Headlines from the New York Times for Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Trump’s Volk und Vaterland
“This, in fact, is our new American moment,” President Trump declared in his State of the Union speech. “There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.”
But which American Dream? Trump portrayed a dark and menacing world in which immigrants, who stand at the heart of the American idea, were equated with gangs, murderous criminals and “horrible people.”
In his 80-minute speech, the word “woman” did not come up once. Other words or phrases never mentioned included “peace,” “human rights,” “equality,” “Europe,” “multilateral,” “civil rights” and “alliance.” The Constitution flitted onto Trump’s radar chiefly in the context of appointing his kind of judges.
If there was a theme, it was the demonization of immigrants and of the rest of the world, combined with an exaltation of American might. He spoke of building a “Great Wall” on the Mexican border, but it may as well have been against the rest of humanity.
(Read more of this editorial by Eric Cohen in the New York Times.)
Readings from Proverbs for Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Proverbs 12.15 – Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to advice.
The hardest person to teach is the one who knows it all. A teachable spirit is a mark of a wise person.
The other day a severely mentally ill man stopped by the church where I work. I’ve known him for many years and he stopped for a visit. My goal was to fully listen to him for a few minutes. I didn’t learn much from his words, because his illness didn’t allow him to put sentences together in intelligible form.
I did learn from his actions. He was coming by the church to give an offering for God’s work, something he does on a regular basis. He reminded me of two of Jesus’ sayings:
Mark 12.41-42 – He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.”
Matthew 19.30 – “But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
My “last place” finisher mental health friend will probably be a “first place” finisher in heaven. Isn’t that an interesting thought!
Prayers for Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Dear God, please help us to humbly learn from you and from wise counsel.