Hail to the Chief

Since it’s the day after the American election, I decided it would be fairly appropriate to write a political entry. Fun! I tend to stay out of political debates because I feel unqualified to make any arguments. I don’t like being dogmatic about anything I’m not absolutely sure about, and I’m not absolutely sure about a lot of things. But I’ve decided I can at least have an opinion, and that opinion deserves to be heard just as much as anybody’s. So here goes.

I am a Christian. I am a Christian and I voted Obama. I am a Christian and I proudly voted Obama. (Now, I would have rather voted Ron Paul, but I actually wanted my vote to count.) I am so sick of hearing Christians say it’s morally wrong to vote Democrat. Not all of them do, but enough do that I think the issue needs to be addressed. I’m pretty sure most who hold that position would take it back if they actually stopped to think about what they’re promoting.

Throughout the past few months, I have actually heard people say the following: the Republican party brings Godly virtues to America by restricting immoral practices that the Democratic party supports (abortion and homosexuality are the two main ones). They say if you don’t vote to keep these things illegal then you’re not standing up for your Christian beliefs. Most disturbingly, they say that God will only bless America if we have a Republican president, because heaven forbid we have a president who doesn’t try to get Roe v. Wade overturned.

I just don’t understand how those people can say such things and think they’re following Christ. America isn’t God’s appointed nation. America is an earthly nation that happens to have a large so-called Christian population. We, my brothers and sisters, are brought together as the Body of Christ (I apologize to those who didn’t grow up in church for using “church terms,” please bear with me), and the Body of Christ has no nation. I will live my life in as Godly a way as I can, and I will continue to rely on the Lord for that. I don’t need a “Christian” government to do that. Why do we assume we need to hold non-Christians to the standards we hold for ourselves?

After examining the Bible and what it says about these issues—(which is not as clearcut, easy to understand as Christians tend to automatically think, mostly because they’d rather sit in a pew and have them told what they believe rather than look it up for themselves and see what it really says)—after examining the Bible, you may still think abortion is wrong, you may still think homosexuality is wrong….but in God’s name don’t you dare try to turn that into justification for blanket laws that take away a person’s rights as a human being and a citizen of America. Because, guess what, not everyone in America is a Christian, and even among Christians those issues are blurry. And those laws aren’t going to make any converts.

There were so many other issues that needed to be considered in this election, and I got thoroughly sick of pastors telling their congregations to vote McCain just because of Obama’s stance on abortion.

I realize I’m probably making myself very unpopular among my Christian friends right now, and I apologize for that. But I cannot and will not (and did not) vote for a foreign policy, economic plan, and environmental stance that I severely disagree with on the sole basis of a single ethics issue that really shouldn’t be part of the president’s job, anyway.

I’m not saying no one is justified in voting Republican. If you truly believe in the overall policies of the candidate, you should vote for him or her. It’s the staying blind to the rest of the political aspects and focusing on a single issue that bothers me. It’s also the assumption that a certain candidate is God-endorsed and anyone who votes for the other side must not be a real Christian.

I read an article that attempted to rebut Dianne Feinstein’s argument that California’s Prop 8 is discrimination, and it actually further solidified my support for legalizing gay marriage because of the ridiculous faux-logic it used. But I have already written more than I intended, so maybe I’ll just send it (and my thoughts about it) to anyone who asks. For those who aren’t in the know: Proposition 8 was supposed to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.

I wrote the majority of this at the beginning of the week, because I knew it would take me a significant amount of time. That made it even more interesting to finish up after the results of the election. And so I get to sit at my computer and breathe a sigh of relief as I type this. I really hope America has taken a step for the better, and I also really think we have.

You may have noticed I didn’t go into any detail on my political views. That’s because I don’t like talking about them, I prefer sitting back and listening to what everyone else has to say. But this “Screw the socialist, I’m a gun-totin’, Bible-thumpin’ American for McCain/Palin!” attitude that’s been so prevalent in my neck of the woods has been so irritating, I had to get my frustration out somehow. Seriously, how can you go around saying brash things like that, and then wonder why people cringe at the term “Christian”? Yes, Christ is always going to be controversial, because His ways are not our ways, but that doesn’t give you the license to make His name the basis for your prejudices. His message was one of love, and caring for the less fortunate. What about “I’ll keep my freedom, my guns, and my money—you can keep the change” says, “Jesus loves you”?

Okay, rant over. Well, in blog form, anyway.

-Rachange for the better

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15 thoughts on “Hail to the Chief

  1. Right now I’m loving you more than I already do…this is the same thing that I’ve been telling some of favorite Bible carrying friends.

  2. Amen, sister. I’m so glad you wrote and posted this. We should not use Christianity as an excuse to be ignorant of the real issues in our country right now, or as a reason to vote. Our president is only a man, after all, not our elected religious leader.

  3. I am going to have to completely agree to disagree with you on this issue! First of all, the things that matter to God should be important to you and should carry more weight than that of economics, the environment etc. Secondly, I don’t understand your justification of Obama’s economics, what person wants to raise taxes on the people who create the jobs in an economic recession. How can you support a man who so fundamentally goes against everything our founding fathers shed their blood for. Thirdly, banning gay marriage is not discrimination just like banning a brother from marrying his sister is not discrimination. We as Christian should not hate gays, but should also not sit there and condone their sin, just like we don’t condone murder! All I have to say is that I believe your logic is flawed, and that our founding fathers would have their muskets cocked and ready to shoot us if they knew that we just possibly overturned the greatest nation on earth by electing a socialist murderer who care for nothing but himself!!!

  4. I agree with your sentiment, though I disagree with your politics. It’s cool that you voted for Obama; we can still be friends. In fact, I may have to use you as a political sounding-board in the future, precisely because you disagree with me.

    As for Obama…naw, I’m not going to go into it.

    Prop 8…as far as I see, we jsut restored the standard definition. Allowing a definition that’s at least 6400 years old to be arbitrarily changed would just be silly. Of course, I think the fact that government specifies what marriage is/isn’t is fairly daft, but unavoidable given how we’ve got thing structured nowadays.

  5. rachel! i couldn’t agree more and am soooo proud of you and your rant!

    hugs of hope, love and change from dc,
    jo

  6. Thanks for your comment on my blog, Rachel–I agree with most of what you said here, although like Idhrenduring I disagree with your politics. I have a number of friends who voted Obama, though I did not, and I respect their decisions and certainly wouldn’t presume to question their Christian sincerities. Same-sex marriage is a difficult question, and I have friends who considered both sides of that as well. I would be interested to know what article you read regarding Feinstein’s argument. But in any case, congratulations to you and your candidate; and regardless of who or what won in the election, may God bless America!

  7. Man. You’re smart!

    Why does it always come down to one question (or two) for Christian voters? How do you vote on abortion and/or gay rights? Important issues, but really? Are they the MOST important to all Americans? Now? With the global economy in meltdown, the Taliban continuing to rise its ugly head in Afghanistan and other places, spiking unemployment, and rising health care costs – and Osama Bin Laden still on the loose? Come on, people. Try to force yourself to consider all things, not just those narrow few.

    Good job, kid. You know I’m all about the super powers – way to use YOURS for GOOD. Big pride.

    (Shhh – don’t tell Desha, but I voted for Obama, too.)

  8. Awesome, awesome.

    I totally agree with you, including the voicing part. This entire year the only time I voiced in was yesterday and I don’t think it really counted.

    My biggest beef with political Christians is that I don’t believe Christ was a politician in the American politics sense. He changed the way people related to the government by inserting love and made a change by loving people.

    As far as legalizing sin, if homosexuality is sin it’s no more so than being a drunkard, watching porn or worshiping another god, but I don’t see anyone banning those things. As you said, it’s a personal change and we have no right to say I am a Christian and the founding fathers were Christian so all Americans must abide Christian values.

    Technically you could say that our fore fathers were Native Americans… well, I come from a line of Jews and various other religions I just happen to be born in America and I am a Christian.. where am I going with this? Who knows!

    I’m glad that I married into a family of good thinkers. If I even mention to my family that I voted Obama they’d have my head on a plate!

  9. As far as legalizing sin, if homosexuality is sin it’s no more so than being a drunkard, watching porn or worshiping another god, but I don’t see anyone banning those things. As you said, it’s a personal change and we have no right to say I am a Christian and the founding fathers were Christian so all Americans must abide Christian values.

    Very well put. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  10. Rae – thanks for that. Even though it wasn’t just for me, I appreciate your thought.

    And btw, this is exactly what I’ve tried to articulate to people for years: I don’t believe being gay is a sin. I didn’t choose it. I’m doing the best I can with the hand I was dealt in a world that isn’t perfect. But even if I’m wrong, and it IS a sin, it is JUST A SIN, the same as any other. Thank God I’m covered.

    The thing is, the way I see it: I pay taxes, like everyone else. I don’t get a break on them. Being gay is not a crime. If I’m a law-abiding citizen, I should be entitled to every same right as every other law-abiding citizen, and not denied those rights due to a religious objection.

    As one of you said: Separation of church and state, people.

    That’s all.

    Except that gay people should leave the churches alone. Stop accusing them of discriminating – guess what? It’s their RIGHT to discriminate. They are private entities. They should not be threatened with losing their tax-exempt status, and we shouldn’t be trying to force our way in where we aren’t welcome. Take this fight to the steps of city hall, the state capitol, the Congress. But the churches should be FREE to do what they wish, and exclude whomever they wish, based on their beliefs. It’s a dang free country, okay? So churches, do as you wish, it’s okay with me. I’ll go someplace where I CAN be welcome. I’ll pass that on to the other gays.

  11. Well, it seems everyone’s got their two cents in here, so here’s mine:

    Vote Obama and you leave the homosexuality/abortion issues unadressed.
    Vote McCain and you leave mountains of foreign policy issues unaddressed.

    Gay’s and women have choices about what to do with their lives, and those choices will be made regardless of law.
    The rest of the world, left at the mercy of American ‘free trade’, has no semblance of freedom or choice.

    Choose your battles, kids.

  12. I’m so glad we’re talking about this! I love to hear people’s opinions and love it when we can do so in a respectful manner. As Dennis Praeger puts it, I prefer clarity to agreement – so let’s talk! I’m going to hi-jack the conversation over to gay marriage for a moment.

    I don’t expect or demand agreement from anyone. I know that many of you (family, friends, fellow Christians) don’t approve of me being gay and don’t approve of my having gotten married to Gail – and that’s okay! That’s what’s so awesome about living in a free country! We all get to have our own opinions! (hehe – now you can just put us in the same category as anyone else that got married who you didn’t think should!)

    What I do hope for is respectful, civil treatment. Being kind to me, being respectful of me, being loving towards me, does not mean you approve of me – it just means you’re being a kind, loving, respectful person. Something we hopefully all want to be.

    To me, if you’re opposed to gay marriage and yet it becomes legal, it’s no different than any other moral issue that’s legal today that you don’t agree with: Pornographic magazines are legal. You and I may wish they weren’t, but they are. We’re outvoted on that. So what do we do? We don’t buy them. We don’t work in that industry. We don’t encourage anyone to work in that industry. We teach our children not to get involved with it, and why, even though the day they turn 18 they can legally go buy one if they want. yada yada.

    Same with prostitution, which is legal in Nevada. Same with x-rated movies. Same with getting drunk on legal alcohol. Same with having sex outside of marriage. Same as living together without being married. Same with gambling. et. cetera. All legal.

    There are many, many things that are legal that we may or may not agree with. If we disagree – we don’t participate, even though we are allowed to legally, and we have to allow those that want to participate in those things to go ahead and do so.

    It would be the same if gay marriage is legal and you don’t think it should be. You’d be outvoted. You would not participate in it. You would teach your children not to do it. The same as you do now in regard to gay relationships. That’s your right! Isn’t that great?

    And we all have the right to try to change the laws to reflect our morality and beliefs – that’s human nature! But if we get outvoted, we have to live in that world (a secular world, not a religious one), and absolutely keep fighting for what you believe in. Try again! You have that right! I LOVE THIS COUNTRY!! That’s what we ALL are doing. And in the mean time, when we’re outvoted, we live as best we can within the laws we don’t agree with, and be respectful of PEOPLE with other points of view, just as we want them to be respectful of US as people, whether they agree with us on the issues or not.

    Whew – too much to address and discuss in one blog entry – I realize that – just trying to toss some more comments onto the discussion.

  13. i have to say that i don’t like the argument that lots of things we don’t like are legal so why not one more (i also know that that’s not entirely what anyone is saying). i feel that it simply invites those that believe that god’s laws should be our secular laws to bring it on, full throttle. that’s the last thing i want to encourage because i believe that the ultimate law of doing unto others as you would have done unto, the laws of love, of compassion should be our ultimate rule of law. how else can you have a just society that encompasses more than one walk of life? how else are you human?
    keith olbermann dedicated his special comment last night to this issue…i don’t watch msnbc. i don’t have a tv. but a friend shared this with me and it moved me to tears. watch. love. and hope for change.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27650743

  14. I grew tremendously infuriated with politics this year and refused to vote. I hope I am not offending anybody by this.

    I have enormous respect for people and their freedoms here in America. What I can’t stand is people’s differences tearing them apart.

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