Know Your Values and Frame the Debate

based on 1 Samuel 15:10 - 16:8

The word of the Lord came to Samuel: "I repent of having made George W Bush President of the United States of America, for he has turned his back on me and has not obeyed my commands. The world has changed so much that I can no longer take care of Israel alone. I must care for all my creation. Since the U.S. is the most powerful nation, what its leadership does is critical for me."

Samuel was angry; all night he cried to the Lord: "I know that George thinks he is doing what you have commanded. He has prayed to you often. He was elected by citizens of that country who also pray to you often. Also, he's done a whole lot for Israel. Can't you support him instead of letting him down?"

But by morning, Samuel had overcome his anger and went to meet George. Samuel said to him, "Time was when you thought little of yourself, but now you are head of the United States, and the leader, in effect, of the world. The Lord sent you with strict instructions to Iraq. Why did you pounce upon the spoil and do what was wrong in the eyes of the Lord?"

George answered Samuel, "But I did obey the Lord; I went where the Lord sent me, and I have captured Husein, the former leader of Iraq. A new democratic government is in process there. Of course there are some things we still have to do there, not least of which is establishing a permanent base so we and others will have access to their oil. But surely the Lord will not begrudge us that after all the sacrifices we have made in order to establish our presence there."

Samuel said, "Does the Lord desire sacrifices as he desires obedience? Listening to him and obedience is better than sacrifice. Defiance of him is sinful, arrogance is evil. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord has rejected you as President of the United States of America. The Lord is no longer caring for Israel alone. He is caring for all of his creation. The spoilage of war ‹ the terrible harm to the environment ‹ the deaths of so many people, the failure to find a way beforehand through the United Nations -- an institution which the Lord hoped would lead the way to more justice and compassion ‹ all matter greatly to the Lord."

He turned to go, but George caught the edge of his suit and it tore. And Samuel said to him, "the Lord has torn the United States of America from your hand today and will give it to another, a better man or woman than you." George went back to the White House and Samuel went home. He never saw George again to his dying day, but he mourned for him. The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for George because I have rejected him as president of the United States? I am sending you to seek out two people who will help me decide whom to choose to be the next president. Remember that the Lord does not see as man sees; men judge by appearances but the Lord judges by the heart."

"First, talk with Bill Moyers, a recently retired journalist who knows a great deal about why so many followers of George don't seem to care that the earth I created is being despoiled. He said recently, "We must match the science of human health to what the ancient Israelites called hochma ‹ the science of the heart, the capacity to see and feel and then to act as if the future depended on us. Believe me, it does."

"Then look up George Lakoff, a cognitive scientist who has published a best-selling book that ought to help people who did not support George Bush re-frame the political debate. That way the man or woman I choose to be the next president can be elected.'*

*The title of Lakoff's book: "don't think of an elephant! KNOW YOUR VALUES AND FRAME THE DEBATE" 2004 Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction Vermont $10

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