Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Lament for America

This is an open letter to American Christians in which I lament what is happening there in both the foreboding spirit and the poetic form of the Book of Lamentations. But there is also a note of hope. God has not deserted America, but he must be very disappointed at what is happening there. Americans, however, seem to have forgotten God, if their present behavior is any indication. Yet, as Lam. 3:22-23 reminds us, God's compassion never ends; it is renewed every day again.

Dear God, what is happening to America?
What motivated all this violence?
People everywhere are scratching their heads in wonder.
Why are Americans so intent on killing each other? 
Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Dallas are a few recent examples.
Police shoot blacks because of the color of their skin color
or poor men simply trying to eke out an existence.
Killings were broadcast live around the world on social media. 
A black man then shot police officers because they are white.
But why do police draw their weapons when approaching a car?
It's not done where I live nor in most parts of the world.
And why does a black man go hunting for police officers?
Not to trivialize black lives, but all lives matter!

Are these the first shots of a new civil war,
a war rooted in racism and being waged 
by black and white and black and blue?
Now the blue have been militarized the battle is even bloodier.
America is one of the violent countries in the world.
Why all the guns that make such shootings possible?
More than one for every man, woman, and child in the country.
Who runs the country when it comes to guns? The NRA?
Is the current interpretation of the Second Amendment correct
or has the US Supreme Court has misconstrued its intention?
Did the Court originally intend to permit every citizen to carry guns
wherever and whenever they want 
or only for a militia to protect the country?
If you feel unsafe, why do you resort to guns?
Is "In Guns We Trust" the new motto of your country?
Many of you call yourself Christians, 
but you don't behave like Christ believers.
How can you kill people who are also made in the image of God?
How can you say you love everyone, 
and then point a gun at your neighbor
who may be white, brown, black, Muslim, or whatever.
What difference should race, ethnicity and religion make?
Your love is short-circuited and limited to those who look like you.

This behavior is capitalized on by unprincipled politicians, 
people like Donald Trump. How can you support him? 
Do you realize the hatred and division he fosters?
Is Trump a Christian? He knows nothing about the Bible.
He is a narcissistic, philandering, misogynistic loudmouth
who has aspirations to the presidency and may yet achieve his goal.
For the sake of your country, please don't vote for him!
The man is not worthy of the highest office in the land.
But he understands one thing well: America is an unequal society.
Many of his supporters are white males who feel powerless.
Trump promises to change that and make America great again.
Unfortunately, Trump is hardly a poor, powerless male.
Instead, he peddles a vision of an exclusionary country --
a country where Mexicans and Muslims are not welcome.
He has sowed fear and earned the endorsement of the NRA.
Is this the person you want to run your country?

If you want a country that is truly great again, 
there are at least three things you ought to do: 
1. Pray that Trump does not win the election;  
and, whatever you do, don't vote for him.
2. Pray for an end to the systemic racism that pits 
black against white and black against blue.
3. Practice unconditional love of your neighbors,   
irrespective of race, ethnicity, or religion. 
Then and only then will some of it's major problems be solved 
and Americans be able to live in peace again.

There is hope for America because God has not deserted her.
But God requires one very important thing from Americans:
To trust in him, and to live accordingly.
That is a tall order, but it is not impossible.
What it asks of every Christian, and all who believes in God:
To live as God demands, starting with these three things.
Is this too much to ask of all believers in America?
Remember, God's compassion never ends; 
it is renewed every day again.
God bless America!

1 comment:

  1. Racism and class discrimination are going to be the hardest to eradicate in the wealthy Western countries simply because our social and particularly economic systems are built on economic injustice and exploitation tied to discrimination.