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
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
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.