The bigger picture.
The death of George Floyd is a tragic and regrettable episode in our history. It wasn't, however, the reason for the protests and destructive forces unleashed in our American cities and among our populations. It was, perhaps, the occasion of them. The actual cause was much deeper than one single event or circumstance. It was brewed in our own national history and seeped in years of disappointment, resentment, suspicion, and the ever present blame game. This big picture depicts a nation at odds---colliding world-views, ignition points of diversity, and a lack of discernment among our people groups.
Several realities form the admixture of circumstances and events that color this big picture---
The combative agendas of our political organizations. In my forty-nine years as a voter I have never seen the levels of disparity in the platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties. Today those party distinctions have been broadened to liberal or progressive systems against a conservative one, the left and the right. It was quite obvious in our most recent primary elections, candidates who did not promote their party affiliation, fearing being labeled. From our founding fathers we learned their contrasts early on. Today they are stark opposites. The big picture right now is a reflection of these colliding values.
A biased main stream media system. We cannot argue the left leaning, more progressive leanings of the media elite. This bias is evident in television programming, the advertising fare that supports our media outlets, an obvious double standard in portraying government and legislative action, the use of prominent citizens to validate and promote their agendas, the selective reporting of data in the print media, the publication of fake news, and many other prejudices used to influence our citizens. The media shapes and defines the big picture with urgency.
Special interest groups and people that shape public opinion. Underneath this big picture are wealthy, influential people and factions that fund their preferences and ideals. Today we read about George Soros, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, The Alliance Defending Freedom, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, well-known Hollywood personalities, elected officials, and many groups with strong political agendas. A few influential people and groups are contributors to our current big picture.
A basically uninformed population. Sadly, even in the information age, most Americans are uninformed about government, politics, voting, the workings of Congress, the economic flutter of exponential times, the life realities in our minority populations, abandonment of our historical Judeo-Christian ideals, the loss of traditional family values, and many other decisive changes in our culture. Uninformed citizens open the doors to advancing this big picture.
The de-emphasizing of "we the people" as a guiding principle. Another sad truth is that the majority of our citizens believe that they are powerless to affect decisions made by the power brokers at every level of American life. This is most evident in the small percentage of Americans who exercise their right to vote, 56.7 % in the 2016 Presidential election.
As in most cases, there are many other hard facts about the big picture in the United States right now. Up front I know my shallow grasp of political thought and cultural dynamics. Truth is, the big picture today is of a divided nation, a nation at odds. The death of George Floyd occasioned protests, riots, destruction of personal and business properties, killing of police officers, and many other evidences of our differences.
The solution? My Christian worldview compels me to the prayer closet. My personal prayers right now are for wisdom and discernment in our population, to understand the times and possess the will to influence them.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable
Romans 12: 2, ESV
But test everything; hold fast what is good.
1 Thessalonians 5: 21, ESV
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without
reproach, and it will be given him.
James 1: 5, ESV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good
understanding. His praise endures forever!
Psalm 111: 10, ESV
Yes, this big picture can be changed. Not in the halls of Congress, the main stream media, or even in the courts. It's in the prayer closets and worship centers of people of faith. Will you join me?