Fatherly Stuff: A Presidental Address, a Father's Prayer

Sep 10, 2013

A Presidental Address, a Father's Prayer

Like most of the United States and probably the rest of the world, I just finished watching the Presidential Address. In his speech, President Barack Obama lays out his case for potential military action in Syria, in the event Russia fails to broker a diplomatic solution with them. In case you missed it, you can watch the video HERE

After the speech was over, I couldn't help but feel a wide range of conflicted emotions. As a parent and a proponent of democratic ideals, I am both angered and heartbroken to hear that potentially thousands of citizens are being indiscriminately attacked with poisonous gas, the victims of which include hundreds of innocent children. Yet, because of the circumstances surrounding the decade long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm skeptical of whether or not we truly know who is behind these chemical attacks. Those wars have left our nation just plain exhausted of seeing our troops on the soil of other countries, meddling in their affairs, sacrificing their lives, yet getting nothing but anti- American sentiment in return.

Throughout all of this, despite how much I try to understand the underlying causes of the conundrum wrapped in a quandary that is the Syrian Civil War, I'm not ashamed to say that it's a bit confusing. There are the Alawites, Mennonites who practice different religions and they're not very fond of each other? Or something. I was able to find the following Washington Post article that provided a rather humorous, yet very informative breakdown of the entire conflict. It's helpful, but I don't think there are enough books in existence that could completely explain thousands of years of racial, cultural and religious differences.

The strongest emotion by far I am experiencing right now is fear. Fear of the unknown repercussions of either US intervention or sitting back and leaving Syria to their own devices. Fear that on the heels of the12th anniversary of the greatest terrorist attacks in our country, that history may be repeating itself if we end up fighting yet another battle in the Middle East, while  carrying within us a sense of uncertainty on whether or not we should really be there.

Immediately after our president finished his address, I shut of the TV and went into both of my sons' bedrooms. I tucked them in and kissed both on the forehead. As they both lay sleeping, I said a small prayer asking God that if it was his will, that they grow up in a world where they can be shielded from the horrors of war. With these emotions weighing heavy on my heart, I almost chuckled at the coincidence of  unwittingly recreating a scene from one of my favorite Norman Rockwell paintings. I bowed my head and once again prayed that in this case, art does not imitate life. 

Norman Rockwell's "Freedom From Fear"(Source)