The World or Our Souls?
Christian recording artist TobyMac released a song several years ago titled “Lose My Soul.”* As our state deals with yet another political corruption conviction, I can’t help but be of the opinion that some of our elected public servants would be wise to consider the words of the song and particularly the chorus.
“I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul.”
In these days and weeks following the conviction of former Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, I want to hope and believe that this is a time of considerable reflection within the ranks of those elected to serve, and especially those who hold office in our state legislature. With a looming election for a new House Speaker, now more than ever is a time to choose wisely someone with strong principles and integrity for that important leadership position.
The 2010 election cycle was a watershed for me as it was the first cycle in which I actively participated in state election campaigns rather than merely voting for candidates. My involvement was prompted after watching the dominance of one political party at the state level and confirming that those who advocated for limited conservative government had little to no influence at our state house. Given what I witnessed while sitting in the gallery and walking the halls during a legislative session, I celebrated the “new day in Alabama” that ended the 136 years of Democrat control.
Unfortunately, that celebration was short-lived as grassroots conservatives, many who worked tirelessly during 2010 to elect presumed conservatives, ran into the brick wall of House leadership as we attempted to stop the implementation of yet another big government Leviathan – and profiteering scheme – known as Common Core in our schools.
We quickly discovered that brick wall was the power and influence of lobbying forces with vast sums of money readily available to fund the next political campaign, and those power brokers were determined to thwart our efforts in fighting against Common Core and for other small government issues.
Along with numerous other activists who spent countless hours at our state house, I quickly learned that it was “business as usual” regarding the ability of the grassroots to battle those forces of money and influence.
Now, not even a full six years since that historic flipping of our state government from Democrat-to-Republican control with such high promise of governing with integrity, our Speaker of the House has vacated his seat due to a criminal conviction, our governor is under threat of impeachment and federal investigation for his own misbehavior which may or may not be limited to an improper personal relationship, and rumors circulate of further indictments of others relating to the conviction of Mike Hubbard.
We’re indeed living in discouraging times concerning those we trust with elected office. Perhaps my disappointment is intensified because of my involvement in 2010, but any violation of the public trust is a serious matter and those who abuse it must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
There is no doubt that politics is a tough arena, often referred to as a blood sport, and certainly not for the faint of heart or spine. But it appears harder than ever these days for too many elected public officials to resist the temptations of the world…spin the truth on a campaign promise a little bit here, compromise on principle just a tad there, enjoy the attention of lobbying efforts a little too much…soon the trap is set, and one day reality hits that those with the money control not only political destinies but also personal lives. I wonder if we as the electorate may contribute to the intoxication of power with the alarming trend towards celebrity worship and idolatry of politicians instead of remembering that they are public servants. Are we enabling those we elect to lose their souls to the lure of power and influence?
While I find myself disgusted and embarrassed by the continuing corruption in our state, I’m also tremendously saddened by the toil it has taken on the families of those accused and convicted. Lives and relationships will never be the same, and although I am encouraged that the rule of law prevails, I cannot imagine the pain for the families involved. I only hope that those of us who identify as Christians, especially those who advocate Christian values when voting, remember them in our prayers.
And for anyone on the other side of the political aisle who is gloating over the Hubbard conviction and the travails of our Republican governor, might I remind you that those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The wall of shame regarding Alabama political misdeeds doesn’t discriminate as far as party affiliation.
If we’ve learned nothing else from recent events, could our lesson be that we must be more engaged and diligent in holding those elected accountable? If not, we’re all in danger of losing our souls.
*TobyMac “Lose My Soul” video can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/coHKdhAZ9hU
Marcia Chambliss serves on the leadership team of Smart Girl Politics, an online community for conservative women. She can be reached at: Marcia@sgpaction.com. Her views do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart Girl Politics.