To the Editor:
This is my response to the article written by Bishop Michael Goings, “Will Our Democracy Survive” May 23, 2019. My comments will also reference an opposing view written by Mr. Gerald M. Berry. Although, Mr. Berry admits to having read selective articles by Bishop Goings, it appears that this particular article seems to have touched a nerve. He not only disagrees but in his view Bishop Goings’ article was downgraded as stated by him to “reemphasizing the primary, coordinated talking points of our mainstream media.” It seems Mr. Berry has missed the point! Could it be that Bishop Goings is an American Citizen who uses his intelligence and penmanship to express his own original opinions, convictions, and ideas apart from mainstream media and partisan politics? In my opinion Bishop Goings’ article gave a balanced view of serious issues existing in our present state of the union, as stated “the ever-increasing divide that exist between our two major political parties.”
First of all, Bishop Goings used a nonpartisan approach to highlight some of the most pressing and problematic issues with both parties, which included President Trump and his followers.
As an admitted admirer and follower of President Trump, Mr. Berry chooses to see only the good while ignoring the bad. It is true that President Trump has done some good, but the article by Bishop Goings was pointing to the need for good character as well as good works from the President of the United States. Scripture teaches us (Romans 14:16 KJV) Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
Next thing is Mr. Berry implies that Bishop Goings offered no common sense solution to the political dilemma. Well with all the diverse and complicated issues we face as a nation, do we really expect to find a solution in one man? Nevertheless, a common sense approach to a solution was given when Bishop stated in his article, “Could it be that what is right for our nation is situated somewhere in the middle of these two opposing factions.” As long as we continue to operate in divisiveness and partisan politics, the real solution will remain hidden and our nation will continue to decline. Although Mr. Berry’s opposing viewpoint was quite critical and extensive; neither did he present as he stated a “modicum of a common sense solution.”
Historically I present this as a reference to how powerful media can be when addressing major issues. The abolitionist movement to free slaves started in England; but the needed push behind the efforts in the United Stated was intensified through articles written by the William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp in The Liberator newspaper (founded 1831-1865).
The opinions expressed by these conservative Christian men were not well received, but at best they challenged the thinking and shifted the moral compass of our nation. I consider their concerns, convictions and ideas expressed in print to have possibly begun the birthing pains that moved a nation to act and change. Thereby assisting with a movement that would eventually lead to The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 freeing the slaves. So, I’m encouraging Bishop Goings to continue writing thought- provoking articles that run against the tide of public opinion.
Finally, as a Christian, Pastor, and a conservative thinking American, I applaud both of these men for having the conviction and courage to express their views and opposing views publicly.
May their media dialogue motivated and inspire the rest of us to really “think” and get involve in the process to bring change to our nation.
I end by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” (A Knock at Midnight, June 11, 1967).
Pastor James A. McDuffie
20 Turtledove Circle
Hemingway, SC 29554
To the Editor: