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The Righteous Man

Recently, as I clicked through the channels on my TV, I've become more attracted to the old episodes of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW for what the series has to say about the character of a righteous man. The character of Sheriff Andy Taylor is a real community leader by using his wisdom, justice and sense of right and wrong to lift the lives of those around him by constant use of wisdom and encouragement. And although, Sheriff Andy sometimes has a little fun at the expense of Deputy Barney Fife, much of the time Sheriff Andy is lifting up the self-esteem of Deputy Barney by finding ways to make him the hero and give him the glory of the moment.

Andy griffith.jpg

All of this set me to thinking about other examples of righteous men that can be admired on TV.

On CSI Miami, there's Detective Horatio Caine, who also comes to mind as a righteous man. He is deeply drawn to finding justice for victims, and alternates his tough guy Western style gunslinger personality between a deep sense of wisdom and inner personal warmth covered in a cold and hard exterior. On one hand, he's one of TVs toughest guys since Richard Boone in HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL, but on the other hand he's nearly a Biblical example of everything that a righteous man should be. In fact, there was one Baptist minister who used to have a TV program, and he preached sermons about how much he loved the CSI MIAMI program. And my best analysis tells me that he was so impressed by the Horatio Caine character which is one of the best examples of a righteous man ever on the small screen.

Unfortunately, but for comic value, many TV shows often portray men that are so far from wisdom or righteousness.

The Al Bundy character on MARRIED WITH CHILDREN was a hilarious send-up of a head of household in about the most dysfunctional family ever to hit the small screen. He lacked basic honesty and integrity, yet looked nearly like a Biblical Job sort of character by comparison to the rest of his family for their far more serious sins and faults, and his eternally ongoing long-suffering nature.

Homer Simpson from THE SIMPSONS and Peter from FAMILY GUY are both familiar outrageous heads of households as well. Both are also complete fools. And neither has the wisdom or the moral compass to ever really size up as a righteous man by any means. And many other examples these days on TV often portray the head of the household as a flawed man, and a complete fool for comic value, where the righteous man character seems to be less and less popular these days.

In the movie, RADIO, which was inspired by the true story of a high school football coach in a small South Carolina town who befriends a severely retarded African American man and makes him part of the team as a cheerleader and mascot, is another rewarding glimpse into what should be expected of a righteous man. While the movie itself somewhat fails towards the greatness it really aspired for, still the tale of the righteous man coach seemed to suceed enough to be very inspiring.

All of this leads to what the role of a righteous man should be in leading this nation.

In a few days, Barack Obama will take the oath of office on the very same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used for his two inaugurations. In fact, this is the first time since Lincoln that this very same Bible will be used to swear in a president. And to step into the shoes of Lincoln will indeed be a very tall order.

Lincoln was as close to a righteous man and almost a Biblical figure himself for his deep sense of honesty, wisdom and the long suffering nature of the Biblical figure Job again as well. And like Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Obama is facing serious challenges and human suffering in the U.S. In fact human suffering not witnessed since at least the Great Depression. It will take a man of great wisdom and character to lead America out of these problems almost like some new political Moses.

During the campaign some ridiculed that many saw Obama as "The One" or a type of political messiah. Yet, this is exactly what will be needed for America to turn the corner; a righteous man of great wisdom, character and judgment if America is ever to be great again and not be on a steady decline as this recession wrecks so much of the economy and destroys the business and job structure of this nation.

Now more than ever is the time for a return to the righteous man.


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Comments (4)

Mike:

Paul,

We don't delight in ridiculing Barack Obama. We delight in ridiculing the endless parade of starry-eyed celebrities and writers and politicians who referred to Obama as "the One," "the Healer," "the Light Bearer," "the Soul Fixer," "the Leader that God has blessed us with at this time," and so forth.

Is Barack Obama a righteous man? Well, he certainly has a devoted group of disciples and missionaries who have crafted the most incredible narrative about who Barack Obama is supposed to be, what he has supposed to have done, and what he is supposed to be capable of doing as President. Unfortunately, most all of this incredible narrative is fiction. Little of it is based on his actual life and deeds.

I hope Barack Obama is a righteous man. I hope he is as righteous as President Bush, a man who has personally written to the families of each serviceman killed in action since 9/11. A man who has personally met with hundreds of grieving families, not because he was forced to, but because he felt it was the right thing to do. A man who has steadfastly refused to personally attack anyone, despite being the recipient of perhaps the most unhinged hatred ever directed at a President.

In a lot of ways Bush is like Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was mocked and ridiculed and blamed for a long and bitter war that cost the lives of over 600,000 Americans. He was lampooned as an uneducated hick, a dunce, and a simpleton. He did a lot of things that would be considered criminal today, including placing hostile newspaper editors under arrest for the duration of the Civil War. He suffered physically and emotionally probably more than any other President; looking at portraits from 1861 and 1865 bears this fact out in stark, heartbreaking truth. Yet he believed that America should not be divided, and he risked his political career, and his life, in order to preserve the Union.

But before we compare anyone to Lincoln, perhaps we should consider this -- had Lincoln lived, would he have been a hero, or would he have been saddled with the albatross of the lingering toll that the Civil War and the ugly Reconstruction program took on the American South? Will Obama bet his political capital on an idea that -- if it failed -- would ruin his legacy?

Again, I hope that Obama is a righteous man. I also hope that he is not a righteous failure like Jimmy Carter. But only time will tell.

Oyster:

Very well said, Mike. Obama is often compared to some of the greatest men of all time. And why? What has he accomplished that can be compared?

I'm looking to the right of this very page right now at the intro to another Wizblue post that begins:

"Despite the continued efforts of Fox News and the right wing blogosphere to paint dark clouds over President-elect Barack Obama and his presidential transition team, a recently-released public opinion poll has Obama with a stunning high approval rating..."

And again, I ask why? What has he done?

Mike and Oyster, Obama was only a U.S. senator for just two short years, defeated heavy Democratic favorite Hillary Clinton in a close primary battle, then went on to defeat beloved and trusted war hero John McCain by an electoral vote landslide. If that isn't the mark of a special man with a destiny, then I don't what is.

But I deeply appreciate your opinions here. And you are most welcome to express your views. I love to her opinions opposite my own to understand others.

My expectation is that Mr. Obama will also bring some integrity to the White House unlike the "pants down" Clinton years or the Bush years in which I understand that Bush may offer a blanket pardon to members of his administration on the way out the door to prevent some of them like Cheney from possibly being charged with crimes by congress in the future. That's a heck of a low standard, that I believe that Mr. Obama will try to raise after 16 years of bad conduct by Washington.

Rich Daughter:

I am sixty four years old and have never in my lifetime witnessed people so blinded by a person of excellent speak like Mr. Obama. I will only say that I believe he is a man of darkness that has been able to transform himself into an angel of light. My advice is America beware.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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