Friday, November 07, 2008

One of the encouraging things I heard at last night's RCFDW (Rankin County Federation of Democratic Women) meeting was that the pastor of Crossgates Baptist Church has a burden for the racism that has divided blacks and whites in our state. He is leading a prayer campaign in his church to resolve these damaging issues. I'm glad to hear it. Makes my tiny hometown seem downright progressive.

More news from Rankin County that shows why this pastor and his compadres are a mite late in their efforts. A coach and a bus driver for Pearl Schools "were disciplined for allegedly telling students not to say President-elect Barack Obama’s name." Unless their discipline was to get fired, it was insufficient, IMO. (I haven't heard, yet, exactly what their discipline was.) We need to have a zero tolerance policy on this behavior, and "Nip it!" as Deputy Barney Fife always told Sheriff Andy, "Nip it in the bud!"

And remember when I said Obama would make a good Episcopalian? (If he does indeed do this I plan to polish up my old crystal ball and hang out my shingle.) Look what I just found out (thanks to a round-about google that led straight back to Wounded Bird. Thanks again, GM!):

Barack Obama sought out controversial gay Bishop Gene Robinson not just once but three times during his campaign to become President of the United States, according to the The Times. Mr Obama sought [Episcopal Bishop] Gene out to find out what it's like to be a 'first'. Bishop Robinson advised the President-elect: “At the end of the day you have to decide whether or not you are going to be paralysed by threats and by violent possibilities or whether you just move on and do what you feel called to do despite the risk." (from Anglican Priest David Herron's site.)

One of the things we do right in the Episcopal Church is always, in our Prayers of the People portion of every Sunday's liturgy, to pray for "our president and those in authority over us." It has softened my feelings for Bush 43 some, not much, but some. (I'm sure my animosity would be more pronounced without it. He is, and especially since this week's election, a pathetic character.) The prayer, from our Book of Common Prayer p. 390, usually goes something like this:

For the peace of the world, that a spirit of respect and
forbearance may grow among nations and peoples, we pray to you, O Lord.

Response: Lord, hear our prayer.

For those in positions of public trust, especially our President George, our Governor Haley, and all other elected officials, that they may serve justice, and promote the dignity and freedom of every person, we pray to you, O Lord.

Response: Lord, hear our prayer.

Here's another of my favorites from p. 820 in our Prayer Book:

O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world:
We commend this nation to thy merciful care,
that, being guided by thy Providence,
we may dwell secure in thy peace.
Grant to the President of the United States,
the Governor of this State, and to all in authority,
wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will.
Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness,
and make them ever mindful of their calling
to serve this people in thy fear;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.

Don't you just love the language of the old King James English? I do. I think that's one reason people loved to hear my daddy pray. He always used Thou's and Thee's, it sounded so elegant, so dignified. What was that old saying, and this is from my very rusty memory (if anyone has the exact quote, please send it): "Think how much better the world would be, if I saw the Thou in you and you the Thee in me."

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