Of course, Putin’s letter was somewhat disingenuous and hypocritical, as Senator John McCain later pointed out in a response to Putin’s letter which was printed in the Russian newspaper Pravda (quid pro quo), because the Russians have always been very cozy with the Syrian regime, and the Russians have not had a very good human rights record in their own country. As McCain pointed out, they have jailed those who dare to speak out publicly in opposition to Russian leaders or policy, and free speech is heavily discouraged through bullying tactics by the police and KGB. But one of the interesting things about the Putin letter is that he took exception to Obama’s use of the term “American Exceptionalism.” Putin said that it was dangerous for anyone to say that they are special and that doing so is a contradiction to biblical teachings where we learn that everyone was made equal by God.
Of course, Putin was not only a referring to the Bible, but he was also making a tangential reference to our American values as revealed in our Declaration of Independence, our national charter, in which our founding fathers argued that “all men are created equal.” One of the most interesting things to emerge from Putin’s letter, however, is his apparent definition of “American Exceptionalism” as arrogant superiority. Of course, the argument did not end there. The discussion about “American Exceptionalism” was taken up in a firestorm all across the blogosphere, on news shows, in magazines, in newspapers, etc. In many of the discussions, especially on the cultural and political left, people took exception to Obama’s use of the term, and in most of those discussions, they also defined “American Exceptionalism” the way that Putin did, as arrogant superiority. This is quite an interesting debate, especially since none of the people arguing over this term have correctly defined it, nor did they bother to look it up, yet they are having a very heated debate over the term, getting quite emotionally charged up about it. It is almost comical.
More on this tomorrow. I pray that God will bless you with His close, loving presence this day and give you the strength, wisdom, and courage to sustain you throughout the day.