Wednesday, January 21, 2015


        Speaker John Boehner’s facial expression and body language during President Obama’s State of the Union address last night spoke volumes about the Republicans’ attitude toward Mr. Obama’s accomplishments and about his agenda for his final two years in office.
        Likewise, the unwillingness of the Republican lawmakers to applaud, let alone rise to their feet, for ideas in the President’s speech they themselves once favored, is a further indication not just of their disagreement with but of their dislike of the President.
        As a Pastor I learned early on that parishioners’ comments about my sermons told me more about them than it did about my sermons. I also learned that if you are really being true to the teachings of Jesus Christ, you are bound to step on a few toes. Those who like you will thank you for that. Those who don’t like you won’t like your sermons, no matter what you say.
        That is analogous to what’s going on with Congress. The Republicans have resented Barack Obama from the beginning, and they agree with nothing he says. That was certainly obvious tonight. If it were not so exasperating, listening to the Republican responders to the address tonight would have been almost amusing.
        And listening to some of the commentators afterward made me wonder if we were hearing the same address. I wanted to hear what they would have to say, and I agreed with much of what they said. But I make up my own mind, based on what I hear.
        I thought it was masterful and certainly memorable address, one of the best I have heard in my lifetime. It was substantive, far reaching, broadly inclusive, adequately specific and practical. At the same time it was idealistic, uplifting, positive, hopeful, inspirational.
        Despite all the mean and unfair criticisms with which Mr. Obama has been bombarded ever since he took office, he has never responded in kind. He sees the best in persons, believes the best, expects the best of them. That was evident throughout tonight’s memorable address.
       I have admired that about him from the start. He is the adult in the room. He is thoughtful, careful, articulate, I believe in him. I trust him. In my view he has represented our country and its values extremely well in the community of nations. I respect his intelligence and his leadership, and I am grateful for a president in whom I can have great confidence that he will say and do the right thing. He really believes in America and the principles and traditional values that have defined us as a nation. Would that more politicians were like him!
        In my view Barack Obama is making his mark in history and years from now will be looked upon as one of American’s outstanding presidents.

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