Let’s acknowledge the past, teach a history from a more diverse and inclusive heritage and move forward into the future embracing the demographic realities that will keep America great.
That statement is the most positive “spin” I can place upon a world view that compels one’s mind and thinking in the most simplistic terms to just “go along and get along.” But my heart and spirit person utilizing a more kingdom orientation calls forward a prophetic message from the past with greater clarity and understanding.
On the 25th anniversary of the movie “Roots,” which I considered as a nationally transformative and religious-like conversion experience, I began a commentary by recalling my meant to be “predestined” background coming from a small home church in Loveland, Ohio, but ended my thoughts with the following passage:
So, the torch has been passed and I’m responding to “the call.” The thing that made “Roots” so extraordinary was that it offered up a national “revival” of family history research …
Each family’s stories represent threads that have become a part of the fabric of America. It was Alex Haley’s “Roots” that unleashed these thousands of family historians nationally to weave and spin their stories into that which is uniquely an American tapestry. I pray the fabric never frays. May God Bless America! Amen.
Today, even a blind man can see that the fabric of America is being ripped asunder and the recent political events on the national and international stage makes that plainly obvious to anyone willing to exert a level of objectivity or profess an interest in truth from a biblical or even principled standard. And even at the local level, we are witnessing aspects of this divisive national dialogue being played out and degenerating into personal, partisan and populist behavior that makes it abundantly clear that — YES! — even here in Piqua, we are not immune from the acts and behavior that are undermining right thinking of the principles and values we proclaim to honor most.
Many of you are aware of the flag flap controversy at the Randolph & McCulloch Freedom’s Struggle Complex and what should be simply acknowledged first and foremost as a simple act of trespassing or criminal mischief. But there are clearly other implications of the national divide at work here in Piqua, too.
On (a recent) Sunday morning just prior to my Sunday School, I will elevate the Christian flag to the sole and exclusive position of giving honor and glory to God at the Randolph & McCulloch Freedom’s Struggle Complex. I had considered extending an invitation to like-minded Christian people and well-wishers to join with me in a short devotional and dedication service, but others have galvanized my realization that this is very much my own personal vision for Piqua and that I am required to take up my cross in following Him. My walk is voluntary, not in mode of the African, Simeon, who literally was required take up the cross for Christ. (Matthew 16:24) http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/16-24.htm
And because I retain the slightest glimmer of HOPE for America in the struggle for freedom and enduring FAITH and LOVE of my ancestors, who despite the sins or America knew “whose we are matters who we are!” I intend to fly again the American flag at my home, where it has not flown for several months following a wind storm which bent the pole and fell the flag to the ground.
For those interested in probing my motives for the Christian flag raising at 655 N. Main St. and understanding the flag chronology associated with my family and the struggle for freedom please view the following and be guided by both your knowledge and wisdom, as well as your heart:
• Part 3: The Flagpole Monument Dedication (about 5 minutes) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11f5-E7Rtas
• My Personal Vision for Piqua: Start viewing at 23:15 and watch to 27:08 (about 4 minutes) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fNxlo7y86k
• Randolph & McCulloch Complex Dedication: Watch from the start until 8:30 — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f33gUQrPVgw
• Larry Hamilton Black History Month Speech: Watch starting at 29:20 until 37:13 (8 minutes) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxbHNQsMK80&t=2006s
Larry Hamilton is an author and retired Piqua City Schools educator.