Friday, January 25, 2013

Redeeming the Future

Fires of hell.

When the tent preacher comes to town, he spreads a message of fire and damnation.  He leads us to think that we are all sinners who need to turn from our evil ways.  His use of fear of suffering attracts our attention.  He pulls on our mistakes, errors, and sins with his angry speech playing on our anxiety of not being worthy.  You can smell the sulfur in his thoughts.

Meanwhile, our local ministers continue to preach of salvation.  They quietly talk to us about grace and forgiveness.  Trying to remind us that we are redeemable, even lifting us to aspire to be better.  Their soft message of hope proclaims a sense of forward purpose, re-igniting the light in our souls of what we could be if we only try.

Angry preacher spreading fear
Eventually, people turn away from the hell fire revivalist and return to the comfort and hope of their local church.  Human beings cannot long live in fear without becoming depressed and run forth from the pain it engenders.

In the past two decades, the Republican party has become more like the tent preacher than the local minister.  We hear angry rhetoric that our country is becoming corrupt.  We are told that we will fail.  We are led to fear and even hate many things.  America is sinning.  We risk fire and damnation.

We become tired of fear
No gun control. No funds for storm victims.  No controls on health care.  No taxes.  No security net.  No gays.  No banking regulation.  No immigration reform.  No new civil rights.  No climate change.  No women combat soldiers.  No minimum wage.  No abortion.  No to unions.  No to even the federal nation itself, proclaiming doom.   Some even screaming for the states start to secede; tearing us apart from one and another.

Ike stood for good
I am not advocating or denying any one of these political positions. I am  instead trying to highlight the fear and negativity that are used in trying to guide our policies.  Having a desire to make us better is not the same as saying no, being negative, and resisting change just because it is change.

I became a Republican because of Dwight D. Eisenhower.  He was a pragmatic leader of men with a vision of direction that celebrated what the United States could be.  His leadership in war gave us hope we could campaign for better lives in peace.  I left my party and became an independent when it became clear that people like him would no longer be accepted in it.

For the loyal opposition, as the Republican party has become, to succeed it must leave behind the hell fire and damnation, the fear and angry words and start preaching a message of hope for our future.  Looking upward not backward: that is how my grand old party can find salvation again.

Ronald Reagan urged us on to “the shining city on the hill”.  His positive outlook reached into human's hearts triggered us to strive.  He pointed to the future, to a new beginning.  We, the people, responded with landslides of votes.  We, the people, built better lives.

Please, oh please; my Republican brothers and sisters, leave off this foreboding depression and begin to lead us upward again.  Find goals we can strive for.  Find motion that moves us on.  Reclaim your place with visions of the future that bring peace, progress, and prosperity to us all.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, Mark. Well said--and that from a Democrat!