One of my brothers sent me an article with some references to some things said by Charles Colson after the first time Barack Obama was elected President. The article was by Eric Metaxas and can be found at http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/20716. Basically, Mr Metaxas quoted Charles Colson to support his view that "America is in danger of forgetting God". I don't think there is much of a danger of that, but Mr Metaxas's other point was that we need to pray for our leaders. And I heartily agree with that. The article begins:Whether you voted for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, whether you’re recovering from your all-night celebration or drying the tears from your pillow, today’s a good day, as Chuck Colson reminded us, to heed these words of the Apostle Paul: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
This is good advice even if America is not in danger of forgetting God.The problem is, not everyone believes the same way about God. Some Americans call God Allah or الله. Some Americans refer to God as Jehovah or יהוה . Then again some Americans worship a God who is not like Allah or Jehovah at all.
And this is a problem with the fundamentalist evangelical Christians.But… we live in a democracy, not a fundamentalist evangelical Christian theocracy. And contrary to the belief that is popular among fundamentalist evangelical Christians, this country is not a Christian nation. It was founded on principles often called "Christian" and they are, but they are not exclusively Christian. Here's the preamble of the U S Constitution… many of you, I'm sure, have it memorized:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.The principles are:
1. Union. Community, cooperation, mutual respect.
2. Justice. Fairness, equality, no discrimination.
3. Domestic tranquility. Deference to the rule of law, work together, "play nice".
4. Common defense. Have each other's back, look out for one another.
5. General Welfare. Take care of each other.
6. Blessings of Liberty. Let us and our kids and their kids, etc, have freedom, safety, enough to eat, a place to live and grow in peace.
These are Christian principles, and they are principles of other religions too.This is why I don't think the United States of America is in danger of forgetting God. Maybe the 1% is. They seem to almost worship money. But the 99% generally doesn't want to see others banished, treated unfairly, left to die, or made to live without the blessings of liberty.
We should pray for our leaders, and we should also pray for 100% of Americans. And you know? it wouldn't hurt to pray for 100% of the people of Earth. God loves the entire world, his entire creation. We could even pray for the animals, from our pets to the whales, and everything in between.Another of my brothers said in an email to me that "we have the weapon of prayer". I really don't think of prayer as a weapon. I don't see prayer as something to be used against someone. Even if the someone in question is quite nasty.
Prayer is more of a parachute, a life-saver. I was trying really hard not to ask God to "let Obama win". I prayed for his will to be done. On Earth as it is in Heaven. And then, I always added, "And if the ice breaks, help us be tall enough to reach the bottom." Our focus has been on ourselves, and this country, but we need God's blessing as a species. God bless this planet. And if the ice melts help us all to be tall enough to reach the bottom.I do feel good about us as a species. We are pretty danged smart, on the whole, and I believe we're going to make it. I see God holding back a little to see if we can manage it ourselves, like a little 6-year-old on a bicycle for the first time. As a parent you want to help and protect him, but you gotta let him learn to ride, and he won't if you don't let him fall once or twice. Then, you run to pick him up, tell him he did good, encourage him to try again.
The dinosaurs didn't make it, and they got wiped out. If we don't make it, we'll get wiped out too. But I think we'll be okay. Maybe bruised some, but okay.Okay, we have 4 more years of Obama and the Democrats. So, are the Republicans going to reach across the aisle? Are we going to accept the fact that not everyone is an evangelical Christian? That some Americans are liberal Christians, some are Catholic Christians, some are Mormon Christians, some are Muslims, some are Buddhists, some are Hindus, and some are even atheists. But we are all Americans. As the President said on Election Night in his acceptance speech, "Young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America."
If you don't believe in abortion, don't have an abortion. But don't force your beliefs on others. Some even point out places in the Bible, taken absolutely literally, where it seems to say that a baby doesn't become a living soul until it takes its first breath. That before that time it is merely living tissue. (Genesis 2.7, Job 33.4, Ezekiel 37.5, 6.) I don't believe that myself, but I won't try to stop you from believing it.
If you don't believe in same-sex marriage, don't partake in it. No one is going to force you to marry someone of your own sex. Again, some can point out places in the Bible that support the idea that some people are "born that way". (Matthew 19.12.)
Some say that God will judge us for allowing abortions and gay marriage. Some even say that Superstorm Sandy was a taste of his judgment. Mostly those who say that, deny there's such a thing as global warming.
But if Sandy was a judgment from God, why hasn't he judged us in similar ways for allowing slavery for a hundred years, and not allowing the "freed slaves" to vote for another hundred? Why did he not judge us for allowing child labor? Why didn't he judge us for subjugating women to the whims of men for so long? Why hasn't he judged us for murdering millions of American Indians and stealing their land? Evil is not a new thing to America. It's been around a long time, and it's not likely to go away soon.
But we can pray. Let there be peace on Earth. And let it begin with me.