For eight years we have been blessed with a scandal-free First Family. I, for one, will miss President Obama’s quiet dignity and deep strength in the face of all the hatred and opposition he faced from the moment he took the oath of office.
History will bear record to his accomplishments. He has exemplified true servant leadership and has led our nation with intelligence, wit, humor and true humility.
We now enter a new era where the new leader of our nation thrives on lies and scandals, cannot communicate a clear thought and reeks of racism, xenophobia and bigotry. I, along with most of the world, am holding my breath as the United States begins a perilous journey led by an ego larger than the nation, itself.
Farewell, President Obama, and God bless you. You are already missed.
“It’s an universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Intolerance is a sign of inadequacy, and not just of education. Intolerance is also a sign of a shallow and superficial spirituality.
We also need to be keenly aware that intolerance comes from a foundation of fear and demonstrates a private sense of inadequacy that is masked behind the arrogance.
Intolerance is not a characteristic of a good leader. This is something that bears watching in our country’s new leaders.
The Apostle Paul provides us with a clear and concise reminder of how we are to live as followers of Jesus Christ. These are traits that reflect God’s love, and they demonstrate a serious attempt to model our lives like our master and teacher.
If these traits are not evident in a person’s lifestyle it might be a sign of a shallow spirituality, or that there is no real depth to their discipleship. We demonstrate our faithfulness by the way we live, not by what we say.
A lie is a lie no matter how many times it is repeated. It is the opposite of the truth, Wrong is the opposite of right. Evil is diametrically opposed to good.
It doesn’t matter how many times a lie is told, or evil is lifted up as good, a lie is a lie and evil cannot be good. Rick Warren is right about this. It doesn’t matter how many accept a lie or agree that evil is good. A lie can never be the truth and evil can never be good.
This is especially critical for us to understand during this Presidential Campaign. We all recognize a lie when we hear it. We all know the difference between right and wrong. We have all been taught the difference between good and evil.
I will cast my ballot for the candidate who has not repeatedly been caught lying during this campaign, the candidate who does not have a long history of racism, bigotry, fear-mongering, inciting violence, and defrauding all those possible. I cannot in good conscience vote for a pompous, egotistical, self-aggrandizing braggart whose bullying is already legendary.
Some of the values I have learned from my faith are love, humility, gentleness and service to others. One candidate reflects these values with a lifetime of public service. The other consistently demonstrates just the opposite.
For me the choice is simple. I recognize a liar when I hear one. I know the difference between right and wrong. And like you, I definitely know the difference between good and evil.
Jesus said that we were to love one another more than we love ourselves. He also said we were to love each other even as He loved us.
This is the kind of love Frankl is describing, a lifestyle of service and love for those around us. Such self-transcendence is not only the path toward self-actualization, it is also the path to true and lasting joy.
On Maundy Thursday Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of a dozen refugees as a part of Holy Week observances. Those whose feet he washed were not all Muslim, but also included a Coptic Christian and a Hindu.
This is another powerful demonstration of faithfulness to our Lord’s teachings as well as true servant leadership. Real leadership is not about bluster and self promotion. It’s about humility and serving others.
If those of us who call ourselves followers of Christ would ever understand this we would live in such a way that we might live as one family and have a honest chance for peace on earth.