On January 12, while speaking in Atlanta, Georgia, President Joe Biden added to his extensive list of verbal blunders, (which many people call outright lies).
“I did not walk in the shoes of generations of students who walked these grounds, but I walked other grounds. Because I’m so - old, I was there as well. You think I’m kidding, man? It seems like yesterday the first time I got arrested.”
This was certainly not the first time Biden told imaginary tales of his days as a civil rights leader. On several occasions, he even claimed to have been arrested while trying to visit imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Later, Biden admitted he was only “stopped” by police on that specific trip.
The truth is, Biden was not an iconic civil rights leader; quite the opposite.
NBC actually reported that back in 1975 Biden, as Delaware’s freshman senator, sponsored a bill to limit judicial power to order school desegregation. In a subsequent Senate hearing, Jack Greenberg, lawyer and director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, openly rebuked Biden’s attempts to halt integrational busing of public-school students.
Civil rights issues are not the only verbal misspeaks our president has made on the road to the White House – or over the course of his presidency, and those incidents have been documented by many other news sources.
But that is not the point of this blog.
To me, these incidents merely serve as examples of a much deeper issue, an issue of the heart.
When I see anyone – family, friends, or even our national leader – misspeak repeatedly or say things that are jumbled, exaggerated, or totally fabricated, I automatically think of the devastating pain surrounding dementia and Alzheimer’s.
I had no clue of either of the terms until a close family member was diagnosed with a form of dementia. As our family watched this beloved individual lose both memory and cognition, we learned more than we ever wanted to learn about this debilitating and deadly disease.
We also learned how to separate the uncharacteristic words and actions of the disease’s progression from the truth and honor of the life our loved one had lived pre-dementia. And at times, that task alone was almost more than we could bear as a family.
So, for those who aren’t quite sure of the terminology, dementia is not one specific disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it really describes a group of symptoms.
Basically, dementia is a general term for “loss of memory, language, problem-solving, and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life.” While Alzheimer’s is a progressive form of dementia affecting memory, thinking, and behavior. It’s also incurable.
While six million Americans are currently living with some form of dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association states that Alzheimer's is the most common cause of the disease. Currently, one in three seniors die each year with dementia, while 11 million Americans are providing unpaid care for dementia patients annually.
Other than our own family experience with this disease, I do not know much more than these facts about dementia. And I am not a medical profession, so I do not know if our president suffers from a form of dementia at all.
But I do know this – President Biden is our nation’s leader, despite our personal opinions of his leadership, the lack thereof, or even his personal character.
As Christians, it is our duty, our biblically mandated assignment, to pray for our leaders:
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (1 Timothy 2:1-3, KJV).
But I would add that perhaps we should also pray for his family and those who have been placed in authority alongside our president. I would venture to say that there are numerous individuals at the White House, the Capitol, and in other seats of governmental leadership that have ample opportunity to influence and impact President Biden. And many of those individuals claim to be Christians.
What if we all joined together in one accord, despite our political, religious, or cultural differences, and simply set aside a specific block of time – perhaps noon until 12:15 – for the next 10 days to pray for the president’s well-being? What if we all prayed (according to Scripture) for President Biden to “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness?”
Such a request for 10 days of corporate, nationwide prayer might seem naïve, ridiculous, or even useless, but according to the Word, such prayer would be “good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”
Plus, our prayers could lead to much more than aid for our president. Several incidents in our history have shown us that even a few days of focused prayers might just change the destiny of our nation and lead us back to the foot of the cross.
With that in mind, for the next 10 days, I’m setting a daily alarm for noon. Care to join me?