a rare political post

i’ve hardly ever posted about politics. that’s not a good thing. i post about all kinds of stuff i’m opinionated about, and receive a good amount of grief about it. my lack of posting about anything remotely political is a semi-shameful revelation of my lack of engagement in political issues.

i had an inherited republican voting record, common to my evangelical pedigree. i’ve felt rather “done” with the republican agenda for some years now, but have been too lazy to do anything about it (including — i’m embarrassed to say — not voting in the california primary a few weeks ago because i’m still registered as a republican, so couldn’t vote for the democratic candidate i’d like to be our next president). while it’s difficult to claim that jesus would be one party or the other, i have strongly felt for several years that the much of the spoken and unspoken values of the democratic party are more biblical and jesus-y than much of the spoken and unspoken values of the republican party.

and, while this could very easily come off as johnny-come-lately jumping onto the bandwagon of popularity: i’m an obama supporter. i can’t be a single-issue voter anymore; and while our country and republican leadership haven’t done anything (or been able to do anything? place the blame where you will — it’s not critical to this point) significant about abortion, i’ve found myself embracing a broader view of the value of human life, which includes all the other aspects of valuing human life and god’s creation that seem to be much more inline with democratic values.

i just read this “why im pro-life and pro-obama” article by frank schaeffer on the huffington post. and, while schaeffer still tends to the overstatement and self-promotion he learned from years in the political arena of the religious right, he has some really good things to say.

i’m sure some will respond, “yeah, obama is a charismatic speech-maker; but does he actually have anything to say?” i think this is a popularist reflection of exactly what hillary and the republicans have been feeding us. yes, our political process is laden with overstatement from all sides. hillary claims experience. of course, if experience is all that’s desired, it seems mccain would be the better choice. and i don’t dismiss hillary’s experience — she does have it. but experience in how things have always been done is not what i’m interested in at this time. i’d rather have a good dose of inexperience mixed with passion and authenticity and leadership and values i care about.

i don’t think it’s fair to make the presidential race about gender or race (and have actually been pleasantly surprised that it hasn’t devolved to that very often); but i have to add that i think it’s embarrassing that the united states has never had anything but a white male president.

so there it is: i’m supporting obama. come on, texas and ohio: bring it.

a final disclaimer: while many of my posts here do, in one way or another, reflect views of youth specialties, this one is only me.

61 thoughts on “a rare political post”

  1. I’m a canadian so I am not even going to vote. But it’s very funny to me that people keep voting in “pro-life” candidates, yet abortion is still happening all over the place?

    I don’t get that at all.

  2. Agreed, Mark: I’ve tired of being an issue voter. I’ve voted on the issues many times, and it hasn’t solved much.

    Eight years of Bush, and we’ve got a war we can’t resolve, a government that is increasing in size (and is frighteningly renegade in its perspective on things like privacy and torture), an arrogant reputation in the world-at-large, and (as James mentions) little-to-no progress on key conservative issues.

    So this time, I’m looking for a person of character, who is worthy of trust, and who will inspire and challenge the nation to step up. “What can you do for your country?” It’s been far too long since accountability has been in our national lexicon.

    I’m also aware (perhaps more than ever at this moment) that a president is not able to dramatically alter the moral direction of the nation; only God is capable of that. But if a president will call the people to a higher standard–and also *live it himself*–that will constitute leadership which we have not seen in many years…from *either* party.

    That’s why I’m supporting Obama. Like many here, I’ve never found myself political; it’s distasteful to me. But I see a depth of character in Obama that I’ve seen in very few of our candidates (save Huckabee on the Republican side). The fact is, YES, I find him inspiring. Is such a thing important? Consider what it would be like to have a president who made America proud. With the exception of the months following 9/11, the past 16 years have been remarkably embarrassing years for the Oval Office.

    When it comes to Obama and Huckabee, I don’t fully agree with either man. But I would trust either of them to lead with character and honesty, and to allow their decisions to be informed by their faith. If I take them at their word, both are brothers in Christ, and my conscience could rest easy voting for either one.

    (Joe, I applaud your decision to withdraw your party affiliation — the party system is full of baggage, and only gets in the way of choosing the best candidate. But your no-vote, though it looks noble on the surface, smacks of judgment: “no one lives up to my standards.” Well, no one ever will. Sorry, but I don’t see Christ in that perspective.)

    So for me, this time around is more about the person than the issues. And prayer that God would renew the spiritual vigor of this nation.

  3. if experience was all that was necessary then guys like dick cheney and don rumsfeld would have been perfect for the job…but it turns out that experience is a little overrated.

  4. The smile on the end is a “satire” smile. I do not believe the post. This was a letter – word for word – that I received at church via fax to convine me not to vote for him. They are not my views.

  5. Marko,

    I’m hoping you will go back to NOT commenting on elections. Comment in issues, sure, but lets skip the elections and endorsements. After seeing Tina Fey on SNL this weekend, I’m having to seriously reconsider watching 30 Rock, one of my favorites. I was fine watching it–realizing that I did not agree politically with the main actors–but she went so far in her news comments that I am going to have trouble being amused by her. I hope i won’t be saying the same of you/YS some day after an election.

  6. remember the bumper sticker that said, “Don’t blame me…I voted for Perot”

    but hey, my favorite president was Charlton Heston.

  7. Thanks for sharing your slice of this, Marko. I find that the growing swell of people in emerging churches (or more postmodern in thought) like Obama. Relevant Magazine seems almost like it wants to drool over the guy, but they keep wiping their mouth so we won’t notice. Facebook is littered with “fans of Obama” from people I would never have guessed.

    It’s honestly a bit curious for me… the shift in all of this seems a bit reactive to me. Why so many former Repubs turning Demo? Maybe no one likes Bush, and so let’s do the anti-Bush thing.

    Meanwhile, my neighbor across the street believes Obama is the anti-Christ. Seriously… and Oprah is the beast who will deceive the nations. His ambiguous ideals (i.e. “Is He Christian or Muslim or both?”), “shady name” (poor guy), and so on coupled with “The Oprah” and her audience can seem like a slice out of Left Behind for some.

    Funny, eh?

    And yet… for those who follow popular Lahaye/Jenkins theology I wonder if Obama is just the kind of personality to fill those shoes in the minds of premillenial millenials.

    Politics to me aren’t about winning or losing… they’re about making the right decision in a society of bluffers. I know God gave us a mind to make decisions, but I’m going to spend more time away from the TV ads to make space for more prayer on this one.

    I’m Tony Myles, an Ohio voter, and I approved this message.

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