National Column: A time for choosing in 2016

C.S. Lewis once wrote: "Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you ... into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole ... you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself."

Sunday night, when I hit the "send" button on my computer, and sent my column thousands of miles away to my editor, the "central part of me" turned a little in the wrong direction, because I chose to send a column which was neither fair nor balanced.

And if I'd left it that way, that small choice would've helped "turn that central part of me" into "something a little different from what it was before," as Lewis wrote. So I did the right thing and asked my editor to grant me some time to make things right.

I believe with all my heart, as a country we are in a very bad place. After watching the Republican National Convention last week my eyes were opened to the fact that the GOP, with which I once aligned myself, is not much different ideologically than the Democratic Party. During speeches, I saw delegates cheering mindlessly when liberal policies and non-Christian values flowed from the podium and others booed the only person in the hall who spoke about conservative principles. I also heard the nominee say during his acceptance speech: "I am your voice, I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order." Mr. Trump did not in any way suggest he needs God's help or our prayers or assistance. That's scary.

As I wrote my column, a flashing red light was going off in my conscience, but because I am diehard anti-Hillary, I convinced myself it was OK to selectively ignore things I heard that I knew in my heart were not right.

On the other hand, things aren't right with Democrats either. Most of us believed the political system is rigged and now we have WikiLeaks to thank for releasing 19,252 Democratic National Committee emails showing that staffers favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the 2016 primary race. Sander's people have taken to the streets. And although I don't agree with them ideologically, what happened is wrong.

It's also wrong the DNC's speaker lineup excludes widows and family members of police killed in the line of duty but includes relatives of police shooting victims. That's upside-down. And surely we'll hear our fill of gun control rhetoric, although we all know from what we see happening in Europe that gun control does absolutely nothing to control what really ails this world: the depravity of the human heart.

So here we are in 2016. Pardon the French, but our choices suck. The dwindling conservatives among us must find a way to somehow hold fast to what we believe, but still vote. Like it or not, no matter how well a third party might fare, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will haul their personal belongings to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January.

But, there's more than that to consider. As close as I was to voting third party or sitting this election out, I had to come to grips with the fact that my choice might leave the next generation less safe, more anti-Christian, less just, with bad Supreme Court choices and less free.

I have no choice but to vote, so I must make that decision bathed in prayer in hopes that my choice will turn the central part of me a little farther away from hell and a little closer to harmony with God.