This past week, in the period of one day, I saw our President go from being a Communist to a Fascist. In the morning, CNN carried a story that showed people with placards with Mr. Obama with a red hammer and sickle shouting, among other things, that the President is an out and out commie. Later that day, I went to the post office and two people were our front with a picture of the president and a "Hitler" mustache. Now, he is a Fascist of the worst sort. A little boy, passing by, asked his mom if Obama was like Hitler. Mom explained free speech, etc. The boy asked again, "But is it right to call Mr. Obama that?"
Jesus said this in Matthew…
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. Matthew 5:22 (NIV)
"Raca" is a name of contempt. A "brother" is another Christian. Jesus tells us that contempt for another person for whom Christ died is the same as murder. We are Americans and we do value free speech. But Jesus is Lord over free speech as well. For those of us who are Christians first, contempt for others is not part of the mix. Usually, we direct anger at another but the source of our anger is not the other person. The source is within us. Christ encourages his follower to examine themselves before judging others.
This and any President may not be a good one. Surely, all presidents have been misguided. Presidents also shoulder a load few of us could, balancing polar opposites while trying to guide a nation.
I think, as a follower of Christ, I'll work on the lumber mill in my eye, before tackling with contempt, the sawdust in my brother's (or sister's) eye. And I can still speak my mind in love and tone down the rhetoric.