THE MATTER OF INTEGRITY AND GOVERNMENT….


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            The Nobel Prize winning French philosopher and novelist, Albert Camus is quoted as saying – “Integrity has no need of rules.”  That is a truism even if his politics and philosophy might be questionable on many fronts.  Sometimes truths have a way of surfacing in the strangest of places.  I believe that quote could be readily applied to our government.  If the government or those in government demonstrated and possessed INTEGRITY we the American people would have no need to hold them accountable to the Rule of Law because inherently they would seek to do the right thing all the time and every time.  Sadly, that is not the case in politicians or even in most of us.  Oh, many have integrity on most things but there are occasions when “How does that affect me?” takes priority over “What is right?”  Thus the need for rules!

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            Robert Fulghum said – “It doesn’t matter what you say you believe – it only matters what you do.”  That is a mouth full and something that most politicians, this President, and those in the public eye seem to have forgotten.  Many of them live and act as if WE THE PEOPLE were either dumb or blind and what they do openly not to mention behind closed doors, is an absolute indicator of what they really believe.  I can claim to believe in God and be a Christian but if my life belies my profession of faith, most would conclude that I neither believe nor am a Christian.  What I do speaks so loudly that what I say cannot be heard or is dismissed as being of little consequence.

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            Bill Gothard founder of the Institute of Basic Life Principles said, “What we allow in moderation our children will do in excess.”  I’ve found that to be true more often than not.  No wonder the Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” NASU Sadly, too often we as parents have abdicated our responsibility to “train up our children” and allowed the public institutions such as the schools and colleges to instill in their hearts and minds a political ideology that is foreign to the Bible, basic moral and American principles.  Mr. Flughum also said – “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”  I have heard all my life regarding children, – “Little pitchers have big ears”, meaning that children hear and see everything and mimic what they see the influential adults in their lives doing.  If they see us do it, and we are influential in their lives, they believe that it is not only acceptable but often desirable and adopt it into their lives.  No wonder Jesus said that to offend one of the little ones would be a serious offense in the eyes of God.  We are responsible to train up the next generation to become productive members of society and should be instilling in them principles of integrity and honesty.  Sadly, if the little ones and even the not so little youth of our day are observant of politics they are being deluded with a message that finds itself almost totally void of any shred of integrity.  The end justifies the means is deemed acceptable and even desirable and integrity is of little value or significance.

            The political tone of Washington today displays anything but a core principle of integrity, and that is not the America that many of us grew up in.  Our parents and grandparents members of the ‘Greatest Generation’ viewed integrity as essential and never optional.  Today, we live in a Jonathan Livingstone Seagull world of “never let a crisis go to waste” and one that believes that it is okay to lie, distort, and misrepresent so long as it serves the purpose of moving your agenda and ideology forward because after all your view is obviously the right one, at least to you.  I frequently wonder what our Founding Fathers would think of our political world today.  I believe I know but since I cannot ask them I would only be speculating so I won’t go there. 

             Proverbs 27:2 tells us, “Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth – a stranger, not your own lips.”  If that were somehow applied and could become the rule for politicians they would have little to say.  So many exhibit all the classical symptoms of paranoid narcissism that they seem to be so self-absorbed that they cannot and will not listen to or examine the merits of anyone’s view but their own.  The President is most assuredly one of that number but to be fair so are most of those in Washington.

             America once had politicians and the core principle in our society was that of INTEGRITY.  Today, I cannot say that I see that or believe that is the guiding principle governmentally, commercially, socially, and sometimes religiously.  The thin skinned politicians react to truth about themselves often in a very vindictive manner and seek to destroy those that differ with them or speak truth about them.  I am reminded of the words of Benjamin Franklin – “’Tis great confidence in a friend to tell him your faults, greater to tell him his.”  Do that with politicians and you have made an enemy for life and one that he/she will seek to destroy. 

             We need INTEGRITY in politics and in life if we are going to return to being the Great Nation that our Founding Fathers gave us and we enjoyed for over 200 years before the current mentality became the predominant mentality and ideology.  America let’s work to return to what we were in principle and move forward with the advancements and technology available today.  America can be great again and God can bless America again.

             May the Lord God bless you and guard and guide America!

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