MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Today is Thursday, June 18th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Commentator Cal Thomas now with a call for perspective and prayer in these tumultuous times.
CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: It is a gift, as Robert Burns wrote, to see ourselves as others see us.
Regimes in China and Iran, who violently repress even peaceful demonstrators, are mocking us and claiming we are no better than they when police and the National Guard put down street violence.
These are the inevitable consequences when a nation forgets who and what it is and when some of its citizens reject the values that built and sustained it. Have we forgotten that the evil of slavery and Jim Crow laws throughout the South have been mostly corrected and, in some cases, atoned for in blood and legislation?
Perfect we have not yet become, but our journey is advancing, not retreating.
The current tumult started with justifiable outrage over the killing of George Floyd. After peaceful demonstrations, things turned violent. Censorship of speech and mob rule quickly became the norm.
TV programs about the police have been canceled before a single complaint. Gone with the Wind is gone from HBO Max. The New York Times—which brags of its commitment to a “diversity” of opinions on its editorial page—apologized and withdrew from its website a column written by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who called for a military response to street riots.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for the removal of Confederate statues from the Capitol Building. The irony is that most, if not all, of these notable men were Democrats, a party opposed to Reconstruction after the Civil War and the authors of Jim Crow laws. Their racist descendants opposed civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Will these purists tear down the Richard Russell Senate Office Building, named for the senator from Georgia who opposed all such legislation?
Yes, reforms are needed as they always are in a pluralistic nation with competing ideas, especially because of our racial history. But tearing things down, including history, does not help others rise.
Let us turn to God in prayer for our nation. And let us remember the words of Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address. Quote—”We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
I’m Cal Thomas.