by You Have My Word
…as in abomination… as in “oops, I may have just lost some readers”… as in I’m going to keep writing so stick with me and you’ll see where I’m going.
This last week saw a very hyped (with good reason – you’re choosing a president – hello!), very tense, very competitive, very scared, very skeptical nation drudge to voting booths to make an “X” in one of two blocks.
Newspapers and broadcasters were going crazy, paraphernalia being sold all over the place, entire buildings covered in posters and promotional material, conversations were static with cynicism, fear rose faster than flags could be hoisted. I’m sure the White House was an electrical storm and the short, sharp shocks sent currents further than a simple city. America on the edge of its seat in anticipation of what its “fate” would be.
The big day: hustle, bustle, rush, run, push, discuss, research, make an informed decision, vote. The big news: Barack Obama, and flurried feet and hushed tones under the loud celebrations of others. This is your sentence, nation. Obama nation.
“Abomination” is defined as a thing that causes disgust or hatred, a vile or shameful or detestable action, condition or habit. I am not talking about Obama being selected as president – for me in sunny South Africa, that’s neither here nor there. The abomination is this: a nation that glibly claims “In God we trust” getting so caught up in the election of a single man.
I’m not undermining the authority of a president or the necessity for a country to have a leader that has a vision and won’t compromise even when things get tough. I believe that God places authority figures in certain positions and we’re called to honour that. I am, however, questioning the irrational fear and pandemonium that breaks out when there is even a fraction of uncertainty. My disgust is in the double standards – the claim to trust in the Divine, but the chaos because trust is in the mortal.
It needs to be realised that as hard as we may try – and we do – the only real change happens when we trust in God. I know this is not easy – particularly when you have millions of people chomping at your heels. I dare not even begin to assume I have even a glimpse into the intense, intricate pressures and workings of responsibility at that presidential level; I have total respect for anyone who stands office.
“In God we trust” needs to be more than a motto. It needs to be a way of life for each individual. Our comfort should be in the fact that our nation – each nation – is God’s nation, not Obama nation.