Thursday, June 11, 2009

Talk to the Hand

I awoke early this morning following a frightening dream. In my dream, God left America to its own devices. He departed, removing His hand of blessing. And many Americans didn't even know He had gone.

Much is being made of the image that has hit the Internet, the photo of our president sitting with his feet propped up on his desk in the Oval Office while talking on the phone. There are two important things to know about the image: 1. when the photo was snapped he was speaking to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, 2. in Arab countries, showing the sole of one's shoe is meant as an insult.

An unfortunate, unintended incident? Think again. Our president spent a number of years out of our country, and under the sway of the Muslim world and its worldview. He spent the last twenty years of Sundays sitting in the church pew of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. You remember him, don't you? He's the man who preaches hate from his pulpit, casting insults at America. "Not God bless America, God d*** America!" Just a few days ago, Rev. Wright said in an interview that he had not spoken to his former parishioner since Obama became the president. Referring to the president's advisers, Wright told Virginia's Daily Press, "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me ..."

Israeli newscasters and many others in Israel read this odd photo as a direct insult to their Prime Minister and to their nation. If this publicity shot was staged and released intentionally, our nation's immediate future looks grim. If it's a case of simple insensitivity (he's had others), it still demonstrates a genuine lack of class and character.

Last summer, during the primary campaign, Obama appeared to be giving "the finger" to someone (above). The apparent target? His primary opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Later that year, during the election itself, our future president is caught again, making an obscene gesture (below). Who was his target this time? Republican candidate, John McCain.

For a man as politically savvy as Barak Obama, a man raised in Chicago style "thug" politics, surely these three seemingly separate symbolic gestures cannot be mere coincidences. In fact, for this man, who trumpeted his many Muslim connections to the Arab world on his recent trip to the Middle East, allowing the world to see the soles of his shoes while speaking on the phone with Israel's leader is the Muslim-world equivalent of the middle finger.

Raising one's middle finger to a political opponent is childish, sophomoric and crude. It does not speak well at all of our president. But deliberately insulting the leader of one of our nation's staunchest allies represents a tragic, radical shift in American diplomacy.

"Talk to the hand" became a popular phrase in the mid 1990's. The saying is a shortened version of "Talk to the hand because the ear's not listening." The words, usually accompanied by the gesture of putting up one's hand in the face of the one who's speaking, represent a "brush off" or an intentional ignoring of the other party's thoughts. Like the middle finger and the shoe's sole in the Muslim world, a hand in the face is rude, crude, and deliberate.

But upon reflection, our nation has been telling God to "talk to the hand" now for quite a good number of years. Could it be that our classless president is but a mere reflection of the rude, crude, classless culture we have become?

It's one thing for a segment of society to be crude and classless. It's another for our president to behave in this manner. Many things shifted in November. We expect that policies and the ideologies behind them will change with a new administration. But we do not expect the man at the top, the one individual who represents our nation to the world, to behave like the basest among us. We expect better.

A switch was flipped this week. A cosmic shift occurred. A signal was sent to heaven's throne. It is now official. Our nation has just told God to "talk to the hand because the ear's not listening."

Snubbing Israel is a very bad idea. Add this offense to the forty million murdered unborn, and the growing cultural acceptance of homosexuality (remember Sodom and Gomorrah), and our Creator cannot be pleased.

This can't be good.


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