It feels like all the commercials playing on Amazon Prime and Hulu the past week, if they weren’t for car insurance, or other shows you could watch on those platforms, were pushing meds for HIV, contraceptives, and the management of heart conditions. I hope and pray, then, that America feels other needs besides pharmaceutical answers to sexually transmitted diseases, or the desire to avoid having children, or the fear of dying from myocarditis. Yet the advertisements tell a different story.
Speaking of heart disease, Donald Trump finally unleashed a nickname for his anticipated Republican rival in 2024. After the former president called Florida’s governor ‘Ron DeSanctimonious,’ the MAGA rally equivalent of crickets were heard over the livestream, then conservatives on Twitter publicly booed, and held their noses, and gave Trump the thumbs down.
That was the proper response.
From everything we’ve seen of DeSantis over the past several years of COVID and Woke madness in the U.S., Ron has proven himself an excellent governor. I dare say also that he would be a better all-around choice for next President of the United States than Trump would, not least because DeSantis has boundaries and knows how to control himself in a way Trump is either incapable of or else unwilling to.
A quick word, then, about trying to box your political opponents out with pejoratives. Calling people and things by their name is one thing. Attempted assassination of good character? That is quite another.
Trying to trade someone else’s good name for an ugly one, just because they may be competing with you in the near future – that is selfish, short-sighted, and foolish. And not only is it morally wrong, it’s impractical and self-destructive, liable to damage your own reputation more than that of the one you’re trying to bring down a few notches, particularly if the shoe you are trying to throw at them does not, in fact, fit.
Another true thing to remember is that an ugly, unpleasant label can even be true of others, yet there can be a greater benefit and virtue found in not calling them by it.
There are many true things that can be said, after all. But they cannot all be said simultaneously. Nor do they all need to be said in every circumstance. Wisdom is needed, and found, when we consider both relevance and circumstance, to know whether a particular word or phrase is either timely or a distraction, and thereby possibly undermining more necessary and profitable endeavors we should be pursuing instead, or else feeding into and complimenting the good we know we ought to do.
But speaking of actually beneficial ways to spend our time and attention, and given our current circumstances more broadly, let us turn our attention to the question of how best to love our countrymen and country.
Some say that to love America, or our fellow Americans, by virtue of their Americanness, is partiality at best, but possibly even idolatry at worst. I want to tweak those conclusions.
While rose-colored glasses about our country might be called, by some, loving this country “too much,” I am reminded of what the Scriptures say of a father who refuses to discipline his son – that he hates him – versus a father who loves his son, and disciplines him accordingly.
Thus and thusly, I conclude there is too much in common between loving America “too much” and hating it. And this is especially the case where discipline is concerned.
Great damage is done either way, doubly interfering with the righteousness Proverbs 14 says “exalts a nation.” So also, the sin which “is a reproach to any people” runs all the more rampant, thereby, when we either hate our country, or refuse to correct it where correction is needed.
In both extremes, we refuse to call the nation to repentance. And maybe we refuse all the more when repentance is so desperately needed all the more.
On the one hand, loving America “too much,” we will deny that there is any sin to repent of. We refuse to admit any faults, even when their evidence is easily found, for instance, in nearly every commercial airing on Hulu and Amazon Prime, or every piece of national news, or the latest ugly comment from former President Trump.
On the other hand, when so many of us hate America, we not so subtly hope no repentance comes, because, I think, we want to see our nation punished, or even destroyed.
Are either of these attitudes of the Lord? Do either honor Him? If they do, I fail to see how. Both alike seem equally wicked and foolish to me, especially compared to noting our grievous sins, and calling our country and countrymen to repent of them, and praying for that subsequent healing and forgiveness from the Lord, without which no nation or people can ever be truly blessed.
In the interest, then, of neither hating America, nor loving it too much, it’s high time we seek the Lord’s face, and humble ourselves, and pray that the Lord will hear us from heaven and heal our land. And if that is not what we want to do, may the Lord Himself correct us, enabling us both to desire and do it anyways.
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