I don’t write enough. I like writing, but I can never motivate myself to do it. I guess I’m always nervous that it’s not good enough, that it’s not going to get read, etc etc etc.
But I should just write. Even if it’s not good, it’s saying something. If I have something to say, I should say it, right? I started this community because I felt I had something to say, so I should just say it. Even if you, dear reader, think I’m a terrible writer, even if you hate my guts, even if you think you need to come and burn down my house, I should just let the things out of my head and heart before they consume me.
So this post is just me, rambling for a while, to see if there is something worth saying. Feel free to respond in any way you like (except for burning down my house, my kids live here too.)
What’s on my mind right now is the US Presidential Election. In spite of my faith telling me that God is in control, that our kingdom as Christians is ‘not of this world’ and so on, I’m still obsessed with this mess that we as a country have gotten ourselves into.
If you follow me on facebook, you know I am a liberal. Unashamedly a liberal. People that say “you can’t be liberal and Christian” don’t have an honest picture of being either a Christian or a liberal (or a conservative for that matter). Most of those that call themselves “Christian Conservative” are only concerned about what they see as faith issues – Pro-life, ‘Biblical’ marriage (as they call it)… things like that, but also, for reasons I can’t comprehend, the Second Amendment, the death penalty, and social safety-net programs – and aren’t concerned at all about things like foreign policy, corporate accountability, and about a million other things that only a government of, by, and for the people can do. In fact, I would venture to say that a very small amount of what our congressmen and President do are blown up in the media and on social media to be the whole picture and the things we need to really be worried about are hardly spoken of at all.
Last night’s “Commander In Chief” forum – or whatever they called it – if proof of this. The moderator (who should, in my opinion, be fired from his network immediately) spent 10 minutes talking to Clinton about emails – an issue that should be dead already – then interrupted her constantly to remind her he had limited time. But when it came to Trump, The Donald was allowed to not only lie in America’s collective face, he was allowed to speak as long as he wanted without ever, not once, being challenged or told to be brief. Trump praised our cold-war enemy and blamed women in the military for their own rapes.
Yet in spite of anything he said, people are still going to vote for him because they believe he represents their conservative Christian values, that the sanctity of marriage, unborn babies, and all that other stuff will be held in the highest regard. When, in fact, Trump doesn’t support hardly any of those things.
So what are we as Christians to do?
Some will say “don’t bother”. I’ve heard on multiple fronts that we shouldn’t bother to vote because God is in control and God will choose the king (Daniel 2:20). And that we should be subject to whatever authority is over us because that is God’s will (Romans 13:1-2; funny how that only seems to apply to leaders Christian teachers like…) and our job is just to trust God. So don’t vote, don’t be involved in ‘earthly’ politics and just go with the flow.
And while I agree, to a point, that respecting God means respecting authority (in the sense that when a police officer says ‘keep your hands on the wheel’ you keep your hands on the wheel). That doesn’t mean we BLINDLY ACCEPT everything that authority says or does. Nor doesn’t it mean we don’t participate in that authority. Vote. IF God has indeed chosen the authority, in the US, that means God has chosen the PEOPLE to govern THEMSELVES. In a democracy, the PEOPLE who VOTE ARE the ‘king’.
And as Christians, voters, given the authority, it is our duty, our DUTY, not just to vote, but be INFORMED voters. Not just passionate about our chosen issues, but at least passingly informed about things that might not even affect us. For example, I am a married, middle-aged, straight person. LGBTQ issues don’t directly affect me. But someone I know might be affected by how I vote, so it behooves me to know something about where the candidates stand on those issues.
And not just Presidential candidates. On that kind of thing, our congressmen, our state legislatures, our city councils, our school boards have way way WAY more influence. So we need to know where ALL our candidates stand.
But I digress. Let’s get back to the Presidential candidates.
As I said, this election is a disaster in so many ways. “Hillary can’t be trusted” some say. Ok, so why? Why can’t she be trusted? Bengahzi? Emails? In what ways has she shown that she as a politician (other than just being a politician) that she can’t be trusted? And trusted with what, exactly? State secrets? Foreign relations? These are things she’s already had experience with. Not just as a President’s wife, but as a senator and Secretary of State in her own right.
Do I like her? No. Not really. But me liking her as a person, as a speaker, has nothing to do with the issues, or how she will perform in the office. Will I vote for her. Yes. Why? Because there is really only one alternative.
(And before you tell me “Gary Johnson! Jill Stein!” I am well aware of those two. Dr. Stein is polling, in many places, behind a fake person (Deez Nuts) and a dead gorilla (Harambe). Even if I thought she was qualified, she doesn’t have a chance to be on enough ballots, nor get enough votes, to actually win. And Mr. Johnson, just today, displayed his ignorance by responding “What’s Allepo?” when asked what he would do as President about the situation there. Also, being a resident of the state where he was governor, I am all too familiar with how he does things. His time in office was marked by corruption and a huge amount of not doing anything – costing the state millions when our infrastructure started to fall apart due to neglect during his tenure.
So no, Johnson and Stein aren’t serious candidates.)
Trump. Donald Trump.
I remember when Trump first became a celebrity back in the 80s. He appeared on a show called “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, showing off his condo with gold plated everything. He was the definition of the excessiveness of the 80s. He used his new-found fame to build a brand. The Trump brand. He didn’t build businesses or buildings or casinos, be built a brand. All the rest was used to prop up that brand. And since his name was the brand, when all the rest failed, bombed, and went bankrupt, the brand appeared successful. Trump is not a great business man. He’s a failed multiple times business man. If his name wasn’t Trump, we wouldn’t even know who he was. But he sold the name. And everyone seems to believe that he’s using his business-savvy-ness to ‘buck the system’. If he runs the country the way he’s run his businesses (multiple failures) we’ll be in serious trouble. He’s continuing to sell his brand. Even when he loses (and God willing he will lose) he will still succeed, because the brand will be carried forward and he’ll sell books, speak at fund raisers and still be ‘successful’ in everyone’s eyes.
If there is one thing you really need to look at, it’s the forum last night. He flat out revealed things from classified security briefings. Matt Lauer, in spite of his many failings, even called him on it – it was the one thing the moderator called him on.
But then he also wants us to just “take” the oil out of Iraq and he’s apparently best friends with Putin.
Are you not scared?
If God chooses kings, and he has chosen the American people to be their own king, then it is our sacred obligation to vote. And vote wisely. If God is in control, if Christ is the head of the church, if we are the Body, the hands and the feet that are to be doing and going, then it is our job to vote for the best candidates, from President on down, to best represent, care for, and love God’s people.
At almost 1500 words, I think I’ve rambled enough on this topic. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little brain dump. Have a great day.