Thursday, January 04, 2007


I think Gerald R. Ford was a good man. I believe he was very honest. He was evidently a good father and a loving husband. He was very intelligent and a hard worker. He was an excellent athlete and he had a very good sense of humor. I’ve always admired a man who can laugh at himself and not take himself too seriously. As a person, I would have enjoyed knowing Gerald Ford.

I spent a great portion of yesterday watching the funeral here in Grand Rapids. The service was held at Grace Episcopal Church. I was very impressed by the service. It was a traditional, liturgical service, full of the gospel and traditional expressions of Christian faith. I was deeply moved by the service itself. I was particularly touched by the obvious love and respect shown to President Ford by President Carter. Carter’s comments about the mutual faith they shared were powerful.

Gerald Ford was not a perfect man, but he was a brother in Christ and his faith guided him in a very difficult time for our country. Here is something I find very interesting. Ford was the first president I remember who made no apology for being a Christian and every president since has also made a clear profession of faith in Christ. Carter is a Southern Baptist. Reagan was a Presbyterian. George H.W. Bush is Episcopalian. Clinton is a Southern Baptist. And George W Bush is a Methodist. All flawed men. You may disagree with many or all of them. All have made very bad decisions both personally and politically. But I think all of them are genuine Christians.

Nixon was responsible for pushing me away from my Republican upbringing. By the time I was in college and thinking on my own I had begun to identify with the ideals of the Kennedys. I was unhappy with the way Johnson and Nixon handled the Viet Nam war.

Then came Watergate. Watergate was the end for me. The only hope the Republican party had with me was a proper prosecution of Nixon. He needed to be held responsible for his involvement. Ford pardoned him and I was gone. In my opinion, the office of president has never recovered from that decision. I don’t think a president has been respected trusted in the same way since Nixon abused the office and got away with it.

Nevertheless, President Ford was a good man and he did what he thought was right. I’m confident we will have a chance to discuss it in the future.


At 7:02 PM, Blogger mom2 said...

Then came Watergate. Watergate was the end for me.>

I was a lifelong Democrat and I will tell you what was the end for me with the Democrats. Abortion, liberal judges, advocating same sex marriage and failing to support Christians by support for separation of church and state.
I feel that those are issues that we Christians should care about.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...


Aha, you introduce yet another subject! Thank you for that! I was primarily reminiscing about the old days and my first period of political activism. I wasn't actually intending to make any comments about the present situation!

As I have written elsewhere, I have been abandoned by my party. The days of civil rights and peace Democrats gave way to amoral and immoral Democrats. I felt like I was the only one left holding the bag with the "Camelot" label on it!

Christians should be concerned about many issues, including the ones you mention. I have not given up my passion for civil rights and peace; issues Christians should be concerned about. May I mention some more? Human slavery and human sex slavery in Asia. AIDS in Africa. Environmental issues. As a global church we should be concerned about all of these things, not just the things that are wrong in our own country.

Anyway, since my party was no longer interested in listening to me, I quit supporting it and now cast my votes independently. I voted for President Bush in the hope that he would be able to put some right-thinking judges on the Supreme Court bench. All of my conservative friends are very pleased with me these days.

Watergate WAS the end for me. The end of any innocent faith and trust I had in the system.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Oh, and I meant to say, mom2, thanks so much for stopping by! You're sure welcome at any time!


At 7:10 AM, Blogger mom2 said...

I no longer put too much confidence in either party. The Republicans had the chance to appoint good judges and they let the Democrats scare them out, which amounts to politics over convictions. I am really sick of this placing the finger in the air to check out which way to stand on issues, when they should be guided by some honest to goodness convictions and integrity.
The issue of separation of church and state is a bogus issue that really amounts to making Christians shut up and then accusing them of intolerance if the attempt to treat other religions is not given all the freedom they want.
In my opinion, after having been a Democrat for so many years, is that they have no moral compass.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...


At 1:15 PM, Blogger The Occasional Glass of Wine Non-Denominationalist said...

Richard Nixon did not "get away" with anything. President Ford made a difficult decision under extremely difficult circumstances.

His words should serve as inspiration for every American President:

"As President, my primary concern must always be the greatest good of all the people of the United States whose servant I am. As a man, my first consideration is to be true to my own convictions and my own conscience."

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...


I beg to differ, if you don't mind. You're the attorney, you tell me. By receiving a pardon, Nixon was tacitly declared to be guilty of the crimes for which he was pardoned. He got away with not being prosecuted. He got away with not being judged by a jury. He got away with not having to pay for the crimes for which he was pardoned.

I thank God that He has pardoned me, but I don't thank President Ford for pardoning Nixon. I have no argument with your other points. It was a difficult time for the country. It was a difficult decision for him to make. But I think our country would be far better off if it had been shown in 1974-75 that the president cannot act as he did without risk of prosecution.

I believe Pres. Ford acted in a way that he thought was best for his country. I just think he was shortsighted when he made that decision.

It's good to hear from you! Thanks for coming over to this side of the blogosphere today!


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