do not believe that we are immune to the laws of history that God has decreed. As we recklessly abandon the Godly principles on which this country is founded, I am greatly afraid. As Peter B. commented in response to the plea for less political writing, my husband explains that politics is nothing more and nothing less than the practical application of our most deeply held moral values. When two weeks ago I expressed my deep dismay with President Obama’s presidency as well as my intense disappointment in Governor Romney’s campaign, I did consider that I might offend some in both camps. My reason for writing was twofold. Firstly, I try to write and share what is in my heart, and I am severely troubled at what is happening in this country. Secondly, I thought that there might be some Musings’ readers whose frustration is leading them to think of sitting out this election cycle. I hoped that my words might encourage even one or two people to examine the issues closely and vote Republican, in spite of Mr. Romney and the Republican Party’s inadequacies. (For those who lean Democrat, if they appreciate some of what I write, I assume they are able to tolerate our disagreeing— even passionately—on this topic. I welcome respectful comments whether they support or condemn what I write.)


We are at a dangerous junction and I fear that, if we do not change course, generations after us will wonder how we did not see the precipice over which we were marching. An election won’t automatically repair our situation, but it can be the first, tiny step in halting our perilous plunge toward tragedy.

20 comments

Your insights on this matter are most solemn and true. We, indeed, are marching towards a precipice which looms largely before us. The choices we face in this darkened day does have an impact for all future generations. You have a very great insight about the day before the ‘obliteration’ which, has, never occurred to me. Thank you. I appreciate your husbands work and yours as well. Please continue to do your part to present truth to all. May God be with your family and bless your labors.

John Viljoen says:

I appreciate your musings on politics. Please continue to publish them.
I, too, am a Republican in a blue state. As such, I sense that our nation is fundamentally divided. I fear that we are now two countries, each with different loyalties and cultures. Those with like minds depend on each other for ideas based on shared values.
All the best to you and Rabbi Lapin.

Robyn says:

Dear Susan,
I just want you to know that I truly appreciate your political views. I’m so thrilled that you share them regularly. Your thoughts are refreshing and right on. I am so fearful about the future of our great country and pray regularly for God’s help. More and more I see that the country has turned their backs on God and I fear the consequences. I am also disappointed in Governor Romney at times, however I pray for him and Senator Ryan daily. They are the best option that we have.

Jimdyl says:

Agreed. Absolutely. Thank you both for ploughing through, with singleness of vision. We must communicate clearly, and honestly. Mitt may not be able to perform the way we want him to, because he is Mitt and he is 65 and he is an old soul. His premier ability is not communication, but execution. And perhaps character, persistence, resilience, wisdom, even holiness. We just may have to trust that these are the gifts that God has appointed in this election.

Matt says:

Hi Susan,
There will always be some people who don’t like your commentary. Sometimes there are Trolls. A Troll is a person who for some reason has set out to disrupt you. They won’t admit it, and frequently claim they are part of your group. But their aim is disruption. People who often counter your commentary might be Trolls. Ignore them, or consider booting them.
“We are at a dangerous junction and I fear that, if we do not change course, generations after us will wonder how we did not see the precipice over which we were marching.”
Oh really!
Do you think the fact that China might go to war with Japan at any moment, and sucking in the US, might be dangerous?
What about the 15 times Russia has threatened the West with nuclear attack or targeting since 2007?
What about the implied threats of nuclear war coming out of Russia over interference in the Middle East, such as in Iran or Syria?
What about the Chinese general who threatened nuclear war if Iran is attacked?
What about the statements coming out of Iran indicating they are preparing with Israel’s neighbors to launch an attack so massive that the existence of Israel will be threatened?
In the face of all these dangers, the Obama administration can’t disarm our nuclear arsenal fast enough. The arsenal has been gutted and is a shell of its former self.
Calling our current time a “dangerous junction” is an understatement.

Yvonne says:

Hi Susan,
In revelation 9:13-21 is a war described that will kill 2/3 of mankind. It starts from the Eupratisch river. The countries that surround this river are Turkey, Syrie, Iran and Irak. We don’t know when it starts, but there is much tension there. Verse 21 says: and they repented not.
Sorry, for my Englisch. I am from Holland.
Greetings, Yvonne

Thanks to all who commented. Matt, I don’t think that the majority of people who disagree with me are ‘trolls’. It amazes me, but I know people who love America and are good people who are convinced that Mitt Romney is a bad man and Obama a caring one. For the most part, they don’t look beyond the mainstream media which means that they are only exposed to a biased and censored view – and they don’t know that.
Susan

Ann Musico says:

I happen to be in agreement with all you shared and feel as you do. I am praying people go beyond the mainstream media and make a thoughtful, considered choice in this election and God help us.

michael.r.johnxon3@navy.mil says:

I enjoy all your writtings. Please keep them coming! For an interesting take on America today, try reading “The Harbinger” by Jonathan Cahn. He also has a number of intersting videos available thru youtube. His writtings are based on Is. 9:10. v/r Mike

Rabbi Eukel says:

Shalom, Susan ~ Thought Tools and Musings, the writings and writers make great companions, both of whom enrich others with GOD’s gifts of heart thoughts. Baruch haba B’Shem ADONAI (Blessed are they who come in The Name). I experience the separation between the secular and sacred among the community of peoples I live and work among. I lovingly teach the once taught classic definition of “politics” – Who Gets What When Where Why and How. That is about relationships. GOD, Whom as you know, is about relationships on His Terms, is political. Men and women who acknowledge that GOD is Sovereign in their lives, family and community must learn to express His Love in whatever intentional intersections ADONAI has created.

Yvonne M says:

Don’t stop the musings on politics! You were expressing the sentiments of many. Our politics have divided us because our values are divided! It is no longer a difference of an opinion, but often a difference of values. Our country is in trouble and I think of the many people who are unaware of what is at stake in this election. I pray every night for the safely of America and Israel. I pray that those who want to harm us see God the way He is, and not in the violent narrative some embrace. We need to pray. We need to vote and we need to not get discouraged (which is hard to do sometimes).

James says:

Trolls and critics notwithstanding, you are of course right, Mrs. Lapin, to speak from the heart about our perilous political situation. Indeed there are many parallels throughout history, of pandering politicians obtaining power by buying votes with public funds. The same was a factor in the fall of Rome: “Increase the dole! Increase the dole!” So cash your Government check, grab your Obamaphone, join the throng, step in time and march enthralled like a multitude of lemmings right over the cliff, to join the wreckage of other hapless nations.
Or heed the warning of Margaret Thatcher, who said: “Sooner or later you will run out of other people’s money.” Socialism is doomed to fail. “Oh, but it can’t happen here!” If virulent socialism triumphs here, with the foreseeable ban of personal arms and proscription of free speech, where will people like you and I go? Speak on while we still can.

Donna says:

receivingclerk@yalobushacounty.net
Hello Susan, I also appreciate your views on politics. I agree with you and I pray for our nation. Keep up the good work.

Kaye Stenbeck says:

Dear Susan,
This is the first time I have commented on all your wonderful “Musings”. I feel blessed by your thoughts and ideas, and inspired by your courage to speak up. I have learned a great deal with all of your various pros and cons regarding so many subjects I find interesting. I just want to express my deep graitude for the time and effort you certainly put into all your writing. This Country needs to hear your voice especially to young women of college age, some of whom I met over the holiday who are unwilling to even discuss political matters; and, yet, are Voting!
Like many of those who have commented before me, I too am praying for our Country, and for you and Rabbi Lapin’s continued success and influence– without voices like yours, we are lost.
God bless you and your family in the New Year.
Kaye

Susan,
I agree also with you on this subject. We are in a mess, and so few people see it. I thank God that even though my physical body will not exist forever, my spirit will. Sadly, most people don’t realize that they will exist forever. They will either spend eternity separated from God, or spend it with Him. So we can take comfort in that, and be at peace. May God bless you and Rabbi Lapin, and all your family. Thank you for all you do.
Mitch and Peggy Ferguson

Dflora1 says:

Thank you for your views on current events.We are headed down a slippery slope.We need to vote Biblical morals instead of for what the government can do for us and have faith that the Lord will provide.These are scary times and Israel needs for us to be closer than ever. Obama is distancing himself from them and embracing Islam nations …these are scary times indeed. We must keep our country and Israel in our prayers

Bill says:

Mrs. Lapin,
Thank you again for you column and your honesty. My comments to you were never intended to ‘chide’ or to ‘disrupt’. They are an honest appraisal of my observation. This column is an open forum and as such the writer should be held to a higher degree of responsibility ( even if you only “write what is on my mind”). Consider Imus or Jimmy the Greek( his public moniker, even used on CBS Sports!). I’m sure they thought they were just speaking what was on their minds! My comments were meant to bring to mind this responsibility. There seem to be many of your followers feeding at your trough and drinking the Kool-Aide. They accept your views hook, line and sinker. If anyone disagrees even with a minutia of your views, an ’emergency response team’ goes in to action. Such as Peter or Matt, who I appreciate and I can endure because I’ve learned how to ‘eat the meat and spit out the bones’.The truth is, that you CAN honor my request, as evidenced by your Rosh HaShanah that you enjoyed politics-free. You are just not willing. I can understand because economy/elections is such a hot-button issue, many are drawn to comment who otherwise would not. Which makes for good marketing and free advertisement. Whether they are beholding to you because of celebrity, platform or your skills as a political analyst and prognosticator, you are still exercising influence over a constituency that will not look beyond the mainstream Republican media and are not aware that they espouse a biased and censored view. So, your column is used to campaign for the Republican Party, your commonly held views are that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan “are the best option we have” and the prophesy that we are at ‘a dangerous junction’ and marching toward some precipice over which we fall to our doom. Oh, let’s not forget this is all the current President’s and his party’s fault. The case can easily be made that the attrition that President Obama inherited originated with the Bush administration(pick either one). Sure, use your space to encourage all to vote, but don’t use politics to accomplish it. Merriam-Webster defines politics as ‘ the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government’. The art of manipulation. Romney/Ryan is not our nation’s ‘best option’ and we are not about to collapse. All fear-based, as you said. (I thought of Luke 10:41 after I read about your fears) Is it better to encourage education and free thinking, than to tell your audience who and what to vote for because of your fear-based propaganda? I guess it’s true, misery loves company. My request was not that you limit topics to ‘family events, holidays and the like’, but to give politics a break. As I said before, I genuinely like the column, but not the employment of politics.You see, politics are not personal, by definition. The agenda maybe personal. The title of the column is a misnomer. To exercise control requires someone other than yourself. Could the fear-based propaganda being served now, to ‘think like me and vote like me’ because we share the same fears, later cause an “Oops” moment to regret? Are the right lessons being taught? You can usually tell what’s been planted by the harvest. Time will reveal the answers and the prophesy, because the test of a true prophet or prophetess is if the prophesy comes to pass. If either of the candidates wins office I will support them, but my ultimate trust is in God. So, the question we must ultimately answer as a nation is, ‘in what or in whom do we put our trust? My bible (Ancient Jewish Wisdom) says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we will remember the name of The Lord our God”, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” and “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Maybe we need a book called ‘The Perils of Politics’. Oh yeah, there is, it’s called the bible.

Bill,
My husband severely dislikes the phrase, “I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree,” but I think it serves a purpose here. You’ve had your say and I’ve had mine and I agree that God has the final one (which is what I was saying in my post a few weeks ago).

Susan says:

Thank you for your thoughts, Susan. As of right now in America you can say whatever you want. (sentence removed) Keep up the wonderful ministry you have. You and your husband have touched my life in such a positive way. God Bless you both.

Jean says:

Politians would probably prefer that Jews and Chrisitians would just “mind their own business”. WE ARE!!!
Thank you for channeling my views.

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