President Obama, in conjunction with his recent visit to Cuba, sent out an email testimony from a young man who loved baseball. He loved the game so much that he left his country to play baseball in a different venue. His name is Jose Abreu and he left a whole lot more than his country behind.
What I find interesting about Obama’s comments regarding this young man’s pursuit of the game is that he dodges the issue about whether it was right for this man to leave family and friends in Cuba to play baseball in America. In fact, in the interview, the president stammers a bit when spilling out that Abreu had to “be separated” from his homeland. That’s not quite accurate, though. He chose to leave family and friends behind, including a very young son who needed his father.
Abreu could have continued playing baseball in his native country, but he chose to leave Cuban baseball and embraced “high-buck” American baseball which has a much better compensation package, indeed! He makes 7 million a year playing for the White Sox. Naturally, Obama seizes the opportunity to use the historic American-Cuban baseball game as a talking point for how poor the relations have been between America and Cuba for so many years. But there is a reason for the strained relations and the president does not want to broach that topic, let alone dwell on it.
This rich, former Cuban baseball player left his two-year old son behind to make money in America. A father abandoned his family and his young son for the noble cause of making money. He abandoned his role as father. He left behind responsibility. He calls it a “special story.” Folks, it’s time to “call a spade, a spade.”
It is telling and somewhat ironic that the White House labeled Abreu’s testimony “Mi sueno, mi Cuba” (My Dream, My Cuba). It would actually seem quite the opposite. The “dream” sounds a lot like the “Sueno Americano” (American dream) and when Abreu leaves his native country, how can he possibly call it “Mi Cuba”?
Neither Obama nor Abreu seem to have the answer to the real “elephant-in-the-room” question which is “Was the pay-off worth it?” Was the compensation of 7 million dollars a year playing for the White Sox worth abandoning your family and your very young son. We are not supposed to ask that question. It’s too material, perhaps. We are supposed to bask in the glow of Abreu’s reuniting with his son temporarily in Cuba.
But what about the American POWs that may have been detained in Cuba? The president does not want to address their plight. Requests to obtain information about American detainees in Cuba since 1960 have fallen on deaf ears at the White House. But it’s so much easier to focus on a man who is reunited with the son he was “separated” from in Cuba than it is to imagine the horrific state of Americans who were/are tortured in Cuba.
As we contemplate the beauty and the truth of the Resurrection, let us remember the power of choice. Jesus was not simply a victim of separation from the Father. He chose to be the sacrifice, not for fame, fortune, or power, or the “sueno americano” (American Dream), but so that we can be victorious over sin and revel in the glory of the Resurrection one day ourselves. “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:5; ESV).
Miscellaneous audio books
Recently, I had the privilege of speaking with Catholic scholar Mike Freze and the whole thing went a bit long so I ended up having to break it into two portions. Thesecond portion is now available (you may have to download google music to hear the podcasts). Mike and Locust & Honey collaborated and continue to collaborate on audio projects including most recently the third volume of Voices, Visions, and Apparitions. Our next release, which will be featured in an upcoming blog, has to do with the historical Jesus and what is known about him, not only through the gospels, but through outside sources.