News of scandal continues, interrupted only by the Moore, Oklahoma tornado that damaged or destroyed 13,000 homes and took dozens of lives. Some politicians and media people have been oblivious to the suffering and tried to politicize the tragedy; then they had to issue apologies when confronted with their callousness and insensitivity.
The people of Oklahoma aren’t waiting for the government. The can-do attitude that saw them through an unending parade of natural disasters over the past century still exists. Unpaid volunteers are already at work, bringing in trucks, heavy equipment and manpower to take care of their own. NBA star Kevin Durant
gave $1 million to disaster relief and toured the area yesterday. Friends from around the country report their communities have organized charitable efforts for the people of Moore.
Some folks outside Oklahoma apparently think more regulations will make everyone safer. One lady called in to a radio talk show yesterday evening claiming that it ought to be illegal to build schools in Tornado Alley! She hasn’t a clue; the so-called Tornado Alley is hundreds of miles wide. That would be a long bus ride to get to school … Let’s hope her idea doesn’t get traction or we’ll have a new government program. I can see it now: the Dept. for Evading Big Tornadoes. At least the acronym—DEBT—would reflect the current trend toward big government.
I daresay, the people of Oklahoma and the citizens of Moore will probably have their town put back together before the dustup over the current national scandals settles down. Someone said that a full two years passed before Watergate came into full bloom. Nobody got killed in that cover-up but it brought down a president.
Back to us—what should we do? First off, I think we should take our hats off to the people of Oklahoma who—by their selfless sacrifice to help others—show what made this country great. American exceptionalism isn’t dead yet. As we can, we can also contribute.
The harder thing to know is how to respond to the scandals—intimidation and harassment by the IRS and EPA, the stonewalling and deception, violations of privacy and obstruction of justice. Of course, we’re a great distance from Washington, DC, so we might be tempted to give ready advice as the talk show caller did. In another sense, we’re very close to the one who raises up rulers and nations—the God of all Creation. To him, let us pray for those in positions of authority:
I Timothy 2:1-3 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior.
We can pray for integrity, for courage for those called to testify, for humility and ethical responses by all sides; we can pray that truth will be honored to bring forth justice, to correct wrong systems and attitudes, and that the weak and oppressed will receive mercy and restitution, as proper. Pray for humility in our own hearts. Pray for righteous leaders, compassionate, wise, and strong, willing to admit their mistakes and to work together beyond partisanship.
May God be merciful to our nation and turn us from our sins. For this, we can pray.