I happened upon a new word, to me at least, "constitutive." It is one of those words that you can put in your mouth, roll it around, taste its richness and savor the potential of significant meaning. The author using the word in an historical perspective is one Avishal Margalit writing in a publication called the Biblical Archaeology Review. Yes I know. Who is this weird guy that reads the Bible and related publications, anything aero-space, an occasional techno-thrill novel, current political publications printed, TV and on the net? I guess what you see is what you get!
Join me as Mr. Margalit writes: "Biblical history starts with creation. Creation is a constitutive historical event, rather than a natural event. It is constitutive in the sense that it is an event that creates human obligation--an obligation to express deep gratitude to the Creator. Human beings in general, and not just the people of Israel, should be grateful for this creation. Indeed, this is the Lord's message via Jeremiah in the nations: 'Tell this to your masters: With great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people ... I give it to whomever I please" (Jeremiah 27:4-5)."
Then Mr. Margalit goes on to explain that the Jews and that includes us modern Christians owe "the special obligation of gratitude owed by the people of Israel for deliverance from the 'house of bondage' in Egypt. The Bible's constitutive event for the Israelites is the Exodus from Egypt. The Bible as a whole is a set of reminders and a plea for gratitude for the liberation. Obeying God's commandments, that is, obeying God's will is the ultimate expression of gratitude."
Pondering those writings I have come to the conclusion that the next constitutive historical event for us Christians was the birth, life, and resurrection, of Jesus Christ. Constitutive events are rare and have life changing impact on human kind.
Thinking of what might be the constitutive events that shaped our America that we are so privileged to live in today I think that the American Revolution might qualify. The successful conclusion of the Revolutionary War led to the drafting and adoption of the Constitution of the United States of America. Constitutive -- Constitution, yes I think that document with its prescription for freedom of the people qualifies.
Next I would nominate the Civil War, a cataclysmic event that solidified the union of states and abolished slavery forever in this country. Yet social progress was been slow and painful. Reconstruction following the Civil War came in hurtful fits and plenty of misdirection. Eventually some one hundred years later and within our lifetimes we have seen a new beginning in civil rights that truly brings "liberty and freedom for all"!
Now four years ago the people of the most successful political system that God ever created elected a black man to be president. Has it proven to be a constitutive point in our history? I think that the jury is still out.
Candidate Barack Obama had the nod from nearly every black voter in the country. President Obama has since managed to alienate a large portion of his black constituency and even more of the non-blacks that voted for him. Yet in this next election cycle the blacks will still vote almost amass for him because he after all is a "brother." He has also by his unfavorable actions toward modern day Israel managed to separate himself from a huge portion of the Jewish block that helped finance and originally get him elected to office.
In my own opinion, President Obama's administration's attitude of appeasement with the followers of Mohammed will make for a more dangerous world. Those Islamo Fascists with the mindset of 7th century thugs have the goal of making a one world caliphate with Shari law implemented throughout. President Obama seems to be more comfortable with that notion than I will ever be.
President Obama seems to not understand capitalistic economics and leans toward some form of socialistic big government. A type of government that has never been successful but then they never had Obama in charge.
So what will it be? Will the election of our first black president prove to be a constitutive event that transforms America to a second rate European style state during his second term? Or will his legacy of no second term and the country returning to former fiscally sound greatness and the mistake of his failed first term go down as a "small bump in the road" of history? I will be voting for change, for a chance to steer back to the right path. That is the kind of change that I can believe in!
That is the way I saw it.