Editor’s note: The following op-ed is an open letter to President Biden from Rev. Tim Mercaldo in response to his recent speech in Philadelphia.
Now that you have presented your speech (September 1, 2022 – Philadelphia, PA) on the “Soul of our Nation,” here are some of my thoughts as a “We The People” member of the United States of American “Body Politic.”
As an American citizen, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana (America’s Heartland) and a resident of New York City for 55 years, and as a Christian for over 50 years and a Christian minister of over 35 years, I would like to comment on the “Soul of our Nation.” And make an appeal.
I listened to and read your nomenclature describing what you defined as the “lost soul” of America; Yet I believe you “missed the mark” in your comments, causing more division and confusion in the minds of Americans sincerely desirous of respectful unity.
As a citizen, I, Rev. Timothy James Mercaldo, speak for thousands upon thousands of Americans who know that our true “soul antidote” for the enmeshed disease destroying our “corporate soul” is NOT “political.” And to be clear, I am a believer in the power and necessity of politics for “good” and “bad” in the administration of our nation, both locally and nationally.
However, let me state clearly and passionately that our underlying “soul solution” is NOT political…it is “Spiritual.” And since there is such confusion about what “spiritual” means in our relativistic and syncretistic American culture, I will define the term “spiritual” as simply and specifically as possible…based on our American Founders’ worldview.
From the very beginning of our American Republic, “spiritual” has found its unique and only source in the Judeo-Christian Bible. And while the Bible has been diminished, mis-applied and often misquoted (especially by politicians), it contains the cure to our “lost American soul.”
There are two historical examples of “American soul-sickness” being cured by the Infinite-Personal God Whom you, Mr. President, profess to follow as a Roman Catholic.
They are referred to as “The First and Second Great Awakenings.” And they took place in the mid 1700’s and then again at the beginning of the 1800’s. America had drifted culturally from God and His blueprint for truly loving and healthy living. So He sent men and women to expose and confront the reality of our national sins and their obvious consequences (slavery, inattention to poverty, sexual perversion, substance abuse, etc.). God “moved upon” the hearts of scores of Americans who realized their desperate need to turn away from their sins and return back to the God of their Fathers.
This “desperation” and “repentance” (change of mind and heart in alignment with God’s biblical plan and purpose) was central to bringing healing to our Nation and restoring our “National Soul.”
Mr. President, your words last night pointed to symptoms of our “soul sickness” in America. Your proposed solutions are NOT the answer.
The “Lost and Divided Soul” (Soul=mind, will and emotions) of our American Nation will never be healed and united by predictable speeches and failed attempts to force policies on us.
The true healing and unity we need so desperately right now can ONLY be found by turning back to the God of the Bible in true submission to His will and purpose for our lives, personally and nationally as American citizens.
No amount of public policies or “executive orders” will authentically address our “National Disease.” This ultimately has nothing to do with you or Donald Trump, for that matter.
We are broken as a Nation. We need a doctor to fix us. And that “Doctor” is the “Great Physician.” Only He can heal the root problem of our Body Politic. I appeal to you and urge you to change your disposition and align yourself with your predecessor, President Abraham Lincoln. Here is what he wrote and established decades ago and is all the more applicable today.
Please, Mr. Biden, with all due respect, consider calling all Americans to a day of prayer for the sake of our “American Soul.” Please read and consider what President Lincoln did when America was in National crisis. Are we not in a National crisis now?
On March 30, 1863, President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for “A Day of National Humiliation, Fasting, Prayer. Here is an excerpt:
Whereas the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the supreme authority and just government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations, has by a resolution requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation; and
Whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord…
Mr. President, as a citizen of the “Divided States of America,” I ask you genuinely to call us to pray and suggest September 11 as such a day to focus on our “spiritual needs” in order to root out the “sins and encumbrances” that are the true cause of our “American Lost Soul.” Please…do this before it is too late, if it isn’t already. Since you did not mention the need for prayer in your actual speech, please consider calling America in this moment to a place of humility, asking God for His forgiveness and favor.
Rev. Timothy James Mercaldo
Rev. Timothy J. Mercaldo is the executive director or Worship Plus, a consulting ministry designed to “equip and assist the local church to ‘worship in Spirit and in Truth.’” He has served as an ordained Christian/Evangelical minister for over 30 years in New York City and Florida.