Why the gap isn't wider...

I should have said more... but I bit my tongue. It was an exchange that could have happened in any corner of our country. This one took place in our local auto dealer while I waited for our car to receive it's second recall in 12 months.

There were about ten of us gathered around the TV in the waiting room as John McCain revealed his top-secret, secret weapon of a V.P. choice. Some were just watching, one lady was definitely not all about his choice, I was remarking about how it was amazing that history would be made one way or another now... how we would either have our first woman V.P. or the first African-American president.

It was after I said what I said that an elderly man, sitting next to his wife, told me he hoped it was a woman. "I'm a McCain guy." I listened, but told him I was probably on the other end of the spectrum and hoped Obama would be elected.

"You ever spend time in Chicago? If you had you wouldn't be for Obama."

"Well, yes, I have visited." I replied.

"No, lived there... I lived there and we spent years fighting them."

"Fighting who?" I asked.

"Them... they are a different culture."

I pretended I didn't know that he was basking in his own ignorance when I asked, "Culture?"

"The blacks. We fought 'em for years, they are a different culture."

"Hmmm, you do know that Obama isn't originally from Chicago?" I replied. "And that his mother was white and his father was from Kenya?"

"Well..." He began to reply when his wife interrupted.

"Now, don't be discussing politics here..."

I didn't say what immediately boiled to my lips. I wanted to say that the discussion that was about to start wasn't about politics, it was about race. It was about the ignorance that has plagued our country for years while many of us have been sheltered under the privilege of being white. The fact that what he perceived as a battle, his African-American counterparts considered a reach equality.

There were many things I should have said. But I didn't.

Maybe I just thought it in vain. Pointless.

I mostly was just pissed as I sat there thinking that this was the guy. It was this dummy whose vote I would cancel out.


Because "Anonymous" Comments Drive Me Crazy

Mostly, I've found them to say, "I'm remarkably insecure, unwilling to be identified with my own (often judgemental) words of criticism, and am unable to carry on an intelligent conversation." Please be warned now, if you make an anonymous comment to this post - it will probably be deleted. But, if you'd like to carry on a conversation (which is always welcome whether you agree with my opinions or not), please leave your name.

Recently, on a blog I frequent, one such Anonymous commenter left words that "Mean no disrespect at all." Yet those words are at the heart of what I believe is wrong with our discussion of faith and politics in this country. This idea of lobbing 'catch phrases' from the 'Right' without thinking about the whole scope of issues that we face is infuriating to me.

It seems whenever James Dobson (Please keep in mind that Dr. Dobson is neither a trained theologian or political scientist.) says something about theology or politics, the evangelical right just mindlessly nod their heads, get bumper stickers, speak high and mighty around those who agree with them, *and post anonymous comments on peoples' blogs who disagree*.

Let us be clear - Life is of greatest value to God. Given the choice between death and life - we (His followers) are to choose life.

Abortion -or- No Abortion --> We choose no abortion.

Abusive relationships -or- Healthy relationships --> We choose healthy relationships.

War -or- Peace --> We choose peace.

Death Penalty -or- Mercy --> hmmm.... another post, another time. (Two guesses where I think the church should stand on this.)

Now, how then should we respond to our Presidential choices that we face? We face two (pretty soon anyway) choices.

One side seems to dodge what they really think and wants to tow the party line. When questioned about "family conference" time... if his daughter decided to get an abortion, John McCain answered, "I am proud of my pro-life record in public life, and I will continue to maintain it. I will not draw my children into this discussion. As a leader of a pro-life party with a pro-life position, I will persuade young Americans [to] understand the importance of the preservation of the rights of the unborn..."
(GOP Debate in Manchester NH Jan 26, 2000)

The problem with this 'philosophy' is that it is not a philosophy. It is merely a political facade to appease the 'conservative' voters. And beyond the familiar rhetoric, these politicians offer no clear plan on how to fight the causes of abortion or address the reasons why women feel the need to get abortions in the first place. Instead, they have just had a history of making election year policies with no results once the get into office. Don't believe me? Do a little math and count the number of years a Republican has been in office since Roe v. Wade and then count the number of Supreme Court Justices that have been put into power by those presidents. Sorry - but so called 'one issue voting' hasn't been working. If it had, the decision would have been overturned long ago.

But, let us look at the other choice for president who has "suggested that perhaps we could agree on ways to reduce the number of women who felt the need to have abortions in the first place." (
The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.197-8 Oct 1, 2006) He has also stated that "[he] think[s] that most Americans recognize that this is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions. They don't make them casually. And [he] trust[s] women to make these decisions in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy." (2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC Apr 26, 2007) Now, before you jump to conclusions - think about that statement. He believes that this is a choice to be made in conjunction with families and clergy. Now, where would you as a family member advise your sister on this issue? LIFE. Where would clergy stand on this? I presume LIFE.

Also remember that there are numerous issues that we face when we vote for a candidate.

Mis-directed war -or- Re-directed justice and peaceful dialogue?

Policies that benefit the richest in our country and the richest in the world -or- policies that help pull people out of the grasp of poverty?

Benefits to corporations that continue to pollute our world while trusting them to choose environmentalism over profits -or- an approach that requires conservation?

Give lip-service to those who will vote for one issue -or- actually work on issues (chiefly poverty and education) that our country faces that perpetuate the perceived need for abortion for some --> we choose the latter... I HOPE.


Life Imitates Art?

Lasers firing from a moving aircraft?

Umm, pardon me Boeing and Popular Science... I'm pretty sure Chris Knight figured this one out years ago.

By the way... this movie had one of the best soundtracks ever. I dare you to rival these amazing tunes.


In Case You Missed It...

And here are all the words...


Happy Birthday Chuck Norris

The man, the legend... turned 68 on Monday. Take a look at boston.com's salute to one of our national heroes.