Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Obama's Logic


I was impressed with Obama's logic ... the logic of reality, I guess, I'd call it.

History and motive are rarely, if ever, clean and pure ... like Bonhoeffer made clear in his ethics, it's all decision, with no external data or law to which we can appeal, but can only make the best decision we can and render it up to God. 

A young man reared in a fundamentalist/evangelical church said to me recently, "I'm all in or I'm all out; it's black or  it's white for me." I said to him, "Charles Manson was 'all in or all out.' The young man said, "Don't compare me to Charles Manson." And then I said, "Seeing life as black or white is no virtue. Life is mostly gray."

The young man is a serious surfer, so I said, "You can't ride every wave - you spend a lot of time waiting and thinking. And the wave you choose may not go anywhere, or it may be the best ride of the day. Life is not black or white."

I was surprised and pleased to hear Lindsey Graham speak coherently and affirmatively, with this remark about some of his colleagues complaining about the "cost of the war" - Graham said, "No one complained about the cost of Iraq under our watch." 

I regret the use of force in our world, and America has used way too much of it in our checkered history. But I think Kadafi wouldn't have thought twice about killing thousands of Libyans.

Only children and the insane and the t-bags have the luxury of purity of thought.

The rest of us have to struggle our way through the sludge of history, and when it's done, we're all a little dirty.

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