Speaking of... Life, Hope & Truth

Did America Get Its Money’s Worth?

The latest U.S. election was too close to call right up until the very day of the election. As we all know, President Obama was reelected by what turned out to be a comfortable margin, but it wasn’t without cost.

According to a CNN article about the cost of the election, this latest U.S. election was the most expensive on record. It eclipsed the 2008 election, which had held the previous record, by $700 million. A total of almost $6 billion was spent on the last election season. One can only imagine what could be done with $6 billion when it comes to fighting poverty, eliminating hunger and developing new jobs. We will simply never know since the election is now over and those funds are gone. It is also a fact that the cost of this election was more than the GDP (gross domestic product) of 55 countries. It is simply staggering to consider the cost of this election! The question is: Did America get its money’s worth?

It seems clear that something is broken. One must also ask, what did we get for our money?

One article states that this was the most “gay” election in U.S. history. In 2008 candidate Obama declared his opposition to gay marriage, but reversed himself in 2012. It seems that the electorate followed suit. More gay candidates were elected to national office this year than ever before:

In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate.

In Rhode Island, openly gay David Cicilline was reelected to Congress.

In New York, Sean Patrick Maloney became that state’s first openly gay person elected to Congress.

In Maine and Maryland, for the first time in the history of the United States the voters—not judges or a legislature—legalized gay marriage.

In Minnesota, voters defeated an antigay marriage measure, one that declared the traditional view of marriage as being between a man and a woman.

This election was truly historic. Interestingly, four years ago, Senator Barack Obama would not commit to a pro-gay marriage stance. After the election of 2012, according to LA Weekly, President Obama is now the most pro-gay president in American history.

What does all this mean? We spent a record amount of money and saw America move further away from its traditional values. 

It seems that God was nowhere to be found in the latest American election. Some pretend that America is a Christian nation. But with the further eroding of Christian values and constant personal attacks by politicians, it cannot be said that we are following the path described in Scripture as being Christian.

Scripture tells us that whenever a nation abandons God, curses will follow.

Deuteronomy 28:58-59: “If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, then the LORD will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues—and serious and prolonged sickness.”

What are “the words of this law that are written in this book”? We know that within the pages of the Bible there is a written code of law, called the 10 Commandments. Are we as a nation following these commandments?

Consider what is on this list as found written in Exodus 20. We are told to have “no other gods” before the true God. America is now a pluralistic society. Which God is being worshipped in America? Is it the true God? Is it the god of materialism?

The Fourth Commandment says we are to remember and observe the Sabbath day as a day of rest. According to surveys by Pew only 40 percent of Americans attend a religious service each week. This number is contradicted by other surveys, which conclude that Americans lie about church attendance and that when you check the actual numbers of people in church each week, it is more like 20 percent. And if you check those who attend on the seventh day, as the commandment instructs, the number is even smaller.

Another commandment states we are not to commit adultery. This commandment is laughed at today. After all, who gets upset at infidelity these days? As long as one loves the other person, isn’t sex okay with or without marriage?

And another of the commandments says we are not to lie. In the debates leading up to the most recent election, fact-checkers were kept extremely busy. The conclusion was that neither group was completely telling the truth. We have even grown to accept that politicians lie regularly. In a book written in the 1990s, titled The Day America Told the Truth, the authors concluded that Americans lie all the time—every day, in fact.

If our nation is to be judged by these commandments, how do you think we are doing? And what did the latest election tell us? What candidate really embraced these biblical principles? Try as hard as I could, I was unable to find a single one. It is a legitimate question to ask if we got our money’s worth out of the last election. It was the most expensive election in American history but it seems to have taken us further away from the traditional values that our country was founded upon.

For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m Jim Franks.