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A Moral Lesson From Looking At The Lives Of President Kennedy And President Nixon...
A Moral Lesson From Looking At The Lives Of President Kennedy And President Nixon…
No President brings a sense of nostalgia for when America was supposedly the hegemonic ideal than the late President Kennedy, especially among Democrats; even as far away as in Saint Kitts, my grandmother, when I was a boy, would tell me that President Kennedy loved Black folks... implying that he was the ideal President. Now, contrast the image and how History sees President Nixon - what comes to mind about the late President Nixon is someone who looked ‘nerdy,’ and who left the office of the Presidency in disgrace. If anyone ever saw the autobiographical movie about President Nixon, the version starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, you will see a portrayal of a President Nixon who is rabidly jealous of the love President Kennedy received and is still receiving from the world. It is true that Nixon was not the pretty boy that Kennedy was, and, moreover, Kennedy was more articulate and Presidential than Nixon - at least as the world measures such things. But for me… looking at these two Presidents lives and their respecting standings in our History is where I receive what to me is the moral lesson replete in the Bible that tells us Christians to be aware of the ‘love’ of the world.
In a classic scene in the Nixon bio mentioned above, we see the President, during the travails of Watergate, praying to God and forcing Paul Sorvino, who played Secretary-of -State Kissinger, to kneel and pray too. President Nixon conveyed a great line to Secretary-of-State Kissinger, who is an avowed atheist… that if the President of the United States could kneel and pray to Jesus, then the Secretary-of-State could too. I mentioned this particular part of Nixon’s bio because here we see the most powerful man in the world humbling himself to the Christ. The world on the other hand has dismissed Nixon’s reverence for God, but has concentrated on the Prince-of-Camelot and his trophy wife, Jackie Kennedy’s penchant for trendsetting and looking dapper. Moreover, we still condemn Nixon for what he did - warranted yes - but more so than the moral failure of President Kennedy - here is a President, who, as recently as a few months ago, had one of his former interns writing that as a teenager… she was seduced by the Prince-of-Camelot; yet, were we to ask the world who had a better moral standing, it would hands down choose President Kennedy.
This specious love bestowed by the world is being played out on the issues of the day, especially those concerning gay marriage and abortion… so much so that the Christians who oppose abortion or gay marriage are deemed to be intolerant ogres and being portrayed as such in our schools and to the pop culture at large. And just how President Nixon will always be seen as less moral than President Kennedy, notwithstanding the latter’s many dalliances outside his marriage with many women, including a teenage girl, so too will it be for the Christians. It is why on any given day, you can see right here on the New York Tele stations heart wrenching Public Service Announcements about animal cruelty, but the ongoing sonic boom silence about the killing of babies via abortions. It is also why President Bush who opposes abortion is seen as a murderer for prosecuting the Iraqi war by many on the Left and President Obama is beloved, even though the latter supports abortion… voting to provide the means to facilitate such innocent murders….
Christians must be wary that if they are walking in lockstep on a given moral issue with Hollywood, which is a microcosm of the world, that more than likely, they are in error. We must count it a blessing when we are hated for following the strictures of the Bible, not because we are perfect, but because we must be humble enough that even though that we too breach God’s rules, we do not call Him a liar overtly or tacitly by saying that the proscribed behaviors are not sinful.
There are many gays who have treated me on the job or elsewhere better than some of my Christian brothers and sisters and lest you think that I am being pious… I too have treated some of my fellow human beings worse than those who do not follow the tenets of the Christian faith… but whatever behaviors I have engaged in and the Bible says that said behaviors were sinful - then they were sinful! Many of us Christian now are looking for the World to love us and we find ourselves signing off on who or what is deemed ‘good’ when the measurement of such things is not from the Bible; and, even when it is, it is steep into some outright perversion of the Scriptures. Christians should not be cowed into saying some behavior is ok when it is an affront to the plain language and traditional interpretation of the Scriptures; we must remember that we are admonished over and over again by the very Christ that we will be hated by the world for His teachings and His name - my premise is best summarized in Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”