Today, while reading (and watching) some material covering questions of whether President Obama has been as transparent as he promised during his campaign, I was struck by a few things that I would like to “throw” out for y’all to take or leave. 🙂
Without getting into all the nitty-gritty details of the charges and response (which I will admit I am not as familiar with as I would like to be) I believe that during the campaign Senator Obama made more than a few rash vows, and as a result I think the accusations have a lot of merit. However, with that said, I also can easily understand and agree to the statement made by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs that, “Not everything the President does is for the cameras and for the press.”
To my thinking, the real problem here is not that the President isn’t allowing the media to cover all the things they want to cover, or think should be covered, — the real problem is/was the rashness of the vows made by Senator Obama on the campaign trail. As a Christian, I believe that the Bible clearly teaches that a rashly made oath is foolishness. Leviticus 5:4-5 clearly teaches that rashly making an oath, be it for a good purpose or with a good intent, is a sin:
“Or if a person swears thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good in whatever matter a man may speak thoughtlessly with an oath, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty in one of these. So it shall be when he becomes guilty in one of these, that he shall confess that in which he has sinned.”
Proverbs 20: 25 says…“It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!” and after the vows to make inquiry.”
I believe that the promises made by Senator Obama were in large part good and I understand that in a campaign you are trying to paint a best case picture of what your administration would be and would do. However, Senator Obama should have more prudently and/or thoroughly considered the ramifications of his rash vows and considered whether the promises made by ‘Senator Obama’ could be upheld by ‘President Obama’. His promises of transparency were clearly more than could have or should have been reasonably promised. Perhaps the problem is that President Obama has never differentiated between the things that should require transparency, the things that ought to be kept and done out of the view of the public and simply promised over-arching transparency in general. I can see this being the case, but at the very least the President created an impression (purposely, I assume) and never clarified or defined the exact intent and extent of his stated purpose and goals.
Probably no segment of our society demonstrates the ease and carelessness with which rash promises are made (and broken) more than the political world. As Christians, it is our responsibility to clearly advocate for integrity and prudence in vow making and then to hold our elected officials to their word. Most importantly though, it is up to us, in accordance with God’s word, to demonstrate the integrity and prudence in our own lives that we expect of people around us and representing us.
God bless and veritas supra omnis!