America, We’ve Got a Problem

Both a vital and well written article by Jim Wallis of Sojourners Ministry

I was in Ferguson Wednesday when it happened: In a morally stunning decision, a Staten Island grand jury announced it would not bring criminal charges against a white police officer who choked a black man to death during a brutal incident last July. Stopped for allegedly selling some loose and therefore untaxed cigarettes, officer Daniel Pantaleo put a “chokehold” on Eric Garner, despite the fact that the move is against NYPD rules. Video of the incident shows Garner uttering his last words, “I can’t breathe.” New York’s medical examiner officially called this a “homicide,” but the grand jury said no charges will be made.

Of course, this comes just 10 days after the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict another white police officer, Darren Wilson, for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown on Aug. 9. Sojourners had convened a retreat in Ferguson for both national faith leaders and local pastors to look deeply at the historical and theological foundations of the Ferguson events and reflect upon how the church must respond.

Continued Here

I agree, America has a problem. What I don’t know is the answer, outside of the Gospel message, to this problem. I’m not even sure if the problem is relatively new, as in it had dissipated and has reared it’s ugly head again, or if it was always there, under the surface. Personally I believe in most areas of the country it’s a little of both: we’ve always had a minority of racists, but over the last 6-7 years that minority has grown substantially.  

Last evening I was remembering back to days after the 2008 election. To a town meeting which ended up being televised nation-wide. Perhaps you recall it and the incident with the lady in attendance who was weeping. When the microphone was placed in front of her and she was asked, why all the tears, she wailed “I want my country back!!”. 

I’ve never forgotten that. After Obama’s election there were many like this lady; people who believed because a ‘black man’ was going to be occupying the most important office in America, “they had lost their country”. That town hall clip went viral. 

For me, that was the beginning. That lady represented the voices and/or thoughts of millions in this country that night. Since then it has only grown worse. 

Yes, “we” have a problem. And if anyone believes that when our current president steps out of the office of President of the United States, and most-likely, another “white” man (or woman) steps in to take his place, things will improve, you are kidding yourself.

Pandora’s box was opened and the ghostly evils inside escaped into this nations atmosphere.

We can only pray the last item found at the bottom of this Pandora’s box, will be the same thing found at the bottom of the one depicted in the Greek myth: Hope.

There is much more I’d like to say, but…..


4 comments on “America, We’ve Got a Problem

  1. Dear PJ; your comments so align with my feelings about the matter too. I remember once commenting about feeling like it was a Pandora’s Box being opened. You are the second one I hear refer to it like that.

    I thought it felt like a door swung open and demons had been unleashed. The nasty comments, divisive rhetoric and unreasonable demands and criticisms of the President gave me a shudder, not because I agreed with things his administration did, but because I sensed it was the beginning of a spirit of demonic hatred. So crafty is he, Satan, that he would deceive the church, our brethren into jumping into the fray and becoming compulsive critics, losing logic and almost sounding insane.

    Just read Bryan Fischer’s rants, or WND, or any of these right-wing political sites, where all commenters claim they are saved, yet speak evil and beyond the pale words against men, and in particular one man. I’ve never witnessed seeing a man, a leader, get such treatment by so many christians who lash and lash mean attacks one after another, and not only against him, but his family and children. These are not the comments of the worldly, but of self-professing God-fearing born-again christians. It raises a bit of fear in me, asking how can so much hate be driven towards one man. Who will be next? What other person or scapegoat can the church hate with such vitriol? If they can do it to one man now, it’s inevitable they will do it to others. This isn’t just the strong delusion sent to the elect of the last days, it’s an unleashing of blind pure hatred against others not seen since the time of Hitler. Dear Lord Jesus please come quickly!

    • I’ve never witnessed seeing a man, a leader, get such treatment by so many christians

      Nor have i Marie. It has been this, the ugly hate-filled attitudes from Christians, which has both stunned and saddened me. We expect the world in general to act this way, but not those claiming to be part of the body of Christ. My belief is, God has used our current president to bring to the surface these hidden attitudes in many Christians, in the hope they would recognize them for what they really are: works of the flesh being played upon by demonic influences, and bring about repentance in these Christians. Sadly the opposite seems to have happened. The hate has only grown and become more out in the open.

      I’m of a generation which was raised and taught to respect those in authority. That doesn’t mean i could not disagree with their actions but only that i was still to respect them. This nation has lost this. We no longer have respect for either the person or the office, in this case concerning the president.

      God has used this man’s election(s) to “shake the tree” and sift the American Church.

  2. The Michael Brown situation, in my opinion, certainly was not something that should have erupted into accusations of racism and then horrible riots. There were a number of black witnesses who supported the cop’s testimony. The witnesses who contradicted the testimony ended up perjuring themselves, either by giving testimony that contradicted the facts (such as claiming he was shot in the back, or forced onto his knees and executed), or else changing their story once they got in front of a judge, or when they heard news reports hearing details about the autopsy or other people’s claims, and then changed theirs to match. Witnesses also reported how they were intimidated and threatened by people in the neighborhood to “keep their mouths shut.” Michael Brown himself, with his buddy, had just committed a strong-arm robbery before encountering the police officer. I saw the video of him pushing around that little store clerk and realized that he was just a bully who certainly could have punched a cop. I also heard (but can’t confirm yet) that the autopsy results also revealed marijuana in his system, meaning he was likely not in his right state of mind.

    Instead of these people talking about the problems of racism (which no doubt exist), they should have been talking about the problem of poverty, drugs and a gang culture of violence and disrespect for authority. It is this disrespect of authority that is the biggest problem in these communities, and the fact they by and large come from homes without fathers is probably the biggest reason behind that. I saw a message from a black footballer who said that the solution was the Gospel. I quite agree with that. The Al-Sharpton Grievance/Riot committee won’t be helping us preach, though.

    There is certainly a great deal of ugly racism towards Obama. It is so transparent it is laughable. It is indeed a situation where, because he is black, many will oppose him outright, regardless of what he has to say, regardless of the merits or demerits of, say, making sure someone doesn’t go into huge amounts of dept just to get care for cancer or the like. I have an internet friend in Scotland who thinks our healthcare system is nuts, and I have to agree with her, despite all the scare mongering that things are awful in the UK.

    That said, there are a lot of race-war mongers out there like Al Sharpton, who have a history of fraud and immoral behavior, who are trying to latch on to any situation they can to make matters worse. I was disgusted when I heard the journalists responding to the Ferguson prosecutor, after he had given an excellent summary of the Grand Jury’s reasoning for the way they decided, asking him if he would “sleep well that night” or “what kind of message does this send?” I would have replied, “I’ll sleep like a baby,” and “Don’t charge a police officer with a gun pointed at you!”

    • There is certainly a great deal of ugly racism towards Obama. It is so transparent it is laughable.

      You’re certainly right about it’s transparency Ricardo. One would have to be blind as a bat not to see it. Those who perpetrate and encourage it, are very bold now…they don’t even attempt to convince anyone its about policies; it’s about the man. period.

      What is astounding is it can be seen within our own members of congress and senate.

      I often wonder if this wild uncontrollable hate is not a spirit sent by God as part of the judgment upon America. This will continue to lead to something Ricardo–even after Obama has left office.

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