Friday, February 15, 2008

Still No Lap Top; still split on the Dems

As you see from the post title, I still have no personal laptop at my disposal. Blah. I haven't been cruising blogs a lot in the last two weeks mainly because driving someone else's machine makes me a little self-conscious. I can't really cruise at work. I can from here, but it just feels foreign going to familiar sites on this other machine. It's a mental block. I'll get over it. I'll have to.

In other ramblings ...

I'm still split on Obama versus Clinton. It really chafes me that Edwards dropped out. I think he brought the best of both. I didn't know how much I liked him until he left. It's like a boyfriend that you thought you were luke warm on until he moved away and you realize the dating pond just got scummier without him. I want to want Clinton, but my aversion to serial political dynasty just won't allow me to. I want to want Obama, but I just don't know enough about him yet, and my aversion to liking things I'm told to like gets in the way. (See #4.) I'm mad at Clinton for voting for the Iraq war and like the fact that Obama (even though he wasn't in the Senate at the time) was publicly against it from the get-go. But damnit, Barack. Could you not please just complete a full term for me, so I can see how you run?

One thing is certain: whichever candidate gets the Democratic nomination will have a hell of an uphill slog to the White House. That's true of any Democratic nominee. Presidential campaign politics have always been crude and nasty, but the neo-cons have made a sadistic, fear-mongering art out of it. Add to the fact that the nominee will be either a woman (an opinionated woman at that - the GREATEST sin of all) or a black man, and I guarantee you, the right will do all they can to crucify the Democratic nominee. And as fear has a stronger tug on people than faith - witness the whole of the middle east and their theocracies; witness my own lame attempts to avoid panic attacks in the London Tube a few weeks after the bombings - they very well could succeed. (Heck, the neo-cons canibalized John McCain; they won't be above preying on prejudices for Hillary and Barack.)

As a minister, my dad gets lots of email from folks who assume because he is a Christian, he will agree with their narrow viewpoints. (Heck, as a Christian, I sometimes get these emails.) Most of these, I think, are sent him from a contingent of old college friends who, from stories I've heard, used to engage in passionate genuine discussion back in the day, but have settled into right-wing thinking - assuming that Jesus is a Republican. (As if he'd get behind any party.) I haven't heard many people worry about Barack Obama's past, though I know the grumblings are out there: Went to a Muslim school! Middle name is Hussein! (Um, who chooses their middle name?) With that in mind - and I'm sure he won't mind - below, please find a brief essay my dad wrote the other day about Barack Obama which he sent out to get ahead of the inevitable mean-ball that will follow this summer and fall.

I have never carried water for anybody but my high school football team and the church of Jesus Christ, and I do not intend to start now. Least of all can any political party or candidate count on me to stake my reputation on them. Like everyone else, I try to choose and support the party or candidate that will best serve the needs of our country and our world, but that does not mean I give up the right to oppose their actions or words when needed.

That first paragraph is to say that the following paragraphs should not be taken as my endorsement of Barack Obama. It is just my meager effort to silence some of the misguided, if not intentionally unfair attacks on him. There may be plenty of good reasons to vote for someone besides Obama, but many of the objections that I (and you?) have been receiving by email and hearing from the windbags on the radio are not good reasons.

We might hope that American voters have had enough of the absurd accusations hurled against candidates for public service. Did you get the email four years ago that said John Kerry would give the Southwestern U.S. back to Mexico? In the 1980s, there were some claiming that Ronald Wilson Reagan was the Beast spoken of in Revelation because there were six letters in each of his three names. Thank God that was before email could be used to spread such nonsense.

As a Christian minister, I am most troubled by some of my colleagues who question Obama’s Christianity. The very idea of one person passing judgment on another’s confession of faith should give us pause, but basing that judgment on the background of his parents or a distorted view of his church (as does an email I received) is inexcusable.

Obama was not raised in the church and then baptized or confirmed in his adolescence as many of us were. Rather, he confessed Christ as a young adult and clearly understands his public service as a way of living out his discipleship. Christians should rejoice in that, not disparage it.

Of course, the fact that Obama is a devout Christian does not mean he should be president. There are many wonderful Christians who would be total failures as president. We all need to examine what the man says and does and make our decisions with clear, rational minds guided by faith, hope, and love rather than by a barrage of unsubstantiated, irrational fears.

Here’s hoping we will do so in this noisy election year.


Virginia Gal said...

aha - so this is why you have been a bit absent in the blog world - I've missed seeing you!

Your dad's words are beautiful - no wonder he is a minister! I too loved John Edwards and simply cannot understand why voters in other states did not like him. But that is neither here nor I'm throwing my support to Obama, for a variety of reasons but namely because I think he has a better chance of winning the general election, better than Hilary.

mommanator said...

Glad to see you back!
HUMM I am in a quandry also!One thing I don't like about Hillary is the fact she is saying she has 35 years in Politics?? I have trouble with that statement! She was just graduating law school & setting up practise 35 years ago.She did at times run in political circles, but that doesn't give her 35 years of experience, nor does being married to a govenor or president.
Barack by my searching truly only has eight years in politics, but seems to mean what he says.
I have both their sites bookmarked and search them periodically just to see what's a happening.
I also think as time passes, the right person will be shown to us!
I also think it's gonna be a brutal fight till the end!