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“Everywhere you turn”…

Pastor Rasheed Baaith

Pastor Rasheed Baaith

“Everywhere you turn”…

By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith

     “The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.”   (Psalm 33:17)

It would seem and there probably is no place we can look, where there is not confusion, uncertainty, division, and war in diverse realities taking place. Not just here but all over the world.

On the national political scene there is an animosity between candidates not seen in modern times. The vitriol and lies being spread by the candidates has poisoned the American political system to the extent the system has been changed forever. And the country still has more to endure. Donald Trump has always said whatever despicable things that crossed his mind.  He has marginalized, insulted, and affronted whomever he wanted. Hillary Clinton is beginning to follow suit.

Part of the problem of running against an opponent like Trump is becoming frustrated by his boorish behavior that few in the electorate seem offended by. As a result of that behavior and the response or lack thereof, one may feel “if it’s okay for him, then it’s okay for me.” But that is dangerously short sighted thinking. If your raison d’être  to be president is you’re not only a more qualified candidate but a better human being as well, then your speech is limited by that professed standard. No matter how frustrated you become or how unfairly you feel you’ve been treated.

Neither Clinton nor Trump seems to observe the Bible’s admonition that “A gentle tongue is a tree of life…” A scorched earth policy is the flavor of the season.

Locally there is mourning and lamentation. The murders of a family in Lauderhill and the shooting of a Black man in Pompano by BSO deputies are situations fraught with regret, guilt and anger. The question of “Why” never seems to be answered. Nor perhaps can it be.

We just witnessed an Olympics where whatever sheen was on gold medals was tarnished by athletes behaving badly and not wanting to take responsibility for that behavior. They disgraced themselves and us by lying.

Yet Colin Kaepernick deciding principle is more important than popularity gives hope and inspiration. It’s a rare belief for an African American professional athlete today. Kaepernick’s belief that the only way to bring needed attention and change to America around the issues of police–community relationships and discrimination is for people like him to speak out should be admired. He did it on his own, trying not to put anyone’s career at risk but his own; and Kaepernick is risking a lot.

He signed a six-year $114,000,000 contract which includes a $12,328,766 signing bonus with $61,000,000 guaranteed. That works out to about $19,000,000 per year. That’s a lot to risk no matter what kind of math you use, especially for something like being accused of disrespecting the American National Anthem but Kaepernick loves ethics more than he loves money.

What is even more noteworthy is Kaepernick is not protesting the lyrics of the anthem which say in the third stanza, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave.”

Those words are about the Corp of Colonial Marines, one of two units of slaves recruited between 1808 and 1816 by the British who promised to reward them with their freedom for fighting on the British side. Francis Scott Key was a slave owner who believed Blacks to be “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.” No doubt he was not thinking of slaves having a “home of the brave.”

At the end of the War of 1812 in 1814 when America and Britain evolved a peace treaty, the US wanted its slave “property” back. The “property” numbered about 6,000 persons and Britain refused to surrender them. Most settled in Canada and their ancestors are called “Mirikins” still.

What should be evident to all of us is that the confusion, the insecurity, the hostilities micro and global are not about to cease. The only thing unchanging is the immutability of God. Put your confidence in Him.

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