To the editor:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has stated he would never apologize for America. It is remarkable to me that the Christian right has taken this man in as their candidate. In truth, most of the Christian conservatives feel pretty sure that Romney is going to hell, but that is all right because he hates the right people.
Anyway, this no apologies and the arrogant statement of “we built this” should be a bit of a red flag for people who actually read the Bible. Last I checked, asking for forgiveness is a pretty big deal for Christians. When a person acknowledges that they got help from others, that’s what we in the church call humility.
Many of the criticisms against Obama’s international policies stem from this idea that apologizing is wrong and that taking an honest look at our history is also wrong. I am fairly confident that pride and lying are not the foundations of Christianity. However, humility and truth are very much a part of following Christ. Now, perhaps these kinds of traits have no place in our conversations with other countries, perhaps asking for forgiveness from a country that has suffered tremendous oppression is bad policy. Perhaps the idea that we can learn from others should never be implied by the U.S.
The thing is that most Christian leaders claim to want our political leaders to be Christian in all aspects of their life and policy. In truth, they only want their political leaders to be Christian when they hate on gay marriage and the abortionist and those dirty liberals. They lose interest in the Christian ideas when it comes to health care, and foreign policy, and how we treat the illegal immigrants, and how we treat the poor, and how we deal with other nations, and how we deal with just about everything else.
Being a Christian is hard work, and most of us fail in our attempts. I personally have failed in almost every aspect of my life, and all those failures are my fault. I don’t think failure means we stop moving forward in what we believe. We as people and as a nation should hold onto the ideal that helped this nation become a nation. We must acknowledge our sin, learn from that sin and then experience growth. Then when we succeed, we look back to those left behind and we lift them up. We don’t despise and judge those that are lost and falling because that is not the Christian way.
If we can’t, as a nation, and as people, find a way to extend a hand of mercy and grace and humility to those around us, perhaps God might forget to extend that same hand to us when it is us who don’t deserve His grace and forgiveness and mercy.
Rev. Nathaniel Manderson