Thursday, November 13, 2008

To Our Friends and Politicians

... not necessarily one and the same!

Dear Patricia,

Thanks for waiting patiently, friend.  I've had your email in my inbox since February, but as you can see, I'm behind on many things in email-land and the blog-o-sphere.  I really appreciated your comments (and was indeed convicted by some of them) and appreciate your friendship even more!

Much love,

Dear FBFs (Facebook Friends, ha ha ha!),

Thanks for your comments on my status.  I appreciate you rising to my controversial bait :) and really appreciate everyone's thoughts on the matter.  Yes, our two party system sucks, and I agree that I am not happy about the Democratic platform on the Freedom of Choice Act.  It makes me very sad.  

Having said that, the reason I voted for Obama in this election (aha!  People have been trying to figure out for whom I voted) can be broken down into three main thoughts: 1. legislation does not necessarily equal change, 2. I don't believe that the Bible defines the "least of these" as only the unborn, and 3. I agree more with the overall Democratic party platform than I do with the overall Republican party platform.  I'll explain more below.

Legislation does not necessarily equal change-- 
If Roe v. Wade were suddenly overturned, if Plan B (the "morning-after pill") were taken off the market, and if several other good things happened for the Pro-Life  movement, would the abortion problem be solved?  Would there be less abortions?  Perhaps.  But would these precious unborn children suddenly be given a chance for life?  The problem of abortion doesn't stop once the mother decides not to/is unable to get an abortion.  Even if the mother didn't seek out an illegal (and even more dangerous) abortion, what happens when the baby is born?  Where is the Pro-Life movement once that child needs healthcare, housing, sustenance, etc.?  Overturning Roe v. Wade would merely be the beginning of the "fight for life," not the end.  It would be cruel and ignorant to create a "culture of life" and then pat ourselves on the backs and call it a day because we saved unborn children from death in the womb... not thinking about their certainty or quality of life once they left it. 

And practically speaking, I didn't think McCain would be able to overturn Roe v. Wade.  So even if that was the only thing I were to vote on, I feel my vote would have been wasted.  It's not that I'm Pro-Choice (although I used to be), it's that I don't think there necessarily is a one-to-one correlation between my vote and little lives being saved.  I think that with such a charged issue, there are other ways for me to celebrate and protect life.  

I don't believe that the Bible defines the "least of these" as only the unborn--
In one of my earlier posts (hyperlinked above) about politics and religion, I mentioned the command to take care of the "least of these" (Matthew 25), as well instructions on what is "pure and faultless religion" (James 1).  In context, these passages are about the hungry, the thirsty, the outcast, the imprisoned, widows, orphans, and those without basic needs (Patricia reminded me that that doesn't mean it isn't referring to the unborn--thank you, Patricia, for speaking that truth to me!).  Where we as a church fall short, I feel that the Democratic platform addresses those issues more than the Republican platform does.  Yes, we believers need to get our backsides in gear and not leave it up to the government.  But I was raised to believe that some things need to happen at a national level for systemic change (i.e. "big government").  That is something that we may have to agree to disagree on.  :)  I say all this to say that my interpretation of the Bible is that abortion is only a part of what we are called to care about here on earth.  
I agree more with the overall Democratic party platform than I do with the overall Republican party platform-- 
I pretty much made this point above, but let me just conclude with the thought that while Jesus was neither a Republican nor a Democrat, he did care about political systems and he did weep for Jerusalem's pitiful state.  I feel that the things the Holy Spirit has called me to care about are better addressed by the Democratic platform (representing the poor and the middle-class), but I know a lot of you who have the same convictions and have been called to address these issues within a Republican framework.  The point is not so much who we vote for, but that we vote and then go out and be a part of the change/reform we desire.  Christ is making things right and new in the here and now, and he's using pitiful us to do it.

Thanks for listening, dear friends!

Your mouthy, opinionated, bleeding-heart Liberal FBF.  :)

Dear President Bush,

One of your loyal supporters, Amy, reminded me that I haven't been very respectful of your office for the past 4 years (even though I voted for you then--which is another discussion entirely!).  I apologize.  Thank you for being our President.  I haven't much agreed with you lately, but if I were in your shoes, I would have crawled under the bed and refused to come out long ago.  I need to remember the pressure you're under and respect you for that.  You aren't Jesus, but you are our President.  I'm praying for you.

A Concerned Citizen Who Voted for You.

Dear President-Elect Obama,

I'm excited that another barrier of race has been broken.  I also appreciate a Democratic candidate who is willing to claim Christianity (don't get me started on John Kerry).  I'm excited to see the change that will come during your term, and I have high hopes for our economy, foreign policy, and environmental stance.  That said, your support of the Freedom of Choice Act makes me very, very sad.  And it makes me sad that it doesn't bother you.  Please reconsider. Please pray about it!  I cast my vote for you not just because of your stance on issues, but also because I think you have what it takes to lead this country.  You aren't Jesus, but you are our President.  I'm praying for you.

A Concerned Citizen Who Voted for You.