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Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Proud to be an American!

Yes, I am proud today. And the whole world is proud of us.
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(11-05) 07:56 PST , (AP) --

World reaction to Barack Obama's election as America's first black president:

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"Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." — Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president.

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"This is the fall of the Berlin Wall times ten. America is rebecoming a New World. ... On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes." — Rama Yade, France's black junior minister for human rights.

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"If it were possible for me to get to the United States on my bicycle, I would." — Joseph Ochieng, a 36-year-old carpenter who celebrated in Nairobi's Kibera shantytown, one of Africa's largest slums.

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"It's the beginning of a different era in the U.S. The United States is a country to dream about, and for us black Brazilians, it is even easier to do so now." — Emmanuel Miranda, a 53-year-old police officer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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"No doubt that Obama will be better for the Americans and the whole world, and being elected after the horrible policy of George Bush is enough by itself. Whatever change he can bring to the world after this catastrophic polices would be great." — Hisham Abu Amer, 28, in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

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"Today, reality in America has superseded fantasy. ... Americans have struck a deadly blow to racism all over the world. Americans have regained themselves and have regained the American dream. The picture of the U.S. that was disfigured by the Republicans in the past eight years fell from the wall today. The picture of the America we had in our minds has taken its place." — Prominent Saudi columnist Dawood al-Shirian.

9 comments:

Mimi said...

I actually cried when he was announced as the winner, and am tearing up typing this. What an aamzing day.

Ali said...

Wow! And to think, I just thought he'd make a good president.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Quoting from my most recent blog post on Cost of Discipleship:

"Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets." (Luke 6:26)

Shamassy Monica said...

I'm glad to find this little "Obama-friendly" corner. I was very proud. And - as a Speech Comm teacher - amazed at his acceptance speech.

mariagwyn said...

I have already posted on my own delight at these elections, both here and elsewhere. So I am disturbed that the observations of many around the world who have observed the racism in the U.S. and are glad that we have, at least in this one moment, risen above, should somehow worry us.

And really, is Nelson Mandela a false prophet? I hardly think that Luke, who writes an entire letter to the churches advocating the teaching of a man who challenged the racism of the earliest Christians would think so.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

The Word of God has warned us, MariaGwyn, and it's up to everyone to make their choice, and take their stand. God alone knows the hearts of men. Nelson Mandela may very well be a false prophet, but it is not my place to point it out. Everyone will stand judgment for the deeds they have done in the body, for good or ill. Let's hope that our repentance and willingness to forgive others, even false prophets who have harmed us, will elicit God's mercy. Go with God, sister, and try to refrain from putting words in other people's mouths. I only quoted scripture to remind us of the dangers inherent in the world's praise.

mariagwyn said...

Romanos,

I apologize if I put words in your mouth. I am still concerned though, that quotations which express joy and hope at one way in which we as a nation are moving away from our deeply embedded racism should inspire a quote regarding false prophets. Clearly, there are false prophets and we should be careful. I am hardly naive regarding what I think Obama can and cannot do to better our world.

I suppose the root of my reaction is that for me as a Christian, this election is a sign of hope. Instead of rejoicing in a moment where we remember that in Christ there is "neither Jew nor Greek, Slave nor Free," your quotation of Luke casts a vague suspicion. I say "vague" because you say nothing about why Obama's win is not a moment of rising above our nation's racism.

I hardly think that anybody posting here thinks Obama is perfect. But his inevitable failure and disappointment does not preclude that this is an amazing moment in our history, one that I think Christians on all sides of the political fence should rejoice in, even if we disagree with many of his policies.

As for Nelson Mandela, he also is not perfect. But if we are to view him as a false prophet, who falsely advocated for the freedom of men and women created in the image of God, unjustly discriminated against due to the color of their skin, then where are we to look for the work of God? Perhaps this is an area in which we share a fundamental disagreement, but Jesus the Word of God works in and through the words and actions of those created in his image. We are the hands and mouth of God in the world, and it is the grace of God that good comes through our often weak and imperfect actions.

We should be cautious in lauding anyone, since no one is perfect. But scripture does only tell us to be suspicious of worldy praise. It also tells us that "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Jam. 4.8) Obama is not perfect, but there is some measure of justice, truth and honor in him and his election. And so I am grateful for this moment in our history.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

"Perhaps this is an area in which we share a fundamental disagreement, but Jesus the Word of God works in and through the words and actions of those created in his image. We are the hands and mouth of God in the world, and it is the grace of God that good comes through our often weak and imperfect actions."

Whenever I give a church tour at Holy Trinity during Greek Festival, and I get to the ikonostasis, I show the visitors the three ikons of Christ that span the centre of the ikon wall. On the left, the ikon of Christ in His first coming, showing Him seated on His Mother's lap to prove that He is true Man born of Woman. Then I show them the ikon on the right, the ikon of Christ in His second coming, in glory, as He will come to close the age and judge Mankind. He doesn't have to be born from Woman a second time: He has taken Humanity up with Him and in His glorified Humanity He will return.

Finally, I show the visitors the ikon of Christ between His first and second comings, the Christ who is among us, in our midst, within us. That ikon is no ikon in a sense: it is the Gates of the ikonostasis, it is the opening through which He comes Today, in and among us, represented by the priests, the scriptures, and the holy gifts.

The saying that I quote as I finish the explanation of the three ikons of Christ is, pointing again to the open Gates and the empty gateway, "Between the first and second comings of Christ, there is nobody here but us—living icons." That is the central ikon of Christ in the ikon wall, the open, empty gateway, the Door which is Christ Himself, in us.

Can I demonstrate any more clearly what I believe about us being "the hands and feet of Christ"? We are actually much more than that, but it's a start.

The Word of God still warns us, "Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets." This verse cannot be used indiscriminately and ignorantly as weaponry against those whom we disapprove. I reiterate, I only quoted scripture to remind us of the dangers inherent in the world's praise.

"…you say nothing about why Obama's win is not a moment of rising above our nation's racism."

I say nothing about this, because I do not see it this way at all. What I see is a nation of rebellious, ignorant souls, who know neither God nor the scriptures but who think "that their mouth is heaven, and that they can dictate on earth," (Psalm 73:9 Jerusalem Bible), who know nothing of history, who have not paid the price of liberty or even understood that there is a price, who do not understand the signs of the times, who can be led astray by the glory of the flesh, and by clever speech. It is coincidental that Obama is of African heritage, but it plays into the general deception. God will always work for the good of those who love Him and who work for truth, and His economy will always make use of our mistakes. America hasn’t really risen above its racism in electing Obama. We have only shown the world, that we are now ready to surrender to its plans for us.

Everything will happen according to the unfolding of God’s plans.

I witness, and I wait.

mariagwyn said...

Romanos,
It appears then, that we agree that God works through us (it was only a guess that we didn't). I hope then that Obama does good in his new position. I expect that he will both succeed and fail. With you, I will wait, and I will continue to witness to what I believe (perhaps wrongly) are moments of hope, the breaking through of the goodness of God.

SC