Sunday, February 03, 2008

Worthwhile Reading

I'm wandering around the web today. This last week has been challenging--sick kids and other concerns--so I haven't been reading and/or blogging much.

I still find myself sick of politics. My bottom line: this election seems exceedingly important to me and I have never seen such a weak field on both sides. Mark Steyn says "it's a shame one of them has to win". Indeed. On the Left, both Clinton and Obama are untested. Clinton has everything the Clinton name implies which so does not interest me. Four years of that, again. Obama seems a mile wide and an inch deep. There just doesn't seem to be any there there. Lot's of people love him, though. McCain strikes me, above all else, as still angry. Others use the word "briny". I know it's a cliché, but he just doesn't have a presidential temperment--his refusal to buckle on anything seems recalcitrant not righteous. Romney, has business experience sure, but I just feel uneasy about him. Is destroying the conservative movement worth any of these people?

This all sounds vague and nebulous, I know, but those are my overarching impressions--never mind the policy decisions they've all made. Other impressions:

Betsy gets at why Bill Clinton has been so wheels off lately.

What place does faith have in elections? I mean, we vote, asserting our point of view. If we were truly faithful, would we vote or get involved with politics at all? Well, Christians do have dual citizenship, feet in two worlds, so it stands to reason to be fully present in both, voting would happen here and praying would happen for there. But how to do this? Does the shrieking hysterics from the likes of Ann Coulter constitute a lack of faith or is she asserting her place in this world? The Anchoress writes on the "hand wringing" and urges conservatives to pray. Like me, she thinks we'll be missing G. W. Bush after he's gone. I think that's a given at this point. Her post calls to mind my favorite scripture: I John 4:18. "There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear." Fear just doesn't go away, it must be replaced with something and that something is love.

That brings me to something else. My Australian friend and I were Skyping last night (isn't technology amazing?) and contemplating the election. For what it's worth, her friends think that McCain will be the American president. Meh. A friend in France was calling it for Giuliani and that's not going to happen. Back to the point. We agreed that people rise to the occasion, that the Presidency forces a person to grow. Now, some Presidents refuse to grow--Jimmy Carter strikes me as one. He chose to stay the peanut farmer. Part of my worry about Mike Huckabee was just that. We don't need a President who refuses to grow into the role. I do feel that for all their faults, any of the people now seriously considered as candidates would attempt to grow (except possibly for McCain), but I do think the Democrats would put forward horrible policies for the nation. The economy is shaky. We don't need shaky leadership.

Back to faith and life. My friend Maxed Out Mama is alive today because someone believed she was worth saving. She discusses forced starvation by dehydration, the medical version of doing harm without actually "doing" anything. It is barbaric and wrong and almost incomprehensible in this day and age, but it happens all the time. I have two friends who were severely brain injured--one in a car accident, the other thrown from a motorcycle. In both cases, they came out of their problems different than they went into them. They are both whole and both could have been left to wither away. Meanwhile, the 35 year anniversary of Roe v. Wade was this last week. What we do to the innocent.

Quote of the week via LaShawn Barber:
I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves. – Harriet Tubman

Her whole post is worth reading, but I'm taking the idea in a different direction. To one extent or another, we are all slaves. Most of us are enslaved by our own beliefs and dogma. For those of us trying to live aware lives, it can come as a shock when we are blind-sided by a blind spot. But we are ready to see when we're ready. When the shake-up happens, the experience begs the question: where else am I enslaved? The benefit of friends, and of therapy or coaching, can be to see the blind spots and change.

But the fact remains: we must acknowledge that we are slaves. To get to freedom, we have to admit we're not free now. It's still the beginning of a new year and a good time to reevaluate beliefs. Are they helpful? Are they true? Do they build joy and happiness or do they limit and create misery?

And with that, enjoy the game. There are winners and losers in life, but the biggest losers are the ones who refuse to play. This week, get in the game!


Anonymous said...

I am listening once again to Scott M. Peck in his series "A World Waiting To Be Born" -Civility, and he talks about how important it is when one attains high levels of leadership, to trust and call on God for their "true power." The highest leadership role would be the Presidency, which calls forth tremendous amount of power that one must "grow into" as you said. Only God can endow a person to successfully lead in such a role. Great post!!!:-)

P.S. I love I John 4:18 as well. It says so much when it is really thought about. ~vj

Anonymous said...

On a different note: check out YouTube's Charlie Chaplain, the fourth clip down where he is dressed like Hitler. Listen to how progressive his thinking was. This was about 1938, as well as his first speaking role. Remarkable!

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

What place does faith have in elections?

Plenty in an era of "Messiah Politics", where candidates become Personal LORDs and Saviors to their Party Faithful.

Whether the Personal LORD and Savior du jour is named Clinton, Obama, Ron Paul, Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, or Ross Perot.

(Type example: Back in '92, my parents were Perotistas. When I visited them that summer -- the last time I saw both of them alive -- most of the visit was high-pressure POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS, i.e. HAVE YOU ACCEPTED ROSS PEROT AS YOUR PERSONAL *LORD* AND SAVIOR?)

sandy said...

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