Duty, God, Honor and Country 1-17-2018

 Duty, Honor, God and Country

This was the phrase I heard over and again as a young soldier in the military. We were to carry out our orders with highest honors, dedicating our service to God and country. Our duty was important but our conduct was always measured by honoring God and the US of A (as we were prone to say). We were challenged to be aware of our words and actions and the impact they have on others. Because we were diverse of color and origin, we were told we no longer bled red but rather green! The meaning of that phrase was clear: we must trust and depend on each other and there was no room for bigotry or racism. We were a band of brothers and sisters regardless of our ethnicity.

Of course, the assumption was that our superiors and government officials appointed over us conducted themselves in the same manner. I have been mostly silent but very appalled by rhetoric that leads to our division in humanity and Christianity. I wonder if David Gergen, former presidential advisor who served during the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Regan and Bill Clinton, is correct when he recently said, “Both parties are more concerned with saving their seat than saving their soul.” Perhaps his comment convicts me as well?

I have been writing in my blogs about honoring our mayors, governors, congress and our president for the past few months. It is difficult for me to say this, but there has been a change in the land, a change of shock and awe. I do not recall a more divisive and demeaning attitude by the leader of this great country than I’m hearing from the President of the United States of America. I want to support our country and our president, but how do we respond as Christians, as United Methodists to racism, sexism, and any other ‘ism’ that destroy unity?

“The United Methodist Church has a long history of concern for social justice. Its members have often taken forthright positions on controversial issues involving Christian principles. Early Methodists expressed their opposition to the slave trade, to smuggling, and to the cruel treatment of prisoners.” (2016 Book of Disciple, Social Principles, page 105) I would add to that list, the rights of women.

“Primary for us is the gospel understanding that all persons are important—because they are human beings created by God and loved through and by Jesus Christ and not because they have merited significance.” (BOD, para 161)

“We call the Church to challenge any hierarchy of cultures or identities. Through relationships within and among cultures, we are called to and have the responsibility for learning from each other, showing mutual respect for our differences and similarities as we experience ethnic diversity of perspectives and viewpoints.” (BOD, para 161a)

5 responses to “Duty, God, Honor and Country 1-17-2018”

  1. Thank you for once again sharing your perspective as a former soldier. Thank you for your service and your insights. I agree that many times politicians give winning reelection a higher priority than doing what is right. Ironically some people were attracted to Trump because they felt his candor and lack of political correctness was refreshing. They felt he would not be beholden to any of the lobbyists. They overlooked or even enjoyed his raw language and felt he understood their concerns and told them that they mattered.
    I do not like the way the President conducts himself or how he expresses himself on many occasions. I think some of his supporters were believing that he would help them financially or help our country financially and to some extent they may have been right. But is insensitive capitalism better than oversensitive socialism? It seems we go from one extreme to another. I still have to believe the majority want common sense and common cause and mutual respect to prevail.
    Ridicule and bullying are not helpful. I do wish the media would stick to the facts and not over-react but I do believe they need to report what is happening and our leaders ought to be held accountable.

  2. We, bar none, are children of God. It is my belief that it is the Christian way, love thy neighbor, judge not lest ye be judged are ways by which we can get closer to peace, and closer to God. It’s not new, “Do unto others” is just right.

  3. Let’s keep this conversation going. Just know that all commentors must identify themelves by name and email address. They cannot be “anonymous.” Thanks, friends!

  4. Loved reading this. I, too, feel that we have too many leaders that are “more concerned with saving their seats…” This is a clarion call, folks… “it’s time” and we can certainly do better.

  5. This is the Christian way. Until recently with some past exceptions unity, acceptance and civility toward all of our brothers and sisters was something to be at least strived for in our country

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