This year is the first time I’ve really been interested in politics in a while. I’ve been pretty disillusioned with the government in general and truly doubt lawmakers’ ability to make any real change. So while I’ve always done my public duty of trying to research candidates before each election and voting, I really haven’t put much stock in any of them.
This year however during the primaries I became intrigued with Obama and his different sort of approach to politics. He’s seems to be a far cry from the business as usual politics of the past few decades of my life anyway. To be honest, although I plan to vote for him I honestly doubt that he can accomplish much of what he plans to do. I’m just a skeptic, I guess. But I have to support his desire to make some changes and avoid the politics as usual approach that so many Americans have grown weary of.
My dad is horrified that I’m actually consider voting for the Democratic party. Real Christians don’t do that, do they? :-0 I have to admit that I was equally horrified about 15 years ago when a very close Christian friend who I highly respected shared that he was very active in the Democratic party. I honestly believed at that time that no Christian could support the Democratic party. I’ve come quite a long way in my thinking.
So my dad has been sending me e-mails about the evils of Obama, most of which I checked on truthorfiction.com and can’t remember that other website–you know the one. I found the e-mails to be wholly or partially false. Dad gave be Bill O’Reilly’s book Culture Warrior for my birthday last year. I have yet to read it–I always have a stack of 10-20 books in my “to read” pile. And I put it on the bottom. He sent me an e-mail asking me to read it before the election. So I did start it last night. I’m not that impressed after the first few chapters. I am also reading Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne before the election. Here’s an excerpt from a letter I am in the process of writing to my dad:
Just want to let you know that I started reading Culture Warrior last night. I am planning to finish it and another book I’m reading called Jesus for President before the election. Your determination to change my political views shows to me one significant difference in the way you and I think. You trust more in people’s ability to change things than you do in God’s plans for the world, not just our country. This skewed view of Americans that we are God’s favorite country is totally contradictory to the Bible. God loves every starving and/or AIDS-afftected person in Africa just as much as He loves you and me. While I will fight to keep America and it’s freedoms from falling, I believe that sometimes God’s plans are bigger than our plans. If He thinks we’ve had enough time to transform the world with all of our wisdom, wealth, and resources that we have MOSTLY chosen to use only to benefit ourselves, He may have plans to bring our nation down. I don’t know. I DO know that I love my country, and I do not want this to happen. While I can do my part, the rising and falling of a nation is ultimately out of my hands. What IS within my power (or rather God’s power working through me) is my ability to change my little corner of the world and make it a better place. I constantly point out to my children how much better off we are than people in most countries and try to teach them to appreciate our freedoms and wealth. But I also teach them that with great wealth and resources comes great responsibility. Reminds me of the verse about to whom much is given much will be required. While I teach them the importance of loyalty to our country, I also teach them that our ultimate loyalty should be to God. I don’t want my children to experience the horrible things that they might if the U.S. falls from power within their lifetimes, but I am teaching them that they can endure ANY hardship they face in life if they put their trust completely in God.
I do believe in separation of church and state, however, Christianity is not meant to be one part of our lives separated from everything else. If we are fully devoted followers of Christ, it will permeate EVERY part of our lives. It also doesn’t mean we go around talking religion everywhere we go. It does mean we go around living as Jesus lived whether that is with our family or at work or in the political arena.
Dad asked me via e-mail recently what I though of Palin. I shared with him that I heard that her speech was awesome. I am not purposely researching the candidates. I just don’t have time for that. I just hear whatever I can on tv(our satellite got knocked out when the tree hit so not much news there) or radio. But I have stumbled across two not-so-flattering blog posts on Palin by accident. I would like to share them for whatever they are worth. I honestly have not even finished reading the second one because it’s so long. First one is here. Second is here.
Just want to share these with those of you seeking guidance about the election. My personal opinion is that McCain chose Palin as running mate as a last ditch effort to try to win the election. Just my two cents and I promise it’s not worth much.
I do plan to post more of my letter to my dad in further posts. The rest is not about politics but about my other views on life that differ from his and from a lot of traditional Christians’ views. As I was writing it, I just kept thinking of people I needed to share this with. So I plan to post it here for all to see. Also, Dad, sorry if you read this before I send your letter to you. (I don’t think he reads my blog.)
One more note–if you are a Christian who is deeply concerned with the state of the world, not just our country although it certainly has enough problems, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Irresistible Revolution: Living As an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne. It is one of the most challenging and thought-provoking books I have ever read. I’m still struggling through what I believe about some of the things discussed in that book.