President Obama is trying to calm the fears of Muslims and secularists around the world by saying nice things to the Turks and bowing to the Muslims. Will it work? Is this an enlightened bit of politics or coming from a naive President who thinks we can convince people to start loving and stop killing each other?
I heard David Brooks on a recent pod cast say an interesting thing about why he is a Conservative and I think it is why I am a Conservative. Like Reinhold Neiebuhr I do not think it is possible to change people as individuals, groups or nations very easily or quickly. Good changes in the life of an individual take a long time and great wisdom on the part of the change agent. Group and national changes take even longer and more wisdom.
Obama wants to change the USA and the world into his image quickly and very radically. He seems to think he can change Muslims by saying nice things to some of their leaders. George Bush thought the same thing but they chose different avenues of bringing the changes.
The Atlantic Monthly has a great article on Neiebuhr with an interview by David Brooks that I suggest you read.
There is also a good article on Obama's approach to Islam in Wall Street Journal Online.
I will close with a prayer written by Rev. Dr. Neiebuhr. Part of it is used by all the Anonymous groups for wisdom, hope and encouragement. It was carried into war by all the soldiers in WWII.
It lays out a large part of my theology and why I am a Conservative.
A Prayer for Courage and Serenity
Rev Reinhold Niebuhr
God, grant me the serenity to accept
The things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time:
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace:
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it:
Trusting that you will make all things right
If I surrender to your will:
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with you in the next
Distributed by Dr. Gary Sweeten
P.O. Box 498455
Cincinnati, Ohio 45249