November 4, 2008

my vote...

Today is a big day! There has been a lot of excited conversation around the Hawthorn House for several weeks now concerning the election. We hosted parties for each debate and many of our community meals turned into conversations about the different propositions. I realized that I have not posted much at all about this election. This doesn't mean that I was not interested, concerned or engaged. I tend to be a bit cynical about our political system but I thought I would share briefly a few of my thoughts concerning voting and this election...

On Voting
There are many people that I deeply respect that do not vote. Most of those people have enlightened me with well thought out theological convictions for their position of not participating in the voting process. I respect this position. There is one problem I have with this: every single one of them is a white, middle class male. It seems to me that this conclusion is often one made because it is an option for a white man to decide not to have a voice. So, I vote and I do my best to vote for those that consistently don't have a voice: the poor and marginalized. A consistent theme of Christian Scriptures is the care for these people. Therefore, I do my best to vote on their behalf.

The truth is we vote every day in how we spend our money. Let's face it, CEO's of international corporations are the kings of the world, not our political leaders. So, we pay honor to them every time we support their companies. I guess if one exclusively bought locally and didn't pay their taxes, I would respect their decision not to vote. At least they'd be consistent. But most people I know that don't vote don't go that far and while I am careful of how I shop, I do pay my taxes... so I vote too.

I could go on about a lot of things up for grabs in this election. But I will briefly address two things and hopefully can come back to some of this (between school, family, ministry, etc.) again.

Let's Talk About Sex

In California, if proposition 8 is passed it will eliminate the right to same-sex marriage in the state. I voted against this. I think it frightening how blindly Christians have wedded the Church and State on this issue. I am not prepared to do so. So, I voted for equal rights under the State.

I have been thoroughly disappointed in the religious rights unloving and unthoughtful posture concerning this issue. The Bible is no clearer on this issue than it is on not eating shrimp. Is it not a bit hypocritical to conduct the same picking and choosing of Scriptures we choose to apply, when we accuse others of doing the same?

I part ways with many brothers and sisters on this issue. I am aware of this. And if people want to start parsing scripture passages, I'm ready. I don't know how helpful it is but...

Obama
The messiah-like language aside, I think Obama is a hopeful sign for this country. I voted for Obama. I think it's about time some one besides a white man had a shot at this thing. Many people have said leave race out of this... which is laughable. As long as we live in the multi-cultural society we do, why should it be that white men always have authority? Race has had much to do with that. I hope that his election gives hope to many who have felt unheard and unrepresented to speak up, stand up and free themselves from apathy. His economics and desire to pull out of Iraq are much closer to what my hopes would be than McCain's... McCain and Palin just scare me quite frankly. Obama's positions are not all of what I would hope they were but it is certainly a step in a much better direction. Much better than Bush's downward spiral of empty rhetoric and horrid foreign policy.

That's it for now. I'm gonna go see how this thing is shaking down now...

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