Respect, Shame, & President Obama

On January 20, 2009 Barack Obama became my President.

I didn’t vote for him. I stand in opposition to 99.9% of his policies and ideals and I fully expect to oppose him in 2012 but today but he is my President and he deserves respect.

I’m sickened by some of the crap I’ve seen lately coming from conservatives and I will not be associated with that trash one day longer. Its high time someone shamed this nonsense and reminded us that politics should be about reason and ideas not personal slander and attacks.

Clinton, Bush, & a lesson repeated

In early 1998, the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal broke and I remember being in total shock. I wasn’t shocked at President Clinton’s actions because in these parts his wandering ways had long been known but I was aghast that Conservatives I respected and some whom I shared the pew with were openly gleeful that Clinton had been caught in such a disgrace. I strongly disapprove of his actions but the cheering and jeering at every scintillating detail left the young idealist in me forever changed. At the end of the day Bill was a man. A man that had hurt his family, his wife, and shamed a nation. I dare not revel in the troubles of others because I have been forgiven much.

Then during the George W. Bush administration I spent years seeing hate spewed from the left. I bit my tongue at bumper stickers and posters that I considered totally out of bounds and I lost a great deal of respect for a good many liberals.

I think healthy debate and discourse are essential for a strong Republic but the moment either side makes it a personal vendetta we are all the worse.

The lesson is the same. Neither left nor right is immune to nastiness.

Then we elected a black man

As mid-term elections approach after 2 years of a very liberal agenda the fervor on the right is high and the garbage is beginning to roll once again.

So what spurred this post? I received the following via email. (I apologize in advance but for you to understand my intensity concerning this matter I think you should see it.)

Leave him alone he be an American.

A recently released photograph of Obama in his cradle released by the White House proves Obama was born in the U.S.

ATT00037

I stared at this email in utter disbelief. I simply don’t have the words to express how angry this makes me.

Beyond the fact it is utterly racist and disrespectful of the President of the United States the sender shamed me. I’m ashamed they call themselves conservatives and I’m ashamed that they think I’d find this funny.

Furthermore, anyone that receives this email from this day forward will see my name in the recipient list and assume that I approve and endorse this hate. That is why I’ve taken it public so there is no doubt where I stand.

I will not be a complicit bystander. You will not drop this trash at my doorstep.

A final word

I’d discourage anyone from making broad characterizations based on the actions of a few. There is good and bad on both sides of the aisle and that is why it is important for all of us to stand up for what we know is right especially when we see it coming from within our own political base.

Allow me to share some words that I just can’t ignore.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority…

Matthew 5:43-44 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

There is plenty of fire and rebuke in this post but I write this as a reminder to all of us, self included, that Christians are called to a higher standard. It is easy to love those that I agree with and consider friends but Christ called me to love even those people I consider an enemy.

The position and title of the President of the United States of American demands my respect. My faith demands that I show love and pray for my President.

As an American citizens let’s choose to elevate our standards. As Christians let us choose love.