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lessons forgotten and lessons learned

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

As the world came to a screeching halt this morning to watch Barack Obama become the 44th President of the United States, I had one of those moments.
A moment where I remembered a lesson I had long since forgotten.
Its something my parents taught me when Carter became President back in '76...and its one I think Americans would do well to remember today.
The President, is our president, whether we like it or not...and we need to respect the man and the office, whether we want to or not.
I think at least half of all Americans weren't listening to their parents back in the 70s.
The response, today, to former President George W. Bush proved it.
Obama fans lined the National Mall by the millions to cheer on the new President...and to 'boo' the old one, turning what should be one of the most historic events in the two century lineage of this country, into something akin to a high school football game.
How cheap!
It never ceases to amaze me the difference between the two political sides.
The unwillingness of some to let history be the judge...the graciousness of others to let their political foes enjoy their moment in time.
Stark differences indeed.
Its a difference I want to impress upon my children.
A difference between bitterness, pettiness and bickering...and grace, forgiveness and honor.
A difference many people seem to be blind to.
I want to my kids to be better than that.
I want Alek, Anya, Nick and Maddie to respect the office, as well as the man.
While we may not agree with the choices he has made...and we will certainly not support the choices yet to come, Obama IS the president of the United States...OUR president, and if for no other reason than that, he deserves our respect.
The new president will be making choices over the next four years (heaven forbid the next eight) based upon his conscious. He will be making choices he believes, rightly or wrongly, are the best decisions for the country.
I am highly concerned about what those decisions will be, but I let my voice be heard back in November. Now, I have to live with the consequences of living in a democracy.
I have to live with the choices of the majority.
That's what I'll be teaching my children.
I will be teaching them to make change within the system of government in a responsible way.
That you need to stand on your convictions...but respect the right of others to have convictions of their own.
And most importantly I'll be teaching my children more about the power of prayer...and our responsibility as Christians lift our new leader up before his maker.
Praying for his safety.
Praying for his wisdom.
And praying for the grace to respect the office AND the man.
Because its going to take some serious grace.

19 salty messages:

Diana January 20, 2009 at 7:17 PM  

Very, very, very well said.

God bless America and the people who live here - including our new President.

Tina in CT January 20, 2009 at 10:26 PM  

I am a Democrat that did vote for President Obama and also one that thinks it was disgraceful for those that did not give President Bush the honor that should have been given him as our outgoing leader. No matter what some people in the crowd thought of President Bush, he was our President and should not have been subjected to boos by the crowd gathered there for the inauguration. What kind of picture/example does that show to our country and the world?

We as citizens can have our opinions of those men and women that are the leaders of our country but the booing actions are not acceptable.

MamaPoRuski January 20, 2009 at 11:35 PM  

I do believe we are instructed as Christians to pray for our leaders, and this was written on the edge of the rise of Nero who used Christians as human candles and sport spectacles in the collesium...
Praying hard for our country today!

adoptyaroslav January 20, 2009 at 11:44 PM  

Please do not label everyone with "disrespect." Not all of us who voted for President Obama agree with the public heckling of Bush.


Courtney January 21, 2009 at 7:57 AM  

FYI, I can't leave a comment on DIY. Any suggestions??

Anonymous,  January 21, 2009 at 9:24 AM  

While I don't agree with all you've written, I completely agree with what you've said regarding the booing of President Bush. It was disgraceful. I think both President Obama and former President Bush conducted themselves with grace and cordiality during the transition. I wish the same could be said for the crowd on Inauguration Day yesterday. Not all booed. But those that did, shamed their mamas and themselves.

Hannah January 21, 2009 at 9:57 AM  

I think that restricting the pettiness to one party is a mistake. Were you watching McCain's concession speech? Did you hear the crowd? Were you able to see Bush's arrival in Texas yesterday? Did you hear the crowd there? Pettiness is a characteristic of human nature, not political preferences.

Tina in CT January 21, 2009 at 10:16 AM  


I second what you wrote. I voted for Obama and have strong views about Bush but do not agree with heckling. It was not appropriate and did not give him the respect he deserved as our 43rd President.


Tami January 21, 2009 at 10:27 AM  

Hannah and Natalie...you're probably right. I should have rethought that line "It never ceases to amaze me the difference between the two political sides." Maybe I should have just said...the two sides...because its more about overall attitude than it is about politics.
Pettiness is human nature...and unfortunately its running rampant. I tend to see only the problemon the other side of the political aisle...because its the side that offends me. What's that about the speck in your brother's eye...and the stick in your own?! :)
I promise you this, though. I will NEVER heckle a president or a presidential candidate...and I will not teach/allow my children to do the same. We may vehemiantly oppose everything the candidate stands for, but the office they hold deserves our respect. Too many of our fellow Americans died for us to have the right to disagree...we can't shame their memories by being anything less than gracious.
As Americans we need to do a much better job of respecting each others their rights to their opinion.

kate January 21, 2009 at 10:45 AM  


When the last democrat had his day, my third grade class was stunned. They didn't really understand what had happened, but they knew that he had lied. They were very upset. I told them we could write to President Clinton *but* there would be no name-calling. We could express our disappointment, but would be respectful. They thought long and hard before they wrote those letters.

They never received an answer. That administration sent a child I babysat for a long, impressive letter about children being the future of our country when he (on a dare) wrote him a two-word greeting on a postcard. My students didn't even received a form letter.

We waited all year. I kept telling them that surely they would receive a reply. They were citizens and he was their president. In May, I contacted our representatives and told them the story. The republican reps sent letter and photos, apologies and hopes that my students would continue to be interested in our country's government and would hold our leaders accountable.

I suffer as quietly as possible--both when a President I respect and trust is in office (as in the last eight years) whom others do not and to hold my tongue when the opposite is true. I hope I am mistaken. I'm praying for wisdom for our new President.

Tina in CT January 21, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

Those of us that have left comments, and Tami, have very different views but we all respect that right as US citizens. We feel strongly about our views but know that we are entitled to them because we live in a free country. Our fellow Americans fought for that right. Too bad more people don't respect each others differences of opinion here and in the world.

littleangelkisses January 21, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

While I don't agree with everything you wrote, I do think that heckling was inappropriate in such a public setting, just as it was inappropriate during McCain's concession speech.

Annie January 21, 2009 at 4:07 PM  

I am glad I didn't see that....and wasn't aware of it. (Yeah, Public Radio - keeps me safe from the lowest spectacles, happily).

Alexandra {{Awareness Warrior}} January 21, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

Amen! I'm as Anti-Obama as it gets, but I totally agree- whether we like it or not, whether we cheer or shudder when we say it, Mr. Obama is the president, and he deserves our respectfulness of that, and needs our prayers. And whether we like it or not, Mr. Bush was the president, and has done a pretty darn good job all things considered.

Yesterday on the way back from a Dr appt, a car passed us that said, "Burn the Bushes", and a was appalled. Just as I was appalled when some anti-Obama people shouted "Hang him" during the Republican National Convention at the mention of Mr Obama. It is extremely shameful and gives Americans a bad name. I am ashamed of what the American people have become.

Hillary January 22, 2009 at 8:29 PM  

Excellent post, I couldn't agree more!!

(here from ICLW)

Anonymous,  January 23, 2009 at 11:50 AM  

So I take it you are not a fan of Obama?

Tami January 23, 2009 at 12:14 PM  

No, not really. Actually, not at all. Sounds like he's a really nice guy...good family man. But the plans he has in store...in fact the executive orders he's already given, make me want to run for the border. The problem is the countries on either side of the border are just as bad.
Where, oh where is a good, conservative, girl to go?! :)
I guess I'll just stick it out here until the next election and hope things swing a little more to the right.

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