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.