THE NEED FOR A LOYAL OPPOSITION

The expression “loyal opposition” is defined in the dictionary (see loyal opposition (merriam-webster.com)), and the expression has a good connotation. Why? When the members of the loyal opposition are doing their job correctly, they help to hold the majority party accountable to the public. That is true in both a constitutional republic and a parliamentary democracy. The loyal opposition can only do its job, however, when we all understand the value of the loyal opposition and we are honorable enough to respect the rights of the minority. Unfortunately, we have done a poor job of teaching our children the value of the loyal opposition. Many don’t even appreciate why they should respect the rights of others.

Consider Proverbs 27:17. What does the proverb in the illustration above mean? How does one person sharpen another like iron sharpens iron? When people who respect each other have a disagreement, what do they do? Don’t they discuss their disagreement? Don’t they try to learn from each other and resolve their disagreement amicably? Don’t we learn the most from the people who challenge our beliefs? Well, that is what should happen, but what happens when we are unwilling to tolerate disagreement?

The United States is now over 200 years old. The Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788. In human terms, that was long ago. None among us can even remember the American Civil War. Therefore, without a proper education, few can understand what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they wrote the Constitution. Few of us can truly appreciate why the people of the United States insisted upon a Bill of Rights.

What is it we have not taught our children? Humility. Creation does not revolve around any of us. God is the Creator.

Consider why we need to learn. Why must we continually strive to know more? We are not born knowing the Complete Truth, and as much as we may learn there is always more to know. Our knowledge, understanding, and wisdom can always be improved. Undoubtedly, many advertisers would happily sell us new and improved knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. But from whom should we purchase knowledge, understanding, and wisdom? Which sellers can we trust?

Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living (see INCOMPATIBLE VIEWS ON GOVERNMENT — PART 1). In other words, if we don’t carefully examine what we believe, then we will go through life believing things that are not true, and we will miss knowing things we could have known and absolutely need to know.

Unfortunately, we are born with an inward focus. I am hungry. I am thirsty. I am lonely. I am bored. I want this, and I want that. Isn’t the word “mine” one of the first words we learned as children?

We are not born innocent. We are born believing everything is about “me.” Only what “I” think matters. We must be taught otherwise. We must be disciplined to learn from others, and that is something we have not taught our children as well as we should have done. Instead of teaching our children humility, we have taught them to esteem themselves too highly.

To learn from others, we must learn to shift our point-of-view. We must work to see things from someone else’s point-of-view. Most often we must try to perceive what our teacher wants us to see. Ultimately, we must strive with all we have to view our self and Creation from God’s point-of-view. Ultimately, we must accept God as our teacher.

Until we seek to shift our point-of-view from our self to God, we cannot truly examine our life. Unless we adopt God’s point-of-view, we cannot obtain the knowledge, understanding and wisdom God offers us. That is why an unexamined life is not worth living.

Yet our Lord does not speak to us directly. It is not enough to overcome our own pride and accept instruction directly from God. So, we must decide. Who should we choose to teach our children? Who should we choose to teach us? What should we have taught to our children? What should we try to learn ourselves?

Consider. Not one of us is born already saved by Jesus. We each must learn about the fact God exists. We each must learn that God cares about us, that He loves us. To learn to love, someone must love us. To learn how to return God’s love, we must realize the fact God loves us. And these can be difficult things to learn.

Because it is natural for us to reject God, we find it easy to reject people who believe in God, but God has chosen those who believe in Him to share His Gospel. Therefore, we each have a duty:

  • From the time we are born, we must do our best to learn the Truth.
  • From the time we are saved by Jesus, our Lord has commanded us to share His Gospel.

That is something the founders of our nation understood. Consider what rights come first in the Bill of Rights.

First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript#toc-amendment-i

The generation that founded this nation went to great pains to protect the rights of the minority. They insisted that everyone should be allowed to live in accordance with their own beliefs. In addition, they protected the rights of the minority to express dissent and to hold the majority accountable.

If we care about the rights of our family, friends, neighbors, and countrymen, we will carefully consider which candidates we believe are most dedicated to protecting our constitutional rights. Unless our government gets that part right, nothing else it does will work properly. Just look at the mess President Joe Biden is making. Then consider his determination to smear the Republican Party as disloyal.

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

— Quote from Edward R. Murrow (https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Edward_R._Murrow), in context => https://www.billdownscbs.com/2015/11/edward-r-murrow-vs-senator-joseph.html

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9 thoughts on “THE NEED FOR A LOYAL OPPOSITION

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  1. Reblogged this on Rudy u Martinka and commented:
    Tom,

    Good post and discerning message we all need to discern this election who or what party we believe can better manage making both moral and practical agreements for our families and communities.

    Elected legislators should abide with unity on their party platforms and find a way to compromise to end the divisiveness we are now experiencing on issues.
    Sad, that so many candidates claim they will when running for office and turn out to be empty suits after election.

    To compromise requires legislators to agree to agree on moral and practical issues with wisdom, love, which humility to serve constituents finding common ground rather than of vanity or profit while in office.
    In other words. King Solomon had the same problems 3000 years ago when he wrote this proverb too.

    Most men will proclaim everyone his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? (Proverb 20-6)

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

  2. Reblogged this on Faithful Steward Ministries and FSM Women's Outreach and commented:
    There was a time not so long ago, when our two-party system in America flawed as it may seem, worked well together, respected each other’s opinions, and listened to them.

    Yes, men like Tip O’Neil and Ronald Regan who on the surface were polar opposites yet still managed to get things done for the country that was best for the nation as a whole appear to be the end of the amicable politics in America.

    Political opposition today is loyal only to the destruction of their opponent no matter the cost.

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