As a woman of faith, there is integrated into my thinking through Sacred Scripture, Church teaching, and tradition–including lyrics of sacred music and the writings of Saints–an abiding sense that with God in control of my life, no matter what, “all is well.”
As a student and teacher of political science and U.S. History/Government, I well know and understand that in times of adversity, government leaders must communicate a message of calm and secular “all is well,” lest a society collapse in anarchy brought about by a chain reaction of out-of-control unlawful behavior generated from an extreme fear that the end is near.
As a United States citizen, even knowing and acknowledging the President’s obligation to call for surety and optimism, I still found unsettling and frankly disrespectful to my intelligence President Obama’s mocking jabs at the Republican Convention/Presidential Nominee’s way of addressing the threat of Radical Islamic Terrorism. The President’s mocking assertion that the “sun was still shining and the birds were still chirping” the morning after the Convention concluded was ironic, in fact, given that in about one hour’s time after his remark, the people of Munich experienced terror.
As a Christian, no matter what evil confronts me, I know that in the depths of my soul, I am called to remain deeply peaceful, believing that as a faithful and faith-filled child of God, “all is well,” not because a politician tells me so, in contradiction to my common sense reasoning, but because I have God’s Word, as long as I live in accordance to His Holy Will, loving Him, others and myself, that it is so: “all is well.”
That being said, maintaining inner peace does not equate with being ignorant of or inactive toward evil. No. I have a moral obligation to overcome evil with good actions–with prayers (even the hard-to-willfully-say prayers of forgiveness toward evildoers) and the exertion of my rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. I am not called to be a Christian ostrich; I am not called to be ignorant of and inactive toward overcoming evil. Quite the contrary. I am called to fight against evil with every moral means at my disposal.
As a Christian U.S. citizen, then, I want a strong President who fulfills his God-given responsibilities to protect his citizens, authorized through the voice of the people who elected him. And since, as Scripture assures, truth is freeing, I want a President who tells me the truth about the extent and degree of whatever evil threatens our country. And then, once that truth is exposed, and the President assures me that he appreciates the severity of the threat, then and only then am I happy to hear the President say that on a human level, every possible step is being taken to defeat the evil we face, and that on a spiritual level, that everything we do and especially whatever we cannot do, we entrust to Divine Providence, knowing that in the end, when we do our best out of love for God, others, and self, “all is well.”
Today, after learning that an eighty-six year old French priest was beheaded when he was forced to interrupt the Mass he was praying and to kneel before his Radical Islamic terrorist-executioners, I think of integrating various Scripture passages. On the one hand, I think of the advice of St. Paul’s in Philippians 4:8 that we must focus on things that are uplifting (like the sun shining and the birds chirping), and at the same time, we must adhere to Jesus’ admonition in Matthew 10:16 that we be wise in the face of evil, because as St. Peter tells us in 1Peter 5:8, our evil adversaries roam about, seeking victims to destroy. Finally, besides remembering as we are told in Romans 12:21 that instead of being overcome by evil, we must overcome evil with good, I think that we must heed the words of Nehemiah 8:9, realizing that the joy of the Lord must be our strength.
At this time in U.S. and human history, I appreciate the honesty and determination shown by the Republican Party, led by Mr. Donald J. Trump and Gov. Mike Pence, to tell us that in a secular sense, all is not well in terms of national security. I applaud their uprightness to name and to commit to overcoming the Radical Islamic evil that threatens to destroy us.
Best of all, I know that the Republicans are not embarrassed or afraid to name not only Radical Islam, but to name and to call on the God referenced in our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, our Pledge of Allegiance, and on our currency etc. The battle against evil is too great for mere, limited wo/men and machines to win. No. The battle against the forces of evil–the forces of hate and violence–Scripture tells us in 2 Chronicles 20:15, ultimately is the Lord’s.
God bless our Republican Party and their strong leaders, and God bless the United States of America to serve as one Nation under Him as a force for good in the world. Let us pray for the election of Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence, and all other Republicans who are unafraid to name and to defeat evil in this world.