Last month, President Donald Trump highlighted a fact of American life that has proven to be a foreshadowing of frightening things now come to pass.
“In America we celebrate faith. We cherish religion,” he said during his State of the Union in February. “We lift our voices in prayer and we raise our sights to the glory of God.”
Indeed, now more than in a very long time, we as Americans need to turn to that prayer to humbly ask God to fix this mess we are in. President Trump declared on Friday a National Day of Prayer for Sunday, March 15, shortly after he declared a state of emergency amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Some think the coronavirus warrants legitimate concern and are supportive of the sweeping measures being taken at this time to contain the spread. Some others think it is a wholly panic-driven act of mania, rash and unnecessary.
Either way, it hurts. It hurts our nation and our world. Schools were shut down in Louisiana on Friday, and while I listened to the students at the school at which I work celebrate this month-long hiatus from the burden of books and studies, I as a teacher couldn’t have been more disappointed. Work is good for the soul.
Plus, this early “vacation” as so many are seeing it as is going to negatively impact so many people. It is a time that so many of us are near-sighted and only celebrate what good this can mean for ourselves.
But what about the parent that is an hourly wage earner, the one having to run through the cell phone looking for a babysitter? Some will have to stay home without pay. Some will have to work from home. This will in turn reduce initiative and productivity, thus hurting whatever company they work for.
Some may not be able to work at all, even from home, perhaps having to go without pay.
Not to mention, of course, the people getting sick.
The trickle-down effect of all of this doesn’t end anywhere in sight. It is far-reaching, well beyond anything anyone can unravel. It will have far-reaching effects that go well beyond our own tiny worlds.
President Trump is largely in a no-win situation here. Do nothing and the virus spreads, and he is called insensitive and foolish. Do what he is doing, taking measures to contain the problem, and he will be called, well, insensitive and foolish.
Such is life for this President of the United States. Always has been.
He tweeted this on Friday:
“We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these….,” Trump tweeted. “No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!”
It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2020
Of course if you look at the comments below his tweet, you’ll see the hate and vitriol out in full force, people condemning a man who at every turn in his Presidency has worked to protect and honor all American people.
It is sad, indeed. The man asks people to pray and those who despise him are willing and waiting to do what they do best.
So, while we pray for coronavirus victims and for our nation tomorrow, I for one will be praying for our President as well. The hate such an admittedly flawed man gets is simply staggering and sick, especially from people hiding behind their Christian faith to do it.