Saturday, May 23, 2009

Learning from the past

The dueling speeches--Cheney and Obama--certainly show that we have administrations with entirely different perspectives on war and defense. WaPo version. President Obama is attempting to criminalize, after the fact, actions that were taken by the former President and Congress which were ruled legal just a few years ago. At the same time, he's attempting to shore up his support on the hard left--those who pushed him into office hoping he'd dance to their jig--who think he's backing down. Obama's view on security and defense is that of the USA/FDR of the 1930s, the drill we went through as Hitler knocked off his neighbors and threatened England--watch, wait, and talk. The other, the Bush-Cheney plan (with Congress's approval and support) was to go on the attack rather than wait any longer. Last night I heard a woman liberal on a panel critiquing the two speeches whine that Cheney had mentioned 9/11 twenty times in his speech, that it obviously was a defining moment in his mind.

I've been reading "Westminster Pulpit" the collection of sermons of G. Campbell Morgan now 100 years old. He had some interesting points about remembering the past.
    The true backward look is that which sets the past in relation to God; that which lays to heart the lessons God has intended to teach by the experiences of the past; and is that which always has the future in mind. . . [commenting on Moses' use of the past] These people had been brought out of Egypt and its bondage to God, and to that freedom which was perfectly conditioned within government and within law. This was fundamental, and this they were charged never to forget. Take the Old Testament and read right through it, listening to its teachings; and whether you are reading its devotional literature, or that which is distinctly prophetic in the sense of the forthtelling of the Divine Will, you will discover how constantly these prophets, seers, and psalmists, took the people back to Egypt, and the fact of their deliverance there from. That was absolutely fundamental. V. 4, p. 10-11
Morgan goes on to make a spiritual point, and I don't think he mentions that often the escaping Hebrew people wanted to go back to Egypt where they were slaves rather than face the tough problems of the wilderness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

According to Fox analyst this morning, Obama referred to Bush-Cheney policy negatively 28 times. So Obama wins the looking back race.