To the editor:
Back when Wednesday evening prayer meetings were the norm, common fare at such services was confession and redemption. During those times, some tried to insinuate that God loved them most. They inferred such importance because God had saved them in spite of sins greater than that of others. They painted their earlier life with sin’s darkest colors by exaggerating those sins, even creating extreme transgressions.
This “deceptive contrast” is being practiced in today’s Republican presidential race. Candidates try to outdo each other in painting the darkest picture of our nation’s current status. By irresponsible exaggeration of challenges, each claims to be the best one to fix things. Given the dire nature of their dismay, you’d think we were about to drop into Third World status.
In terms of some church’s weekly conversion “ritual,” the problem wasn’t just the ritual’s dishonesty. This distortion of an honorable Christian element, unfortunately, became a charade that cheapened Christ’s name and diminished how others understood Christianity.
In like manner, GOP candidates’ doom’s day “religion” is utterly distorted — even false. While it may win support from those who don’t analyze reality carefully, it becomes a psychologically destructive cancer for our nation and economy. A frequent measures of our nation’s health is “consumer confidence.” Responsible leaders strengthen that – not destroy it. The constant negative drum beat from Republican candidates has become a self-fulfilling prophecy that destroys confidence and cripples our nation.
There’s so much to celebrate about our nation. As we face issues honestly we can applaud: a strong economy; our emerging affirmation of God’s goodness in people different than we; a patient and savvy foreign policy; increasing numbers of citizens with affordable health care; etc.
I’m proud to live in a country where many good things are happening. I’m proud of our legacy of dealing honestly with challenges. I’m proud of our earlier heritage of political cooperation for our nation’s good. I just don’t want it all lost because people, blinded by political ambition, play free and easy with facts, and in the process, introduce the cancer of gloom and despair.
William A. McCartney