Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Did you hear that the President wants us to volunteer more - says we're all off track? He sent me an e-mail today”:

"Our nation faces some of the greatest challenges it has in generations and we know it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get us back on track.

While Michelle and I are calling on every American to participate in United We Serve, the call to service doesn’t end this fall. We need to stay involved in our towns and communities for a long time to come. After all, America’s new foundation will be built one neighborhood at a time – and that starts with you.

Thank you,
President Barack Obama"

With all due respect, Mr. President and First Lady, in regard to volunteering, I do not feel that Americans are off track. And what is this "new foundation" you're talking about? I believe you are failing to acknowledge the "volunteer" work of religious folk and especially of American Christians. I do not believe we have some crisis in volunteerism that through "a lot of hard work" will "get us back on track (“Back on track”—what does that mean anyway?!). American Christians have been volunteering for years -- since our country's inception. Or perhaps you do not consider their work as being on the same "track" that you want us to get back on.

Back on track... would that mean volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center?
Back on track... would that include church sponsored aid to a homeless shelter?
Back on track... would that involve ministering to the needs of wounded warriors -- injured American veterans?
Back on track... does that include the valiant, unselfish work of groups like the Salvation Army, and countless church outreaches to battered wives' shelters, orphanages, VA hospitals, and senior citizen homes?

I have seen no evidence that Americans as a whole are off track in their volunteering. Perhaps the secularist Left is off track (as is shown by the percentage of their incomes donated to charity). Perhaps the godless, materialistic, self-absorbed citizen is off track. But the people I know and associate with -- people in the Christian community -- are very much on track, and have been for years.

I appreciate your call to invite more Americans to volunteer, but I remain skeptical and confused about your plan to get us "back on track." Your rhetorical "track" is an ill-defined, feel good amorphism; and it seems to discount the years of work, unselfish volunteering and stellar example of American Christians. Theirs is a magnificent heritage of volunteering and helping the unfortunate and hurting, which in other presidential administrations was recognized as the lead engine on the "track" of service to others. They -- we -- are certainly not off track.

~ Murdock Gibbs, Coppell TX