The Common Good

Back to the Future with Focus on the Family

Yesterday, Jim posted his response to Focus on the Family....Action's 16-page "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America." They say that though their letter is a "what if?" exercise, that this "does not make it empty speculation, because every future 'event' described here is based on established legal and political trends that can be abundantly documented..."

For example, the letter predicts four terrorist attacks in the U.S., after which "the entire country is fearful." I can just imagine it-Homeland Security would need a whole new color-coding scheme. (Magenta Alert!) But who knows? Maybe they have some kind of intelligence upon which to base such an outrageous prediction-perhaps a memo with a title something like: "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S."

It's just too bad that back in 2000, Focus on the Family...Action kept their clairvoyant abilities under a bushel and neglected to send a "Letter from 2008 in Bush's America" warning us all of the trouble we'd encounter. Maybe they thought it would be bad for fundraising. Well anyhow, let's fire up the DeLorean and travel back to the year 2000 for this letter from the future....

October 30, 2008

Dear friends,

I can hardly sing "God Bless the U.S.A." anymore. When I hear the words

"And I'm proud to be an American

Where at least I know I'm free,"

I get tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Now in October 2008, after seeing what has happened in the last eight years, I don't think I can still say that "I'm proud to be an American." The actions of my government have been a national shame.

And do "At least I know I'm free"? Our civil liberties have been trampled by a White House that dominated all three branches of government for most of its term, enabling it to pass legislation like the U.S.A. Patriot Act and other policies that increased secrecy and domestic spying and vitiated habeas corpus-all in the name of national security. Few politicians of either party dared to resist them for fear of being branded "unpatriotic" or "soft on terrorism."

The 2000 election was closer than anybody expected. In fact, Al Gore won the popular majority. But because of loyal officials in Florida and conservative allies in the Supreme Court, George W. Bush became president. Many Christians voted for Bush because he was "pro-life" and a "compassionate conservative." As Bush himself often says, history will be his judge. It hasn't been too kind so far.

Over the next eight years:

Of course, not all of this stuff is the Bush administration's fault. Just most of it. And it's not like he didn't accomplish anything worthwhile. PEPFAR is great. Really quite super. Even though members of his own party tried to sabotage it. But I digress.

The truth is almost always scarier than fiction. That's why, in this campaign, both candidates have emphasized their desire for change. After the last eight years, we desperately need it.

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