Christian Worldview

Voting to Impeach

Last week will be remembered as one of the most tumultuous in American history. In one week we saw a war fought, the Speaker of the House resign, and the president impeached. For many countries these events would have spelled catastrophe. Governments would topple and citizens would riot in the streets. The fact that these calamities did not befall us here is a testimony to this noble experiment in self-government called America. The Rule of Law is as strong as ever. Americans should be grateful for many things. Above all, we should be grateful for the vision of the Founders. God led them to design a free republic with strong moral foundations, one which ensures that America can absorb these kinds of shock waves and survive—in fact, come out even stronger. There were a lot of charges that congressmen were acting out of partisan motives. I don't believe it. Last Friday one representative called me for spiritual advice, a Christian who was wrestling with his conscience about how to vote. He had been studying the evidence night and day. He told me, "I will never in my political life cast a more serious vote. I've got to do the right thing by the country." And then he added, "I would prefer to resign than not do the right thing." I was especially encouraged when he told me that many of his colleagues were engaged in that same spiritual struggle. So I found it unfortunate when some observers challenged the vote as an attack on the Constitution—as pure, partisan politics. Not so. And I must confess to a bit of disappointment over the reaction to the vote on the White House lawn. The president's supporters made it sound as if he were a victim. And from the president there was not a word of contrition. I wish he had recognized the vote of the people's House and reached out to those who voted for impeachment. But despite the rancorous debate, and regardless of what eventually happens to President Clinton, the message of this weekend is that the Rule of Law has been vindicated. We have sent a message to the world that if you are a shipping clerk and you perjure yourself, you go prison. If you are an Air Force general and you perjure yourself, you go to prison. If you are the president of the United States and you perjure yourself, you are impeached. The Founders would be pleased. They would be pleased, as well, at the action taken by Rep. Bob Livingston, who recognized his moral authority was eroded and had the honor to step down from the third most important position in the American government. The lesson was clear—virtue matters—and again, the Founders would be pleased. Well, the week is over, and to all those Democrats who have been yelling that this is a partisan attack, and to all those Clinton haters who just want to see the president go down, I have just two words: Cool it. Let the constitutional process work. And now, let us put our rancor aside and recognize the season in which we celebrate the greatest event in all of human history. God became flesh and dwelt among us. The Prince of Peace has come! During this time of turmoil, we should remind ourselves of the words of our Lord: "Peace, I leave with you. My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid."


Chuck Colson


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