Comparing Leaders

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I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

In four days, President Obama will leave office. Whether this creates joy or sadness in you, he will be remembered as our first Black President and as a two-term President of unquestionable integrity, honesty and incorruptibility.

With a new President-elect teed-up to take the oath of office who is a master of marketing, do we know what we’re in for? We know what he promised, and we know what he tweets; we even know who he has hired and nominated to be his right-hand men and women. But do we truly know his priorities?

No one can serve two masters. If you try, you will wind up loving the first master and hating the second, or vice versa. People try to serve both God and money—but you can’t. You must choose one or the other. (Matthew 6:24)

Our soon to be elected President is someone who takes offense easily. Some call him thin-skinned. If he was self-reflective, he might understand how people of color might have taken offense to his campaign monologues about inner cities, Mexicans and Muslims. (Trump tweeted recently, “How is ABC Television allowed to have a show entitled ‘Blackish’? Can you imagine the furor of a show, ‘Whiteish! Racism at highest level?”) He might understand how people with disabilities might have taken offense to his degrading treatment of a disabled reporter. Instead, it is all about him.

On the other hand, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. thought outside himself. He possessed Jesus-like compassion. He thought of the greater good. He was arrested and jailed for his belief in equal rights and equal justice. He was vilified, spat upon and called egregious names. He was the subject of unfair FBI witch hunts and the victim of smear campaigns. Through it all, he stood stately, a man of stature, and remained restrained, self-controlled and collected. He was grace under pressure. He stood for justice until the end.

Was Dr. King perfect? No. Did King know marketing? Absolutely. But he used his knowledge for the betterment of the country rather than the betterment of his own ego or wallet. Because of his leadership and his savvy use of media, there was forward movement in desegregation, voting rights, education rights and housing rights across the country.

The question before us is, will the new leadership of this country put themselves first and provide a continued model of bipartisanship and cyberbullying, or will we see a miraculous shift toward respect, compromise, kindness and caring for humanity?

People are complicated. Societies and cultures are really complicated. These are living organisms and it’s messy. And your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding. And you should anticipate that at any given moment there’s going to be flare-ups of bigotry that you may have to confront, or may be inside you and you have to vanquish.” President Barack Obama

To use President-elect Trump’s own word, if he turns out to be as “overrated” as some may fear, if he does not respond to the hopes of the many who voted for him, perhaps we all will turn to the Only True Hope – the Source of all creation. And conceivably we can turn our nation around for the good of all.

23 comments

  1. Susan, you brought up my all-time contemporary American hero (Martin Luther King). Of course, we celebrate his legacy as a nation today. In my lifetime, I have never known a man who so exemplified the teachings of Jesus while being so persecuted and reviled. The more I know about the man, the more I admire him. Would that ALL public leaders learn from him. 🙂

    We, as followers of Christ, need to remember that there is no “us vs. them” in the Kingdom of God. We’re all in this together (Gal.3:28-29). And remember that politics does not usually reflect this paradigm.

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with most of what you said about President-elect Trump (although I’m not against him being President). I pray that he takes on more of the values of Martin Luther King as President than he has shown thus far. And, regardless of our party affiliation, we all need to pray for this because we are all, indeed, in this together.

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    1. ” I pray that he takes on more of the values of Martin Luther King as President than he has shown thus far. And, regardless of our party affiliation, we all need to pray for this because we are all, indeed, in this together.”
      Amen, Mel. Amen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thought provoking, and if something makes us think, analyze and reflect, then it is a good post, and yours is a good post. However, about the honesty and integrity of this administration. I am sure the families of slain CBP officers (as well as Mexican law enforcement officers) killed by guns from the Fast & Furious Operation, and families of protection detail in Libya would disagree with that assessment. Keep making us all think, though! Blessings!

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    1. Thanks. (I think.) 😉

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  3. Reblogged this on and commented:

    Building Bridges, another post in helping to heal the racial divide in America. Please feel free to leave your comments and join us on this bridge. Thank you for this post, Susan.

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  4. I pray that this president will come away from the divisiveness of the last eight years and lead us in a direction of healing. Both sides of this equation have got to stop with their incessant third grade actions and work for the American people. Heal this nation of God. Bring us together and allow us to understand others needs. Teach your children how to help in this process.

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    1. I join you in this prayer, Andy. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Susan I want to respond to your post. In fact I am compelled too just from your comments. It has been very plain to see that you are against some things and strongly against even other things. I also realize this is your blog and you can write and say whatever you want to and if we that might strongly disagree with what you say sometimes, particularly from the political and moral stand point don’t like it then we can either move on, not read it or as in my case respond because, I am so surprised to hear the things you say sometimes.

    In order to reign myself in some. I will say having never met you personally I really don’t know all about you. I do know from what I have read that you have shared. That is you are a very loving and compassionite person ,who seems to me to be well educated and has strong emotions. None of which are bad attributes.

    Thank you for allowing me to set the stage for what I want to say in response to some of your recent post.

    I wonder these days often if we ever think of what others might feel when we write and post our personal feelings. Do those opinions of ours encourage and give hope to others. Do they allow room for others to make their own decisions about life and politics.

    For instance I have said before that I was raised up in the middle of the civil rights movement as it started. Being raised in Little Rock Arkansas in the sixties and being black or white was a eye opener. Trust me most of us were still reeling from all the commotion fifty years later. If you were not living it it is hard to feel it. Folks have a way of just jumping on someones band wagon for the ride, they have know ideal what is really going on.

    You write from a personal conviction I would cautiously say about President Obama and our new President elect Trump. That is your right to do so. I however am surprised that you say you are a christian yet support people who’s agenda are pro abortion and down right murder of human life. Who do all they can to destroy the God given blue print for marriage and family and have did more in my sixty some years of living to divide this country in eight years than all the other presidents put together have done to unite it. Barack Obama and his administration have a agenda of destroying America . Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton who came from Arkansas by the way are some of the most deceitful and admittedly socialist people you will ever meet. By the way my parents were Democrats and so was the state of Arkansas which has a large black population and they all voted Republican Party . Why? Because they had to vote as Christians not for a party.

    I would have to say I voted for Donald Trump. He was not all I wanted in a President . He wasn’t
    Pro abortion and he was for the family as the Bible see’s it. In his Supreme Court nominations and most of his administration. A lot better deal for the majority of the Americans that put him in office.
    When President Obama was elected I was even more concerned. Here was a nobody senator that had no experience fixing to run our country and in my humble opinion ,he did straight into the ground.

    You know, I never have publicly commented or voiced my thinking on him for eight years. I prayed for him and this country and that God would send us someone to unite this country instead of divide it. I assure you had Hillary Clinton be elected this country would have been deeply divided even more. President elect Donald Trump has been elected to the office of President of this United States, how about we pray for him and his administration for four years and instead of beat him up before he gets started.

    I sent a tweet out to congressman John Lewis last night and asked him how he thought God felt when instead as a christian he decided to boycott the swearing in of President elect Trump instead of extending a hand. Evil begets evil, good begets good. Why not build a bridge rather than tear one down.

    Jesus loves Barack Obama and Jesus loves Donald Trump and John Lewis. As christians are we not called to do the same. When we strongly oppose a individual that is for God’s heart and embrace a individual that is opposed to God’s heart what message does that send to the world. Weather we like it or not. If it is what we want or don’t want. If it hurts or makes us feel good we still are called to respond as Jesus would.

    Gender issues, race issues, elections, family, all of life say’s we respond the way Jesus did. It is easy to say Jesus and he is not even in our hearts. When we become full of Christ then Christ will pour out of us. Lets support the biblical view of family and relationships.

    In closing thank you Susan for allowing me to respond to some of your recent post. I ask you to forgive me if I have harmed you in any way. I will try to do better with my post and my thinking. I will do my best to offer hope for everyone.

    Much love Tom

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    1. Dear Tom, you know I always welcome your comments and want you to know I never want you to hesitate to state your opinion here, or to exhort me as a Christian brother when you think I’m wrong. I value your point of view, and know we can discuss things of which we disagree in a loving and respectful manner.

      First, I agree with you about John Lewis’ stance on not extending a hand of grace to Trump. He above all others might have acted as a role model to Trump, an older brother who might have guided him toward unity. Instead, we had another Twitter fight that caused more division. And I took the bait, and I should not have; it was not godly behavior on my part.

      I wrote about my stand on being Christian and pro-life (https://susanirenefox.com/2016/08/09/a-challenge-to-the-pros/), and like you, I voted for Obama not because he was all I wanted in a President, but because he represented the change I wanted to see in my country. I, too, wanted someone who would unite the country. And you are right again: Jesus loves Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

      When my heart is divided about “issues,” I tend to fall back on the words of Jesus, because in many instances, he changed the traditional “biblical” point of view. (Look at his entire Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7.) Jesus preached against injustice, and included and embraced people who were considered outcasts by regular society. As Christians, are we not called to do the same?

      Finally, I do pray for Mr. Trump; I pray he allows God into his heart, I pray he becomes curious and has a desire to learn, and I pray for his success in order to lift and unite our country. I also pray for Congress, that they forego partisan agendas and have the desire to meet with each other and for the people who need them to work together.

      Thanks again for your comments, Tom. Much love to you, too.

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  6. Dhrump for I will never refer to him as President is about to undo the entire gains of the Civil Rights Movement including the Voting Rights Act which means most people of color will not be voting in 2020. The Tyrant’s first act is to repeal the Affordable Care Act which means 20 million Americans will again be without any type of healthcare. Many Americans will get sick and die. We are about to see what it is like to live under a dictatorship. We are returning to the days of Jim Crow. Dhrump plans to build walls not bridges. To deport millions of immigrants. To establish a database of exclusion for any one who is not a white male rich/wealthy christian. Starting Jan. 20th we will be no better than many of the countries some Americans have criticized for years. But for most of us there will be no where to run. No escape.

    As Dr. King said We have some difficult days ahead.

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    1. DeBorah, I hear you loud and clear. As Rep. Elijah Cummings said, “We are in a struggle for the soul of our democracy.”

      It is about more than our future president. We as citizens must stand up and be counted. We cannot shrink back in fear or worry or anger. We must, as Dr. King did, act and voice our ethical concerns and very real needs in public ways during the difficult days ahead.

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      1. Jan. 19th is National Resist Day. I’m joining a march/demonstration in New York. I am a Resistor much as many Europeans stood up to Hitler during WWII. My plan is to stand against Dhrump and his policies. For people of Color it is either Resist or Die.

        #NotMyPresident

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      2. I feel the hurt and pain. Please write about the march.

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      3. I’m ready. I will never bow to evil.

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  7. Amen! Very good post

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    1. Thank you. We are continually overcoming, and must keep our head above water in order to focus on the love we can share, and on lifting each other up in grace.

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  8. Wow, were you bamboozled.

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    1. I pray, if you voted for Mr. Trump, you will not be disappointed in the promises he made.

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  9. Well said. I am hopeful Mr Trump will become more focused on others than himself. Meanwhile it is essential that, as Christians, we follow what the Lord would have us do. Pray for our leaders! It’s time we humble ourselves, and pray, and seek His face and turn from our own wicked ways.

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    1. Absolutely right, Pete. Praying for the Spirit to continue to give me hope. Praying for Trump to receive an open heart; praying for Congress to do the right thing and to get back in touch with their relationship with God.

      Liked by 1 person

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