Dear fellow Americans, One flag still waves
Dear fellow Americans,
Tomorrow, we will inaugurate a new President. With great pomp and ceremony, crowds of us will gather along streets, in offices, in shops, in our homes. We will watch a solemn, but joyful parade; a sweeping motorcade; a gathering of dignitaries there in our nation’s capital. And over it all, our flag will wave.
It’s a sobering, immensely important and significant event filled with traditions of our history, with the music of our heritage. In this transfer of power from one hu-man to another hu-man, we will again behold with our very eyes the evidence of our freedom. The ineffable essence of this, our America, our beloved country, the only one like it in the world. Over it all, the flag will wave.
What a terrible, clamorous, contentious, divisive time we’ve just come through. For “one nation under God,” we sure haven’t looked like “one nation.” We’ve acted like 2 or 3 or 63 different nations with so many different beliefs and causes and ideas and opinions. Good Lord! We quake in fear of terrorists, they with bullets and hate and bombs and death when here in our borders, we bite and devour. Each other.
And over it all, the flag.
“Under God.” My God. How we have forgotten Him. For even those who claim His name have spewed angry, bitter words in the public square. One side gloats in victory. The other side shrieks their dissent, and above it all, one true God, and a flag.
It’s been tempting, I’ll admit, to retreat. To close my eyes. To stop my ears. To disengage from the discourse. For all of this conflict is unsettling. I dislike it.
Confounding, really, when folks that I know, churchgoers, Christians, expressed utter panic on that Wednesday. The day after. “How are we to teach our children to be kind?” they opined. “How is it possible with ‘that man’ in the White House?”
I can tell you how it’s possible. The teaching and training of our children doesn’t depend on who’s in the White House. It depends on us. My husband and I. Right here in our home. To be honest, as much as I may deplore some of President Trump’s past history, I was just as appalled when the Oval Office was defiled. By a president. With a single, young woman. I was appalled, too, when the president’s wife then defended, covered up and attacked the many other women he’d violated before finally running for office herself.
If it depends on who’s in the White House, we’re in trouble.
Here’s the deal. For all of you who are upset at how the election turned out, I feel you. As a conservative, welcome to my world for the last eight years. It had nothing to do with skin color for me. It was all about ideas that became policies and laws and regulations.
As a person who embraces life, seeing the dog pound commercial angers me. It shows emaciated pups, chained in the dirt, sores oozing with eyes carrying the sorrow of the world. Mournful music plays, the announcer is sad, and the whole time, I can only see babies ripped from the womb, a beating heart stopped, limbs torn asunder. Mere parts, in some cases, to be sold.
I am surely not “for” animal abuse. But it pales in comparison to the children we’re killing in what should be the safest of places, the womb.
I am for marriage, one man and one woman. I believe God knew what he was doing when He made us, each one. “Male and female created He them.”
These are some things that really matter to me, and it’s been hard to watch what’s been happening. I know that many of you will feel differently, and that’s okay! Disagreeing doesn’t mean that I hate you. It just means that I do not agree. That is all.
But back to tomorrow, and that ceremony.
When our new president puts his hand on the Bible and takes the oath, the same flag will wave as it has, always and ever, over men of all different kinds, different parties. All of them, fallible beings.
This is our America, you and I. Liberal or conservative, black or white, male or female, gay or straight. It’s our land. We share this space, this ground at this very moment in history. We are here for a reason.
No president can make us hate. No president can make us despair. No human president can force us to turn and devour one another. Only “We the People” can choose that. No one else.
With the help and the power of Almighty God, we can, too, love each other beneath our great flag that still waves.