Truth is the beginning of wisdom…


Posted by straight shooter on January 19, 2009 under Political, Social Concerns, Theological Concerns

It’s ironic that Barack Obama chooses to infuse these opening days of his presidency with the imagery of Abraham Lincoln.

I don’t think there could be two more different men. Understanding why may help us think about what to expect in the days ahead.

Beyond his trademark “change we can believe in,” Obama’s defining theme has been unity and inclusiveness. “…There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America – there’s the United States of America …. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States … and have gay friends in the Red States … I value life but I vote for abortion …”

Obama does not suggest that we don’t have differences. His point is that those differences are not critically important and they’re getting in our way. Let’s put differences aside, get practical, and solve our problems. Everything is negotiable … right and wrong … good and bad… WHAT? No it isn’t!

The inaugural ceremonies have pastors for everyone. A white evangelical that opposes same-sex marriage, a white homosexual sinner, a left-wing black male, and a left-wing black female. Oh, and don’t forget the Islamic prayer representative. Yes, and we see what their prayers do.

His economic stimulus plan has large government expenditures to please Democrats, tax benefits to please Republicans, bailouts for everyone and their dog, and of course don’t forget the pork.

Lincoln, too, sought unity … a very different type of unity. Lincoln’s notion of where national unity would lie was a far cry from Obama’s because its focus and philisophy was totally different.

Lincoln prophetically stated this challenge after accepting the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1858. “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure half slave and half free. I do not expect the union to be dissolved. I do not expect the House to fall. But I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”

As historian Harry Jaffa points out, “For Lincoln, as for Jefferson and for all genuine supporters of the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the distinction between right and wrong is antecedent [the forerunner] to any form of government and is independent of any man’s or any majority’s will.”

Lincoln knew that some principles are so fundamental they cannot be compromised. He knew that we couldn’t ignore our key differences. Unity could only come from facing them and making the hard choices keeping in mind a biblical right and wrong.

We have many Americans today who read the same Bible but edit the truth of its principles, directives, context, and content to make claims to support their desires, instead of taking the intent of what it says as it is, as it was meant to be. Now we have Americans as well who do not see the Bible as relevant and would claim that there are no truths.

Our future will reflect today’s choices.

On the hardest moral dilemma of his day, Abraham Lincoln stepped up to the plate and took a stand. He did not say that it was above his pay grade. This is what makes Abraham Lincoln very different from Barack Obama … Lincoln stood on the moral high ground. The ground on which this countries forefathers stood.

Americans are constantly being betrayed by unethical behavior in American business and in Washington … the behaviors of greed, lies and dishonesty for the love of money and power. Moral problems are what lie at the root of our faltering economy.

The sanctity of life and sanctity of property are cut from the same cloth of eternal law. It’s this law that defines our free country. Our new president, who sanctions both abortion and massive government intrusion into our economic lives, sees things very differently.

These fundamental differences matter immensely and what is chosen will define our future. As Lincoln said, the nation “will become all one thing, or all the other.” I’m not looking forward to what it will become unless there are some major changes and departures from the direction Obama has stated.

Bottom line … Obama has little in common with Lincoln! Lincoln was willing to do what was right.