The Devil’s Dictionary of American Politics

One of the tricky things about our language is that words often have multiple meanings. Take the word dude, for example.

“What’s up, dude?”

Here, dude means fellow or friend.

But the same word can also be an expression of shock or awe.

“Hey, Cheese Puffs aren’t buy one get one free at Kroger anymore.”


Nowhere is the multiple meaning of our words more clear than in American politics. You’ve probably heard it said before that the Devil is in the details. In his book The Devil’s Dictionary of the Christian Faith, Donald Williams elaborates on that saying. “Remember: the definition is what the Devil wishes were true, period, and which is, in fact, true all too often.”

Here’s how the Devil is getting his wish in the language of American politics.

Affordable (adj.): When the government gives you something that neither you or they can afford by forcing a completely different group of people to pay for it thus making it free. Well, free for them at least.

Anarchist (n.): Any individual or organization that has a problem with the federal government spending trillions of dollars to make sure that your flower bed has the proper ratio of weeds to pine straw.

Bipartisan (adj.): When politicians who represent opposing viewpoints come together to really stick it to the American people.

Cut 1 (v., archaic): To decrease the size and spending of government; 2 (v., current): An act of terrorism that would prevent millions of Americans from being provided with much needed smart phones, Curious George cartoons and ridiculous pieces of art placed inside of funny looking library buildings.

Debt (n.): Money that American politicians borrow from other nations or institutions under the assumption that it will be used to help average American citizens. In the rare event that this money is ever returned, it will be at the expense of those same average American citizens. And their children. And their children’s children.

Democrat (n.): A member or supporter of the most compassionate and caring political party that has ever existed.

Extremism (n.): The belief that one should be able to say what he wishes, worship where he wishes, own a firearm and put as much pine straw in his flower garden as he so desires.

Freedom (n.): A citizen’s privilege to choose whether his rights will be taken away by a republican or a democrat.

Gun-Control (n.): The belief that government should use its own evil weapons to take away evil weapons from citizens that is grounded in the assumption that only government agents and American funded international drug lords have enough inherent goodness to overcome the evil of such weapons.

Politician (n.): A person elected to represent a group of citizens by acquiring as much money and power as possible, all for the good of those citizens, of course.

Republican (n.): A derivative from Latin meaning to sell one’s soul and cave in at the last minute.

Sacrifice (n.): A citizen’s patriotic duty of either voluntarily or involuntarily giving up rights so that government can protect him from himself.

Terrorist (n.): A Christian mother of five who drives a mini-van, loves her husband and kids, pays for her own groceries and voted for Ron Paul. Not to be confused with people who use anything at their disposal to do as much harm as possible to the American republic while benefiting themselves. See politician.

Tragedy (n.): A really awesome opportunity for politicians to acquire more power for themselves and take away more rights from citizens by appealing to the emotions or fears of those citizens.

War (n.): The political strategy of making a bad situation worse by talking about it more, “getting tough” on it and spending trillions of dollars on it. Examples include but are not limited to the War on Drugs, the War on Terror and the War on Poverty.

So now, the next time you turn on the news and hear about a bipartisan effort to bring about gun control, you can turn to your friend and say, “Dude! This ain’t good, dude.”

The World They Will Inherit

I’ve done a lot of thinking lately about the country that my kids will grow up in.

It’s depressing.

They are living under a government that seems more concerned with expanding its own power than protecting the freedoms of its citizens.

And many of those citizens seem all too eager to hand their freedoms over, just so long as it doesn’t involve a press conference that interrupts American Idol.

The situation is grave now and it scares me to think about what it will look like in ten or twenty years.

As usual, my wife gave me a couple of shots of perspective.

One was from Jerry Bridges’ book Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts.  Jerry writes, “we should take more seriously our responsibility to pray for the leaders of our government that they will make wise decisions.  Although we may suspect that some of the more disastrous decisions are evidence of God’s judgement, we do not know that.  We do know God has instructed us to pray for leaders.  Our duty, then, is to pray for wise decisions, but to trust when foolish and harmful decisions are made.”

Our government has a bad history with foolish and harmful decisions.  I’m reminded of it every day when I read the news and listen to the radio.  But what my wife showed me when she shared that quote with me is that Jesus Christ is still supreme.  Bad decisions and corrupt governments are nothing new to him.  With every government abuse, Jesus is still holding all things together (Colossians 1:17).  His sovereignty is not thwarted by bad government.

And then my wife pointed me to the words of Jesus himself.

“And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved.  But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”  Matthew 24:22

At first, that doesn’t seem too encouraging.  But a closer look proves helpful.  Jesus is saying, “Dark days are ahead.  Really dark.  But I have a covenant with my people and I will keep it.  They will be protected.”

It seems so simple to write this.  Almost like a bumper sticker or something on a church sign.  But it is still true.  And it’s what I need to hear every day.  I can’t trust my government to protect my freedoms but I can trust my Savior to protect my soul.  In him, my election is sure.  There is an end to these dark days.  A better one awaits.  One with no tears, death or corruption (Revelation 21:4).

I’m not even 40-years-old yet but I already find myself thinking back to the good old days.  Days when there was no corruption and we could all trust each other.  But the good old days are a myth.  They ended the moment when Adam and Eve disobeyed.

In her own way, my wife helped me to look in the right direction.

Instead of looking back, Christians should look ahead to a home where there is no corruption (Revelation 21:27).

This does not mean that we should keep our heads in the sand or misunderstand Romans 13 by turning a blind eye while our leaders disregard the laws of our nation.

It does mean that as we expose lies and fight for truth, we do so with the knowledge that this world, in its current state, is not our ultimate home.

So instead of worrying about the world that my kids will grow up in I’m trying a new approach.

I’m training them up and preparing them for the perfect world that they will one day inherit by grace and through faith in a righteous King – the Man Jesus Christ.

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  Revelation 21:22 (ESV)