Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15 - Character as a Foundation of Civilization

Immediately following our September 25th Los Alamos Times interview, I was inspired to write about the lyrics of the Choose To Unite song, as posted on the October 7 blogs, as well as a piece about Barack and Character.  Because it feels in tandem with Frank Schaeffer's article (see October 14 Blog), this feels like a perfect moment to post it.

 "In a time where the world is topsy turvy, certain people remind us that a person of character is still the foundation of civilization." I heard this sentence in a recent talk, and asked the speaker for permission to use it in the context of this writing.

It is finally time to plead.  "Hey, People of the USA" – Wake Up!  A large percentage of We, the American People have been in a slumber, or trance – unaware of or ignoring the degree of the nation's spiraling decline, its tenuous position in the world, the fragility of our very existence vis-a-vis nuclear threat and environmental destruction.  It is not computing that crisis contains opportunity, and opportunity has been placed in full, living technicolor view in the form of Barack Obama.

People like Obama are extremely rare and do not come around often.  But this exceptional model of a human being is here now, and this country would be literally insane not to usher him in as the leader he was brought here to be with the strengths and opportunity he offers us. Who else brings such a brilliant mind, clear communication, natural presence, hope, vision, stamina, and the ability to inspire, organize and galvanize millions of people?  Who else has such honesty, genuine human warmth and solid values as a husband, parent, citizen?  Who else has such clear seeing and personal integrity?  And who else with all these assets would be willing to take on, and capable of leading through, the utter chaos and disastrous state of affairs that we find ourselves in?  Who else has broad strategic vision regarding the overall complexity of challenges that we face?

We are certainly not the first example of humanity "going to sleep" on a gift of grace placed in our midst, right in front of our eyes.  One obvious parallel is Jesus.  Even though the ever present "crowds" witnessed and were awed by the miracles God performed through Jesus, in the end, they could not believe who he could potentially be and rejected him.  In the end, fear and an inability/unwillingness to see and trust the truth prevailed.

Barack Obama is a messenger (emphasis on the role of messenger vs. messiah).  My prayer for our country is that this time around, we do not do what we have done over and over, which is to "shoot the messenger."  Lessons keep coming back around until we can get them right, and this is truly a moment to get this one right, rather than repeating the same several thousand year old error.  Our survival depends on it.

"Let us trust God, and our better judgement to set us right hereafter.  United we stand, divided we fall" (Patrick Henry, 1799).  "United" means everyone, regardless of differences on the surface such as skin color, age, gender, economic status, religious beliefs.  Beneath these outer categorizations, humans have in common hearts, the ability to discern truth, and great capacity to love, heal and be transformed.  We have arrived, finally, at the threshold of uniting in our humanity, embracing the diversity of forms that God has created, as guardians of life and this precious planet called Earth.  It cannot be overstated how everything is at stake now.

In our choice of our next President, let us choose what we and the world need and deserve.  Let us choose a person who embodies and inspires greatness.  Let us choose a person who has the depth of character and vision that can offer a foundation for future civilization.  Let us be guided by truth and light.  May we be blessed with right action and get it right, this time around.

"He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).  Barack Obama does. So must we.