John Livingston

We Need “Discerning Hearts”

It is so easy today to paint with broad strokes in black and white. There is no grey at the edges or meeting of the ways in the middle. We approach history the same way.

White man bad—Indian (Native American) good. Ukraine good—Russia bad. Christian good—Muslim bad. Rich man bad—poor man good. Republican good—Democrat bad. Capitalism bad—Progressive socialism good. North good—South bad. It is much simpler than that. All men have elements of good and bad, and by asking for God’s Grace and Mercy we can maximize the good by realizing that is not because of what we do, but rather who we are that defines us. It is simply the job of government to secure the only possession we have been given by God—Our free will —”Liberty”. Everything else that we possess we hold in trust.

Two of my favorite characters in the Bible are King’s David and his son Solomon. King David had an adulteress affair with another man’s wife—Bathsheba. Their child died, but another child—Solomon became the wisest of all Kings. David’s sin—he also had Bathsheba’s husband murdered was forgiven by God with a price—the death of the son. God forgives if we sincerely ask for His Mercy, but he also punishes.

When Solomon assumed the throne God asked him in Kings: 3, “What do you want” Solomon, replied “a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish right from wrong”. The Lord gave him more. “Since you have humbly asked for this and not a long life or wealth, I will give you more”. WE are all inspired by greatness, courage, and humility, but many times we don’t see it because society today encourages us to distance ourselves from each other. We define ourselves by our differences and not by what makes us great. I think social media and marketing algorithms contribute to this process by putting us in “groups”

Fr. Oscar Romero was the Archbishop of El Salvador in 1980 when one of his priests who had been working amongst the poor was murdered by a Marxist zealot because the priest was creating self-reliance groups that were successfully moving large numbers of people out of poverty. “If the people were able to care for themselves, who would be dependent on government?” Fr. (now Saint) Romero had been the darling of the ruling class in El Salvador most of whom supported the Marxist Elites. The murder of a fellow priest changed his perspective. He challenged the ruling political elite to support church programs that would lift millions out of poverty. He challenged Marxist views—he himself had once flirted with Marxist ideology.

Today in our country and state the ruling elite are being threatened. That is why Mr. Trump was so hated. This is what the RINO establishment in Idaho fears. Corruption doesn’t have to be illegal, but many times it is. The collusion and cronyism between government agencies and private sector organizations and non-profits and the disbursing of billions of dollars of transfer payments at least deserve an outside operational and financial audit. The Little—Bedke—Mike (Simpson and Crapo) vote is a vote for the establishment and a continuation of the status quo.

Despite huge leads in the pre-primary election polling the ruling establishment is scared to death if they lose—corruption will begin to be uncovered. Just like in El Salvador, the ruling elite will fight back. That is why a family is being attacked that has already been through the hell of having had a baby taken away from them. Like St. Romero they fought back the only way they could. And now they are being sued by one of the largest institutions (corruption doesn’t have to be illegal, but it might be) in the State of Idaho. I have received e-mails from nurses and doctors and have had them come to my home, who are afraid for their jobs if they come forward exposing what has happened to their professions and most of all to their patients in the name of an “Emergency Order” To file a law suit against a family that has suffered so much speaks more to the “corporate souls” of those institutions and those who run it and those on their Board, than it does to the issues addressed in the law suit.

And what kind of a person (attorney) would file such a suit exerting such financial and political leverage against a single family? When an attorney from a large and prestigious law firm files a law suit it is an everyday occurrence. When a family receives such a notice it is devastating. I have known Mr. Stidham in the past—both of us served on the Bishop Kelly Foundation Board at one time. For Mr. Bundy and The Rodriquez family this is personal. For Mr. Stidham and Mr. Roth, it is business. And that is the point and that is what’s sad. The plaintiff in this case doesn’t care. Painting with broad strokes in black and white is what bullies do. It is what happened in El Salvador in 1980. Unfettered leverage, political or legal, never seeks a middle ground. Solomon knew a better way. Where are the “discerning hearts”?

The Bundy- Rodriquez family is what is good about America. This fight isn’t legal, but cultural—it always has been. Christian values vs secular values. Urban values vs rural values. Conservative values vs progressive values. The Elite moneyed class vs everyday citizens and families. Vote for the people and not the establishment. I have more in common with the Rodriquez family and Mr. Bundy than I do with Mr. Little Mr. Bedke, Chris Roth, or Mr. Stidham. “Dummy scrimmage heroes all”. Piling on after the whistle is something the people of Idaho don’t believe in.

“There are certain things that can only be seen with eyes that have cried” Fr. Romero. Having a baby taken away from you is certainly one of those things. The powerful politically elite in Idaho are so afraid when they are 30 points ahead in the polls that they are using all their power to destroy a family. Why? What are they afraid of? Think about it before you vote.

We need a Solomon. He certainly won’t be found in the ranks of IACI/IMA/IHA or in the current Governor’s Office.

We need a “discerning heart” to lead our State back to greatness.

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