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I appreciated the fact that, despite our culture’s pellmell, ongoing embrace of irreligious values, yet the Presidential Inaugural included an Invocation and Benediction, speakers, including the President, referred to Scripture, and they sang “Amazing Grace.”

At the end of the day, I’m glad for—

—the few hours of moving traditions and celebration of worthy ideals on Inauguration Day. 

—for a peaceful transfer of power. 

—for a day without violent incidents and thus the safety of people in the nation’s and state capitals. 

—for a constitutional democratic republic, rule of law, free opportunity and enterprise, and inestimable civil liberties.

Now, is it possible that—

“With malice toward none with charity for all with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation's wounds...to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations,” Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865, about one month before he was assassinated. 

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.

If I had 3 wishes, I’d wish...

...that politicians rise to the occasion as Statesmen/women jettisoning partisanship and personal aggrandizement in favor of patriotic civic ideals, 

...that the rule of law based on the US Constitution and Bill of Rights would be respected above all else, including the interests of any politician,

...that reason would replace rancor.

Whatever you think of President Trump, or for that matter VP Mike Pence, you should be glad for and praying for Mike Pence this week. With Mr. Trump's expected absence from the Inauguration Jan 20, Mr. Pence becomes the titular head of the outgoing Administration. His presence at the inaugural, thankfully welcomed by President-elect Joe Biden, is a symbol of the blessings of a free constitutional republic, important to a peaceful transition of power, and a personal statement toward dialing down heated rhetoric and actions. 

Of course, Pence and Biden hold different political views and no doubt will debate in the future, but on this day, this is secondary to the well-being of American democracy.

And pray for the safety not only of participants in the Inauguration but also thousands of National Guard, federal, and local agency personnel.

Finally, pray the entire day comes off without incidents.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

If I were Pres-Elect Joe Biden and I was interested in reducing public angst, unifying the country, and beginning to look forward, I would never mention Pres Donald Trump by name again, starting immediately. In this, Mr. Biden can leave campaign mode at the door.

Mr. Biden could still contrast his views with what he considered wanting in the previous Administration, but without making it personal. Given Mr. Trump’s egregious persona, the temptation to hit back is understandably overwhelming. But doing so only digs a deeper hole, and Mr. Trump is not off the hook. He will still have to deal with his own issues.

I earlier made the same recommendation re President Trump’s ongoing, needless blasting of former President Obama. 

Knocking one’s predecessor is an injudicious ego trip and inherently divisive because it implicates all those who supported the former incumbent. It suggests blame and rejection to a group you wish to unify and inspire. Besides, for Trump, being ignored is the greatest possible affront.

This no-name approach makes it easier for the new President to be positive, make conciliatory comments, build bridges, and promote tranquility. Biden’s age, like Gerald Ford’s lovable clumsiness, could help him here, and like Mr. Ford after Watergate and a Pres who resigned in disgrace, reinforce work toward “a time of healing.”

I won’t hold my breath, but I’m hoping Mr. Biden is more wise and magnanimous than partisan.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Jeffrey ToobinNew Yorker staff writer and CNN legal analyst, has been suspended by the New Yorker while it investigates his behavior and given time off by CNN to deal with a “personal issue.” He exposed himself—allegedly engaging in a sex act—on a Zoom call with colleagues. His excuse was he thought he’d muted the video and that no one could see him—nothing about why he thought having his pants down during a work Zoom call was necessary or appropriate, mute video or not. Toobin got his own hashtag, #MeToobin.

Since Toobin is a well-known liberal star conservatives have gloated online about his downfall. But this is nothing new. When conservative star Bill O’Reilly fell from the limelight due to sexual harassment claims, liberals and the Left gloated

Rose McGowan, the actress who helped launch the #MeToo movement, slammed liberals who rushed to Toobin’s defense. Toobin joins media figures Roger Ailes, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin on the list of do-badders. And if you branch out to entertainment, there’s Bill Cosby or chef Mario Bartali, then of course the new measure of lowest of the low, Harvey Weinstein. 

The same happens in politics. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dennis Hastert, Republicans, and John Edwards and Al Franken, Democrats, come to mind. Then there are the big names: Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, all accused of sexual misconduct before or during office. And by the way, the same happens in religion and the Church.

The point here is not sexual misconduct, though this is wrong, nor is it that men have done this before and will do it again, not that this excuses anyone.

The point is: whether you are on the Right or the Left, Republican or Democrat, both sides of the ideological spectrum and partisan aisle have and will again sometime soon find themselves in a scandal related to sexual misbehavior.  

Neither the Right or the Left, Republican or Democrat have any room to gloat.  

If your political opposite is publicly suffering now due to sexual malfeasance, just wait a bit and your team will be in the wrong limelight soon enough.

Christians are reminded:

“Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God” (Psalm 146:3-5).

Worldwide culture with all its segments, Far East or Middle East or West, is becoming ever darkened by sin. 

Sexual misconduct and perversion among society’s elite will get worse (Romans 1). This is just one manifestation of Satan’s influence as “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work” (Ephesians 2:2).

But no nation-state, no politician, no political party platform or ideological manifesto has ever been able or will ever be able to resolve the spiritual challenges facing humanity

Only Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Light of the World (John 14:6; 8:12). And he has given to Christians the honor of being ambassadors:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).

There is no place for gloating, only grace.  

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

For years, I’ve found the phrase, “willingly are ignorant of,” 2 Peter 3:5, in the old King James Version of the Bible (the version with which I and virtually everyone in the English speaking world since 1611 grew up) to be useful in a variety of contexts. 

In other versions, the phrase is variously translated: “deliberately forget” NIV, “escapes their notice” NASB, “willfully forget” ASV, NKJV, “purposely ignore” GNT, “deliberately ignore” RSV, “deliberately overlook” ESV. 

They all mean essentially the same thing: people intentionally choose to believe falsehood. 

I’ve always preferred the old KJV wording, “willingly are ignorant of,” maybe because it is the vocabulary I learned as a kid, or maybe because “willingly ignorant” seems to me to summarize much of what I hear, see, and read in American politics today. 

I won’t provide examples. It would spoil your fun.  

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Deep thoughts Saturday afternoon:
 
1-Politics is not what’s most important in life, yet politics can be constructive or destructive to individual and social well-being.
 
2-Political parties are useful, but like denominations, party labels matter less than what proponents actually believe.
 
3-Ideology, Left-Liberal-Moderate-Conservative-Right, is now more socially influential than partisanship.
 
4-Left and Liberal are not synonymous, nor are Conservative and Right, but four distinct, diverging political philosophies.
 
5-The Bible is not a political handbook but speaks to foundational issues that find expression in politics, e.g., created order; origin and purpose of life; liberty; good and evil; work and property; family; sexuality.
 
6-American society and politics are not secular, meaning irreligious, but postmodern DIY religious with no moral calculus but feelings, meaning doing what’s right in your own eyes.
 
7-I am blessed with political liberty by virtue of my birthright. Like most Americans, I did nothing to earn it. God forbid that I would ever take it for granted.
 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.