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Dem's Divas Destiny and Darkness by Rev Michael Bresciani, May 2008

The battle between Democratic hopefuls Obama and Clinton has held the spotlight in American politics for the past year and has been upstaged only slightly by the occasional antics of a few divas like Hilton, Madonna or Aguilera.


In the 19th century many towns in America employed a lamplighter. Besides being somewhat of a watchman his job was to light the oil wicks or candles in the street lights each evening and quench the flame early each morning. The lamplighter has dissolved into history; sadly it seems some of the light has gone with him.


Figuratively the greatest lamplighters in American history may have been Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, Joseph Pulitzer and President Grover Cleveland. Together they designed, promoted and on October 28th, 1886 inaugurated the Statue of Liberty. Her flaming torch has stood as the light of freedom, truth and justice in the minds of people throughout the world for over one hundred years.


Americans usually welcome the light and those who are considered to be luminaries are readily recognized and applauded in most cases. Celebrating the light seen in others is not new or something only Americans do. Over twenty centuries ago Jesus spoke of those who 'rejoiced' in the light of John the Baptist (Jn 5:35) sadly we know how that all ended.


In Barack Obama's political rallies audiences as expected have their gazes fixed on Obama's face as they focus on his rhetoric. If someone could remain completely detached and turn to look at the faces of his audience they would discover a phenomena that is impossible to miss; they are awed. It is as if they have seen a light.


After discovering Obama's association with Rev. Wright, bomber William Ayers and his position on gays and abortion his followers remain undaunted. They hang on his every word and the promise of change as if it were salvation itself. It strains the credulity of anyone with only entry level discernment. It raises and renews the wisdom of the once overused but now almost forgotten adage 'there is none as blind as they who will not see.'


Add to Barack's doubtful associations his aversion to saluting the flag, his opinion of people who "cling to religion and guns" and his wife's lack of pride in the country and that raises and nearly answers yet another question. The question was also posed by Christ "…If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Mt 6:23)


Obama is certainly sincere and his convictions are firmly rooted in that sincerity but again "sincerity is no substitute for the truth." It is possible to be sincere and very wrong at the same time. President Lincoln said that if he was right about something it wouldn't matter in the end what all his critics said about it. Conversely he exclaimed that if he were wrong "angels swearing I was right would make no difference."


If Americans listened a little less to her political pundits and a little more to her prophets she might see that changes are exactly what she is going to get. The inevitability of those changes is the only thing that cannot be questioned; the nature of the changes is still open.


Whenever people regard a light it usually means they are looking for direction in a dark situation. They follow the light and it brings them to their destiny whether it's what they hoped for or not.


Too many have concluded that it is the deep divisions and polarizations that have brought unrest to the country. Some say with the Democratic wins in the house in 2006 and the toppling of Hastert in Illinois and Jenkins in Louisiana are proof that America wants out of a GOP run government and conservatism is dying along with the entire republican effort. Few are heeding the voices of those who are saying it is the moral, ethical and theological downturn that is fueling discontent, crime, confusion and darkness.


The globalization of our world is underway with Europe leading the way with some 64 satellite nations at her side to date. America has been following the same trends as our euro-counterparts and the leaders we choose now will determine whether we fall into the fold or stand as a bastion of freedom and what is right in the world. Such noble aspirations are more scoffed at these days than ever before and that is proof positive that we are at destiny's door more than any other time in our history.


When people look at a presidential candidate in the same way they see a pop culture figure we are all in a mess. Following the "light that is darkness" will get us someplace but it will not be where we want to be. All too often the negative aspect of the messenger or the prophet is all that is seen or heard but for those with a "cup is half full" mentality the positive side is seen as well. God loves America and he does not want to see it fall or be judged. He said it like this; how do you read it?


"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (Pr 14:34)

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