The following is a letter that I sent to the New York Times early last week. They chose not to publish it, but, I feel that I should make it a post during this tumoultous election in the USA 2016.
I have been strong in my voice on Twitter(@dmbourne) and I do not apologize for my opposition to the agent of fear that is sweeping across America.
I hope you will read this, start to reject the fear that is trying to grip the country of America and stand up and declare that fear only keeps you down, does not lift up.
America votes on November 8, 2016 and it is imperative that everyone who is legally qualified goes to their local poll and vote, vote to stop this agent of fear. Tell fear that the USA is better than that.
“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR’s First Inaugural Address. Franklin D. Roosevelt had campaigned against Herbert Hoover in the 1932 presidential election by saying as little as possible about what he might do if elected.
President Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961
“… So let us begin anew–remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.
Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms–and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.
Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce.
Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah–to “undo the heavy burdens . . . (and) let the oppressed go free.”
And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.
All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin..
….And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.”
Robert F. Kennedy, April 4, 1968
Re: The death of Martin Luther King Jr.
…“What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”…
I am a Canadian, a former pastor/evangelist who has been following the election in America 2016. I am concerned about the cynical debate that is happening between both camps, Republicans and the Democrats.
The partial speeches above that I have quoted from all have one thing in common. Yes, the speeches were delivered quite eloquently. They were given by men who seemed bigger than life itself. The one thing that they all have in common is this, hope and hope eternal.
The very word of God and His’ story to mankind is to have faith. In the book of Hebrews chapter eleven and the first verse says this; “ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (King James Version)
Faith and hope in the Scriptures have worked together like a hand and a glove. The opposite of these two foundations is fear.
Fear can cause utter despair and hopelessness. Another affect with fear is, it can be crippling to the point where one cannot move forward, therefore leaving a person paralysed. Instead of looking at tomorrow with optimism a person finds themselves bound in shackles of fear and doom.
I believe that what made Ronald Reagan a great president it was he looked at the horizon with faith, hope and optimism . It was with these three things he was able to declare, “
America was “a shining city on a hill,” and its promise, as well as its people’s, was boundless.
If America still has its best days ahead it will only get there by pressing forward with faith, hope and optimism.
You can listen to the agent of fear and become stagnant, or you can look forward in time and see the potential of what America can be when the whole all work towards one common goal.
There is also in America’s not to distant past that I can think of that spoke with faith and hope. Men such as Martin Luther King Jr. and his’ great speech I Have a Dream.
Yes, times look very dangerous even to the point of our hearts failing for fear like Christ said would happen.
Give in to fear and those who would wish harm for America can succeed without even stepping foot on the very soil of America just by causing America to fear. Giving up because of fear is not a solution. The agent of fear wants to divide not unite. Be wary of our fellow man. The agent of fear wants people to become withdrawn, keeping fists clenched instead of being the hand that reaches out.
So, as a Canadian former pastor and evangelist I ask you the American city choose the America you want. One that lives in fear or an America that works together to solve those things that seem so large.
America, like in the The Three Musketeers, “ all for one and one for all”.