Tomorrow marks the unofficial beginning to the new school year. President Obama will be delivering a speech at Wakefield High School in Virginia Beach, VA encouraging students to gain the most of their educational opportunities. Schools across the country have been encouraged to allow students the opportunity to watch the speech in classrooms across the nation.
For some reason, conservatives and some evangelicals have decided to make this an opportunity to attack the President. They are acting in a near-sighted manner that is not consistent with either American nor Christian values.
President George W. Bush did the same thing when he was president. Nobody seemed to object to this. Now the Obama opponents have made this a point of skirmish with the current president.
Are evangelicals really objecting to a message to work and study hard? Have they forgotten that we are to honor our leaders?
I have neither heard nor read any argument that opposition to the President’s speech is based on any biblical or moral stance. Instead, the comments are beyond flawed and demagoguery at its worst.
Obama’s speech has been compared to propaganda tactics used by Hitler and Stalin. Oklahoma Senate Republican, Steve Russell, has compared the speech to tactics used by the totalitarian regimes of North Korea and Saddam’s Iraq. Give me a break. Just because two people do something similar is not a valid reason to link the American President with ruthless dictators.
Others have described the speech as an attempt to promote worship of the President. That is the closest argument made that has any moral foundation. The problem is that it is way off base.
The problem is that conservatives and evangelicals come off looking petty. Evangelicals have no sense of their own history. Most Christians have lived in non-Christian cultures and political systems. They still managed to honor their leaders. Why can’t Christian parents encourage their children to pray for the president (a biblical command) that he might lead with wisdom from on high?
I am delighted to see John Piper sound a different note. He wrote that he has been “stunned” and “embarrassed” by the opposition. His article is titled, “I Hope My Daughter Hears the President’s Speech.” Thank you, John Piper, for these words. I hope my grandson hears the speech, too.
Christians – encourage your children to listen attentively. Take the opportunity to reinforce the message of working and studying hard. Lead your children in praying that the President would be governed by God’s wisdom. This is a much better option than what is making the news now.