Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tea is for Tyranny

Brett and I were in the car listening to one of those talk-radio hosts whom we increasingly disdain these days. We shook our heads at their utter lack of understanding. "Republicans have co-opted the Tea Party," he said.

"The 'Tea Party' doesn't get the Tea Party," I sniffed.

The Tea Party.
The original Tea Party in Boston was not about a balanced budget.
It was about tyranny.
And it was the precursor of the American Revolution which produced the genius that is the United States of America
because it produced the genius that is the Constitution.

Tea is for Tyranny.
When King John signed the Magna Carta, that was the end of the Divine Right of Kings in England. It compelled the British monarchy to be fair to its subjects.
And when King George taxed his subjects in the Colonies without parliamentary representation, he was in breach of contract.
He was acting the tyrant.
So his subjects held him to his end of the bargain.
And Boston Harbor met Earl Grey.

Tea is for Tyranny.
Monetary policy tyranny.
Penalizing those who succeed and rewarding those who don't.
Raising the debt ceiling, even temporarily, and further saddling my children with the problem.

Tea is for Tyranny.
Patriot Act tyranny.
Knowingly and rebelliously violating the Fourth Amendment.
Spying on me.
Choosing 'security' over my liberty.
Without asking me.

Tea is for Tyranny.
Parental rights tyranny.
Usurping the jurisdiction of the family by telling me I must be insured.
Telling my daughter she can have an abortion.
Without asking me.

Tea is for Tyranny.
TSA tyranny.
Giving up the very sound criminal science of profiling.
Harassing law-abiding citizens.

Tea is for Tyranny.
Self-determination tyranny.
Usurping the role of the Church
By legalizing or criminalizing what I eat, drink, smoke, chew, inject, or sniff
or any other non-encroachment activity I do in my own home.

Tea is for Tyranny.
Property rights tyranny.
Not letting someone build a mosque on privately owned property.
Urging a city council to fabricate zoning law to get around it.

Tea is for Tyranny.
Foreign policy tyranny.
Inspecting their arsenals.
Fighting their wars.
Removing and installing their leaders.
For our benefit.

And if you choose smaller-than-what-we-have-now government
over small government,
you are no more Tea Party than King George.
Smaller-than-what-we-have-now government is still much larger than the Founders intended,
Than the Constitution intended.
Smaller-than-what-we-have-now government...
merely places you and your candidate slightly to the right of Marx.
But it hardly makes you a Tea Partier.

So, no.
Rick Perry doesn't get the Tea Party.
Neither does Mitt Romney.
Nor Rick Santorum.
Nor Herman Cain.

A real Tea Partier wants a government of the Constitution.
Nothing less.
Nothing more.

Sam Adams must be turning in his grave.

Friday, September 2, 2011

On the Rock

It had been a hard year, and it felt like there was more to come.
The recession was merciless on our small business.
We had bills we didn't know how to pay.
The president seemed bound and determined to ruin both the public and private sectors.
The United Nation was looking at ratifying the "Rights of the Child."
It just felt like everywhere we turned, there was only bad news.

So, Brett and I started to pray.
We have learned through many challenges over the years, that hard times are God's tool for reshaping us, for conforming us to His image.
And when His sheep have hearts of stone, I can see why.
Only the constant drip of Water
or the catastrophe of searing Heat
or the intensity of incredible Pressure
is able to change the form of stone,
to wear it smooth
and transform it from a sharp-edged stumbling block
to a heart God can use.

And having learned that lesson about our Maker,
Brett opened with his now usual, "Thank you for today and all the troubles it brings."

It wasn't a sarcastic statement.
Neither was it fatalistic.
It was a humble statement from an honest sheep who has bowed to the sovereign work of his father's hand.
It was the honest rest in tribulation by a man who has wrestled with counting it all joy.

But as Brett began to make his appeal to God for all the cares that were weighing us down,
a picture began to form in my mind....
I saw the black thunderheads swirling. They were low and dark and ominous.
I saw the wind-whipped waves and the white caps.
I saw my whole family, all twelve of us, standing together in this storm.
We were huddled together for protection and warmth.
Our hair was whipping across our faces.
And I said, "Yes, Lord, this is an accurate picture of what I feel today.

But where are YOU in this picture?!"

And He said, "I am the Rock you are standing on."

In my mind's eye, the camera panned back. Suddenly I could see our feet.
And we were all standing on a
huge rock.

The waves crashed about us...

...and our feet weren't even wet.
And as Brett continued to pray, I kept my focus on that Rock.
That's what prayer does.
It reminds us that we are small and God is big.
And He is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.
Prayer works the dual miracle of softening the rock that is my heart
and drawing me back to stand on The Rock.

Later in the year, we snapped a family photo to stick in the Christmas cards. We had tried all kinds of settings, and getting a picture of twelve people to turn out is no small feat.
Imagine my surprise when we got home to look over the proofs...
and the best shot had us all positioned on and around a huge rock.

I smiled as I realized that God had given me a very tangible expression of the vision in my mind.
And every time I see it,
And when I labor in prayer,
I am reminded that
we are a family on The Rock.