Monday, January 7, 2013

The Swearing In

Yesterday Adam and I went to the afternoon swearing-in ceremony for two local politicians, Norm Sanderson and Michael Speciale. Both men are Republicans. Mr. Speciale won a seat in the North Carolina House, and Mr. Sanderson became a state senator. A family member of Mr. Sanderson is a dear friend of ours.
The ceremony was at the Tourism and Event Center, near the Marine base -- thus the airplane overhead.
Often, oath-of-office ceremonies take place in Raleigh, the capitol. Norm said that when he was in the House, he was given 2 tickets to the ceremony, which is by invitation only. As a senator, he would have had 10 tickets to use for friends.
There were easily 400-500 people there yesterday. The men had decided to have the ceremony here, among the people who elected them, and make it open to the public. The invitation to everyone was printed in the paper, along with a note of "reception to follow." We had cake, mints, nuts, and punch. Norm said he went to WalMart to order the cake. First he ordered for 150 people, which he thought was way too much. Then he upped it to 200. As he was walking out of the store, he said the Holy Spirit gave him a little nudge. So he went back and added 200 more. That was hopeful! Well, I'm glad he did.
A fuzzy photo of Mr. Sanderson being sworn in.
Adam and I are not Republicans right now. I feel strongly that the national party and I do not have enough in common to be considered "affiliated." But I must say -- I must say -- that I was generally proud of the ceremony yesterday. Yes, there was a bit of party pep-rallying. But there was also quite a bit of open, enthusiastic rejoicing in God's providence and sovereignty over all things, including politics, an imploring of Him for help, strength, and blessing, happy confessions of faith in God for all things, and many sincere prayers. It was such an encouragement. I would be deeply remiss if I did not praise both Mr. Speciale and Mr. Sanderson for being exactly the type of man that I wish the national party had chosen in the presidential race.

If you're a Republican bemoaning the crushing loss of the White House in November, and the continued stagnation between the the U.S. House and Senate, consider this fact:  A very conservative state Republican party in North Carolina now has a super-majority in the House, a super-majority in the Senate, and have strong candidates in both the governor and lt. governor jobs. (Lt. Gov. Dan Forest spoke yesterday.) That's pretty impressive. They didn't get there by forcing an unacceptable candidate on North Carolina voters, nor by being insipid conservatives, nor by being obnoxious. They did it -- at least these men did it -- with God's help and with lots of trust, prayer, and sacrifice. Norm could have had an easy re-election into the House, uncontested. He felt God calling him to make a try for the Senate.

When the media says the Republican party is dead, they're silly. If the liberals think Obama's reelection was some sort of mandate for liberal policies, they're very wrong.

I dislike politics these days. But I fundamentally don't believe in a "separation" of faith and politics (or church and state) for individual Christians, because I don't believe we should divorce our faith from any part of our lives. God permeates it all. That's what I saw in these men yesterday, more than anything else, and I'm thankful they're so open about it. They won't leave God behind when they go to serve us. Now let's see if they can go to Raleigh and correct some of the damage done in recent years. North Carolina used to be a state for growth, opportunity, and joyful success, a place (I recall) where oppressed New Englanders fled for relief from governmental oppression! (I'm only teasing a little there.) May God give these men wisdom as they chart a better course for our future.

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