Having knowledge of historical events such as this can help put perspective on current events.
It has been over fifty years since Fidel Castro proclaimed Cuba a socialist nation. What has been the result? News reports about people fleeing Cuba on rafts or on some other small watercraft to get to the United States gives the impression that things have not turned out as well as they had hoped when they roared with approval on May 1, 1961.
I can’t help but wonder about the direction our own country has been headed since the roar of approval after the election in 2008. The moral decline in our country is a cause for concern. The Founding Fathers made it clear that our system of government could only be successful if we would abide by Christian moral principles. As we stray further and further away from Christian principles it becomes more and more evident that our country is in serious peril.
God has essentially been removed from our public institutions. We have legally killed the unborn for over 40 years. Physician-assisted suicide is becoming more and more acceptable. The legalization of marijuana in a couple of states is already impacting life in negative ways. The redefinition of marriage is creating even more instability within our family structures. The massive NSA spying apparatus and drone surveillance is a huge cause of concern for privacy and freedom. The IRS targeting of particular individuals and/or groups implies an almost unlimited reach of the government into the lives of those who disagree with those in power. Finally, a less than forthright and honest representation of these and other activities by the current executive branch of our government creates a level of distrust that is a legitimate cause of concern. Furthermore, by his own admission, the president has a pen and a phone. He won’t wait for congressional approval. That sounds eerily similar to the words of Castro, “The revolution has no time for elections.”
In 1961 Castro also went on to announce that foreign Roman Catholic priests would be expelled and all Roman Catholic schools would be nationalized. In the United States today our Catholic ministries are being impacted by a similar nationalization known as the HHS Mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
The ebb and flow of national events, as well as events around the world, create a certain amount of constant tension. Peace and tranquility are not elements we can assume to possess. An attack such as on 9/11 serves as a quick reminder that the fragile nature of a balanced existence can be disrupted in a heartbeat. Travel has never been the same. Politics has never been the same. The important question for reflection in tumultuous times is simply this, “How much of our freedom are we willing to relinquish to follow a charismatic leader?”
Realizing that Cuba is a mere 90 miles away from the coast of Florida can certainly remind us to be appreciative of the freedom we enjoy in the United States of America. It should not be something we simply take for granted. It should be a right we cherish and protect. Let us pray today for the people of Cuba. Let us also pray for our own country and the people who inhabit the land. May we live by our Christian principles and truly strive to be what we pledge, “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”!