The great theologian and mystic Howard Thurman once described his undergraduate institution, Morehouse College, as holding a crown above the heads of her students that she challenges them to grow tall enough to wear. This comes to mind in regards to President Obama being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
It seems a little oxymoronic that one can be both a wartime president (even attempting to escalate one war in Afghanistan) and be a peace prize winner. Just as this award should not be reduced to an indictment against the egregious practices of President Obama’s predecessor it should be based on one’s own proven record of promoting the cause of peace and justice. And, in my humble opinion, the jury is still out on our current president. Understandably so.
But this does not mean that one should not acknowledge and celebrate President Obama’s seemingly virtuous sentiment and the world’s recognition of his efforts in these early months of his presidency. Rachel Maddow here offers a sober perspective as to why we can honor our president’s selection while holding him accountable to realize his own professed aims. He has indeed cast a noble vision of peace for our nation and world. It is now up to us to under gird him with our prayers and constructive challenge so that he will indeed be able to fit the award that the committee in Oslo has placed around his neck.