Thursday, September 10, 2009

He Spoke

The President spoke to school kids. Some opted out. Most heard. Sounded like something a parent would say. Not much controversial.


Previous to the speech, a lot was said. Much very negative, speculative and, often, disrespectful. Claims were made that the President was going to "indoctrinate" children. Much was fabricated about the content and, while the exact content was not made known prior to the speech (why have one if the speech is pre-released,) our President was not given much of the benefit of the doubt. A north Texas school district that opted out of the President's speech will go here the previous President speech later this month at Texas Stadium. Kids hear congress persons and local officials all the time.


No one needs to agree or even like the President but he, like all people, deserve respect. Respect means truly listening when it  the turn of others, just as much as we want to be listen to when it is our turn. Respect and civility seem to be evaporating in our society. Beyond that, we seem to play out our disagreements using children, among other groups, as go-betweens.


On the occasion of baptism, we claim or promise to convey to our children, two things among many as part of our Covenant with God. First, we respect the dignity of every human being – black, white, Sunday School teacher, felon, Muslim, or Christian. Second, we seek and serve Christ in all persons, remembering that the "all" includes some people we really do not get along with or have strong opinions about.


Today, have I become so angry with life that I need to write off anyone, including the President (past and present, lest I think this is only a problem today,) with speculative cynicism? If I am so angry, have I laid my anger before God? Cultivated-prolonged anger needs to be healed. Can I find good in others and avoid labeling them as if they were cartoon characters? Who do I write off with a label? Can I give a person I disagree with, the benefit of the doubt? Is Christ resident in my neighbor?


I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40 (NIV)


  1. I could not agree more with your words today. I want people to be active in our system of government, but what I have seen lately has gone way beyond civic activism. There is an element of meaness and "my way or the highway."

  2. Hysteria and meanness cloaked in religious/political language is still hysterical and mean...

    This is great--thank you Jim! And greetings from Jubilee House :)