A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

President Obama Is Addressing Our Children Today

Today President Obama has a message for our school children. Many school systems will carry his message, others will not. I have no problem whatsoever with the President of the United States speaking with our children and I will explain why; but first, some prior thoughts.

First, the hoopla over the President speaking to the nation's school children is just one more example of what I keep harping on time and time again-- the rank hypocrisy of the political right and the political left. When President George H.W. Bush addressed school children in 1991, the left was in a tizzy over his supposed attempt at the "brainwashing" of America's youngest. The right thought the left was being paranoid. So, here we are in September of 2009 and the roles are reversed although the script is the same.

Second, the political right needs to mellow out. The president is not going to corrupt their kids. My guess is that whatever the president says will be quite benign politically; and if something is uttered parents disagree with, so what? They are the parents-- have a discussion with your kids when they get home. In our house we talk politics all the time. If the President says something I take exception to, we will talk about it as a family. Those parents in a snit over this need to do their job as parents and see this as one more opportunity to raise their children to be serious thinkers.

Third, the political left needs to relax. They forget that they have gotten all bent out of shape in the past when they think a Republican President is going to corrupt America's youth. They need to understand that the Obama White House partially created the problem, not with the speech, but the follow up curriculum in which one of the questions to the children was, "How can you help President Obama?" One of my concerns about this Administration is their continual minor league approach to the major league of politics. The Obama White House has many young and bright personnel with great futures ahead of them, but who lack gravitas. What is needed is someone who can be the sage who understands not only how to do things, but how things might be received and understood. In other words, someone is needed who is not so starry-eyed in looking at the President that she or he can give the kind of wise counsel that, at times, seems to be missing. In addition, the fact that the White House said it would release the transcript of the speech only after the controversy erupted is further proof that this Administration lacks experience. They should have anticipated the potential problem and announced its release when it was revealed that the President was speaking to America's school children. That would have diffused much of the fireworks.

Finally, and to the point, the President has an opportunity to inspire a young generation of children. If his message is about hard work and staying in school, who would oppose that? And to have, for the first time in history, an African American President who can inspire African American children is to have an opportunity that should not be missed. Regardless of what one thinks of his politics, Barack Obama is a role model that is badly needed, and he can inspire children who think they are in hopeless situations.

I look forward to having a good discussion on the President's words with my sons when they get home from school today. And, frankly, when it comes to the analysis of the pundits, I could care less what Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck think about the President's address.

I only listen to serious thinkers.

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Cross-Posted at RedBlueChristian
Update: I have read the President's speech. There is no reason that our children should be shielded from his comments.


Jerry Bates said...

Very inspirational speech I loved how he aimed for our kids of today to plan for tomorrow, its not giving them political empowerment or guiding them in the wrong direction as the media portrayed but its giving them hope that through all the struggles and storms you may cross you will come out the hero In the end way to go Mr. President.

Michael said...

London?? What the heck is that???

Aside from that distraction, I say not only presidents but governors and mayors should take the time to give a 'rah-rah' speech to school kids. These kids need to know that what they do matters not only for themselves and their futures but, as the president's text says, for the nation as a whole. It would be great if all this nation's leaders would recognize this grand opportunity for what it could mean for kids.

As for "brain washing" or "indoctrination", I would rather our children get a head full of what Obama said than a snoot full of the bile that is floating around from the right. I'm not an Obama supporter, but he is still the President of the United States. In fact, my lack of confidence comes from the very thing Allan points out: experience. There is none except for Joe Biden, and he has turned out to be more of a disappointment than Obama. I didn't expect much more. But what he offered to the nation's children was right on the money and is no less than what I've said to my own children since the beginning.

PamBG said...

Agree that everyone needs to chill a bit. The answer to that horrible question is obviously "Stay in school, work hard and try to make something of your life."

Yes, it might be tempting to suggest that The Right tell it's children to do the opposite, but that wouldn't really be Christian, would it?

I think I see it not so much as the "hypocracy" of both sides as I see it as unfortunate that we seem to think that government is like a football game. We shouldn't be cheering for a Republican President to fail because we are Democrats or vice versa. Public servants are supposed to be - er - serving the public.

Allan R. Bevere said...


Ha! I so appreciate your honesty. Yes, it wouldn't be Christian and likely untrue for both sides.

You write, "I think I see it not so much as the "hypocracy" of both sides as I see it as unfortunate that we seem to think that government is like a football game. We shouldn't be cheering for a Republican President to fail because we are Democrats or vice versa."

This is a good point. The issue for many (certainly not all) on both sides is not truth and what is best, but having the power.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Great thoughts, Allan. Wish the president would read your thoughts on counsel. I'm sure they'll be more and more seasoned as we go along.