Wednesday, November 5, 2008

the stuff history's made of

Remember in my first post how I wrote that this blog is mostly for me? :) Well, I have some things that I want to say, and want to remember, and don't really want to be judged for them. So if you read this post, please read it with an open mind. :)

I didn't vote.

I know that Mr. Herman and a number of others would be disappointed to know that I didn't do my duty and participate. :) But I wasn't registered to vote, and kind of used that as my excuse I think, to tell people a reason, but not really have to go into it. But I felt really strongly about not voting. Here's why.

I don't like talking about politics because I've gotten the impression that most people are closed-minded. So I watched a little bit of the debates, read a few of the emails that I got about politics, etc....but I only really know a few things about each candidate. I didn't want to know too much, just in case I would find myself in a conversation with one such closed-minded person, and feel like they were not hearing me, or that because I didn't agree with what they were saying I was somehow less of a person. Here's what I know.

I know that JMC is a hero. I know he suffered greatly for his country, and that's incredibly respectable. And I knew that he is pro-life. And I know that he chose Palin as a running mate, and although I'm not sexist, I do think that politics at a national level without any experience is something that might be harder than she thinks if she were to become president. But I really liked the idea of a woman in such a high position, I'll admit.

I know that Obama was quite inspiring. And I know that Obama supporters kind of freaked me out with thier enthusiasm, because I wondered how much they acutally knew, and how much they were just 'cheering at the pep rallies.' I know that he called for change, whatever that means. And I know that he is pro-choice. And I know that he cares about the poor, and healthcare for all people. And I thought it would be incredible if a country that used to believe that African Americans were less than human could vote one into the highest office our country has.

Growing up in Orange City most of my life, I kind of got the impression that Rublican=Christian. It's true that usually the replublican candidate stands for things we consider "Christian," like being pro-life or thier support of heterosexual marriage. But I think my mom is the first one to put in my head that a democratic candidate might just have some ideas worth thinking about too. She counseled with a lot of people who needed help from the government, and all these "Christian" republicans had no intentions of trying to improve things. I always wondered it she was a closet democrat. :)

So I had this battle in my head...wondering which items were important enough to sway my vote one way or the other. Is abortion the only thing I should consider? (for many people it is, and understandably I think.) But Bush was against abortion and it's still happening. How much power does the president acutally have over certain matters? What if the judges he appoints make decisions we weren't expecting? What about all the other issues that I think are important?

Of course I'm anti-abortion. But if I didn't have Christ as my Savior would I be? would I value life like I do? and here's a whopper...I don't think the government has the right to say that marriage should be between a man and a woman. (gasp!) I haven't said that to very many people, but it's waht I believe. I think that heterosexual marriage makes sense in the Christian world, we know that's how God intended marriage. But lots of people in this country aren't Christians. And if things were reversed, and I lived in a country that didn't allow soemthing I truly believed in just becuase of certain people's religious views, I would be incredibly angry.

But since I AM a Christian, is it my duty to vote for a president who will implement the things I believe are true? OR...is it the Christian's job to be DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD (thanks, very wise person who helped me realize this even more this week...)!?!? The church is NOT supposed to look like the rest of the world. If we have all these "Christian" laws because the evangelical vote won, then people get a distorted view of Christ! And isn't that what we are to be? the image of Christ this world so desperately needs? And is that what the world is getting when we vote pro-choice? not really. that's just a tiny part of waht makes me a Christian.

I have already seen people that I consider to be strong Christians act or say some not-so-Christlike things in this post-election time. I thought McCain's speech last night was more than impressive. He called all of us to JOIN TOGETHER in this time. That is what our country needs. Let's be stronger than we thought we could be. Let's be united! We all have the same president, whether or not we voted for him. THIS is the time to be Christlike.

I just taught a sunday school lesson to my 3rd-5th graders about the 5th commandment-Honor your father and mother. But really, that commandment calls us to honor all those God places in authority. I remember my mom telling me that her dad used to pray for the president every night in their home, whether or not it was someone he voted for or supported. He knew that the person in the role of the president of the USA needed a lot of prayer. and I've never forgotten that. and I pray for the president, even when the world is mocking and disrespecting him. (sidenote-I'm so ready for Bush to be out of office just so the poor man can get away from the disprespect he's endured for the last many years.)

If I had registered, I'm still not sure who would have gotten my vote. And I didn't want to choose someone becuase "I've always voted that way" or "my family votes taht way" or "Christians vote that way." So I thought I'd sit back, pray, at watch it all unfold. I knew God is soverign, and his will would be done.

No matter who you voted for (or didn't vote for), let's please be respectful of each other's opinions. God created us all to be passionate about different things. He did that on purpose. Let's not say or do things that could belittle others. After all, we are ALL made in His image. He loves us ALL, no matter what we believe, or who we voted (or didn't vote) for.

*for a great post on WHO we actually put our trust in, check out my sister's blog here.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was a great post! I found myself agreeing very much with pretty much everything you said! It's very hard to go against the grain in NW Iowa but I'm glad I did because I feel I made the best decision for me. You're extremely brave for putting all your thoughts about your beliefs out there and I really respect you for that! Way to go Andrea!

Randi

Angela Kim said...

I'm sure it won't NECESSARILY get easier as we get older...but being brave enough to talk about things is a step in the right direction. I mean the correct direction. :) Good job for being willing to think through hard things.

The Baby Makes 4 said...

I struggle as you do with all things socially political. I know where I stand from a fiscal standpoint and frankly, neither party is doing well or has a plan to improve in that category. From the social standpoint, I find that the more I ponder it, the more I think that government should not have any position on social issues. These are moral and religious issues and after all, shouldn't we be trying to change people through Christ...not legislation. At the same time, I feel a call to defend the defenseless. With the balance between liberty and order being so delicate, it is difficult to formulate an opinion. Additionally, I applaud you for your stance on unification. I desperately want to stay away from the mindset of, "What's bad for the country, is good for the GOP". We've had 8 years of that thought process from the opposite side of the aisle. It's time we come together and realize that we are all actually on the same team.

~Steve F

Amanda said...

I definitely feel challenged by the whole political world as you do. Thanks for sharing, I think everyone keeps they're voting status a secret because nobody really knows what the right thing to do is. Both parties are figuring stuff out, and neither does it right, they just do it, and its always messy. Religion was never intended to be mixed with politics...

Joel said...

Great blog! Just a few things that crossed my mind while reading it:

-Mom was a Democrat later in life. I talked to her about it. Mostly for the social programs. And I agree they're necessary but abuse of those programs by a few individuals spoils them for many Republicans.

-I feel the same way about gay marriage as you do. Before we Christians worry about two dudes getting married let's worry about why half of all heterosexual marriages end in divorce.

-I care where a candidate stands on social issues, not because I think they'll change anything, but because I want to know they hold the same values as I do for a situation in the future that we can't even fathom. I want our leaders to hold the same value of life that I do. I want them to want to protect those who cannot protect themselves. That's why I care. But it's not a deal-breaker for me.

McCain was right when he said we need to unite. Frankly at this point I'm so tired of people on the left complaining that I'm happy to be done listening to them. I'll support President-elect Obama as much as I can. I just hope he didn't dupe 62 million people.

And I pray to God he's not tested by Iran, North Korea, any of the 'Stans, Hamas, Hezbollah or any other organization or nation not friendly to the U.S. I feel like one of these groups or countries will act like a two year old: test the waters to see what they can get away with. If nothing happens, take it a step further and see. That's what scares me.

Renee said...

AMEN.

Mandarina said...

Andrea, so well said and a truly unique perspective. I admire your courage, and these words are great to have for posterity's sake, for your children to look back on and know their mom just a little better once they are old enough to understand these things. Two thumbs up from me! :)

PennyLane said...

Such wonderful insight!