Friday, September 3, 2010
In God We Trust
I just finished a book that disparages our American History. It tells the flaws in those whom we have previously considered our heroes. The book leads the readers to believe that our country is no different from any of the other countries in the world. It claims we have as many violations of human rights, as many dishonest dealings and as many areas of corruption as the lowest third world countries.
The book is juvenile in its reasoning. It assumes that any violation is as bad as any other. It assumes that any area of corruption proves that the corruption is pervasive. It equivocates any measure of human rights violation with any other. It cannot seem to see that a flaw does not make the character of a person or a country.
Let’s admit it: we have had corruption and continue to have corruption in our country. There are those who are committing illegal and unethical acts who are leaders in our country. There have been presidents who have committed illegal acts and have had others lie to congress and the American people. But that does not mean that America and every person whom we have considered a hero is corrupt to the bone.
King David was called a man after God’s own heart. However, he committed adultery, lied, had a man killed and acted as if he had done nothing wrong. Shouldn’t we consider him corrupt? These seem to be some major sins. Shouldn’t we no longer listen to him? Shouldn’t we take him off of our hero list?
No, because that was not his character. He was not characterized as an adulterer because this was not his normal way of acting. Yes, he committed the sin but he was not known as one who did this sin each time he saw an opportunity.
Does the fact that each one of us has told a lie at some time in our lives make us a nation of liars who cannot be trusted in anything we say? No! There are those who have lied to the point of being characterized as liars. They will have to build trust before anyone can believe them. But most people are not characterized by lies. They can be trusted.
The fact that America is flawed should not be surprising. Our nation is comprised of flawed people. Each of us has done things for which we needed forgiveness. This does not mean that we are characterized by those things and our nation is not characterized by those things either.
I believe we are characterized by standing up for what is right. I believe we have done remarkable things in helping people around the world. I believe that we have given privately and publicly more than other nations toward the betterment of mankind. I believe this is how we are characterized.
So, when you read that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, don’t be surprised. Don’t think they didn’t know better either for they did. They were flawed just as we all are. However, they are characterized as men of integrity and courage. They are still heroes despite their flaws.
As Americans, let us not accept the wrong as right nor the right as wrong. Let us continue to stand for the right and defeat the wrong. Let us continue to fight corruption within and without our nation.
Let us be a country which can say: “In God We Trust.”
1 Kings 2:1-3 (ESV)
When David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying” I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.”