Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beltway Suffers From Messiah Deficit Disorder

Are nearly 40% of our citizens so morally bankrupt and spirtually adrift that they mistake a novice U.S. Senator from Hyde Park whose main accomplishments in life consist of working as a "community organizer", voting "Present" nearly 130 times while in his state's senate and writing two books about himself, one whose authorship is suspect, as the Savior of the world?

That's the underlying message of Colonel Olliver North's recent article posted on Townhall this week. Colonel North's article bears close attention as we count down the remaining days until the November 4th election. Recalling periods in human history when people blindly put their faith in a messianic figure to heal them of their nation's ills Colonel North frames the article within the context of the true Messiah and contrasts Him with secular "saviors" from the past.

Old Testament prophets described a Messiah -- a leader and savior who would deliver the Jewish people from their travails. For more than two millenniums, Christians have believed that the Messiah is Jesus of Nazareth and that at the appointed time, he will come again in triumph. Unfortunately, in the modern era, there have been many other leaders who perceived that they had messianic qualities that only they could provide.

North then ticks off a familiar list of "dear leaders" from human history, leaders with names like Darius, Bonaparte, Hitler, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il and Robert Mugabe. He then adds this observation:

It is notable that until the 20th century, the American people managed to avoid selecting leaders who held messianic self-esteem. Neither George Washington nor Abraham Lincoln -- arguably two of this nation's greatest leaders through the toughest crises in our history -- described himself in such terms. In fact, the record of what they said and wrote is replete with humility.

He then mentions governmental leaders from our recent history like Franklin Roosevelt and more recently Michael Bloomberg who imagine themselves to be indispensible to the governed at crucial turning points in the course of time. He ends with this troubling encounter while making his way home in the Beltway.

During Wednesday afternoon's rush hour, I was making my way home on the Dulles Greenway, when a phalanx of police motorcycles and cruisers stopped all traffic and ordered us to pull our vehicles off the highway and onto the shoulders. Over a loudspeaker, we were told to stay put until the Obama campaign convoy passed. They were on their way to a rally in Leesburg, Va.

Instantly, hundreds of people were out of their cars. Directly in front of me, a group of supporters -- evident by their bumper stickers -- jumped out with cameras, cell phones and banners. They began chanting: "The messiah! He's coming! Obama is coming!" The shouting only intensified as the candidate and his entourage -- motorcycles, police cars, black Secret Service Chevy Suburbans, and buses -- roared past us.

What I found so disturbing was seeing so many of my countrymen who apparently think -- or believe or hope -- that the next president of the United States will save us from ourselves.

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