they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

warning: long, political and religious rant.

as i walked to my car this morning, the sun was shining and the weather was just about perfect despite the fact that it was raining, which came from a tiny portion of the sky that was dark. but the contrast between dark and light was linked by a brilliant rainbow. i stood beneath my bright yellow umbrella and gazed at it. and it filled me with such peace. did you see it?

i've kept quiet during this election. now's my time to talk. i am appalled at the way that so many christians are thinking and acting and pushing. i have never seen a campaign run with such fear. i've seen fear mongering tactics rise up during campaigning and i've seen religious friends of mine live in the fear of McCain not winning...and now that he hasn't, i've seen this overwhelming fear that the world is going to hell.

fear.

remember in the bible where god says that we are not supposed to fear? and that fear does not come from him? what does that say about the republican tactic of using obama's middle name when they referred to him, and sarah palin's allocations that he pals around with terrorists? the party's constant reliance on perpetuating fear and using it to manipulate people into a vote.

as the weeks to election day grew fewer, i received several emails from christians asking me to pray about my decision on who i'm voting for. some sent prophecy...saying that if obama is elected, nothing good would come of it. yesterday, i received an "urgent" prayer chain request asking me to pray that the person who god wants to be president would win. i can pray for that. but then, the prayer email went on to specifically mention McCain. asking god to put favor in the hearts of americans so that they would vote for the republican ticket. seriously? that's not how god works. that's a prayer with an agenda. it's not about caring what god wants. it's about caring what you think god wants.

do people REALLY think that the reason obama won is because christians just didn't pray hard enough? or that people didn't really listen to who god wanted them to vote for? i know that god is in control of this world and that what happened is what he wanted to happen...what he knew would happen. it's all part of his plan, see.

does god really want four more years of war-lording, fear, and economic crisis? what DOES god want for america? and who WHO can stand up and say that they have heard directly from god and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that he wanted McCain. could people who strongly supported bush for religious reasons stand up today and say they made the right decision voting for him? i can't.

i am a christian. and i voted for obama. my reasons are many. and guess what, i'm pro life. i'm a pro life christian who voted for obama. and i am proud of my vote. i don't believe that government can successfully legislate morality. it just doesn't work. of course, they can make it harder for people to get abortions, but people still will. they can make it illegal for same sex couples to marry, but that won't change the fact that those couples are in love and plan to spend their entire life together.

see,the next four years is so much bigger than a woman's right to choose or a stance on gay marriage. it's about hope and future and picking this country back up, piece by piece, and putting it together again. it's about standing behind a president who "gets" america. it's about seeing why this god-forsaken war in iraq has gone on long enough. it's about realizing where threats lie and where they do not. it's about unity and not division.

"And God said, this is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. " Genesis 1: 12-15

god is so much bigger than this election.

a local pastor said the following, which i think is helpful:

I think what many Christians are starting to realize/discover/struggle with is that there is not one expression of Christianity. Theologically, that is not the case and certainly politically it cannot be the case. As evangelicals, we've been given a recent narrative that defines the parameters for us narrowly. From that standpoint, the shock value of discovering that Christians with deep and thoughtful convictions vote differently than ourselves is necessary and important.

we grow in our faith when we are pushed and challenged and pulled. we grow when we look deep inside ourselves to figure out what we believe matters to jesus. we grow when we are wrong. we grow when we are right. and we must cast each vote with fear and trembling (of god.) no matter who we vote for. we must revere god in such a way that we should feel that we've made the best decision in our vote. that we've come to a peace about what he wants us to do and who he wants us to vote for. but, we must, at the same time, admit our fallibility. simply, we could be wrong. and it is that very thing that makes us human.

16 Comments:

  • At 9:52 AM, Blogger Shane said…

    Just wow. Great post. I'm sending it around. A wonderful reflection and it echoes my feelings. I, too, am an "evangelical" - whatever that means. I, too, voted for Barack Obama. Hope triumphs over fear.

     
  • At 10:06 AM, Blogger Kat said…

    This is truly a wonderful post and speaks to me in ways you couldn't imagine. Because I'm even worse off than you--I'm a Catholic who voted for Obama. And I've been told, in no uncertain terms, that in one vote I've earned a ticket to hell. To some, my single vote will have unraveled all the good I've managed to do in my 30 years. Talk about guilt! So thanks for so elegantly capturing this subject.

     
  • At 10:51 AM, Blogger Ali said…

    Well said. I could've written exactly what kat did.

    I linked some folks to your post, Jessi, hope you don't mind :)

     
  • At 12:13 PM, Blogger Betsey said…

    Well said... exactly what I've been thinking but couldn't articulate. Thank you for sharing these very important thoughts.

     
  • At 1:38 PM, Blogger Pensive Girl said…

    i'm glad you all appreciated it :) of course i'm okay with you sending it around :)

    gOBAMA!

    jessi

     
  • At 12:42 AM, Blogger elovewilson said…

    preach it girl. i got a chain prayer letter a few nights before the election pretty much saying that the future of the nation rests on the christians shoulders and that mccain is the one we should be voting for. sheesh, what guilt and manipulation christians can tend to put on each other. you voiced what my heart has been feeling...thank you...i'm sharing your words... :)

     
  • At 9:03 AM, Blogger dreamer said…

    i couldn't agree more. thanks for sharing. :)

     
  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger Faith said…

    "what does that say about the republican tactic of using obama's middle name when they referred to him..."

    Just an FYI, that wasn't a widespread "tactic" by the Republican party. That was a subset of Republican losers that were trying to scare (stupid) people who connote the name "Hussein" with evil and badness. I couldn't care less what the man's middle name was. That isn't what my vote was based on.

    I'm a Catholic that voted for McCain. But the way I voted had nothing to do with religion. For me, religion and politics do not mix. And no one - NO ONE - can make me feel something like "guilt" over a choice that I have made for my life. I feel sorry for the people that religious guilt tactics actually work on.

     
  • At 4:31 PM, Anonymous DKC said…

    That should be a broadway play, "Rant."

     
  • At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Can i ask a question?
    What does profaning the Name of God mean to you?
    And what does the Word of God say about those who do so?
    To be a follower of Jesus, yet defend that which is an abomination to Him defiles Him.

    Consider qualifying: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
    Also study what the "fear of the LORD" is...Proverbs 1:7 is a good start.
    Before you admonish others from the Word, understand it yourself,least you bring error to those in their walk and cause for stumbling.

    With love,
    Your sister and friend in the Lord.

     
  • At 5:52 PM, Blogger Pensive Girl said…

    amy, that proverbs verse has always been my favorite. : the fear of the lord is the beginning of knowledge. but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

    i understand what healthy fear of the lord is. another definition for that is "to revere." we have to put god on such a high place...the highest, that everything we do we check back with him.

    that said, i don't believe i misrepresented fear of the lord in this post. and also, where am i defending that which is an abomination of god?

    seriously.

    if this is about mccain versus obama, they are both mortal men who both have policies and ideals that are not completely biblical. if that's the case, we should have voted for no one.

     
  • At 6:09 PM, Blogger Pensive Girl said…

    and amy, btw, that ecclesiastes verse, while true, does not account for grace...the grace of god that was brought about by jesus' death and resurrection. we all will be held accountable...yes. but god's grace will cover a multitude of sins...ones we didn't know we were committing...ones we repent of.

     
  • At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To anonymous--

    I'm curious as to why Obama is any more of an abomination than McCain. After all, is not McCain a committed adulterer, a man who has personally taken lives while in the line of duty, and a supporter of a war that has taken many more lives, some of which were innocent?

    Both candidates are men. Both are fallible. But to call one an abomination without recognizing the shortcomings of the other? It seems a little harsh. I have a hard time believing either is inherently evil, at least enough to earn such a damning descriptor.

     
  • At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    misunderstanding. and it is not my intent to argue here; that would be of no benefit at all to any. I am not calling obama or mccain an abomination. i was referring to homosexual acts based on what the Scripture says in Leviticus 18:22.

    also, to clear amy...this is not amy writing here. another misunderstanding.

    peace and love,
    your friend in the Lord

     
  • At 9:46 PM, Blogger Pensive Girl said…

    i just assumed it was amy. due to the "your sister" part. sorry, amy :)

     
  • At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Interpreting all bibles verses literally rather than just a select few, done (admittedly) Hollywood style:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHaVUjjH3EI

     

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