Wednesday, November 5

A history repeated, not 'made'.

"And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba. His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice. Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. “Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. “Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.” So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who had asked of him a king. He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. “He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. “He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. “He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. “He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. “He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. “He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. “Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.” Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the LORD’S hearing. The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.” 1 Samuel 8:1-22 (GWT)

The newspapers and blogs are similiarly titled this morning; 'History has been made! The United States of America has elected for the first time in its history an African-American for President.'

Young and charismatic but with little experience on the national level, Obama is to become the first African-American destined to sit in the Oval Office, America's 44th president; the first Democrat to garner more than 50 percent of the popular vote since Jimmy Carter in 1976. The popular vote was 51.9 percent for Obama and 46.8 percent for McCain. But the count in the Electoral College was lopsided in Obama's favor over McCain — 349 to 147 as of early Wednesday, Obama won California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

In other 'historical' milestones, with Democratic gains in both parts of the 'Legislative' branch, Obama takes office with more political favor than than any president since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Johnson's first elected term enjoyed a House with a 295 majority of Democrats and a Senate of a Democratic majority of 68.

Despite the headlines speaking of an 'historical nomination of an African-American President', exit polls suggest that race was indeed a factor in voting decisions; working in Barack Obama's favor. Nearly one in five voters said it was an important factor in their decision, as opposed to the eight percent who said it was a minor factor. Typical responses to the President-elect as he begins his first day in the journey to taking the Presidential Oath of Office in January seem to support such numbers.

An emotional Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis called the election "a nonviolent revolution" and an "unbelievable, and unreal transformation of American politics" as he spoke with Charles Gibson of ABC News when asked about a possible Obama victory, saying "Well, I tell you, I cried a little today when I cast my vote, and I've been crying for the past few days. I don't know if I have any tears left.... I think I'm going to shed some more tears before the night is over."

"I have always believed America offers opportunities for those who have the industry and will to achieve it," McCain said. "There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States."

"I feel like 100 pounds are off my shoulders right now," said Preston Johnson, a 22-year-old African-American among the thousands of multi-ethnic Obama supporters gathered tonight in Harlem. "I feel the change right this minute."

Quoted in the local paper, The Detroit Free Press, are many indications of those exit polls; Samuel Green, 85, an Army veteran who fought for his country but couldn't vote in the 40's, said, "This is something we've dreamed about, and to see it come to reality is just amazing. "This is payback for all the hardships."

Detroit Mayor, Ken Crockrel Jr., said, "I think it's huge for African-Americans. It's especially significant for African-American children. It shows the sky is the limit, no matter what your skin color."

Gary Bennett, a 68 year old New Center resident and minister with the Shrine of the Black Madonna, is quoted, “I think this is a new beginning for America -- the Lord has blessed us with another chance. Everybody has that rumbling feeling inside them that something is happening. This election has helped bring us out of this oppression that has eaten up America. We can begin to accept that we are a multicultural national. Tonight we’ve been brought out of a long tunnel, and we are finally beginning to see the light.”

Rochelle Riley, Free Press Columist states, "He entered an arena full of America in all its colors and ages, and left as two symbols: He remained, as the poet Maya Angelou wrote, "the hope and the dream of the slave" -- but he continued to be a universal voice of change."

One reporter in the Free Press reported of the celebration in the dowtown area of Detroit, "Black power fists were thrown in the air, large American flags were waved, poeple danced in the streets, drivers honked their car horns, men stood on cars playing bongo drums and the gleeful shouts of "OBAMA" could literally be heard from miles away."

Record voter turnout, new voters, and new levels of campaign funds raised has led to the American voice being heard, President-elect Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America. Whether our first democratically elected African-American President can bring change that will bring what he has promised the citizenship would restore America to its former glory remains a subject of the future.

Will we, the American people, demand such accountability?

To what standards, what morals?

In his victory speech, Obama said "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."

Obama has convinced people that he represents a coming together for the common good, setting aside old prejudices and standing on the cusp for true change. Time will tell if the voters elected a true change or a renewal of the old lies in a new language, called 'tolerance' or, to quote our 44th President, "...just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can't constrain the exercise of that right..." style of government.

We will be held accountable for our decisions, whether we were simply fooled or intentionally in a state of denial. In 1938, Milton Washington Mayor Kenneth Simmons wanted to prove a point. He hauled a mule into the courthouse and placed its hoof prints on all the documents necessary to run for public office. Although Boston Curtis, the mule, never ran a political campaign, the citizens elected him to office. They didn't realize they were electing a mule! Mayor Simmons said he wanted to demonstrate that voters often "know not whom they support."

President Grover Cleveland, who was a relative unknown much like our newly elected President, came into his first term of office with a promise of 'not replacing any Republican who was doing his job well or appointing anyone based solely on party service' and began to replace Republicans with Democrats, once his party complained of being 'denied the spoils' of Cleveland's party victory, though the majority seem to have held to at least a merit system alone and not just party service. Cleveland reformed government, creating the ICC, modernizing the navy, returning approximately 81,000,000 acres to the public which angered railroad investors. Cleveland, facing a Republican-controlled Senate, used his veto powers often; vetoing hundreds of pension bills for Civil war veterans, and the infamous veto of the Texas seed bill because he believed in limited government, "Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people." Cleveland advocated tariff reform, reducing the tariff placed upon American businesses. In the World stage, Cleveland would be a committed non-interventionist, conciliatory tones were the hallmark of his administration in foreign affairs.

For the first time since President Johnson, a Democratic President will have the support of a Democrat-controlled 'legislative' branch. Johnson espoused many of a "great society" and Congress, at times augmenting or amending, enacted many of Johnson's recommendations. Johnson inherited a war started under the Kennedy administration, and actually increased the scope of America's involvement. Under Johnson, 550,00 US troops were in Vietnam, at a rate of 1000 a month being killed, from Kennedy's 16,000 'advisors'. One of Johnson's well known quotes is "the Democratic party at its worst, is still better than the Republican party at its best".

Frustration over Vietnam; increased federal spending, taxation, a lack of public support in the 'Great Society', disenchantment with the civil rights programs 4.5 percent jump in consumer pricing, increased interest rates, and a 6 percent rise in income taxes to cover increased deficit spending were the hallmarks of a Johnson administration and a democrat-controlled legislature. ; too much federal spending and... taxation; no great public support for your Great Society programs; and . . . public disenchantment with the civil rights programs" was the opinion of much of Johnson's administration, caused by a 4.5 percent jump in consumer prices, a rise in interest rates, a 6 percent increase in income taxes to cover increased deficit spending.

America, and a majority of its citizens haven't made history. They've repeated it, in a new way. Only time will tell if the mistakes made in the past lead to a brighter future for all Americans or a socialist shift into the darkest hours of a nation morally corrupt.

"President-Elect Obama has been elected. I will always hold true to my beliefs that include character, personal responsibility and honesty make the person........... There are Americans who will, and have, judged him simply on the color of his skin," said the person going by the screen name 'nievyman', "but there are other Americans who may be expecting something because of the color of his skin.................I want our new President to bring us all closer together, not by his color, but by his character and integrity."

Upon the shoulders of this newly elected President fall the hopes and aspirations of a nation; those who voted for him and those who did not. History, both immediate and in review, will judge us as a people to whether we voted for a historical nightmare or an individual who answered the deepest heartfelt call of God and turned the nation back to its once former glory as a nation 'under God, indivisible.'

It is up to the people, citizens natural-born or legal-immigrants, to hold our President to the highest standards in all things, and to use our democratic rights to do so when he strays from our chosen path. Not to divide, not to riot, and not to perform other radical, individual actions.

Andrew Nicholls, a brother in the Lord, offered this prayer yesterday.

"Lord, today is an important day in many of our lives here in the states. It is that time again when we will be choosing the next man to lead this nation. Father, please help us not to be hasty in our decision, but to be prayerful and careful in our vote. We are a people that have fallen away from the godly values and principles this nation was founded upon. We have fallen far, but you are rich in grace and mercy and I believe there is still hope. Lord, You told Your chosen people, Israel, that if they would humble themselves before You, pray, seek Your face and turn from their wicked ways, You would hear their prayers from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land. We who have come to You in faith through Your precious Son Jesus are also Your people and that promise applies to us as well. So Lord, we seek You, Lord we confess our sins and realize that we are nothing without You. Father, may we always seek You, not just in times of crisis, want or need, but daily with hearts of praise and worship. Lord we have heard the word "change" used so often throughout the past year, but there is really only one change that really matters; a heart that has been transformed by the healing grace of Calvary. Please bring about that "Real Change" in our land and help me to be an active soldier in your mighty, heavenly army to help bring about this much needed "change." I pray this prayer in Jesus Name, the name above all names and the name in which one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. Amen"

"The people responded, "It would be unthinkable for us to abandon the LORD to serve other gods." Joshua 24:18 (GWT)

I fear that America has done the same. Time will tell if I'm prophetic or just a dislusioned American. But my American Christian response to the decision does not.

We are called by God to accept and follow the leadership appointed over us. Whether God has given us to our most heartfelt desires of human leadership or has entered into a time of trial to see if we will follow His decree remains to be seen.

Our actions, however, do not.

This morning, as my heart broke over the results of this 'historic' election, my mouth confessed to the Lord my fears, my failures, and my praises to Him and Him alone. As every morning, both in the past and into the future, I included a prayer for my President, elected to the highest office of the land, that he would find and know God (as only God knows the heart), that he would hear His voice and reflect His love, grace, and peace. And that the Lord would guide his steps as he leads the country into the unknown future. For the sake of myself, my fellow Americans, and my children.

President-elect Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America, you have been entrusted with the future of a nation, you have promised true change that places the common good of all over the individual selfishness of the one. I, a citizen of this nation, will hold you to that promise and will continue as I have for years, to pray for you, your family, and your presidential duties that they will reflect, conform, and emulate the standards of the Most High God and His son, Jesus Christ.

And I will continue to do so; as is my right as an American citizen, and my humble duty as a Christian.

Until history is at its end and Christ returns for His people.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

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