by Dr. John I. Penn
No longer can I sit silently and idly on the sidelines and watch the country that I love fall from her importance in the world. Duty calls me to lift my voice and try to make a difference and to raise the consciousness of people. America is the greatest country in the world, and we have some of the most exceptional people on the planet. People are being bullied and threatened by our President, trying to silence their freedom of expression; notably, those who don’t agree with many of his unpopular policies, including the separation of families seeking asylum in America.
Too many of us have kept silent while allowing hatred, bigotry, misogyny, racism, and political corruption to chip away the foundation of our democracy. All of this is being done with our eyes wide open. Sadly, there are many spineless, sold-out members in Congress, that have kept their heads in the sand, hoping that this nightmarish leadership will just go away. Too many in Congress have a lack of moral leadership and are self-absorbed with their political future. There needs to be more concern for the welfare of the American people.
As concerned Americans, we have a moral duty and responsibility to come together as a people, regardless of our political persuasion or differences, to change the culture of Washington, D.C. Our democracy and Constitution are being compomised and threatened. We must raise our voices in unity and use our feet to go the voting booth and vote out those leaders who are a part of the cancer in Congress and the Executive Branch. We should never forget that the power is with the people. Our collective voting power is our only hope, to take back our political process. We cannot continue to vote along party-lines. We must select and vote for the best qualified leaders, those that have the interest of the people as their first priority.
Morality and spirituality must be strong considerations in the vetting process of selecting our political leaders. This is true because many of the career politicians are there only to enrich themselves. It seems that the longer politicians serve, the more they tend to be drawn to the big corporations and special financial groups, to fund their new campaign efforts to run for office. The oath they have taken to serve the people, versus the demands of loyalty they feel to their financial benefactors have become a real problem. In the future, term limits for our elected officials must become a serious consideration.
I am convinced that our democracy will work best when people become good citizens and good neighbors. As good citizens, we are to recognize that we are our brothers and sisters, keepers. We must look out for one another. As God-fearing people, we are not just to look out for our interest but the well-being of others, especially those who have no voice and those who can’t fight for themselves. Make no mistake concerning this fact—we are a nation of immigrants. We are a diverse group, made up of many kinds of peoples.
Striving to serve the common good of people is what makes America great—not walls or other artificial barriers to keep people out. Remember, love trumps hatred. If demorcarcy is to work for everyone, we must be intentional about loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. Jesus Christ taught us this essential biblical truth. This truth is worth proclaiming in our places of worship and fighting for at the ballet box.
America was founded on Judeo-Christian values and held dear by other God-fearing people. Understanding this, we have even put this concept on our currency—”In God, we trust.” We believe in freedom! We believe in the freedom of expression. We uphold the worth and value of every person. Our Declaration states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (women, boys, and girls) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” No one has the right to limit these rights, of any race or group of people, whether they are citizens of America or not. Anyone who strives to restrict these rights while serving in our government, should and must be voted out of office and replaced with leaders who will serve the people with justice and equity.
As Americans, we do not have to accept any leader who is not willing to uphold our Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Such persons are not worthy of our vote or trust. Make no mistake of this fact—we are a nation of immigrants. We come from all backgrounds, religions, and ethnic groups. It is our diversity and love of country that make America great!
When demorcacy works, we love and care for one another. We make sure that job opportunities are avaliable. We make health care affordable, and decent housing is within reach for everyone. When demorcacy works, fear, and distrust are removed. Crime and murder decrease. As I have traveled around the world, it is clear to me that people are the same everywhere. All people desire security and freedom. When these necessities are denied or are made difficult for some segments of society, this is what creates distrust, anger, division, and fear.
We must educate, motivate, and encourage our family, friends, co-workers, and church members to register and vote. Many people have sacrificed their time and energy, and some have given their lives to provide us the right to vote. Don’t let their sacrifices be in vain. Don’t let the evil win. Don’t compromise our freedom and unity as Americans. And don’t let your love for God and neighbors be for nothing. Love only has value when it’s put into action. Remember, “There is no fear in love and love covers a multitude of sins.”
Also, remember, our fight “is not against flesh and blood.” Our battle is against Satan who seeks to divide our nation into black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight, religious and non-religious, haves and have-nots. We are smarter than that. America, we are better than that!
Finally, “draining the swamp” is a code word for enviromental regulations. We were blinded sided, thinking that Trump meant removing corrupt leaders in Congress that represent the swamp. President Trump’s real agenda is to remove all of the ecological regulations to protect our already fragil earth. He is willing to destroy God’s planet, as a means of enriching his wealthy business friends, which will in turn, compensate him when he leaves office. Eliminating those regulations which protect our air, water, and soil will compromise our environment for many decades, if not centuries. Such actions will leave future generations with serious ecological problems, and will create a health crisis we have never experienced before.
Keep in mind that God is in control and holds our future, not the Congress or President Trump. God does not vote. God has given that task to us. As God ’s people, we are to work for justice and righteousness for the common good of all. When we do that, we bring glory and honor to God. When we put our hope and trust in God, God will fight our battle! God is counting on His people to put Godly people in office to fulfill God’s righteous plan for America. God is on the side of justice. God is our unifier. Remember, God uses people to share in His kingdom work. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are God’s hands, feet, and voice. We are God’s change agents.
Let us not loose heart. Let us draw closer to God. Let us love others as God has loved us. Let us pray for our elected leaders and also hold them accountable. Let us come together as Americans and work for righteousness and justice of all. This is what will truly make America great, again!