Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Yearning to Breathe Free

The recent uprisings in Egypt and other Arab countries illustrate the fact that people don’t want to be ruled by oppressive regimes, but want to have a say in their own destiny. The United States was a refuge for those “yearning to breathe free” in the words of Emma Lazarus, whose poem “The New Colossus” graces the Status of Liberty.

Admittedly democracy can be messy, but it is still the best way to go. Our Declaration of Independence contains the founding principles of the United States, which states that the government serves the governed, not the other way around:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government…

Please pray for those countries, not just because what happens there can affect us, but because the citizens of these countries also have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We should also pray that the kind of government that eventually emerges in Egypt especially will be moderate, not radical, and will not be dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood or any other islamist groups. Let’s also pray that the Christian minority in Egypt will not suffer persecution at the hands of any regime.