For nearly two weeks, the nation has been wrestling with the tragic events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. In many ways, the bigotry and racism that were on full display speak to the darker side of our culture. Yet, there remain decent and more noble values that also reside in the heartbeat of America… respect… charity… service… and an abiding faith in God. These are some of the things that are worth fighting for and preserving.
In the aftermath of that disturbing protest, Senator James Lankford, co-chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, made the following statement, “I am incredibly grieved by the violence and hate that took place in Virginia last weekend. The supremacy of any race over another is not only immoral, it is contradictory to our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the fundamental idea of America. It has been a divisive week for America. The events in Charlottesville are a reminder that we still have a lot of unresolved racial issues in America. The way we move forward is by engaging each other, building respectful unity together, and honoring the human dignity of all people.”
The foundational principles that helped establish our country still make it one of the most desired places to live in the world. Concepts such as all people are created equal, that our rights come from a sovereign Creator, freedom, and that every person should have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are embraced by leaders and citizens from both sides of the political aisle. Most agree these truths are fundamental to the American way, and that they should cross every cultural, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic barrier.
In a time when our nation desperately needs to learn how to disagree without hate, we can use what happened in Charlottesville to promote the values and principles that are truly core to our beliefs, our faith, and to our nation. The idea that all people have value and are worthy of respect should permeate our daily lives. This is our opportunity to promote peaceful dialogue and to pray for our nation.
In spite of the doom and gloom that news outlets love to report, I believe America is resurging. The America where we honor God and one another, where truth wins, and good prevails, is finding its way back into the national dialogue. We must not neglect to pass down our spiritual heritage, teaching the next generation about what it really means to be American.
Sadly, some have distorted that sacred heritage and have even used the Bible to justify unacceptable and hateful behavior. While it may feel that the problems we are facing in the United States are too big, too ingrained, and too overwhelming, each of us can still make a difference… one life at a time… one day at a time… one conversation… one act of kindness… one word that speaks peace, respect, kindness or Christian love.
We encourage all Americans not to abandon the biblical truths that undergird our Founding Fathers’ vision for this Constitutional Republic, but rather, to strongly advocate for the principles that support and defend freedom, our values, and bring honor. Many of our colleagues, government leaders, and organizational friends are standing in the gap, for which we are so very grateful.
The Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation is on the front lines of this battle and we encourage you to join us! You can make a positive impact by starting your own Room 219 Prayer group, putting up our National Motto, “In God We Trust,” scheduling a PrayUSA Sunday event at your church with a government leader, and if you agree with our mission, consider offering your financial support, so together, we can accomplish more.
Friend, this may not be like the war-torn battles the country has endured in years past, but there is surely a battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation, and for the very soul of America. Let us endeavor to model truth and civility, faith and freedom… whenever, wherever, and however we can. United we stand. Divided is not an option.