What if we got the President some say we have?
“. . .it is increasingly clear that journalists absolutely MUST criticize a president at all cost to maintain ‘credibility’. My perception of your president is that he is one of the greatest leaders of all time, appreciated in almost all other countries, and perhaps, the most under appreciated, under supported president in your own country. . . "said Bill Derksen, apparently from another country, in responding to PBS analysis by Shields and Brooks of the President’s oil spill speech.
Annie: “OK, clearly Mr. Obama must just go to the gulf, make his way to the Deepwater horizon site, swim to the sea floor, grab hold of that pipe, and just squeeze it all. What the heck is keeping him from doing so. . .jeez, he’s the president.”
Mr. Derksen: “This is the most insightful and incisive comment yet!”
“I am at a loss as to what the media/pundits want from a President in this crisis. . . “
In my lifetime (and I have 3 children and 7 grandchildren) I have never known anyone to be criticized so much who so little deserves it as President Obama. I wish to address this avalanche of undeserved criticism. I feel there needs to be a turnaround--some expressions of gratitude for President Obama’s many fine qualities and some understanding for the complexity of what he faces in one crisis after another. .
In Obama and the Chaos Perception, New York Times, June 6, 2010, Mr. Bai states that since President Obama is a gifted writer, he will “understand the power of a good metaphor. . .the poetic significance of that cloud of oil. . . spewing endlessly . . .the accumulating cloud. . .”
Yes, the accumulating cloud .
As has been said in many ways by poets, mystics, and theologians, both ancient and modern: The physical is a shadow of the reality in the spirit. The president should appreciate the poetic significance? What about we as a people appreciating the poetic significance?
What accumulating cloud has been spewing endlessly? Criticism, the distortion of truth, jumping to judgment. The birthers saying the President was born in Ghana and so is disqualified to be president, Glenn Beck Rush Limbaugh and other T.V. and radio hosts leading a mentality comparing the President to Hitler, Stalin, and calling him a communist or a Nazi. A sample of the signs:" Obama is a domestic terrorist." "Obama, the Exterminator: Killing Our Jobs, Killing Our Future, Killing Our Freedom." "Bury Obama with Kennedy." and here's one Sarah Palin can claim, "Obama Lied, Granny Died."
The President can’t even give an inspiring speech to the school children about staying in school and working hard without adversaries advocating a national truancy day since they are convinced this is “an attempt to indoctrinate the kids to socialist agenda”. (Sic) So effective was this campaign that some schools, especially in Texas, said that listening to the speech was optional. and in other schools, a parental signature was required. (Please listen to the President’s Speech—from the Whitehouse or You Tube: President Obama’s Message to America’s Students—also google and see who is “enraged” about it You will see that whatever our President does, he is not immune from this endless spewing. Thankfully, however, there were voices of praise for the speech including Laura Bush.)
Laura Bush Praises Obama, Defends Back-To-School Speech (VIDEO)
Sep 7, 2009 ... (AP) WASHINGTON Former first lady Laura Bush on Monday expressed support for President Barack Obama's decision to speak to the nation's ...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.../laura-bush-praises-obama_n_278917.html%20-
Obama’s Back-to-School Speech Was for 18 and Over Too by Mark Shriver and Jennifer GarnerSeptember 10, 2009: The President said: "Every single one of you has something that you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is.". . .This was an inspiring message of empowerment and responsibility. If the President -- and the generations of adults he represents -- can help successfully instill these two values in our children, we can fuel the next generation to greatness.”
Instead of being encouraged to turn liabilities into assets, there is this accumulating cloud seeking to turn our assets—the gulf and the President—into liabilities. We have a president who is an excellent role model for children and an excellent ambassador for our country. But he is hindered from doing what he is so gifted to do. Because of Health care squabbling and now because of this unregulated oil spill, he has had to twice postpone a trip to Indonesia and Australia. Many vital concerns go begging because there is no time to give them attention.
We have people shouting down town hall meetings who come specifically to disrupt. They don’t want to listen or have any kind of dialogue.. Looking only out of their own windows, they don’t see the whole picture--this is selfish. “But they stirred up the people and made their minds evil affected. . .” (Acts 14:2) The President and the First Lady encourage volunteerism--this fact, along with the speech to the students, are given as examples that the President wants to control our youth just like Hitler did.
I have never been so aware of how our collective will and consciousness is reflected in what happens in Washington as when this nation was faced with legislating health care. .As the infighting and hurling of insults became more intense, options were increasingly limited. I’m sure we could have a better plan if people had listened and worked together—which I know the President wished to do, but he is accused of just the opposite. How can you know if you are for or against something if there is so much misinformation? Sarah Palin needs to be held accountable for her false death panel accusation, which panicked the people. She needs to publicly apologize to the president and to the American people. (Find out what really happened: OPINION November 15, 2009Op-Ed Contributor: My Near Death Panel Experienceby EARL BLUMENAUERhttp://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/opinion/15blumenauer.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
And Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh—are they good role models for our youth?
We're supposed to pray for our leaders, but Rush Limbaugh, referring to the President, says, "I hope he fails."
When the United States lost the Olympics, Glenn Beck said most gleefully, "Please, please, let me break this news to you! Oh, this is so sweet! Our president flew all the way over there to fail!" He could hardly wait to tell this news.Likewise, Rush Limbaugh said with great alacrity, "The world has rejected Obama in the first round of voting! mmm! mmm! mmm! Why would anyone award the Olympics to such a crappy place as the United States of America?" mmm!mmm! mmm!"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCsPAsz-gp4
Actually, a cap needs to be put on more than the mouth of the oil well. If our speech has been “crappy” ,then we are part of the problem. We helped cause the oil spill. Inasmuch as we do our part--Inasmuch as we go by the Golden Rule, or don’t go by the Golden Rule, we are responsible for the peace or the violence in this world. It certainly isn’t the pelicans’ fault—neither is it the President’s—he is one person who doesn’t need to clean up his speech. He’s an example for us all. While we’re griping and complaining putting bad energy into the world, we’re stealing energy and time from concerns that need attention—like the regulation of oil wells. How do we expect the President and our leaders to make good decisions with all this railing?
As so happens in life, an experience of acceptance comes right after an experience of rejection. These two events were in weeks of each other, and I see this as the universe bringing some poetic justice. It reminds me of Haman in the book of Esther, or Sanballet in Nehemiah. Mr. Beck and Mr. Limbaugh were most dismayed to learn of the President being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize." What has he done to deserve. . .?" ". . .anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see." (Revelation 3:18) The people of Norway and people around the world saw with vision--they see the potential--as I do.
New Gingrich’s new book title is: Stop Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine. President Obama secular? Why are Mr. Gingrich and others so intent on portraying the President as “secular” for political advantage? It is easily provable that he is not. The evidence against his secularism is abundant. It was from the beginning. , PBS, Religion and Ethics: What the Candidates Believe , October 10, 2008. begins:
KIM LAWTON: All four candidates describe themselves as Christians, but they talk about their faith — and apply it to their politics — in very different ways.
Barack Obama has been the most outspoken about matters of faith, even though a survey last month found that 46 percent of Americans were still unable to correctly identify him as a Christian.http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episoes/october-10-2008-campaign-what-the-candidates-believe/885/ Hear his testimony in his own words.
The President has a Faith Based Initiative with 25 members on the Advisory Board, (Look it up and see who is on it.) Here’s another article:
Without a Pastor of His Own, Obama Turns to Five
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN March 14, 2009, New York Times
. . . he has quietly cultivated a handful of evangelical pastors for private prayer sessions on the telephone and for discussions on the role of religion in politics.
. . .two of them white and three black — including the Rev. Otis Moss Jr., a graying lion of the civil rights movement. Two, the entrepreneurial dynamos Bishop T. D. Jakes and the Rev. Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, also served as occasional spiritual advisers to President George W. Bush. Another, the Rev. Jim Wallis, leans left on some issues, like military intervention and poverty programs, but opposes abortion. . .
Rev. Joel C. Hunter, the pastor of a conservative mega church in Florida, was branded a turncoat by some leaders of the Christian right when he began to speak out on the need to stop global warming. . .
What? the President hasn’t been going to church? Maybe in his worship, the President wants to quietly be out of reach of these predators who are poised to pounce and twist anything the hapless pastor might say.. There have always been these kinds of people. "And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words."(Mark 12:13)
What brought Newt Gingrich’s secular accusation campaign to my attention was an email about Obama Edits Jesus out of Easter http://www.torenewAmerica.com/obama-removes-Jesus-from-easter-message
This link will take you to Newt Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership web site and the article by his friend and speech writer, Vince Haley. This piece of writing sped around the Internet resulting in 3 goggled pages of organizations forwarding the original Vince Halley/Newt Gingrich outrage against Obama for daring to edit Jesus out of Easter. To further feed prejudices against him many on Fox and talk radio emphasize that the President had a Moslem service in the White House—which he did, an Iftar service at the end of Ramadan.. Somehow these same people neglected to tell about the other services—a Passover Sedar and an Easter Prayer Breakfast.(The evidence will prove that he gave two Easter messages and Jesus was included in both) He has been widely said to be a Moslem, that he put his hand on the Koran, instead of the Bible when he was sworn in and that he won’t say the pledge of allegiance. http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp To this day many believe these false statements. Is it not true that lies circle the globe several times while truth is just getting its boots on?
The anti-abortion war has gotten totally out of control—actually, it’s been out of control for years. Back in 1990 I wrote my first article for the Florida State Flambeau, entitled: Is there a Peaceable Solution to the Abortion War Without Compromise? (I felt there was.) . Abortion has been said, more than once, to be "at the heart of the wrangling." The frenzy has gotten to such a pitch that Senator Randy Neugebauer from Texas yelled “Baby Killer” in the Senate during the health care debate when Bart Stupak was speaking. Bart Stupak had fought hard and held out to keep health care funds from paying for any abortions. He insisted on a Presidential signature to this effect--which he got. However, this wasn't enough for Senator Neugebauer. Oh, the madness of the demonstrations, the signs, Randall Terry's urging "Burn in Hell Protests" calling on people to burn effigies of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. President Obama is put in this same group and said to be the “most pro-abortion president we’ve ever had.” This refrain is taken up --just google it--Alan Keyes, Sarah Palin, of course. When he was scheduled to speak at Notre Dame 350,000 people wrote protest letters and some Notre Dame students elected to forego commencement in dissent.
However, a careful review of what the President has said and did will reveal this to be most untrue and unfair. The truth is that one of the 4 goals of his Faith Advisory Initiatives is to reduce abortion. I'm grateful for Laura Bush expressing similar views. She said on Larry King Live, May 13, 2010 that she believes abortion should remain legal and has held that view for years. She recalled telling an interviewer on the day her husband took office in 2001 that she did not think Roe v Wade should be overturned. She said at that time that the country could do more to minimize the number of abortions. And that is exactly what President Obama wishes to do. The reversal of Roe will not stop abortion but will rather multiple the problem. Abortion will still happen—it will just be illegal. Drugs are illegal, but this doesn’t stop our 35 billion collar appetite fueling drug wars in Mexico, Columbia and other places. Was Prohibition successful? The cause would be much better served by directing attention to preparing a better environment for wanted conceptions.
(1) Women worldwide are dying of pregnancy-related causes at a rate of about one a minute
It’s appalling how many women are dying in the United States from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth. The shocking truth behind these numbers is that half of these can be prevented.
These women are dying because they have no access to health care or maternal care. In fact, 13 million women between the ages of 15-44—that one in 5 women of reproductive age-- have no health insurance at all. Many begin pregnancy with untreated or unmanaged conditions that only get worse with pregnancy. . .
Christ McGraw Program Director Grassroots Advocacy
Amnesty International USA
Shouldn’t this be a” pro-life” concern? Roe will not prevent addressing these desperate needs. However, a focus on the reversal of Roe will steal the energy to do so..
(2-9 at the back of this article)
(10) For Ex-G.O.P. Official, Obama Is Candidate of Catholic Values, New York Times, August 29, 2008 nytimes.com/2008/08/30/us/30beliefs.html?fta=y -When Douglas W. Kmiec endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president last spring, it made waves, especially among Roman Catholics.
A constitutional scholar who headed the Office of Legal Counsel under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Mr. Kmiec was well known as an articulate opponent of abortion. . .
Q. Given those views, why do you support Barack Obama?
A. There is a widespread misconception that overturning Roe is the only way to be pro-life. . . I doubt that many of our non-legally-trained pro-life friends fully grasps the limited effect of overturning Roe. . .Senator Obama is articulating policies that permit faithful Catholics to follow the church’s admonition that we continue to explore ways to give greater protection to human life.
Consider the choices: A Catholic can either continue on the failed and uncertain path of seeking to overturn Roe, which would result in the individual states doing their own thing. . .Or Senator Obama’s approach could be followed, whereby prenatal and income support, paid maternity leave and greater access to adoption would be relied upon to reduce the incidence of abortion. . .There are clearly partisan forces that want nothing more than to manufacture or stir up faith-based opposition to their political opponents.
The President’s Speech at Notre Dame:
Listen first to Fr. Corapi of The Cardinal Newman Society—You Tube: Obama Notre Dame Scandal or NotreDameScandel.com http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/
Then listen to President Obama: In Praise of Fair Minded Words at Notre Dame posted by Jess Lee—The Whitehouse: Obama answers Notre Dame Hecklers with ‘fair-minded words. . . www.whitehouse.gov/.../Remarks-by-the-President-at-Notre-Dame-Commencement/ - Cached - Similar
May 17, 2009. . .The speech underlined the president’s desire to elevate public discourse on issues such as abortion in order to find common ground. www.csmonitor.com/.../obama-answers-notre-dame-hecklers-with-fair-mionded-words
You will be impressed with Notre Dame’s enthusiasm for the President... His speech is masterful. As you listen prayerfully with your heart, you will know God's answer.
If our energy is consumed with the reversal of Roe vs. Wade (which is fruitless effort to stop abortion), then it will not be sufficient to attend to the audible screams of children in our own country and all over the world.It is vital to end this war, which is tearing our country apart, wasting time, money, and energy without result or solution and fomenting hate. Causing havoc in our political process and draining our resources, this internal impasse touches us all. In this mistaken focus we are weakening our whole society in neglecting the problems and suffering that need to be addressed, The faulty thinking, surfaced by this issue, graphically illustrates the erroneous way we go about solving the issues that face us – all elements of our discord are represented. The Abortion War—there is a peaceable solution.
Though Frank Rich in Don’t Get Mad, Mr President, Get Even, New York Times, June 6, 2010 may give constructive advice for the President, he somehow finds it necessary to join the chorus and list as a flaw a quality for which we should be especially grateful. In the midst of all this ranting and raving and craziness, our President keeps his cool. Praise God for this! “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city”( Proverbs 16:32) “Anger rests in the bosoms of fools” “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry; for anger rests in the bosoms of fools.” ( Ecclesiastes 7:9)
Mr. Rich states: “Obama must address his real flaws to get past this . . . We still want to believe that Obama is on our side, willing to fight. . .” President Obama is on our side! Fight? Apparently they want some theatrics, some losing of his temper from the President to fuel our differences and pump up media ratings. Give us a headline! I want a scoop! Please don't be so boring as to be civil, Mr. President. They wait expectantly, pen poised, but alas in vain--no Jerry Springer, outrageous statement comes forth.
I am so proud of the nobility of our President! What an example for our children and the world!
"But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another." (Gal. 5:15)
The college I went to had a rule: Constructive suggestions welcome; gripping not tolerated. Most of us have heard the parental admonition, “If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.”
We have something to cry about. I am horrified by this oil spill. Since a child I have loved the beaches—Lake Michigan and later where my father lived, Sarasota’s Siesta Key. And the pelicans—I love those birds. They make me laugh. They’re goofy and comical, yet stately and elegant in flight and very “in the moment” –confident in their right to be anywhere they are.
I’m remembering a moment after my father’s passing. I was out in the water of Siesta Key with a noodle around me to hold me up. Such peace to sit there . . . the water lapping lazily around me. To my delight one lone pelican circled above me and I
laughed. My Dad loved birds, too. That’s Dad up there, I thought, making that pelican fly around me! I waved, “Hi Dad!”
I mourn the pelicans and other wildlife covered with oil. What must their once happy little hearts think? I mourn for the fishermen and the people of Louisiana’s coast. I mourn for my nation.
In addition to the procedures that are taking place now-- the needed regulations, what preparations BP did not make, how it can be cleaned up-- we need to clean up our speech.
Another quotation from college days:
"When gratitude dies on the altar of a man’s(a nation’s) heart, he is well nigh hopeless."
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21) What we say is what we get is a well-known saying. What if we got the president some say we have?
Do we want the oil to stop? Do we want our beaches and pelicans back? Then we need to first speak it into existence, everyday write down 5 things for which to be grateful , and ask what your part is in the clean up and do it. It’s scientific, "The world you have created is a result of your thinking," said Albert Einstein. Our thinking will create our words and actions. If we want our President and leaders to make good decisions, the screaming feeding frenzy and misinformation (lies) have to stop. If there hadn't been so much of this, more attention may have been directed to proper regulations for BP and our country’s other critical needs..
I am not advocating the agreement or support all the president’s policies. I don’t. I wasn’t happy about sending more troops to Afghanistan. I didn’t agree with the cash for clunkers—I think the money should be spent on mass transit. We have too many cars. Give the car jobs to trains and buses. I certainly wasn’t happy about, “Drill baby, drill” Of course, he didn’t say that. However, somebody did. I am concerned Guantanamo Bay and the prisoners who have neither been charged nor tried.
We have to work together. The greatest threat to our democracy is not this policy or that policy—it’s our spirit and our words, which will reap the right or wrong actions.
It have been said, “I can go with someone whose spirit is right, but with whom I disagree in policy, but I cannot go with someone whose spirit is wrong, but who I agree with in policy.
A friend on Facebook wrote, “We could do more good for our president if we prayed for him instead of so much criticizing. The Bible says we are to pray without ceasing. Where does it say we are to criticize without ceasing?”
Do we want to be known as a gripping, criticizing, complaining, ungrateful nation?
In Audacity of Hope, President Obama says, “
. . .what’s troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seeming inability to build a working consensus to tackle any big problem. . .Politics (and political commentary) not only allows but often rewards behavior that we would normally think of as scandalous: fabricating stories, distorting the obvious meaning of what other people say, insulting or generally questioning their motives, poking through their personal affairs in search of damaging information.” P.22, 64
Eric Alterman in his book, What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News:
Television atomizes, compartmentalizes, manipulates, disjoins, disintegrates, wrenches from context, ignores, and changes the subject whenever it feels like it. It does not sit still for complex argument. “Television,” Jeffrey Scheuer notes, “systematically keeps it simple, stupid.” The net result is a disaster for democracy as intelligent debate under these circumstances becomes impossible.”
I pray for our President. In contrast to the unfair accusations I wish to express my gratitude and thankfulness for his many fine qualities. I'm thankful
for his love of country and people,
for his knowledge and intelligence--that he has diligently studied our history, our founders, and our Constitution,
that he is appreciative of our diversity of cultures,
that he stays calm under pressure,
that he is a listener--that he wants to hear and consider opposing views and that he wants to be fair,
for his wisdom and speaking ability,
that he is forgiving and not vengeful, for his generous spirit,
that he knows, as he has expressed, the importance of humility,
for his sense of humor.
I'm thankful for how noble he is and that we can be proud of him when he travels to other countries and gives speeches.
I'm thankful for his dignity.
I'm thankful for his family--for Michelle and his girls to whom he is a good husband and father.
I'm thankful that he is a man of faith,
for the message of redemption that he gave at the Easter Prayer Breakfast,
May he be given increasing wisdom and good counselors and may wrong counsel be defeated. May we be a people whose collective consciousness not only brings forth such a leader, but nourishes and protects our young President with our prayers and goodwill.Still the voices of ranker and false accusation. We want to uplift our president and not wear him down. May we deal with our differences as assets to enlarge our perceptions instead of liabilities to divide us. Help us to be quick to hear and slow to speak.
I adjure all of you to listen to President Obama’s Easter Prayer breakfast message. He especially speaks of Redemption.
During my lifetime I’ve listened to many Easter messages, but none have affected me as much as this one by our President at this time. I’ve listened to it around ten times and feel that I could write a book using what the President so eloquently said in so few words.
Since a child I’ve understood what redemption was, but now it takes on a much deeper meaning. What if we really believed in redemption? What would our prisons be like? What if I believed in redemption—any regret, any seeming failure of my life? I am now threescore and ten—what if I believe all can be redeemed? How would this affect my actions and my spirit?
O Divine Redeemer!
Our country, our President, our children need all of our hands helping, our prayers, our encouragement. Sarah Palin, it’s time for you to go back stage for awhile. (All of us need to go backstage sometimes where actually much work can still be done.) Newt Gingrich, you need to get your facts straight and learn some kindness and until you spend some time on your knees or walking through the woods in meditation, you are not an example of spirituality for us to follow. Your writing and speech need redemption. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, others you’ve said and written enough for 10 lifetimes. As I used to say to my children when they were quarreling, “You’re on silence.”
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord will lift up a standard against him (Isaiah)
The President (his speech in part):
". . .One of my hopes upon taking this office was to make the White House a place where all people would feel welcome. To that end, we held a Seder here to mark the first Passover. We held an Iftar here with Muslim Americans to break the daily fast during Ramadan. And today, I’m particularly blessed to welcome you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, for this Easter breakfast. . . I wanted to join you for a brief moment today to continue the Easter celebration of our risen Savior, and to reflect on the work to which His promise calls all of us.
"I can’t tell any of you anything about Easter that you don’t already know. (Laughter.) I can’t shed light on centuries of scriptural interpretation or bring any new understandings to those of you who reflect on Easter’s meaning each and every year and each and every day. But what I can do is tell you what draws me to this holy day and what lesson I take from Christ’s sacrifice and what inspires me about the story of the resurrection.
"For even after the passage of 2,000 years, we can still picture the moment in our mind’s eye. The young man from Nazareth marched through Jerusalem; object of scorn and derision and abuse and torture by an empire. The agony of crucifixion amid the cries of thieves. The discovery, just three days later, that would forever alter our world -- that the Son of Man was not to be found in His tomb and that Jesus Christ had risen.
"We are awed by the grace He showed even to those who would have killed Him. We are thankful for the sacrifice He gave for the sins of humanity. And we glory in the promise of redemption in the resurrection.
And such a promise is one of life’s great blessings, because, as I am continually learning, we are, each of us, imperfect. Each of us errs -- by accident or by design. Each of us falls short of how we ought to live. And selfishness and pride are vices that afflict us all.
"It’s not easy to purge these afflictions, to achieve redemption. But as Christians, we believe that redemption can be delivered -- by faith in Jesus Christ. And the possibility of redemption can make straight the crookedness of a character; make whole the incompleteness of a soul. Redemption makes life, however fleeting here on Earth, resound with eternal hope.
"Of all the stories passed down through the gospels, this one in particular speaks to me during this season. And I think of hanging -- watching Christ hang from the cross, enduring the final seconds of His passion. He summoned what remained of His strength to utter a few last words before He breathed His last breath.
“Father,” He said, “into your hands I commit my spirit.” Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. These words were spoken by our Lord and Savior, but they can just as truly be spoken by every one of us here today. Their meaning can just as truly be lived out by all of God’s children.
"So, on this day, let us commit our spirit to the pursuit of a life that is true, to act justly and to love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord. And when we falter, as we will, let redemption -- through commitment and through perseverance and through faith -- be our abiding hope and fervent prayer. . . .
The President modestly says that he doesn't expect to tell them anything they haven't heard before or give any new interpretation of this scripture. And yet, for me--I who have been listening to Easter sermons since before I was born--my mother taking me to church--found something in this message especially deep and new affecting me I think as no other Easter message has. Perhaps the timing and the soil of my heart and my concerns. I thought, what if we as a country really believed in redemption? How would it affect our prison system? (We incarcerate more people than any other developed country.) What about Guantanamo Bay? If a person believed in Redemption, could they ever think that torture is the means of keeping us safe? Some on the death panel deride the fact of "lawyers being used for terrorists" --never mind these people haven't even been tried so how can you know if they are innocent or guilty. As I ran over to Van Cortlandt Park to pray, it came to me, “Jesus is a lawyer for terrorists.” What about the Apostle Paul? If we are truly followers of the Christ—if we believe in the work of Jesus on the cross—if we embrace the message of the resurrection, then we must believe in redemption. It’s the answer to terrorism. May our eyes be open to this revelation. Our country needs redemption! The gulf needs resurrection!
The President said, "We are awed by the grace He showed even to those who would have killed Him” I am in awe of the President by the grace he shows to those who would kill him.
I cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is for us to create a different climate with our thoughts, words and actions. Our president faces 30 death threats everyday:” Since Mr. Obama took office, the rate of threats against the president has increased 400 per cent from the 3,000 a year or so under President George W. Bush, according to Ronald Kessler, author of In the President's Secret Service”. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5967942/Barack-Obama-faces
Before the assassination of Martin Luther King and President Kennedy, there was this similar climate of hate. In each case a lone gunman pulled the trigger, but everyone who hated without cause and spoke words without knowledge is responsible for the murder:
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).
”For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.” Psalm 35:7
“If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause. . .My son, walk not thou in the way with them;; refrain thy foot from their path” Proverbs 1:11
“Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm” Proverbs 3:30
“Be not a witness against thy neighbor without cause: and deceive not with thy lips” Proverbs 24:28.
“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire”. Matthew 5:22
I’m putting a lot of verses in here to impress how serious this is for individuals and us as a country. I’m certainly grateful for redemption and the mercy and grace of God. For there are mountains of words that need redemption.
My cousin and I were discussing President Obama’s book, Audacity of Hope. She emailed": I am in the thrall of what I consider to be the ONLY man on the planet who could take all these disasters (real and inherited!!) and possibly fix them! I think he is a GODsend!”
I do thank God for our president. He's just the president we need at this time. My cousin's remark may sound like an exaggerated hyperbole, but we've heard so many destructive hyperboles in the other direction, that I let it stand to pull society away from that extreme and more where it should be. Because actually with God's help and with our help he can do it. “The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water he turneth it whithersoever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1) God can turn the waters as well and stop the storms—if we stop acting like unruly children. President Obama said he can’t do it alone and he can't. He also said, "I'm trying hard and I want the best for America." I believe him. Will we destroy or build?
The last paragraph of the President state of the oil spill speech:
“Tonight, we pray for that courage. We pray for the people of the Gulf. And we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.”
There are two prayers someone said that we can quickly pray during the day, “Help” and “Thank You.” Here is another one suggested by our President, “Into Your hands, I commit. . .” All during the day, any fear, any concern that comes to us, pray, “Into Your hands, I commit. . .” O Divine Redeemer, I commit my life, my fears, my children and grandchildren, the mothers and children of the world, our media, our President, our nation, this oil spill and this endless spewing and the accumulating cloud. . ..”
Let’s let the pelicans laugh again.
Let’s be as children, with malice toward none, and run down to the shore and laugh and play with the pelicans circling about!