Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wanted – A Credible Witness

In a criminal trial, when the “perp” is confronted with vile accusations and evidence of a foul deed, the defense in most cases can come up with a neighbor, former class mate, drinking buddy or former wife to testify to what a benign presence he has been in their life. How many times have we seen on television a mass murderer described by the guy next door as an occasional friend and one who has never shown any aggressive tendencies? ”Yeah.” They say, “He was kind of a loner who loved dogs and played with the kids here—oh, and he kept his place up, too..”

When the average person makes application for a new job or faces any situation with responsibility he mentions the names of people who have known him well and are willing to vouch for his character and background. He does so with the realization that these folks will be called upon to state their relationship and furnish information about the nature of what they shared. The goal is generally to establish the “good” character of the applicant. Convicted felons, loony preachers, Communist sympathizers and anarchists are normally avoided as admitted associates.

A quick look at Zion Beckons archives will turn up many references to friends, teachers, business people, clergy (often also friends,) former neighbors and acquaintances with accompanying posts about their fine examples which have served as guideposts in my life. They are presented as people I have known well enough to look to for role models and see living a life which I might care to emulate. We all have these people in our history who have provided deeds and actions which we admire.

Despite our best intentions, we sometimes find ourselves associated with persons who have a less than savory past. In Las Vegas, I played golf twice a week for over four years with a convicted felon who had done “hard” time. In Missouri, I have a fellow worker who has done the same; and for more serious crimes. In my twenty eight years in Alcoholics Anonymous I have met countless others who have in the past shown less than a sterling character. Each one of these individuals, whose company I enjoyed, had one thing in common; repentance. Each freely acknowledged his wrongdoing and the damage that he caused others. Each had paid the price with a temporary forfeiture of freedom or worldly goods. Every one of them had sought to redress the grievances and change their lives. In each case, they had discovered that most important character trait of all—honesty!

It’s not easy to engage in self-examination and actually admit that we were wrong. The hardest part is accusing one’s self of wrongdoing and admitting to an aggrieved party the truth of the matter. All too often we grudgingly admit to error and misdeed and fail in our attempt at repentance. We lie to ourselves. In so doing, we miss the cleansing relief which can only be found in true repentance. Only when we admit to God and another human being our misdeeds will we find the blessings of forgiveness.

So, what’s the point? Currently, the news is alive with reports of a person who has filled his life with people who are described above with one exception. They have done the crimes but have not done the time. They are unrepentant and continue to be the despicable individuals which they are accused of being. No one has ever offered any explanation or quotation to demonstrate that William Ayers has either denied or shown any remorse for his activities to overthrow the government of the United States. Rather we have seen an arrogant claim that, “we should have done more.”

No one has offered any apology from Jeremiah Wright for his pulpit rantings which include the statement; “G** d*** America!” His student and congregationalist, Barack Hussein Obama, has clearly disassociated himself and denied that his twenty years in the pew and his very personal relationship had any affect at all on his politics. Somehow he has managed to avoid being influenced by Wright’s constant racist frothing.

Another of his “not a close” friends who bought a chunk of land to add to Obama’s million dollar plus estate, Tony Rezko, for over $50,000, may find a cause for repentance as he languishes in prison and contemplates his unsavory past. Rezko joins Ayers and Wright “under the bus” in this spate of self-denial.

Mega church theologian, distinguished English professor, and real estate tycoon may seem like ideal resume references on a job application but they are most inappropriate if you actually examine their lives and their characters. Each has offered proof of his own origin for their despicable world views and actions. These are not associations which any sane man would offer as supporting his own views. The “rubes” are actually discovering these fellow travelers, ranters, and criminals for who they are and the contribution they have made to “the one.”

For the critical thinkers among us it will be acceptable to “let bygones be bygones.” For the rest of us simpletons who don’t have the elite mindset of Hyde Park, I suggest that we attempt to nail down the reality of the situation and act accordingly. As an acknowledged simpleton, I shall have to remember grandpa’s advisory: “Son, when you lie down with dogs you can expect to get up with fleas.”

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

No comments: