Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii, was attacked by the Japanese on this day, at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, 74 years ago. The day after the attack, President Roosevelt appeared before a joint session of Congress and declared, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” Roosevelt asked Congress to approve a resolution recognizing the state of war between the United States and Japan. The Senate voted for war against Japan by 82 to 0, and the House of Representatives approved the resolution by a vote of 388 to 1. The sole dissenter was Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a devout pacifist who had also cast a dissenting vote against the U.S. entrance into World War I.
I pray today that I am not the sole dissenter in my reaction to what is happening in our America! When the president of the largest “alleged” Christian University in the world urged his students last Friday to carry concealed weapons on campus in an effort to “end those Muslims,” I protest and dissent. When presidential candidates say they represent the Christians of this country as they spout “Islamophobic” and Xenophobic and other fear-mongering comments, I protest and dissent! They do not represent me, nor do they represent the millions of Christians around the world.
The message of Advent and Christmas (for the Christian) is not about taking the world back to some other place where it once was, but rather to move the world forward to a place where it has never been before. It is to lead the world toward the dream the Christmas angels sang about, toward that place and time that Jesus forever talked about: the kingdom of justice, mercy, peace, harmony, peace on earth, and good will to all. I protest and dissent any attempts to squash that song and the dream it foretells.
As Martin Luther said in 1521, so I say in 2015, “Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God.”