Monday, September 14, 2009

Disappointed in America

I admit it. I've lived a sheltered life. Although my parents struggled hard to get started and raise five kids, I grew up in a great community and school system, and I was taught mainstream Christian values. After maturing a little in the Army and a little more after being married and having children, I settled down to work in another great community and found a church home filled with bright, caring people. Slowly my religious and social views moderated as I took more seriously what I read in the gospels; "love God, and your neighbor as yourself".

All that happened before the new flavor of self-professed "Christian" leaders took over much of middle America in 1994. From the start, they preached a different gospel from mine. They turned introspective church services into rock concerts. They preached "believe, and get get rich!" rather than "don't take thought of tomorrow". They did a lot of judging, but little confessing, and a few of them did major whoring. Their educational institutions turned their backs on science, and they ridiculed academic learning. But, worst of all, these leaders taught people to turn their backs on the poor, the weak, and the different. And they reveled as the money rolled in and their converts elected ignorance to government.

Now it's 2009. A new man is president, a non-white man who has prompted more "Christian" racism than I could ever have imagined in America. That man has put forward a vision that forwards the historically Christian concepts of responsibility and compassion, but he is being shunned by the new false Christians whose Gods are money or racial pride, and who follow those who appeal to these base interests. Sadly, these latter folks through their electoral power are now able to stand in the way of a new day for America.

Obama is not perfect, but he is more perfect than I. He's the president, but he now understands the limits of presidential power. In our democracy a lot of people must be on board to do anything important, and, probably need the prompting of an emergency as well. FDR, for example, needed Pearl Harbor to get the isolationist Republicans on board. At the present time, we have impending calamities but not yet emergencies in health care, social security, financial regulation, and overall federal and state spending. Obama is capable of leading bi-partisan solutions to these vexing issues, but the false Christians stand in the way because he does not look like them and has more education than they do. Who could have predicted this when I was growing up in America?

I'm disappointed in what's happened to America. We glorify our history but so many of us forget we were founded on the principles of religious and personal freedom. Too many of us have more pride in our colleges' football teams than in the scholars they were founded to produce. Too many of us overlook our own immigrant backgrounds when we spurn those who have immigrated later. Too many of us claim to be Christians but espouse selfish views that Jesus rejected. When the consequences of our foolishness finally overwhelm us, I hope it will be clear that we allowed the worst of us to have power over us. Even God will not save us from this folly.

1 comment:

Sonja's Mom said...

AMEN! You have said exactly what I have been thinking but could not put into words. Thanks.