Report on
Meeting with Virginia Legislators

Here is my summary (with additions) of the event I sent back to my team (five of us).  There were fifteen or more (people drifted in), probably eight to ten of those were senators or delegates to the Virginia legislature.  An impressive number, I thought.  The homosexual issue is clearly important to them.  But politicians are a stubborn lot, have a hard time listening.  (Hard time listening....  Sound like anyone you know?)   E. Fox
 

We will have to wait to see whether there are any serious results from our efforts to get people to force the "behavior" issue onto the table. There were the predictable tendencies to slide off onto other issues, which I see mostly to be fruitless rabbit trails. Everyone has their favorite story to tell. And, politicians being what they are, they have their own agendas which they want to import into every meeting they attend. No one, so far as I could see, was jumping on the "let's force the behavior issue" bandwagon as though they thought that might provide a breakthrough. Which I am sure it would. If they would work together and persistently.

Just about every politician I have ever talked with wants sound-byte talking points to solve his problems. I think that is unrealistic and unproductive. We do indeed need to have quick answers to issues, but if we do not have some depth to our responses, some ability to answer why that sound-byte is a good one, the shallowness will soon show itself. There is no substitute for the hard work that produces indepth knowledge. That comes only with time and concentration on learning. No way around that. The real "quick answers" will come out of long experience and engagement, not from artificially produced sound-bytes. A quick answer from someone who knows what he is talking about is different from a quick answer read from someone else's script.

I am looking for politicians who want to understand things at a deeper level than sound-bytes, and who are willing to find the time to do the learning. Maybe we need to help train them, challenge them. We need statesmen, not merely political functionaries. People are dying. America is disintegrating. Much too much is at stake to allow ourselves and others to do less than the best we all can.

If we do anything like this again, we ourselves should beforehand run through various scenarios, role playing, so that we can learn keep the focus where we want it. A lot of time was spent rambling on interesting issues, but not to the point we wanted to focus on. It would be helpful for us to be able to show as a team an example of how to keep the discussion focused on a given target by each supporting the target when it goes off center. As usual, I was a bit naive about what could be accomplished.  But, as the Lord keeps reminding me, He has me right where I need to be to do my growing. So, let's learn from this experience.

I would be interested in observations on this event with the purpose of improving any future such events. A bit of role-playing by us on the behavior issue with the legislators might have made an impact.

I have come away from almost all such events more deeply aware of the depth to which America has fallen -- not just morally, which is horrendous, but intellectually.   And as one of the politicians said, "We have become a cowardly nation."  We are not willing to risk what is needed.  We do not remotely understand the spiritual war we are in. 

That means, for the foreseeable future, trouble.   I think America, and the Church, will slide downhill considerably before things begin to show improvement in the larger picture. 

On the good side, there are lots of big things happening in small groups around the nation, really powerful potential.  A growing sense of our political history, and its relation to our Judeo-Christian faith, a growing awareness that we have been systematically lied to for over a century on almost all fronts: politics, economics, religion, morality, sexuality.  These people and their successors will be the winners in the long run. 

But conservatives tend to be soloists.  There yet remains to be seen a willingness to network together, a common sense of loyalty to Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords in public, that the battle is really His, not ours, and that we must follow His strategy -- speaking truth in love -- at any cost to ourselves. 

 

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