By Representative Allen Farley
As the Alabama Legislature finished its third week of the 2013 Session I sat in my seat in the House chamber and looked across at a 13 year old young lady who had spent the week as a House Page. This particular House Page was special to me because she is my granddaughter Hannah. (Muriel sat up in the gallery watching down with a grandmother’s pride and the piercing eyes of a hawk ready to swoop down). Had Hannah understood the hustle and bustle of the legislative process? Was she puzzled why certain groups would sit in the gallery looking down with intense interest at a particular debate, but walk out as a different piece of prospective Alabama law was presented? What would she tell her friends in school about the apparent lack of respect most legislators receive at the podium while speaking of potential laws that would affect the lives everyone in our state?
Hannah had witnessed the Alabama House of Representatives begin each session with “Prayer” and the “Pledge of Allegiance.” But, then she would watch as two elected officials would stand at adjacent podiums and sometimes question the other person’s integrity and truthfulness. Not just the positive and negative results of the proposed legislation, but the truthfulness of the person making the presentation. (BAM, there it is. Without truthfulness we cannot expect trust.)
Matthew 18:3 “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
In the Bible, Matthew 18 begins with Jesus’ disciples asking the question; “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Now that really sounds like a group of politicians.) I don’t believe they were ready for His answer. Jesus called a little child and had him stand with the group as he told them about having the faith of a child. Have you ever thought about “the faith of a child?” How does one earn that type of unquestionable trust? First, you must always tell the truth. Boy that would be a life changer for some politicians. They would no longer need to preface their remarks with words like ethical, legal, or transparent. They would be known to be truthful. (Do you see where I’m headed with this?)
While in Montgomery, Muriel and I took Hannah to the Civil Rights Memorial Center a few blocks from the Alabama Statehouse. We sat with our granddaughter between us and watched an 18 minute film about how deadly the civil rights struggle has been. We saw the pictures of children who were murdered because of the color of their skin. We heard of pure evil. No question about it. However, what followed was just as bad.
We heard about the number of murders that have never been solved. How could that be possible? Did the Alabama House of Representatives begin each session with a “Prayer” and the “Pledge of Allegiance” in the 1950’s and 1960’s? Sure they did. What do their grandchildren think? Did they make a difference?
As we walked back to the Statehouse I told Hannah I would like to see her become a lawyer one day and help solve some of the injustices we had just heard about. I told her that her Pop would love to help her. She looked at me with that smile that melts every grandparent’s heart.
While driving home last Thursday afternoon my mind was thinking about the legacy I will leave for my grandchildren. I don’t want them to wonder if I made a difference. I also thought about the grandparents whose grandchildren we had heard about at the Civil Rights Memorial Center the day before. I pray that those who have been deceived and harmed by actions of individuals of past generations will not hold another generation responsible. I pray that my generation will be allowed the opportunity to prove ourselves truthful and righteous. However, Satan works hard to blind the eyes of forgiveness. I have heard his voice speak from the Statehouse podium many times.
2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders. (10) and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (11) Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, (12) in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
God Bless America!!!