Okay so I know that EVERYONE has just been dying to hear MY THOUGHTS on all the Inauguration Hype. (okay not really since everyone and their brother with a blog has been blasting the web with their own rants and raves) So read it or not, but here are some of my thoughts as I have been taking in a lot of the coverage today.
First, if you know me I am by no means much of a political pundit (I don’t even really know what pundit means but it is a GREAT WORD so I like to use it) and I think often times we get too carried away in politics just like we do in so many other areas in life. I am also not much of a historical nut either, but I have to say that even I am beginning to realize some of the intensity of this moment in our history. I did want to just sit back and watch and see what it was all about.
I have never (as much as I can recall – and I have a pretty good memory) watched an Inauguration ceremony before. I will also be the first to say that a lot of that pomp and circumstance is a waste of my time, it is SOOO overblown to me, but it was still pretty cool seeing all those “dignitaries” gather together and for at least a brief few minutes put their differences aside. It was neat seeing former presidents and vice-presidents and their families come and share this stage together. Some definitely cool stuff happening.
So I guess the FIRST MAJOR idea is that I am really down with the fact that no matter how vehemently people disagree and no matter what sort of mudslinging goes on and power struggles between parties, etc. etc. – it is still a pretty beautiful process to see such change and transition take place without bloodshed. To know of the peaceful transition of power with such a celebratory mood is something I can get behind.
I will say I thought both guys who led prayers – Rick Warren with the invocation and Joseph Lowery to do the benediction – did excellent jobs. Let me add I kind of like Lowery’s poetic “turn of phrase” near the end where he was talking about all races getting along and said (don’t have exact wording but this is my memory) something about “yellow being mellow, red man being able to get ahead man, that white would do what is right” – that part was pretty humorous. I am always curious when ministers do these prayers as to how they will handle it – in these days of “forced tolerance” in so many aspects, but I thought they did a good job.
Something I was not a big fan of is how we can overlook the absolutely RIDICULOUS AMOUNT of money spent on this gig. Now I realize the historic nature of it, I also realize that more money than normal had to be spent due to the THRONGS of people expected to be in attendance, as well as the possible threats to the new First Family’s lives simply due to the fact of their race (which continues to sadden me but as long as their are ignorant, hate-filled people in this world there will always be that element), but even taking those factors into consideration – the money spent was absolutely horrifying to me.
It is said that it was expected to cost in the 150-160 MILLION DOLLAR range for this as compared to substantially less for the last couple for Bush & Clinton. (now some are in serious dispute about the #’s but let’s realize that all this stuff has to cost someone something). I do have a real problem with this – in a nation that is in it’s biggest economic upheaval since the Great Depression – with banks and auto makers having to be “bailed out” right and left – with our own government TRILLIONS of dollars in debt – how in the HECK can we talk about “responsibility” when there is NONE being shown by our leaders. NOW DON’T GET ME WRONG I am not using this as a way to attack Obama – I have NO IDEA who get’s the final say on these things. I tell you what though – if Barack is the genius, charismatic, inspiring leader that so many believe him to be – then man I’d have put that to use in my own favor – I would have started having them slash some of the big party stuff and cut some serious costs. I mean even if he didn’t really care about it all – what a HUGE press boom it would have been for him. “THE PRESIDENT WHO REALLY CARES ABOUT THE REGULAR WORKING CLASS – so much so that he put his foot down and said NO to using – no WASTING – 150 Million Dollars.” Can you imagine how much more of a hero he would have become to people?
I mean if it is me – I am knocking out 3 of the limos and saying “how about we all ride to the big party together” – we can have 3 big flags instead of 300 (or however many it was) – heck they could have taken up a “love offering” out there on the mall (yeah people you know what the “love offering” is all about if you have ever been to a church – that’s when you don’t want to tell people that they are really “footing the bill” for something and charge a “per person” price – but instead at the end of the event you go – okay now we are going to give you a chance to show your own “appreciation” of what took place here and we will take up a “love offering”) I mean why not – all this spending of money is ultimately going to come back and bite all of us “regular people” in the butt anyway. We will be the ones PAYING FOR IT.
I know some of ya’ll say “oh it was all worth it – we needed to show the world how we may be down but not out – we need to show them a strong unity – we needed to put on a big show” – HEY HOW ABOUT SHOWING THEM WE GOT A BIT OF SENSE – how about showing them we are not this “outta control – materialistic – money grubbing – spoiled brat” of a country – how about that? Whatever happened to “if we don’t have the money we don’t get the item” and if you ask me – if we have to dip into “emergency funds” to pull of an inauguration ceremony then we DIDN’T HAVE THE MONEY!!! How about trying some of that for “pulling up our bootstraps” and gettin’ “financially responsible” for the mess we’ve made – NAH – let’s just “start on that tomorrow”
Well I will say this – I am looking forward to tomorrow, and the next day, and the coming months and years. I am hopeful and prayerful that God will be allowed to do some mighty things through Mr. Obama. He IS our President, he DOES have a tremendously difficult task lying ahead of him. As did Mr. Bush (which this was another low-light when I am pretty sure I heard people booing or at the least not clapping to give some acknowledgement of the job he did. You may HATE what he did and you may even HATE him (which is stupid to even think that if you don’t know him) but you should at LEAST show some respect – at least on a day such as this. I mean of all days to have a lil class and honor someone if for nothing else than the time they have put in. So that was another low point for me. Back to Barack though, I hope he does well, I hope the things that people say and write about him are not true, and I hope that he IS a man of Faith in the ONE TRUE GOD and serves Him with all that He does, and if so then no matter what man says about him will matter.
The last thing I want to share about today that struck me was about the scene itself and how it reminded me of something biblical. I thought about the hundreds of thousands of people that stood and cheered and chanted Obama’s name as though he were the savior of not just our country but the world. I though to myself about how many of those people might still be chanting and cheering for him come 6 months – a year – or 2 years down the road. How many may be chanting but just chanting something different. I thought about another man – an even GREATER man named Jesus who once entered a pretty prominent town, he entered to throngs of people who were cheering Him. They were waving palm branches as their own versions of the flag of a nation. They were chanting “Hosanna in the highest” – they wanted a great leader, they wanted a king, they wanted someone to SAVE THEM – they wept, they celebrated, they hugged – they would have DONE ANYTHING FOR HIM at that moment. But then just a few short days later their tone had changed – their chants had taken on a different tone. Instead of being willing to do anything FOR Him, now they were willing to do anything TO HIM. The cry of Hosanna had hauntingly crossed into a cry of “CRUCIFY”. So I wonder how long will it take, how quickly will we turn, what will we do? If Jesus was such a great man, such a great teacher, such a great leader, someone that showed love and cared for so many – and yet his very own turned against Him – how long will Barack have?
Now please understand that MY Hope, MY Faith, MY Salvation lies in Jesus the Christ and Him alone – and although I hope for GREAT THINGS from MR. Obama I do not even remotely put him in the same realm, but my fear is that so many out there have already done so and this is what started this line of thinking for me. So please don’t mistake this for me saying that I believe Obama is our savior OR that I think that Barack is even claiming this – it is something that may be unfairly being thrust upon Him. So I guess now only time will tell, we shall see what some of these same people are chanting in the coming months and years.
So there you have it – I know that this has been a novel, and some of it may have been wildly off-topic and random as the day is long – but these were my thoughts, amongst many others. These were the prominent meanderings of my mind as I have attempted to truly “drink in” the deluge of coverage that is associated with all things Inaugural.
Would love to hear your thoughts, stories, reactions, whatever they may be – and hope that you have enjoyed this day and will remain true to your stances and not just caught up in the hype of the moment. I also hope that this wave of renewed hope and change will last a lot longer than the week that Jesus was given.
Over and out from the Dirty South!