Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seek Not for Vengeance

Today I found out some information which was brand new to me, but has actually been around since December of 2008. It was circulated in the British press but for some reason never made it across the pond to our media. The 2008 story can be found here.

President Obama’s grandfather was apparently imprisoned and tortured by the British government. The torture sounds particularly horrid and repulsive. When I heard the story and read it, my first question was ‘Why didn’t we know this?’ It is essential for us to understand history so we don’t repeat it and also to understand context. I can understand if there are not exactly warm feelings between the Obama’s and the British government, but that needed to be known. The media stand condemned for their continued lack of service, whether it be due to ineptness or to push their own agendas. We need to know the truth, the whole truth. I do not think this history in any way disqualifies Obama from being president. But, it is imperative that we know and understand history and the context that it provides.

History is rife with examples of abuse and horror and despicable acts. It is absolutely necessary that we learn it. My own familial history contains some horrors at the hands of our own government. My grandmother was taken from her home on the Turtle Mountain reservation in North Dakota and put into a boarding school in Oregon. She was beaten for speaking any language other than English, understand that she only spoke her native tongue at the time. She was sexually assaulted, and degraded verbally, all because the government decided that Native Americans needed to be assimilated. They basically attempted to stamp out Native culture by force. I know where that came from, Progressivism and its never ending search to perfect society. Does it make me angry? Sometimes and I also feel a deep sadness. But, mostly I feel resolute. I resolve to tell history as it really is, and to make sure that people understand context.

There is something else that is absolutely essential to understand. In the United States of America we are founded on independence. Inherit in independence is individual responsibility. That means each one of us individually own up to our own lives. We face consequences based on our own actions be they good or bad. That applies to each of us, past, present and future. There are so many mistakes that have been made along the way. But, any search for retribution is counter-productive to the cause of America. We don’t seek to fix the past by messing up the present with animosity and historical liability. We learn from the past. We seek truth in history in all of its gory detail. That way we know what not to do, and we understand one another better. Vengeance and retribution for past wrongs do nothing in moving our nation forward; rather it hinders us in the mire of contention and bitterness.

Mr. President reading the story about your grandfather brought tears to my eyes. That should never have happened it was an injustice to say the least. Is it possible to move forward now though? Especially for the betterment of the people you have been asked to serve. If there is any part of you that has treated Great Britain, our ally, badly because of the abuse your grandfather endured it must be addressed. We cannot hope to move forward if we are stuck in the past.

I will never cease to tell the history of Progressivism. I want people to understand what horrors it has led to. From political prisoners during Wilson’s time to internment camps under FDR. From Sanger’s horribly obvious racism towards African Americans to abortion being the number 1 killer of that very population. And yes, I will tell the story of the Native population and their mistreatment at the hands of the “enlightened.” But, I don’t do it out of vengeance I do it out of a dire need to tell the truth. I do it because I dearly want our nation to steer clear of repeating those mistakes. I do it because I want to understand and I want others to understand.

God has promised to sanctify our trials for our benefit if we turn to Him. That happens on an individual basis. But, the more people that are able to experience that in our nation the more it can actually happen on a national level. We can heal from our wounds, even the self-inflicted ones, but, only if we are truly willing to do so, by the only means that actually work. Vengeance and retribution are not those means. Truth and knowledge and a forgiving heart are. God bless us as we struggle through life, as we remember those who’ve struggled before us and understand all the struggles are worth it if in the end we can hand a better nation to the next generations.

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