Etymology is a science that examines the original use and origins of words but it has taken a serious hit in the modern era. In today’s climate of slippery politics a word is only as good as its user; definitions notwithstanding.
Renege is a 16th century word that once stood for “apostasy” or a turning back from what was originally promised or committed to. In 1580 it had more to do with a Christian who converted to the Muslim religion. How befitting is this definition in a nation that doesn’t know for sure if its President is Christian or Muslim! It is also related to the words finagle, cheat and turncoat.
The President’s religion aside, we know for sure that he presented himself as the candidate of “Yes We Can,” throughout the 2008 campaign and far beyond. In what might be seen as the “Lie heard round the world” Mr. Obama made repeated promises to fully support Israel during his 2008 Presidential campaign. Here’s just one: “Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Thursday promised an ‘unshakable commitment’ to Israel if he is elected.” (Haaretz.com May 23, 2008)
It takes no etymological wizardry to see that the phrase “unshakable commitment” and the word “renege” are as opposed to each other as night and day. This administration may have some pop culture sparkle left to it but the record, the integrity and the believability has all but vanished.
George Mitchell, the U.S. Peace Envoy, suggested in a recent TV interview that Washington could penalize Israel on loan guarantees to force them to make concession to the Palestinians. Although the U.S. and the EU may not be working in concert, Javier Solana and a group of former EU leaders have also suggested putting the clamps on Israel to curb the building of settlements and Jewish homes in Israeli occupied territories.
Those who are students of scripture and at least basically adept at world history know that if anyone has a right to build in Israel it is the Jews. We can’t make anyone accept that view but if they took the time to re-examine history—both ancient and modern—all of the contention would end in favor of Israel.
Should this latest rhetoric actually edge toward becoming official White House policy; the newly elected Congress has already made it clear that it will block any talk of laying sanctions on our strongest ally in the Middle East.
It is becoming harder to predict what this President is likely to renege on, or upset in the American landscape but one fact has emerged; the man sometimes referred to as “Mr. Yes We Can,” is telling the rest of us that we can’t. Does he now presume to tell Israel what they can’t do as well?
Just in case this seems like so much hyperbole, here is a short list of ‘yes we cans’ that have already gone south.
- No we can’t completely support Israel as previously promised.
- No we can’t drill for oil in Alaska and other parts of the interior.
- No we can’t drill for oil offshore.
- No we can’t say America was founded on Biblical principles anymore.
- No we can’t publish our legislative bills on line before they are passed, as promised.
- No we can’t let CEO’s get large salaries and bonuses anymore because the poor may be offended at the accomplishments of the fastidious.
- No we can’t honor the National Day of Prayer in the White House.
- No we can’t make it to the tomb of the “Unknown Soldier” on special days.
- No we can’t produce our birth certificate like everyone else in America.
- No we can’t ask the President to see his school records and other documents that are not classified or a threat to national security.
- No we can’t have French fries in school cafeterias anymore, or happy meals at McDonald’s.
- No we can’t stop spending money faster than it can be printed.
- No we can’t explain a long time association with a police station bomber.
- No we can’t say we heard racist remarks while sitting in a church for 23 years.
- No we can’t vet czars or let the Congress confirm them.
- No we can’t rid our nation of internet porn that is warping the American psyche and producing more rapists and child molesters than any country in the world.
- No we can’t protect the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.
- No we can’t end the scourge of abortion that has left 53,000,000 innocents dead and cast off as medical waste.
- No we can’t check the filth and sleaze that is pouring out of Hollywood and media like a ruptured sewer treatment plant.
- No we can’t let anything go wrong in America without blaming Sarah Palin for it!
- No we can’t say that homosexuality is an aberration of all that is natural, holy and Godly.
- No we can’t admit that America ever was, nor does it want to be an Islamic or Muslim nation.
- No we can’t criticize the President for fear of being labeled a racist.
- No we can’t expect thugs who frighten people at polling booths to be brought to justice.
- No we can’t call vicious bomb crazy people without any regard for human life, terrorists.
- No we can’t continue sanctions against our neighbor Cuba, the worst human rights violator in the Western Hemisphere.
- No we can’t show honor to the family and friends of 9/11 victims and kick the Cordoba Mosque out of Manhattan.
- No we can’t go on with this list because it is far too long for one small article.
Thank God for some of us, that we still can read our Bibles; that at least tell us that there is very little we can’t accomplish with the help of our God. To wit:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4: 13)
Copyright ©2011 Rev. Michael Bresciani