It seems I’ve always been one to swim upstream against the current, to move against the incoming tide.
As a matter of fact, I learned how to swim in the Current River near the little Missouri Ozark town of Van Buren where my dad was pastor of the local Baptist church.
I learned that by facing into the current and paddling as fast and hard as possible to stay afloat, it worked. And doing battle with the swift current strengthened by body.
In life I suspect I have not changed a great deal, especially these days with the swift current and incoming tide of our nation’s dangerous political chaos, which seems to be a creation of those who politically profit most.
I write and speak out because I care. I write and speak out because I love the land of my birth and its constitutional republic and its democratic foundations. I write and speak out because I see my country in dire danger of straying far from the values and laws as prescribed in our Constitution, including the separation of powers.
Now is no time for silence.
The Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and theologian who stood firm against Hitler’s Third Reich and lost his life as a result, said it best in one of his last writings:
“We cannot be silent. We cannot stand on the side that causes death, pain and injustice to flourish. Our hope is not in our weapons or self-defense, or our ability to gain a profit.
“Our hope is in redemptive love and peace. These were gifted to us in creation. We cannot be silent any longer. While millions are trapped in slavery, thousands are slaughtered by guns, war and missiles, our voices must be heard.
“We must condemn the sins of violence and hatred that have caused terror and strife on earth. This is how we were made. We were made in love, goodness and unity. We follow a Messiah who brought the world together through self-sacrificing love and a belief that we would know the God of peace who loves and heals.”
Bonhoeffer was speaking to the people of Germany, a so called “Christian” nation, whose silence in the face of the onslaught of Hitler’s godless Third Reich began to flourish.
As we swiftly move toward Nov. 6, we must speak the truth regarding the vital issues as we see them. Our constitutional republic and its valued democratic principles are at stake and are, at best, fragile.
Silence is not an option.
Edward “Ned” Walsh of Princeton is a retired Baptist denominational worker who served as executive director of Johnston County Habitat for Humanity from 2004-08.