|"D E M O C R A C Y" ?|
December 19, 2000
George W. Bush has just been declared the President-elect of the United States of America. The nation has been suffering and learning, while the stones have been turned over, one by one, and the roaches have scampered out.
"This is a democracy!" some have cried. "We must count every vote!" But what is a "democracy" and how does it work?
How has it worked in the past?
While reading God's Word today, one answer became painfully clear. Let us look at what "the voice of the people" can do.
And early in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes, and the whole Council, immediately held a consultation; and binding Jesus, they led Hm away, and delivered Him up to Pilate.
And Pilate questioned Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And answering He said to him, "It is as you say."
And the chief priests began to accuse Him harshly.
And Pilate was questioning Him again, saying, "Do You make no answer? See how many charges they bring against You!"
But Jesus made no further answer; so that Pilate was amazed.
Now at the feast he used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested.
And the man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection.
And the multitude went up and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them.
And Pilate answered them, saying, "Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"
For he was aware that the chief priests had delivered Him up because of envy.
But the chief priests stirred up the multitude to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead.
And answering again, Pilate was saying to them, "Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?"
And they shouted back, "Crucify Him!"
But Pilate was saying to them, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify Him!"
And wishing to satisfy the multitude, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified. (Mark 15:1-15)
As I read this holy and terrible story, I suddenly saw the correlation between the "voice of the people" and the unscrupulous, deceitful conspiracy of their leaders.
Again I considered the manipulation and control that political leaders and so-called religious leaders have just exercised in the recent electoral process. Many naive Christians (and those of other persuasions) were not aware that they were pawns in a political chess game, just like the mob in Jerusalem.
This time however, because of the fervent, continuing prayers of those who see the situation more clearly, the result is mercifully different. Politically speaking, it is the Constitutional electoral college factor, so wisely designed by the Founding Fathers, that prevented another disastrous election result. Those wise men who designed our Constitutional Republic understood the potential dangers of "democracy". They understood that unscrupulous men knew how to manipulate public opinion for their own purposes.
May God grant that we take this lesson from Our Lord's betrayal deeply to heart, and never forget its implications in the exercise of our responsibilities as citizens.
December 19, 2000