Are We Good Enough for the Times?

When I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims; when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefitted from protection when they were fleeing political persecution—that’s shameful. That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion. —President Obama:

Republican leaders do nothing to stop deranged young men from buying automatic weapons to use to commit mass murders in our schools, churches and movie theaters. To do something would require them to have the courage to risk their political jobs and stand up to the NRA and do what is right.

But they have no difficulty refusing sanctuary in America to helpless and powerless refugees—mostly women and children. Even to refuse under 5-year-old children to enter America (Chris Christie). Or to discriminate against them based on their religion (Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz) or threaten to close their Mosques (Donald Trump) in the country of religious freedom. Instead they hysterically try to seize the political moment to manipulate the fears of ignorant Americans and benefit politically from the suffering of victims of terrorists. They think themselves so tough. I think of them as men of weak character.

Political posturing on the despair of the powerless is particularly despicable.

Where are their ideals of courage and compassion and a commitment to clear thinking?

Republican presidential candidates have failed the test to be commander-in-chief.

Too many of us in all walks of life have lost a commitment to important American ideals in our effort to win the next election, gain the new promotion and have a life of personal comfort.

Our ideals guide us all the time, especially when the times are difficult. The behaviors our ideals require separate us from those who hate us. If out of fear and ignorance we abandon our values in tough times, what distinguishes us from those who want to destroy us?

Scott Peck, MD wrote that stress is the test of our goodness. Watch our presidential candidates, discern their motives and see which ones show the maturity, character and clear thinking needed to be president in the times in which we live. And which ones stay true to America’s core values of courage and compassion even when afraid.

Hopefully the panic and madness will pass soon.