In case you're just tuning in; the post originally appeared last night without any commentary, just the two pictures below. That was intentional to see how our reactions would unfold. I sort of expected some backlash as well as some input from Christians who shared my concern. The point of the two pictures is that in the top picture President Obama is shown taking his second oath of office on Wednesday having misspoken a few of the words at the official swearing in the day prior. In the bottom picture we see the president's hand on the Lincoln Bible being held by Mrs. Obama. The something missing is the Bible, absent in the top photograph.
My political perspective is two things, not a secret and irrelevant. This is my president and any differences I may have with him have nothing to do with the fact that he is my president today. I will pray for him, I will respect him. If you find me behaving with anything less than respect concerning Mr. Obama, please remind me that he is my president. I actually walked out of a room during the swearing in because the conversation had drifted away from the celebration of this democracy to the mocking of former President George W. Bush. This offended me greatly as the mocking of our leader is the mocking of the very blessing of the free vote that elected him. We must not so readily throw our collective dignity to the side.
And so, I have determined not to enter into such foolishness as this president takes his seat in the Oval Office. I did not vote for him, he is my president. I am not angry and I did not lose. The United States of America is a blessed nation and I will remain united.
So why post these two photographs? Why point this out? Because I am a citizen of America learning how to fulfill that role to the glory of God. No, I do not, within my heart, separate church and state. God is the leader of America not because of what we print on our money but because he is the ruler of the entire universe, his creation. He does not need the vote of the people to gain authority. Wednesday evening I went on the internet and read about the second swearing in and honestly, I am not sure I'd have seen the lack of the Bible except that it was mentioned specifically in every article I read. Basically, Mr. Obama said he had not brought his Bible with him but the oath was binding nonetheless. Ok. I never worried that the flubbed oath was unofficial much less the one lacking a Bible.
But something twisted in the pit of my stomach when I discovered this. Something made me uncomfortable, disappointed. My mind didn't explode with conspiracy theories nor did I insert President Obama into an addendum of the Left Behind series. The tangible unease in my gut came from how easily the President of the United States of America removed the Bible from his swearing in. And immediately on the heals of this thought, immediately; how easily I remove the Bible from my day. Is his hand on the Bible of any greater importance than mine somewhere between awakening and falling asleep? Have you heard 'the pew follows the pulpit'? Well, maybe the leader reflects the people. Yes, in America the leader reflects the people. I can be righteously indignant that the Holy Bible was irrelevant by Mr. Obama's own explanation. But how relevant is it when mine was no more in use on Wednesday than his?
He dares to swear by his own hand to execute the office of President of the United States. This is serious to me because any moment when God is diminished to a detail, a window dressing; is dangerous and reason to mourn.
Something is indeed missing. President Obama became to me a mirror on Wednesday.