I am reading a new thick book called "The British Are Coming: The War for America." I've finished "Hamilton." Both are stories of a rising tide in America, of anger at Britain for her unfair taxes in America. America was part of the Empire. But the Empire was finding multiple ways to increase their profits from the Colonists.
It was a time of high ideals about who and what America really was. More and more the Colonists felt they were not Englishman, but Americans. And the clash of ideals led them to war.
And the spirit led to outbursts and insults, often very personal and demeaning. The English view of the rebels was degrading and often vicious. Today's outcries in relation to immigration have also been passionate and given with insults.
But this has not been the worst in American history. The revolutionary days were far worse. Which does not make them right.
But the setting today has been very different. Most of us who have been leaders have needed encouragement to do our jobs. A little appreciation goes a long way. Leaders, in their serving are trying to do their best for their people, whether it is a church, a company, or a country.
To call someone a racist, in the context of political debate or conversation, is meant to be an insult. It is a way of saying to another that he or she is not fair in judgment. To call one homophobic is to say that one is sick, is overcome by a phobia, an inability to see the other person as a lovable human being.
It would take a great deal of care to walk back either of those words to a place of just and fair conversation.
Many leaders politically in America's life believed enslaved black people should be sent back to Africa. Both Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln at some point in their struggle with the issue of slavery, embraced that action as a possible idea.
We see it as abhorrent today. We feel deeply that America is a place where as a nation we are committed to finding ways to live together, to see the best in other people, to understand them as people created by God who should be accepted for that reason alone.
When Barack Obama was elected President, Americans wanted him to succeed. From the day his successor was elected large groups of people wanted him to fail, and have dogged his steps to criticize him, to find reasons to diminish him.
Anyone who rises to become the leader of a nation as diverse as ours, is due a certain respect and help to succeed in that role. And that includes the expectation of prayer as support, of asking God's blessing on a leader, praying protection for that leader.
The Bible makes clear that God did good work in the world through both good people and bad people. Part of the miracle of God's love at work in human lives, is the amazing good that He has done through some who by human standards we would not support success.
We need to give each other a chance to be good and decent people in the world. That is our prayer for our children. It needs to be our prayer for "all of God's children."
We are all sinners. We have life by the very mercy of God. We want His mercy for ourselves. As God's own people we need to want God's mercy for other people.
St. Paul says essentially, "think on good things" in people. Hard work. But, nevertheless, our calling.
Be blessed, friend.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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