I am in Wheaton, Illinois in the western suburbs of Chicago. I had lunch today with a friend who is also a member of the Cornerstone Forum board of directors. He has just returned from a trip to the Congo, where he and a few others are helping to build a school in a very poor and very remote Congolese village. What he saw in the Congo, especially in the cities, was grinding poverty, despair, political corruption, and epidemic violence -- a vast country that appears to western eyes to be ungovernable.
Meanwhile in this country, following one of the most contentious elections in recent history, both the losing candidate and the outgoing president extended their congratulations to the president-elect and wished him well in the most heartfelt and sincere way, as he prepared to assume one of the most difficult jobs in the world under some of the most difficult circumstances. What a luxury it is to live in a society where the transition of political leadership -- even after a very divisive and hard fought campaign -- is accompanied by this kind of spirit.
I have made my reservations known about the president-elect's policies regarding the lives of the unborn, the sanctity of traditional marriage, embryo-destructive medical research and similar issues, and I retract none of my concerns, based as they are on explicit commitments he has made to some of his most fervent supporters. That said, however, I share with others a pride in the historic fact that our next president represents a milestone in our long journey away from the racial divisions that have so plagued our nation.
I will be praying for our new president, and I urge you to do so as well. I would like nothing more than to be able to say four years from now that my misgivings about his moral philosophy and political agenda were mistaken. Humble pie is a staple of the Christian diet, and I have had enough helpings of it in my life to have acquired a certain perverse taste for it.
Whatever policies emerge from the new administration, however, the erosion of our culture's moral and religious underpinnings proceeds apace, and we will continue to do our small part in the effort to reverse that trend.