LEADER TIMES WEEKEND RELIGION COLUMN FOR NOVEMBER 8, 2014
By William H. Scarle, Jr. 813-835-0129
The tumult is over and the election results are in. I waited until Wednesday morning to write the column in case there was some dramatic result that should be taken into consideration. My fondest hope is that we can recover some sanity in our national character after a barrage of nastiness and accusation.
Why is it that political campaigns are conducted as wars rather than as an offer of service to the community, both local and national? We call our elected officials “public servants,” but they act as if they were Special Forces in a battle for survival.
I spent yesterday at a relatively new military museum here in south Florida. It was a fascinating experience, and a fitting tribute to the men and women who have fought with courage to defend against tyranny this free nation of ours. However, the displays were in a sense depressing. Everything on exhibit was designed to destroy the enemy. Every kind of gun and missal and ammunition was there to see. I know this is necessary in war, and at least defensive war is necessary in a fallen world. It is just by coincidence that our tour was scheduled for Election Day, and the thought was almost unavoidable. Political campaigns are fought like a war. In this land of the free and the home of the brave one could hope for something better.
When Jesus was teaching his disciples concerning the exercise of authority he used these words. “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” We understand this because when we talk about politics we use the term “public servant.” However, we have rarely seen public officials who practice it. I would be happy if we could just muster up some civility in our politics.
In addition to the hope that we can declare a moratorium on nastiness, I would hope that these next two years would be dedicated to getting some positive things done that everyone and all parties can agree on. Instead of building bunkers, let’s get busy planting some flowers. There are some things that need fixing. I am not a politician, but everyone agrees that the health system needs some repair. Could we show some compassion on the American public and fix the faults.
We also need energy independence in this nation. The keystone pipe line would be a good way to start.
These next two years can be used to serve the people, or they can be used to rev up the war in preparation for the 2016 elections. I do believe America is different. We were built on a foundation of biblical values that no other nation on earth had the opportunity to use. We started over. We are a young nation still.
Benjamin Franklin suggested the turkey as our national bird. His suggestion was turned down and the eagle won the day. Eagles sore. Turkeys get eaten. Could we not use the next two years to do some high flying? Turkeys don’t fly very well.
(Bill Scarle can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org). END-whs