Friday, May 18, 2007

Who are you going to vote for? Does it matter?

One of my favorite discussions to have with my friend Ryan are related to politics. If you know Ryan you are well aware that he has serious Mennonite leanings that usually pull him out of the political debate. I struggle a lot with this issue, not least because I graduated with a Political Science major in undergrad and spent a summer in Washington D.C., but I am attempting to determine what the role of Christians should be in that political arena. I truly believe that it must be seen as a double-edged sword that must be understood carefully. On one hand, the Kingdoms of this world, and specifically the United States, is not representative of the Kingdom of God and when it gets misconstrued in that direction we have a serious problem. On the other hand, we have to pay taxes (unless you're like the militia group I was reading about in the latest Jack Reacher novel who avoid taxes, but also stockpile arms and kill lots of people. They have more problems than could be mentioned here. If you are part of a militia group please respond and we can sort through these things.). These tax dollars go to a government and this government sometimes asks my opinion for how to spend that money. In light of that I feel as though I would be remiss to not take advantage of the change to share what I think.

More specifically, I grew up in a home that voted consistently Republican and have been shaped by that, but am in the midst of struggling through that issue. For this blog I want to focus on the main Democratic candidates, Barak and Hillary. Who would you vote for? Why? Is it difficult to get around the abortion issue in the midst of candidates who seem to cry out against the unjust loss of life in the other areas? I looking for help on this...


Ryan 1 said...

As you know, Mr. David, Barak is the only candidate I will be willing to vote for. Otherwise I'm going to bow out. I like the idea of a woman president, actually I love it. But Hilary is kind of crazy as hell. Not crazier than lots of other politicians, but crazy nonetheless. As for abortion...
-When does any given leader do anything significant one way or the other for abortion? The seemingly 50-50 divide is among the American people, and until something changes there, I don't think anything will really change politically.
-When we start trying to legislate Christian values, we start playing by the rules of kingdoms of the world. When we serve people and help make them whole, we are playing by the rules of the Kingdom of God. Interestingly, when we do the former, everybody starts arguing and we start thinking those people we are supposed to be serving are our enemies. When we do the latter, we draw people to the insane and compelling love and grace of God. That's why I like anabaptism. Because as a principle, they think we should always choose the latter. How this relates to abortion is, our fight against abortion has turned into a fight against people who support abortion rights. Uncool.

Finally, how appropriate that the metaphor of choice for kingdoms of the world was a sword. That's the deal. That's how they think and that's how they work. Keeping thinking about this David, because you will eventually come to the glorious light of anabaptism. Zwingli is cooking some burgers with God while Simons fills the cooler with ice and Springboard and Grebel wants to play Marco-Polo in the heaven pool. It's a sweet-ass party.

Carn-Dog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carn-Dog said...

I'm not grammatically awesome, but my last comment had way too many errors to be not embarrassed about.

Anyhow in short, I'm voting democratic, probably Barak, because I think that both parties fail and that by changing which party is in office we can at least balance out the craziness and keep the damage to a minimum.


David said...

I can totally understand your point and I agree with you that oftentimes fighting (not with a sword) for Christian values in a political realm often negates the outrageous of love of God for the person involved.

On the abortion thing, before Roe v. Wade abortion was definitely less and more recently there was a decision that seems to be pointing in the direction of limiting partial birth abortions. I think that the majority of my duty as a Kingdom person is to love people struggling with an abortion, but also to rejoice and mourn over national/political decisions that de-value the worth of that child. It just feels remiss to mourn without attempting to use the minute influence I am given.

Anyway, I will definitely join in on the party in heaven in the Anabaptist folks, although I might bring my own IPA.