Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


January 22, 2013

LION & THE LAMB: Obama’s post-inauguration agenda

CROSSVILLE — During his inauguration ceremonies earlier this week, President Obama used two Bibles for his oath-taking: one belonging to Abraham Lincoln and the other to Martin Luther King, Jr. Interestingly, these two choices had a common connecting link: both of these two men were martyred by gun violence.

Obama has listed gun violence as one of his key agenda issues for these next four years. Our nation’s conversation on this particular issue has already picked up momentum. However, we haven’t yet included in this conversation our early American forefathers who sought to keep the two basic issues of gun rights and gun controls in balance as much as possible.

For example, in colonial times public officials in New Hampshire and Rhode Island went door-to-door to catalog gun ownership in each community. In Massachusetts militia laws required all gun owners to appear annually in public with arms—musket rifles—for government inspection and listing on a statewide gun registry. There were also laws designating where ammunition could be stored. In numerous western towns, guns had to be surrendered to local lawmen when their owners were within city limits. So far, Obama has focused mainly on seeking to pass a ban on assault weapons and limiting the sale of magazines containing more than ten rounds.

In his inauguration speech Obama mentioned a number of additional subjects that we needed to be focusing on in the next four years: climate change, immigrant policy, gay marriage, and economic issues such as health care and social security. But even more important and basic than these was the challenge of strengthening our American values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: developing a basic national ethos of bringing hope to the poor, sick, and marginalized, and “turning enemies into friends.”

Obama, unfortunately, didn’t comment on our basic national sickness: the greed built into our limitless capitalist expansion, the ongoing curtailment of our civil liberties, and our situation of permanent global war with its major claim on our national resources and treasury.

Obama gave this inauguration speech on January 21, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but didn’t mention one of King’s most profound criticisms of our nation given in a sermon at Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967, a year before he was assassinated: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

King also said in the same sermon: “When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

There is one other important King quote from that same year: “When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.” As author Norman Solomon commented last week: “King: I Have a Dream. Obama: I Have a Drone.”

Fasten your seat belts as we ride into the next four years.

• • •

This column is sponsored by Cumberland Countians for Peace and Justice and dedicated by the local writers to the theme that the lion and the lamb can and must learn to live together and grow in their relationship toward one another to ensure a better world. Opinions expressed in “Lion and the Lamb” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact Ted Braun, editor, at 277-5135.

Text Only
  • Lion and the Lamb: Our war on women

    Jimmy Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, has had quite an impressive career as an author. His first book was published in 1975, and he has now written a total of 37 books, 23 of them after his presidency. He has set a high example for other past presidents, especially those who would like to find ways of being as beneficial to their nation as possible in the days after their retirement.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: "Selfie" destruction

    Technology continues to profoundly impact our daily lives, from the Heartbleed Bug that put hundreds of thousands of websites at risk of compromising customer usernames and passwords, to the little light that tries to tell me I'm about to run out of gas. Technology also impacts our language, with new words being created to describe the latest gizmo, gadget or trend.

    April 21, 2014

  • Stumptalk: It depends on what you mean

    A writer’s headline asks, “Do we really believe in democracy?” To which I answer, “What do you mean by democracy?

    April 21, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued From Swimming Pool Raw: 3 American Doctors Killed in Afghanistan Raw: Obama Arrives at State Dinner in Tokyo Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Raw: Obama Visits Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Stars Talk Guns N' Roses at Golden Gods New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888 Oregon Gay Marriage Ban Goes to Court SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice