Friday, November 07, 2008

A Man Without a Country

Rarely does anything as expected as the Obama election cause so much distress in me as this event has. I am profoundly dispirited by the meaning of the election, as I understand it.

The reality is, as yet, to be revealed. Obama promised a lot of things in his long campaign. His personal history promises many things as well. Nothing he has said clears up the mystery of what he will do, nor reduces the potential misfortune his election presages. The reality awaits. I suspect that it may take a generation of two to fully develop and for the consequences of this election to be fully appreciated - although appreciated is hardly the right connotation to apply.

First, let it be clear that the one factor everyone pretends was a non-factor, and yet is his chief claim to fame (at this point in time) – race – has no part in my reaction to the election. I quit counting race as significant in evaluating a person long ago. In fact, it seems to me that we have fallen far short of Martin Luther King’s dream of the day when we judged a person by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. The most celebrated fact in the news coverage of this election result is that we have elected a black man to the highest office of the land - FINALLY.

The content of his character, however, has been deliberately hidden, covered, and ignored. His personal history, sparse as he has allowed the record to be, is troubling. His philosophical mentor is Saul Alinsky, a communist agitator. His personal hero is Frank Marshal Davis, a communist. His one mistake in the campaign, echoing the Marxist credo with the now famous “redistribution” comments to Joe the Plumber. Programs mentioned during the primary campaign - which largely disappeared from his conversation during the major campaign were frightening: withdrawing our troops immediately from the conflict in Iraq and subsequently in Afghanistan, funding a poverty program for the other nations of the world through the UN, unilaterally disarming our nation, negotiating with those around the world who would like to destroy us simply because we are not Moslem without preconditions, and to the aim of making them more content with us, bankrupting the coal industry, ending the use of oil in this nation within a decade, and declining to increase our use of nuclear fuel - effectively reducing our economy to third-world status.

It comes to mind that Hugo Chavez was elected by popular vote in Venezuela. Adoph Hitler was elected by popular vote in times of severe economic distress in the 1930's in Germany. Given the agenda - murky though it is - which has emanated from the One who has been waiting for himself, the possibilities are troubling. Obama has already thrown newspapers off his campaign plane for failing to endorse him. He does not treasure free speech for those who do not kowtow to his ideas. He has signaled his agreement with eliminating the free expression on the radio by returning to the policies of the “fairness doctrine”. He has given too little information to give any thinking person confidence in what he would not do, and too much for comfort when one ponders what he might attempt.

The President-elect announced in his victory proclamation that now we would begin to change this nation. That agenda tells me that the nation I grew up in, served in the military as my duty, during the Vietnam thing, and have always loved, is soon to be no longer. Something else is to take its place - a changed nation. No longer my America - now just something called the United States, but not the United States of the past.

At the same time, I must admit that my church body has changed too. Once famous for its rock-solid commitment to sound doctrine, our President is now famous for telling us that this is not our grandfather’s church, and he has instituted a program which leads the church body away from its historical practices and commitments. I feel that my church body is no longer the Lutheran Church I grew up in and in which I spoke my vows of ordination.

My country is committed to becoming something else, and my church is committed to becoming something other than it has historically been. I feel like a man without a county!

But I do take comfort in this, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.

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