What can I do? Start with faith
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 8:02 pm
By: Glenda Caudle, Special Features Editor
The question reverberates among citizens from every walk of life who have suddenly come face-to-face with the fact that their way of life is in danger of being radically altered by a government that ignores their voices and ridicules their concerns; by a pop culture that denigrates decency and celebrates aberration; by a self-appointed and self-aggrandizing intelligentsia that daily rewrites history and reorganizes truth to support its skewed world view.
The awakening has, indeed, occurred.
The blood stirs.
The energy expands.
And so the question arises: What now?
Is there any one wise enough to provide a specific roadmap for future action for those whose desire is to preserve, maintain and protect a nation and a system of government that has made possible liberty, equality and general prosperity on a scale never before imagined, much less achieved?
Perhaps, but I am not that person — as you know all too well.
I am a person simply struggling to chart my own course.
I can only suggest that I am choosing to view these challenging times as an opportunity to put my faith in my God and my country to work, rather than as an invitation to despair.
And so, I’ve established some “first step” goals to prepare me for whatever service and sacrifice may be necessary for the future.
I will try to discern the truth in every situation and then to tell it at every opportunity.
I will remember that I have a part to play and a privileged obligation to play it, but I do not have the ability to guarantee things work my way.
I will familiarize myself with the precepts upon which this nation was built and will immerse myself in the faith that brought about its founding.
I will listen to many points of view and support the right of all people to voice their own. I will recognize that people of good will may see the world very differently and will consider their perspective, weighing it against what faith, reason, experience and common sense tell me to be true, workable and righteous.
I will strive for peaceful discussion and will refuse to support violence or the threat of violence.
I will answer the call of my faith and my country as I prayerfully understand it and will not be silenced by either the hatred, the contempt, the intimidation, the lies or the threats of those with differing viewpoints.
I will pay attention not only to what politicians and candidates say but to what they do. I will make phone calls and send letters to those who govern, at every level, on my behalf. I will share the information I gain with anyone who is interested. I will pray for those in elected office. And I will vote.
I will not vote for any one or any party whose platform makes a mockery of my faith or the moral precepts I uphold.
I will resist the temptation, in any discussion of policy, principle or faith, to score points with sarcasm or clever diversions from the issue at hand or to justify the actions of one group or person by dredging up the “worse” sins of another. If I must depend on such tactics to score points, I have already lost the game.
I will use the time, talents and funds over which I have control to do good for my fellow man of my own free will. I will peacefully resist the plan of elected officials to seize what is mine and bestow it on someone they consider more worthy or more “need”ful — considering such redistribution of wealth to be the antithesis of true compassion and generosity and the essence of a humanistic morality that ultimately will degenerate into true God-less socialism.
I will obey the law, but I will work tirelessly to change laws that are unjust, unconstitutional and an affront to the faith I embrace.
I will teach my children and grandchildren not only what I believe, but why I believe it. And I will lovingly share those beliefs and their basis with anyone else who chooses to listen.
I will refuse either to be a racist or to play the race card; to be a hypocrite or to so label others simply because they have another point of view; to consider myself superior to anyone or to respond to assertions of superiority on someone else’s part with anything but good grace and a prayer that their fall from the pinnacle on which they have placed themselves may not be permanently injurious.
I will seek God’s will and purpose in my own life and His wisdom for every decision, word and action, particularly those which will impact someone else — and, with a bow to John Donne, I suppose that will be pretty much all of them.
I will be grateful and hopeful, no matter what circumstances appear to be.
I will be faith-full, realizing that nothing else makes sense — for now or the future.
I will be — so far as it lies within my power, ability and determination — a good citizen of a vastly imperfect country, believing that for all its failures, it remains the most morally conceived, the most unselfishly birthed, the most materially blessed, the most beneficially productive and the most consistently generous nation this earth has ever known.
And I will never abandon the truth — or allow those over whom I have any influence to forget the fact — that every impulse toward generosity, every move toward equality, every individual hand stretched out willingly to aid, every right secured to give all an equal opportunity, every drop of blood shed to protect the principles of liberty springs from the same spiritual precept that governed the actions of an overwhelming number of the founders of this nation: a faith in God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth.
Whatever else I may be called on to do that I may then have any faint claim of having done well will, I believe, find its beginning in the faithfulness with which I adhere to these principles.
And that is the only answer I email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 4.21.10