Thursday, July 11, 2024

My Turn: Where Are We Headed?

The abuse of women is only the tip of the iceberg

God doesn’t ask much from us. He gave us the freedom to make our choices with the caveat that you own them—He doesn’t. He set it up so we are responsible and accountable for our poor decisions, decisions we must live with and learn from—especially the bad ones. He calls out for us to have the resilience to lead by example, to accept the differences and eccentricities of all in His creation. He asks for all to have unconditional love for all our brothers and sisters; that is His essence.

When He looks at America today, tears of sadness must well up in his eyes. The principles upon which the country was founded, where we look for spiritual  guidance—our Judeo/Christian ethic—are under siege. No mention of God is allowed in public schools and spaces, or in the military. No prayer, period. Paradoxically, we carry God on our person every day in the form of a one-dollar bill that has “In God We Trust” printed on its face.

Why this drive toward a secular society? There is no simple answer. I believe America has lost its way. Our moral gyroscope is on tilt. We no longer understand or have a vision of what our country stands for. Our nation is bereft of leadership; we are divided by the politics of Washington. Our country is all about compromise, give and take. However, the disdain the reds and blues hold for one another is unhealthy. It has manifested today in an emotionally crippled and impotent legislative process. The last straw is when families can’t celebrate special occasions together due to political differences.

Washington’s flavor of the day is no longer political squabbling and posturing. It’s more serious. The electorate has lost respect for a “do as I say, not as I do’” double standard of the U.S. Congress. The comportment of its members is reviled, and yet many are elected time and time again. Time for term limits? That’s a discussion for another day but a crucial one.

One thing we should put on the front burner is the appalling indifference toward women who have endured sexual abuse in Hollywood, the workplace and in Washington—where the Office of Compliance (OOC) which administers treasury funds devoted to paying settlements, is notoriously difficult to navigate. A spokesman for Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California) who is drafting legislation to make the OOC’s process more user-friendly, says “the way the system currently works is obviously created to protect the institution over the victims.”

Women are fed up with men taking them for granted and are coming forth with credible allegations of sexual abuse. They are angered and offended, and their cries for help can be reduced to five words: “We won’t tolerate this anymore.”

Americans no longer understand America, nor what it stands for. Those who participate in Washington’s legislative process handle a crisis with hearings and special committees. They delay and postpone accountability with this process. I’m tough on elected officials because they put their interests—not ours—first.

To reiterate, God doesn’t ask much from us. He asks for accountability, respect, tolerance and love for all in His creation. We all should take time to understand why we have strayed so far from his precepts. If this persists we will become a faceless, selfish society without God. As I’ve learned over the years,  you deserve every situation you have in life because you helped create it.

This story comes from our February 2018 issue. For more content like this, subscribe to the magazine.

John Shuff
John Shuff
John Shuff is the publisher of Boca magazine.

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