- - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I believe and pray the next speaker of the House should be a spiritual person with executive experience, one who takes a divine perspective of the turbulent world we live in and applies principle over process.

Why is it important that we find a spiritual person, you might ask? The answer is simple. The men and women who founded America had a biblical understanding and wisdom in obedience to God. An eternity ago, American values, customs, traditions and standards were saturated with His Wisdom found in Scripture. The Founders established a biblical-based culture with the Bible as the fixed point in order to judge.

Look at the 13 Original Colonies, which established Christianity as the official religion of America in each of their charters. American exceptionalism did not come as a hodgepodge of ideas, thrown together at random, but was poured by the American Founders, establishing a Christian nation. Virtue and righteousness are key components of freedom. The Founders reinforced that time and time again:

• “Purity of morals is the only sure foundation of public happiness in any country.” (George Washington)

• “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.” (George Washington)

• “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morals are indispensable supports .” (George Washington)

• “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (John Adams)

American exceptionalism was the byproduct of the lives of the outstanding men and women of character, who had submitted themselves to His teaching, and accumulated personal, spiritual and moral knowledge found only in wisdom’s words in Scripture.

To put a finer point on this, Founding Father Fisher Ames, member of the First United States Congress, proposed the language of the First Amendment to the Constitution on Aug. 20, 1789: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Merely one month later, on Sept. 20, 1789, Rep. Ames wrote in “Palladium”: “We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We’re starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools … . We’ve become accustomed of late of putting little books into the hands of children containing fables and moral lessons … . We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text in our schools.”

This seems to be as good as time as any to call for a new direction in America, a time to think outside of the box. So in addition to spiritual values, there’s another quality we should seek in the next House speaker.

As we travel the country interacting with everyday Americans, they often wonder aloud why we can’t get a more functional Congress, one with a clear vision, an unbending set of principles, strong faith and a consistent record of achievement.

The John Boehner-Kevin McCarthy fiasco caused me to think: Maybe it is time to have someone with executive experience lead the House. After all, the Constitution allows for someone not elected to Congress to serve as speaker. The Founding Fathers had a reason to place it in the Constitution.

Here’s why the idea is interesting: In the 21st century, too many members of Congress have become slave to parliamentary process over principle, and partisanship over purpose. They pursue agendas driven by TV sound bites and panic at the first sign of a revolt in the mainstream media. There is too much focus to the passing and too little attention to the significant.

Leaders with executive experience — like governors or corporate chiefs — have the training and instincts to resist those pressures and stay on course with a strategic agenda, rather than fall prey to the whims of the “congressional country club” filled with alligator-shoed lobbyists and political consultants.

So here’s an idea for the next House speaker: Let’s elect a proven leader who is not a creature of Washington, D.C. One who has shown the mettle of a proven executive, and brings with him or her a spiritual perspective.

David Lane is an influential evangelical political activist and founder of the American Renewal Project, a nonprofit which is working to train pastors across the country to run for office.


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