Tuesday, January 20, 2009

on Inauguration Day

Today, Barack Obama is going to be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America. This occasion holds special significance because this is our first African-American president. This shows how far this nation has come, not that we don't have a good ways to go, but we've come a long ways at this point in race relations and against racism.

I have been quite impressed with Barack Obama. He has a gift of intellect, but along with that seems to be humble. He professes faith in Jesus, having spoken of a conversion experience he had in the past. He is a realist, influenced by the theology of Reinhold Niebuhr. That can help set him in good stead as President of the U.S.

I don't agree with him on abortion. Though even there I along with other Christians have high hopes that he will help the effort, hopefully in bipartisan fashion, toward the goal of reducing abortions 95% in the next 10 years, called the 95/10 Initiative. At least to his credit he has talked in that direction, not just sitting on a possible overturning of Roe v Wade, which in itself may not reduce the number of abortions in our country at all, or minimally.

I do find Obama good on many issues, such as wanting to help all Americans and people in this country have affordable health care, engaging in more worldwide diplomacy, and hopefully at this point finding a balance between getting the nation back on its feet financially (particularly an acute problem here in Michigan), while helping us adjust for the long term in a fiscally more responsible era, both in government and as individuals and families.

As Christians we are told to pray for our leaders. We little realize what a difference this can make, and often discount it, ending up disengaged from it. I speak here from sad experience. What if a number of us would covenant between ourselves and God that by grace we will at least seek to do better, and pray for President Obama and other leaders on a regular basis? And not let up when things are tough or go bad.

He is to be sworn in at noon today, EST. I look forward to it, even with bated breath, a moment I hope to always remember as a special day. A special day for many and for us all, one that transcends partisanship, not just being about politics, but about being human (thanks, Paul B., at work, as we applied that to MLK, Jr. yesterday, but the application is good for this, as well.)

What would you like to add to this?

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