Respect, Shame, & President Obama

On January 20, 2009 Barack Obama became my President.

I didn’t vote for him. I stand in opposition to 99.9% of his policies and ideals and I fully expect to oppose him in 2012 but today but he is my President and he deserves respect.

I’m sickened by some of the crap I’ve seen lately coming from conservatives and I will not be associated with that trash one day longer. Its high time someone shamed this nonsense and reminded us that politics should be about reason and ideas not personal slander and attacks.

Clinton, Bush, & a lesson repeated

In early 1998, the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal broke and I remember being in total shock. I wasn’t shocked at President Clinton’s actions because in these parts his wandering ways had long been known but I was aghast that Conservatives I respected and some whom I shared the pew with were openly gleeful that Clinton had been caught in such a disgrace. I strongly disapprove of his actions but the cheering and jeering at every scintillating detail left the young idealist in me forever changed. At the end of the day Bill was a man. A man that had hurt his family, his wife, and shamed a nation. I dare not revel in the troubles of others because I have been forgiven much.

Then during the George W. Bush administration I spent years seeing hate spewed from the left. I bit my tongue at bumper stickers and posters that I considered totally out of bounds and I lost a great deal of respect for a good many liberals.

I think healthy debate and discourse are essential for a strong Republic but the moment either side makes it a personal vendetta we are all the worse.

The lesson is the same. Neither left nor right is immune to nastiness.

Then we elected a black man

As mid-term elections approach after 2 years of a very liberal agenda the fervor on the right is high and the garbage is beginning to roll once again.

So what spurred this post? I received the following via email. (I apologize in advance but for you to understand my intensity concerning this matter I think you should see it.)

Leave him alone he be an American.

A recently released photograph of Obama in his cradle released by the White House proves Obama was born in the U.S.

ATT00037

I stared at this email in utter disbelief. I simply don’t have the words to express how angry this makes me.

Beyond the fact it is utterly racist and disrespectful of the President of the United States the sender shamed me. I’m ashamed they call themselves conservatives and I’m ashamed that they think I’d find this funny.

Furthermore, anyone that receives this email from this day forward will see my name in the recipient list and assume that I approve and endorse this hate. That is why I’ve taken it public so there is no doubt where I stand.

I will not be a complicit bystander. You will not drop this trash at my doorstep.

A final word

I’d discourage anyone from making broad characterizations based on the actions of a few. There is good and bad on both sides of the aisle and that is why it is important for all of us to stand up for what we know is right especially when we see it coming from within our own political base.

Allow me to share some words that I just can’t ignore.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority…

Matthew 5:43-44 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

There is plenty of fire and rebuke in this post but I write this as a reminder to all of us, self included, that Christians are called to a higher standard. It is easy to love those that I agree with and consider friends but Christ called me to love even those people I consider an enemy.

The position and title of the President of the United States of American demands my respect. My faith demands that I show love and pray for my President.

As an American citizens let’s choose to elevate our standards. As Christians let us choose love.

  • Well said, my friend. About a year ago, I got a similar email (although not quite as scandalous) from a prominent Christian organization. Turns out it was accidentally sent by the guy who does their emails/FB/etc., as he was intending to send it to his friends. Totally turned me off to the organization.

  • I really don't want to appear self righteous or better-than-anyone else because it is too easy to go along with a nudge,nudge, wink, wink but that doesn't make it right.

    There are plenty of us that think this is totally unacceptable and I hope that we will hold ourselves collectively accountable.

    I appreciate the kind words. The encouragement from you and J. mean the world to me. Online and Off.

    God Bless Christie.

    PS – Great job this morn. Love the idea of the tree!

  • Preach it, brother…

  • Unacceptable. What else can you say about this type of behavior?

    I get the same outrage when I hear people say horrible things and protest at funerals of people who have died in Iraq. I had a friend die in Iraq. He gave his life to do something he believed in.

    Do I agree with our purpose for being there? It doesn't matter. The same way it doesn't matter if I didn't want Obama to become President. He is the President.

    Being an American Citizen is a privilege, and when people disgrace their leaders, or the men and women who die in defense of our nation and what it stands for, I. Feel. Shame.

  • Honestly I didn't spend much time explaining the details of how horrid this message was because I think anyone should be able to see it is completely unacceptable.

    As for the next to statements I couldn't agree more. Thank you Craig.

  • Oh my gosh Keith! This is absolutely fantastic. A well written (and much needed) statement! Thank you, thank you, thank you, for writing and sharing.

  • Thank you Stephanie. I struggled with this post but I had to write it. I appreciate you taking the time to read it and leave a note of encouragement.

  • Blbculotti

    Very impressive and very true…there is no way that the Email you received is acceptable, on any level. Conservatives who post such things degrade and demean the rest of us. How can we have credibility when these types of posts are put out there. Also, I am all for a pointed political cartoon that makes a point, but not when it is a personal attack on the individual. This is never appropriate. I agree with your standing up against it.

  • Reggie

    Keith,
    I am very proud of you!!! I shared this with my e-mail list and sent a copy to Sunshine so you could see what I worte. It takes tons of courage (that God gives us) to say things like what you did. Alot of those jokes offend me too! I usually just delete them. Sometimes I write the sender back asking them not to send me any more jokes. I think your statement is better. I am proud to know you.

    Reggie

  • Thank you and yes I agree this sort of stuff makes us all look bad. Thank you for reading and for the encouraging words. I really appreciate it.

  • Thank you Reggie. It means a lot to me that anyone (esp friends and family) would think enough to share this with others.

    Thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate it.

  • Great post, Keith, thanks for it.

  • Kudos Keith. I am a conservative liberal Christian who totally supports President Obama. I was totally against Bush and Cheney, but I bit my tongue because they were voted in and I had to deal with it. I just flipped the channel whenever they came on. I am all for discussing ideology, have some great conversations with those I can respect. We don’t call names, or dismiss each other’s points of view; everyone learns something and can agree to disagree. This egregious hate mongering and racism has permanently distanced me from the Republicans and their Tea party counterparts.