Posts Tagged ‘politics’

To Debate or Not To Debate

September 27, 2016

“They” said the rating for the presidential candidate debate would be in the range of Super Bowl audiences.

I have the graduate studies in political science. My wife wanted to watch the debates. I said, why. We know whom we are voting for. The debate will change nothing. And then you go to bed emotionally intense. Now you don’t get a good sleep. Then the next morning you feel down.

A quick check of last night for something couldn’t get past the hype. This is “crucial”; the most important thing; and so on. This morning–not so much.

Ah, hype. So ephemeral.

I post a marketing message every morning on Facebook for a local business. That forces me to Facebook. People had been posting about who “won” the debate. Each side said “polls” said that their candidate won. Tip–don’t put faith in the polls.

It must be significant that I’m not emotionally involved “for” a candidate. Mostly I’m emotionally involved against one. I’m not going to change. As soon as I can vote absentee, I will. Then it’s over for me until election night when I will allow myself some worry.

Mostly, I’m trying not to be manipulated by the media or by a candidate. Mostly, I’m trying hard (and not all that successfully) to live a spirit-filled life concerned with the more important matters (to paraphrase my Teacher).

And take care of my health.

I’ve heard these political charges before. Kennedy was elected and the Pope didn’t rule the US (remember those days?). Johnson was elected and most of us survived. Nixon was elected and the country made it through. And so on.

Presidents can’t do anywhere close to what they promise. The American people as a whole are industrious and creative. We keep the country growing. Mostly we need politicians to protect us and support us.

And we just need to maintain perspective from the better point of view.

Oh What a Relief It Is

March 16, 2016

We voted in Ohio today. Probably the most important vote I had was for a school levy. There is always hope that we can educate the next generation to seek facts and be more rational than their elders.

Well, it was a good idea, anyway.

In the end, I decided to go with the young people and feel the bern, even though that assures he’ll lose. I seldom vote for winners.

We only had a week or so of the blitz. Since I seldom watch TV, I missed any political ads that might have aired. I’m not sorry.

I know from Facebook that I needed to vote for one candidate because I’m a Christian. No, wait, another candidate is really the Christian. Er, maybe the third one. It’s all so confusing. Heck, there were Christians voting for non-Christians in the name of voting for a Christian. How does anyone keep it all straight?

They have come and gone. I hope they left a lot of money behind to help our economy.

Maybe we can leave the hate and emotions and negativity behind and go back to being Jesus-followers again. The simple stuff that’s hard to do–love your “racist” neighbor, help those in need-even if they voted Democrat, soothe an injured soul emotionally beat up by a fervent politico.

You won’t read much about all this in the New Testament. Rome didn’t operate this way. We actually have seen some progress as humans in 2,000 years. But life is still difficult. Jesus tells us little. He was concerned with our heart. I fear that many of us injured our hearts in the campaign. Maybe it’s time to consult the Supreme Cardiologist.

Paul simply says that God put governments here to preserve order. And that’s a good thing. Ask anyone who comes from a country with no rule by law.

Let’s count our gratitude–and gird our loins for the coming general election hype. Remember that Jesus isn’t voting for one or the other. He’s hoping that we have our hearts in the right place no matter how we vote.

What’s An Evangelical And Why Are We So Popular?

March 11, 2016

Evangelicals must be an important group of people, whoever they are. Not from a religious point of view. Not even from a spiritual point of view. I guess more from a “traditional family values” point of view (therefore many who voted for a Mormon for president thinking they were voting for a Christian).

I bring up that voting thing, because we don’t read story after story every day in the news about evangelicals changing lives. We read about evangelicals as a voting bloc.

I guess all evangelicals vote for the same candidates. Well, er, not exactly if this year’s Republican race to the Presidential election is an indication. Evangelicals love Cruz. Except when they love Trump. Well, maybe they like Rubio. Or Carson (oops, he’s dropped out).

I was raised in the Methodist Church. If you are British, especially English, that may have more meaning than in the US. John Wesley and his friends (who followed spiritual disciplines methodically–get it?) decided to take the church outside the walls and preach and teach to where the people were.

The article about evangelicals in Wikipedia credits Wesley as one of the founders of the movement. The article estimates that about 13% of Christians are evangelicals. It tries to define evangelical, ultimately ending in confusion. But it begins by saying evangelicals believe in salvation by grace through faith in the resurrection of Jesus. Hmm, I figured that would define all Christians. Guess I’m wrong?

In the early 70s, I was trying to figure out what it meant to be evangelical. At that time, evangelicals did not participate in politics (remember those days?). I found a group called Evangelicals for Social Action. Christian evangelicals working for peace and justice for all people.

Sometime in the mid 70s to be evangelical meant being white. And building schools where white people could send their white kids so that they wouldn’t have to go to school with black kids. And I came fresh from the movement of Christian people working for civil rights–for black people. What’s an evangelical?

In the end, I am saddened that society thinks of evangelicals as a voting bloc to be manipulated.

I wish that we were back to the roots of the word where articles about evangelicals reported on how we change lives of hurting people through teaching, preaching, feeding them and bringing them into a life-changing community of worshipers and servants.

Let’s Just Hate Them All (Not)

December 8, 2015

I am so saddened. A news alert just came across my iPhone. Presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for barring all Muslim people (I doubt that he calls them people) from entering the country.

OK. OK. I know that he is running for office and is on one of those populist platforms that plays to a segment of the American population. William Jennings Bryan (yes the guy who defended the creation-in-seven-24-hour-days lawsuit) ran for president four times as a Democrat on a free silver platform appealing to the lower middle classes of his day. He lost all by huge margins. We have a history of populist candidates.

I know better. I shut out most of that sort of news. Most politics are just not interesting to me anymore. I did spend a year in a Master’s level political science program back when it was hard to get into grad school. I got something like a 99-percentile on the Graduate Record Exam in Politics. I’m not ignorant–just not engaged.

From a spiritual discipline point of view, however, I am so sad that someone feels he can appeal to a large segment of a “Christian” nation by pandering to the lowest of fears and emotions. Judging by my Facebook news thread, many people who call themselves Christian are eating this up.

I have many friends who follow Islam. Also Buddhists and Hindus. Just as my Christian and sort-of-Christian friends, they are all good people. They were created in God’s image. God loves them. I am commanded by my master to love them. I need to show them as a Jesus-follower that we are not all Crusaders bent on wiping out all “non-Christian” peoples.

Yes, we need to deal with evil people. But to paint everyone as evil because of a few is a travesty.

Lord, guide me to following the spiritual disciplines of prayer and seeking wisdom. And so for my fellow citizens of my country. And every country.