I remember the first time I watched Judy Garland's "The Wizard of Oz." Being a child, and unable to discern fantasy from reality, I recall recoiling from the authoritarian voice and smoking, bigger-than-life image of the Wizard. Later I was amazed to discover that a man, hidden behind a curtain, was the one manipulating the imposing image of the Wizard. Furthermore, I discovered the personal attributes of this concealed "puppeteer" were opposite of his grandiose creation.
I had similar feelings as I watched the first presidential debate. Instead of the carefully crafted, engaging, articulate figure of President Obama reigning onstage, I was amazed to discover that a team of men and women, normally hidden behind a "teleprompter curtain," were obviously the concealed "puppeteers" manipulating the grandiose image many have of their creation, President Obama.
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Yes, "when I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became and adult, I put an end to childish ways" (1 Corinthians 13:11).
Now I focus on the integrity, substance and character of those striving to be our president -- not the false images created by their "handlers."
Over the years, I have discovered that I can reasonably determine the character of those striving to become president if I am willing to put an end to childish denial and embrace sometimes painful truths. For instance, I am mindful that "Bad company ruins good morals," (1 Corinthians 15:33) as I compare a political candidate's well-documented walk, past and present, with their talk, not their image manipulator's talk. This is especially paramount in this election as we consider the precarious future of the United States of America in a "world gone wild," literally.