On this Easter Sunday (3-31-2013) I got to watch Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation one more time before my busy season. I will be working from 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays until at least the 4th of July for the peak of the patio furniture selling season. He did the first half hour on religion in America and the last half hour on books written about Calvin Coolidge, Eisenhower and Nixon, Franklin Roosevelt and Lindbergh, and Winston Churchill. I found something interesting in both halves that say a lot.
After a short interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Schieffer did a round table with a woman high priest in Boston, an Islamic leader known as an Imam from an American mosque, a rabbi, and a bishop. The discussion was very civil and they discussed mostly the similarities and the desires for Americans to have God in their life in one form or another. The focal point of Easter weekend for Christians and Christian scholars is the verification of the resurrection which would reveal to the world the relevance of the Christian faith. I am not an expert on the many different religions in the world but I am wise enough to make one statement that is apparent to me as common ground for every religion in the world and that is: anyone looking for proof is not a true believer. Accepting the unbelievable on total faith is the absolute requirement. Unless you have the good fortune to either witness or perform a miracle in your lifetime, miracles of the past can only be historically accounted for by people accepting on total faith. The vindication of this statement comes from the fact that even if scientific proof, possibly contradicting scripture were to surface, it can only serve to vindicate the physical world. A true believer believes the physical world is not the end point, but the passing through point, and that one continues for eternity in one of two places. As secular as America has become and continues to aspire to become, it is still the country that will play the most integral role in the relevancy of religion and the need for God to be part of our lives as well as the life span of the struggling nation. This is because America states right in its constitution that freedom of religion is a fundamental, inalienable right of all its citizens. The absolution of this freedom is the thing that puts America in the position of the being God’s ultimate distribution network though all religious channels because submission is not submission unless it is voluntary. In a country like Iran, where Islam is an absolute mandate, not even the parishioner himself (or herself) can never verify whether or not her or she is a true believer. Therefore in America, although over 20% may chose to not to affiliate with any religion or may not be committed to belief in God, all Americans who choose to believe are by default true believers because they carry with them the ultimate self-test 24/7.
The other half hour struck a chord with me on the one thing that may be the underlying cause as to why Washington D.C., and for that matter, the American people cannot accomplish its one and only no-brainer and that is to balance its budget—leadership. Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Winston Churchill; you could not find four people in history more different than this cast of characters if you tried. But they were all good leaders in their own way. Calvin Coolidge always had America under budget. Like Five Star General Dwight D. Eisenhower who realized he could not shoot the Democrat congress the way he could shoot the enemy in combat, Silent Cal also knew to get out of the way and let Americans self-govern. Winston Churchill has impeccable insight on matters of the world such as the rise of Adolph Hitler into power and that the appeasement policies of his predecessor Neville Chamberlain would never work. Though I believe F.D.R.s New Deal is doing us financial harm nowadays, we may still be in that great depression with a complete lack of leadership. One big problem in Washington, D.C. today is the lack of leadership. Politics notwithstanding, Barrack Obama is a nice guy and if it were a simple battle between liberal vs. conservative, Mr. Obama would not receive opposition from his own Democrat party. But even they question whether he is the guy that can lead them to their liberal objectives. Unfortunately for us Republican conservatives, Mitt Romney would not have been much better. Ronald Reagan was the last great leader in America. He had a minority in congress six out of eight years he served the nation’s highest office and did alright. I am confident Rick Santorum would be a very similar leader to Ronald Reagan. The point is we need a real leader in the executive branch. Not a dictator, absolutely not! But someone who leads by example and play the hand dealt, regardless if those cards represent his own party or the other. I admit John Boehner behaves badly and wants to fight a war of words rather than debate and compromise, but bottom line, John Boehner is not the president—he is doing exactly what his constituents want him to do or he doesn’t get re-elected. Alas, Barrack Obama (and Mitt Romney for that matter) is no Vince Lombardi and nothing gets done.
On this Easter Sunday, we must pray for the resurrection of America as the great nation our Founding Fathers intended. To do this, we require leadership. A Calvin Coolidge, a Franklin Roosevelt, a Dwight Eisenhower, a Winston Churchill, a Ronald Reagan.