Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Getting political for a moment...

So I don't usually step up on a political platform. Well, I kind of did with the Civil War series. Tried to be objective, but my emotions came out through Emily Birmingam. Anyway, I've thought a lot about that series this morning, and here's why.

When I finished Faith of our Fathers, I was emotionally exhausted. I was disheartened that history shows so many good people allowing something perverse to exist in this country for so long. Even then, the people called slavery a "peculiar institution," and indepth research about it and the war itself made for one sad writer.

I wasn't sure I'd ever see the day when this nation elected an African American president. It took 100 years after the Civil War ended to see an effective Civil Rights movement. 100 years! And this morning, some 50 years later, I witnessed history.

I was grateful to hear the inaugural invocation. Rick Warren is a California preacher of some controversy, depending on who you ask and on which side of Prop 8 you fall on, but it was nice to hear a prayer delivered on behalf of the people asking for humility, wisdom, forgiveness and blessings. Despite the divinely inspired separation between church and state, I love that I heard someone petition our Father for help on behalf of an entire hopeful, weary nation. It was a decidedly Christian slant, especially ending with the Lord's prayer, but I sincerely hope it will be received by all as the gesture of faith that it was.

One of my favorite passages from his prayer:

"Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race, or religion, or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ."

Now before you get all up in arms and post nastygrams to me saying that the Civil War was about more than slavery, I already know all that. I also still maintain that there was only one issue divisive enough to rip this country in half, and it happened when Lincoln was elected, having made his views on slavery clear. Race has been an issue in this country since its inception and the fact that we are now seeing such diversity in leadership and, indeed, in the highest post in the land makes me feel warm inside.

Regardless of what happens in the future, for now, I am hopeful. May our Father bless us all.


mmm.chocolate said...

Very well said. What a historic moment in our nation. I agree that it does make a person feel hopeful inside. --Amy

Amy said...

Very beautifully written! I agree with you. I felt excited and hopeful today as I listened.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

Thanks, Amys! I'm glad to be in good company. :-)

Marcia Mickelson said...

I really liked Rick Warren's prayer too. The whole thing was lovely. What a wonderful day!

David G. Woolley said...

Tipped your hand? Come on. There's no tipping here. So who'd ya vote for?

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

I don't kiss and tell. ;-)

David G. Woolley said...

I do...

I didn't vote for President Obama. And if the election were held again today I wouldn't vote for him. But I happily, and with all my heart say, "God bless President Obama."

I disagree fundamentally with President Obama's social and economic agenda. Printing billions of dollars on a printing press and flooding the economy with those dollars did absolutely nothing for the Japanese economy over a decade of government bail outs in turning the tide on terrible recession.

It will do nothing for the United States.

I am no fan of government regulation, but despite that conservative view, I favor changing the rules on banking and bringing the entire global economy under stiffer regulation including hedge funds which are in the category of too-big-to-fail. That's where Obama should focus his economic recovery efforts: changing the monetary policy of not just the US but of countries across the world with an emphasis on not allowing any financial institution to become too big to fail and prohibiting financial institutions from taking risks too large for their balance sheets to cover.

I am concerned that President Obama will cripple the free flow of ideas, money, and entrepreneurship across state and national borders, in favor of taking steps towards government run institutions and the monolithically slow, cumbersome unwilling-to-change government-run institutions in the financial sectors as well as other industries. I fear we will wake up one morning and say, "Woe is me, they have taken away our innovation, our creative ideas, and our economic freedom and left us with a society of waiters.” Waiting in line for everything from milk to money.

I wish President Obama would put aside ideology in favor of the economy. He has asked conservatives to give on government regulation issues as they pertain to financial institutions, but he has not asked Liberals to satiate their appetite for government intervention and spending when it clearly is not the answer and has proven time and time again to do nothing but ease our pain in the near term while prolonging the suffering over the longer term.

President Obama is clearly not willing to give up the liberal spending ideas, but he is asking conservatives to back off on government regulation.

I didn't like then candidate Obama’s economic approach in July. I was more concerned about it in October. I do not support President Obama’s economic plan in January.

That's why I wouldn't vote for him if the election were held today.

And then there are all those nasty, emotion-packed, social agenda issues that tell us much more about a person’s private morality than they ever have power to socially engineer our country toward some sort of conservative or liberal utopia. I don't agree with nearly all of Obama's social agenda. I think it stinks. You simply can’t have family issues both ways. They are far too black and white. But then, I am a conservative thinker.

That said, I can honestly, and with all the hope in my heart ask God to bless President Obama. No matter what your political persuasion, you can only hope that God will touch his heart, that he will have the humility to hear the wisdom echoing down through the centuries from inspired founders and have the desire to be, like them, inspired of God and follow the divinely revealed lead in our constitution—something the news media decried in George Bush, but may laud in President Barack Obama.

So I say again, God bless President Obama.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

Very fair, and thanks for taking the time to write it. I suppose time will tell- I think we forget sometimes that the president is only one third of the wheel, (or stool, or whatever may have three parts). So while many hope to see change, I think it may be slow in coming.

I do think we have lost worldwide respect in the last decade. I think that diplomacy is invaluable and as we move forward with a new focus, I hope to see other countries find their confidence in our efforts to understand different cultures/issues.

David G. Woolley said...

Regardless of which wheel he is on the three wheeled federal government cart, or what leg he is on the three-legged federal stool, or his point on the federal governing triangle or his lofty place among the three-stars of Orion's belt, or his color on the artist red, yellow or blue federal primary color wheel...his financiel policies, no matter what congress thinks or the supreme court rules, reflect far too much far left thinking ideology and not nearly enough common sense. And don't we need common sense right now?

His social policies are another matter and, no matter what congress enacts, they reflect radical rather than conservative religious ideas.

This is, after all, the inaguration of a presdient, not the seating of congress from two weeks ago or the selection of a new jutice for the court.

David G. Woolley said...

I don't think we've lost any respect in the world. We've lost the respect of a liberal media around the world. Two very different beasts. And those are the only views you read about in your newspaper. Most people around the world don't have a problem with a government that protects its people.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

*sigh* I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about a few things. And that's ok. :-)

David G. Woolley said...


Jennie said...

Nancy, I, like David, wish Obama well, but I didn't vote for him and I wouldn't today. Too much has been made of race in this presidential process and not enough attention has been given to the policies he espouses. He appears to be a great father and husband, is idealistic though his ideals are rather skewed, and I think he's sincere in his desire to make our country better, but he's never done anything yet to deserve the adulation he's getting from so many. Like David, too, I have serious reservations about his economic understanding. My biggest concerns are that he put all of Bill Clinton's cronies back in power and he's made too many promises to too many special interest groups including those who push immoral agendas. He reminds me of the old saying, "When all is said and done, there's a lot more said than done." His campaign and rhetoric were too Carter for me. His inaugral speech was stirring, Michelle's coat-dress was stunning, and his daughters are adorable. He's starting out with a grand, though expensive, inaugeration, the good will of the people, and a media honeymoon. His presidency could be the beginning of something great or something more dismal. I truly wish him well; he'll be in my prayers, and I hope he doesn't let himself or the country down.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

As always, Jennie, I appreciate your insight. And I do agree- the honeymoon can't last forever. A big deal has been made about race, and I can't help but think it's partly human nature. I know a lot of people who were pro-Romney just because he was LDS, not because they knew anything about him or his policies/campaign platform.

I think this election had so many pieces of cultural significance- I know that's what struck me the most. As for the future and how reality plays out, well, I guess we'll see. I pray for him, too.