Tuesday, April 22

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

This conversation has been all over our blogdom circles the last twenty-four hours. Whether you tend to side with the likes of Mark and Greg or lean more towards a view shared by Jared or Mike, it is a hot topic, to be sure (where are all of the thoughtful political discussions led by women??). This election cycle has brought out great passion in many people, which is such a great thing for our country! In years past, there was a lot of talk of the apathocracy that is the American public; this year's elections have awakened the sleeping beast it seems.

So let's hear it...If you had to vote today, where would you check your ballot: Clinton, Obama, or McCain? And most importantly, why? What leads you to support a candidate? What sways you most - the particular hot issues at hand, the party, or the candidates overall character? What issues are non-negotiable?

Tell me what you think! *Be Nice* as you share.


Lori Ann said...

To be honest it will not be McCain.

kristi w said...

Hmmm...not many takers on sharing our political views, huh? I wonder why that is.

I guess I didn't share my own as I asked you for yours. If I had to vote today, I think I would cast my ballot for Obama. I recognize, though, that although I have kept up on a lot of the political conversations of late, I have not done the kind of analysis I need to in order to make a completely well-informed decision. I actually like all three candidates pretty well; today I would be voting for Obama on character and overall platform. Still more homework to do, though.

Allan White said...

I'm passionate about this topic. However, I just can't drop a one-liner on this one. Pages would spill out given the time. Not happy with either party, but very impressed with Obama.

Before the flaming starts, though, first read his last book ("Audacity of Hope"). I appreciate greatly a political thinker who articulates his reasoning behind policy positions. I also think this country needs someone who can heal wounds and build bridges, both domestically and internationally.

That said, I do have concerns on some positions (he needs better foreign-policy wonks advising him, for example), but at the end of the day, we have to make a choice that takes all these issues into account.

Alright, you've got me started. Better stop now while I'm ahead!

Cheryl Russell said...

I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out if and to what extent God wants me involved in politics. On one hand, I think that political involvement can be positive as it can shine a light on, and facilitate change on issues that I feel are important to my faith. For example, the poor, I am interested in finding out what candidates want to do to help those in need. This is one example of an issue where I can see that political power could be used for good. On the other hand, I am wary of “hiding” behind religious politics. I believe it can lead to apathy when it comes to discipleship. It is much easier for me to express my “passion” for these issues at the voting booth, than it is for me to go out into my community and help to bring about change. Are politics the answer to the changes that the world needs? The problem I am struggling with is that Christ does not appear to have chosen a political path. He only campaigned for His Father in Heaven. I don't see Him aligning Himself with the government of His time, but I do see Him taking care of those oppressed by that government. I'm not saying He wasn't a political figure, just that He did not involve Himself with the process in the same way that many modern day Followers do. His involvement was more personal. His focus was reconciliation. Finally, I don't think we can legislate people to change their hearts and lives and live out God’s plan. So many of the issues that we want the government to stand for, really just appease the spiritual conscious, but I think that God wants me to be invested and involved on a more personal and spiritual level. Sorry for the lengthy blabbing, this is just something that God and I are sorting through at the moment!

Glenn said...

I used to be a true blue conservative. I'm still conservative,believing in the free enterprise system, but am more interested in character and moral fitness. If we had a candidate who truely loved and depended upon God, who had proven moral character, he would get my vote, regardless of political persuasion. But, alas, there doesn't seem to be anybody like that on the scene - certainly not Hilary who has shown her colors as an opportunist, regardless. Although I was pulling for Obama over Clinton, I am beginning to have serious questions about him over the long haul. McCain does not excite me. If you haven't noticed, I have a problem this election year. I guess my only hope is to have a wonderful vice-president candidate who could eventually take over.

Allan White said...

Some great comments here; Glenn, I think that's the most I've heard from you on politics ever. I appreciate you sharing!

I'm digesting these thoughts; I may revisit some things I see here later.

Allan White said...

I've read from several people lately that they've been contemplating whether Christians should be involved with politics at all.

My take: while political involvement isn't a Christian priority per se, we can't avoid it altogether. We must pay taxes and obey [just] laws. The Bible is clear on this point. While voting isn't a mandatory law (perhaps it should be!), I do think participating by at least voting is the duty of being an American. It's the least we can do to participate in a great country like this one.

If it is our moral duty to vote, then it follows that it's worth spending time exploring issues and candidates so a good decision can be made. That's the lens I view politics through currently. I try to be aware of the limits political power has in affecting the world. Cheryl brought up some good points in that area.

Glenn said...

Re: Christians in politics:
God has always seen fit to place his special leaders in places of influence on the political scene. Joseph and Daniel stand out, but there was Esther in her special role. Maybe the judges and Kings of Israel don't count because Israel was a religious/political system set up by God. However, can you imagine what would have happened if David had chosen to continue herding sheep? I don't know whether Paul was in any way active in the election process in the Roman Empire, but he certainly was keenly aware of citizenship and used it very effectively. He would have been turned loose except for his appeal to Ceasar, a calculated political maneuver, and then he used his captivity to reach those in the political arena in Rome. Christians are to be the salt of the earth; a city set on the hill; a light shining, not covered up; leaven - that means involvement with the society, and yes, reaching into the halls of government with Christian influence. I believe that we should use whatever influence we have, whether the vote, a volunteer in the political process, or if we have the skills and can remain Christian, to seek political office - the school board, legislature or Presidency.

Allan White said...

Glenn, some great points. It would be hard to advance a political career without making some compromises along the way. It'd be interesting to explore how some navigate this path without, well, sin. Examples: Huckabee, Jimmy Carter, Obama (has a chapter on Faith in his book).

I always think of Jeff and how he refuses to pay bribes, which would seem necessary to get anything done in Uganda. No doubt it has caused trouble, but he's made it work and stayed true to that principle.

I appreciate you sharing, Glenn - it's a topic avoided around the dinnertable with us, probably to keep the peace. But, you have a lot of experience worth sharing.

Jared said...

I won't be excited or happy about it, but I'll be voting for McCain.

It would be nice if Obama really was a post-racial candidate who would "cross the aisle" to get things done. But on any significant cultural issue of our day -- abortion, gay marriage, etc. etc. - not one of these would Obama go against his party for the sake of unity. So it's clear that what Obama means is that conservatives will have to forego their convictions if Obama is to "work with them".

Obama has sat in the pews of a church led by a racist pastor for 20 years. Does it mean Obama's racist? No. But it shows bad judgement. If McCain had sat in the pews of a white racist pastor for 20 years, you know it would be an issue. Obama called his grandmother a "typical white person". What is a "typical white person"? Can you imagine McCain calling someone a "typical black person" or "typical asian person"? But Obama gets a pass from the media.

What about abortion? Obama was one of only a couple of senators from either party to vote against the "Born Alive" legislation. If an abortion is "botched" and a baby is born alive, the hospital/clinic is obligated to provide the baby with medical treatment to preserve its life. Obama wouldn't have required that, though.

And Obama would like to unilaterally disarm America, make its military weaker, which will allow more nations to continue their genocidal ways, like Sudan in Darfur. And when Obama pulls all troops out of Iraq and genocide ensues there, will he and the other Democrats be held accountable for it, just as they were responsible for the mass killings in Vietnam after they successfully turned public opinion against that war? Likely not. Democrats hold sway in the media and history departments of Academia.

So, vote for Obama? No way. Do I like McCain? Not a chance, but Obama will do all he can to make sure America acts as guilty as he thinks it is in the eyes of Europe. Guess that's all that matters these days: Not standing for what is right but slinking back because a secular, humanistic Europe and a blood-thirsty Middle East have an "unfavorable" opinion of the U.S.

It's sad to see what the world is coming to. The war that everyone hates now is exactly the same war that was fought against Hitler and his fascist government. Back then, people had a sense of what was right and wrong. Now everyone just tries to find a way to make America look bad because they all want to see America get is comeuppance. And for what? Because they just don't like George Bush? Because they wanted Al Gore to win in 2000? It's sad that so many will excuse so much evil because that evil shares with them a hatred of one man.

Jared said...

Not meaning to pile on, I found this article about homegrown terrorist, Bill Ayers, founding member of the Weathermen, a radical terrorist group that grew out of the radical student movement of the 60s. There goal was to bomb as much of the American infrastructure as they could, though they only succeeded to a small degree (thankfully).

Oh yeah, Obama kicked off his campaign with Ayers and another member of the radical group, and here is a photo of Ayers showing his love for America:


This is who is supporting Obama. Just FYI.

Allan White said...

Jared, I don't even know where to begin. Your comments are full of bias, factual errors, logical fallacies, and blind allegiance to the right-wing extremist media you seem to bathe in. It's clear to me that you're willing to listen only to those voices and not even listen to any other viewpoints. Would you even listen - actually listen - to me, a friend?

It hurts me to write that. Jared, I really do love you as a brother and friend. It just hurts me to see so much bile and anger come out of your poison pen - not just here, but on your blog in particular. I wouldn't say this if it wasn't a long, torrid pattern.

I'm feeling rant-y, so here's more about how I feel on this.

Back to your post, now, honey.

Allan White said...

By the way, just because some wacko supports a candidate, doesn't make the candidate beholden to their views. That's a logical fallacy.

And what of McCain's pastor, John Hagee? I'd like to ask our friends who went down to New Orleans to rebuild lives if they think God sent Katrina to punish the city for wickedness, as Hagee preaches. At least faith matters to Obama - have you read his chapter on faith in his book?

Allan White said...

BTW, I updated my blog URL title (it was auto-generated, and waaay to long). Here's the updated link.