There’s a portion of my church’s service in which we participate in a responsive “Prayer of the Church.”
The pastor—often my father, who is one of three at our church—will read a portion, and the congregants will respond simply with “Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.” This goes on for several paragraphs, as we thank God for our blessings, plead with Him for the safety of our armed forces, for the care of the impoverished and needy...and the protection of our nation’s officials.
That one got me this past Sunday.
It reads [emphasis added]:
“O God, Yours is the strength that rules and judges the nations. Where there is division and strife, bring unity and peace. Where there is hunger and thirst, give rain, abundant harvest and generous neighbors. Where there is prejudice and lack of justice, give understanding, fairness and trustworthy rulers. Bless our nation, its President, and all who serve in government...”
I’ve heard my father and his fellow pastors pray it a million times, and a million times over I’ve responded in unison with everyone else.
This last Sunday a thought hit me like a brick wall: Do you pray for us, Mr. President?
US President Barack Obama and US first lady Michelle Obama listen to a prayer during a memorial service at the Marine Barracks September 22, 2013 in Washington, DC. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
I don’t know what the president’s religious convictions are in his heart of hearts, and I’m not here to have that argument today. As much as my curiosity would love to be quelled, at the end of the day that’s between him and his Maker.
My point is simply this: does our president care about the American people? I mean, really, deeply care?
Does he—like the many great men who have preceded him—carry the weight of the nation (not just that of the job itself) on his shoulders? That is—does he weep with us when people like my dear brother, lost a friend when James Foley lost his head by the blade of a terrorist’s knife? Is he furious when we—his own people—are threatened? Does he care?
Hear me out.
I’ve written many pieces berating the president for his policies—all of which seem to fly in the face of the very things that made us great and prosperous as a nation.
“Technically” it could be said that a politician like Barack Obama doesn’t see $17 trillion in debt as a problem, because in his mind he is providing for the future via mass social programs. It could be said that a person like Barack Obama doesn’t see nationalized medicine as a problem, because in his mind, he’s providing for those without health insurance.
The list could go on—but here’s the crux of the issue: an action on the part of any president (regardless of ideology) could be "technically" construed as coming from good will, however ill-advised it is.
In that light, in whose best interest is it—regardless of background, belief, creed, et al—to allow a demonic force like Islamic State to continue breathing—let alone walk freely on this planet?
AP Photo/ Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group.
In other words—how precisely can we explain the president’s behavior towards an increasingly dangerous world?
Despite the fact that our president once told us “the war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan is winding down, Al Qaeda has been decimated, Osama bin Laden is dead,” today we face one of the greatest threats the globe has ever seen; an organization that is perhaps one of the most well-funded, well-organized terror groups to ever walk the planet.
They are wreaking devastation on the lives of countless innocent people in the Middle East—all while they belligerently taunt us, and openly declare war by executing not one, but two American citizens. This is a group of individuals so heinously evil—more so than any words could describe—that even Al Qaeda leadership reportedly finds them too extreme.
And what was our president’s response? [emphasis added]
“We know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL's sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem.”
That said it all for me.
The rest of his subsequent actions have been but a charade—the joint Op-ed with Prime Minister David Cameron, the “tough talk,” the meetings with European allies—it’s all meaningless when our commander in chief’s solution for the worst Islamic terror threat we’ve ever seen is that it can be “managed.” (And, only if the rest of the world plays along.)
[sharequote align="center"]In what universe do we “manage” terror?[/sharequote]
In what universe do we “manage” terror, and in what universe do we wait to see what the rest of the world is going to do? No—we destroy it, and any leader who doesn’t feel compelled to instantly act to protect his people is of a character that is beyond questionable.
Islamic State, or any threat to our most fundamental of rights—life—transcends political party, ideology, gender creed, race...or whatever other label you wish to place on human beings. It demands instant, swift, decisive and powerful action. At least, it should.
Next week is the 13th anniversary of 9/11, and candidly, I’ve not been so fearful and uncertain in a very, very long time. I feel a deep eeriness and unsettledness. Whether they’ve planned to act in conjunction with the anniversary of 9/11 or not is immaterial, because the fact is that they’re already here.
In the waning scenes of “A Few Good Men,” as Col. Jessup eventually seals his own fate—he famously screams at Kafee:
“You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.”
Col. Jessup’s sin notwithstanding, we do have a wall; a wall that is today desperately in need of guarding. Our military and our defense can only do as much as they are authorized to do...and we’re leaving our wall dangerously unprotected while a dithering leader to this day refuses to label Islamic State for what it is: Islamic terror.
Let me challenge our leader: Mr. President, if you were right now sitting face to face with a group of American citizens whose affiliation, creed, religion, etc. was unknown to you, and yet you knew that this group was in dire danger, what would you feel?
Actions speak louder than teleprompted words, Mr. President.
Do we matter to you?
Mary Ramirez is a full time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com – a political commentary blog, and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show. She can be reached at: email@example.com; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree
Feature Photo: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
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