I’ve sung this song before, but it needs to be repeated. RESPECT—in American culture—is sorely lacking.
The latest issue that led to this blog is the booing of the President at a World Series game and the crowd chants of “lock him up” that occurred in Washington D.C. on Sunday, October 27. That is a complete lack of respect for the President.
I’ve heard all of the excuses, explanations, and rationalizations. I don’t buy them, but here they are. You will hear them:
- It’s democracy in action. Every American has a right to share their opinion. I agree that every American has a right to speak their mind. You disagree with the president? You have a right to say so. Blog. Tweet. Debate. Post. Vote. Speak up. Write letters. Find a crowd and speak. Run for office. But do it all respectfully.
- He started it at his rallies with cries like “Lock her up” and other disrespectful remarks. One person’s disrespect is never an excuse for mine—or ours. We are all responsible for our own actions. “He started it” sounds like something I expect to hear in a preschool class, not from adults.
- We have a right to stand up to what we perceive as wrong. Of course we do. And if we see anyone doing wrong—a president, a senator, a governor, a mayor, a pastor, or a police officer—we have the right to speak up and take appropriate action. Petty and disrespectful chants in a baseball stadium are neither appropriate nor respectful.
Our nation is strongest when we can learn to stand up for our beliefs respectfully.
Am I defending the President?
No. I am neither defending him nor accusing him. It’s not about Donald Trump the man.
What I am saying is that the office of the President demands a level of respect whether we agree with him or not. If you know me, you know that I apply this to other leaders as well. I apply it to this president and the previous one. It applies to senators, congressmen, judges, governors, mayors, teachers, police officers, referees, and pastors.
As the Bible says (in 1 Peter 2:17, NIV), “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”
That verse is often quoted, but we need to do more than quote it. We need to live it.