Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Platform's not Straight!

The Republican Party’s platform opposes funding for abortions.

I agree with this. Roe V Wade’s position on when life begins was based from a political, not a scientific one. Life begins at conception. An uncomfortable fact for many, but true none the less.

Republican senators and representatives have been calling for means to sides step Oregon’s Death With Dignity law.

I agree with this also. Though Oregon, perhaps rightly, argues that this is within a state’s jurisdiction, it is still a first step in killing the infirm. I believe this is wrong (no offense intended, Curious Servant).

Both of these largely Republican stands are in accordance with Christian beliefs. Life has value. Life should remain in God’s hands, not Man’s.

The Bible is not only clear on it, it is blunt:

“Thou shall not kill.” --Exodus 20:13

On these two positions the Republican Party has taken the high road stand.

The first time someone took another’s life the Lord made it clear how he views killing:

“Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." But the LORD said to him, "Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. --Genesis 4:14-16

Note that the Lord not only does not punish Cain with death, but he forbids anyone else from touching him.

We are not to kill others, even those who would kill us. We aren’t even to fear them:

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” --Matthew 10:28

It is not our place to kill even those who would kill us:

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” --Romans 12:19

This is where the Republicans, and sadly, often the Religious Right, fails us.

They support the death penalty and that is unscriptural.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth of July!

I have searched out veterans (I found six) today to thank them for their service.

I uncovered my head and covered my heart when the flag went by at this morning's parade.

I prayed this afternoon for God's grace on our nation, and wisdom for our leaders.

I ended that prayer with a thankful heart, telling my Lord that I love and trust him.

On our currency we tell ourselves: "In God We Trust"...

But I think we prefer ground troops.

Monday, June 26, 2006

"I Support Our Troops”

The bumper stickers are everywhere. The magnetic ribbons are stuck on tailgates and trunk lids. Hats and T-shirts, grocery store marquees, and articles in newspapers, all proclaim our devotion to our troops.

"Support Our Troops!"

I “Support Our Troops.” But there isn’t a bumper sticker or a magnetic ribbon on my car. I support them in a differently. I advocate we raise our taxes and I pray.

I believe in paying for the things worth paying for. That includes our troops.

I think they should be well-trained, well-equipped, and well paid. I think their families should get ample death benefits. I think they should be honored when their return on leave, or when they return in a casket. I think the Veterans hospital system needs overhauling.

I do not support this war.

War is wrong. It hurts the innocent, it uses human beings to promote political agendas.

This is how I feel. It is hard to make such a blanket statement. I wonder if such a statement can be applied to all wars?

Vietnam is an easy one to argue, considering the outcome. When we elected Nixon with his promise of a secret plan to get us out, we didn’t think it was: “Everyone on the roof!” There were noble sacrifices in that war. Many were treated shamefully when they returned. Fortunately that has changed in our current conflict; a very good thing.

The Korea Conflict is another mmistake, considering it never actually ended. The armistice is still in effect and is more fragile than it has been in decades. That “ended” poorly. The best thing to come out of that war was a television show.

What about World War II? Was it wrong to fight that war? I would admit that is a good opposing argument. Germany was out of control. It opened the door for Italy and Japan and Russia to use force for imperialistic goals.

But if Germany had been treated fairly after World War I... if they had been brought back in as partners of peace instead of a wayward child being punished, Hitler would not have found such a ready audience for his hate. Putting that aside, if the world had dealt firmly with Germany prior to the rise of “The Master Race” the Nazis may have found it hard to create the military machine which plunged the world into darkness.

I would agree that there is a lot of room for argument there and the debate over World War II is my weakest point. But though I concede that WWII is a weak point in my argument there may not be a just war, it does set the standard very high. How many wars have been fought that were unjust?

I believe that war is wrong. The problem with being a citizen in a democracy is that I am a part (a small part) of a whole. I am a tiny cog in a great machine. And I do not wish to play my part in helping this machine churn forward over the sovereignty of other nations.

Still, I support our troops. I pray for them each morning.

I have written letters to my federal senator (Boxer ) and representative (Sanchez) stating that I am willing to pay more taxes to give them greater protection, greater compensation, better health care, and better training. I do not see my concerns for this conflict as criticism of the noble men and women who are putting themselves at risk, and on the whole, demonstrating compassion, love, and freedom to those who have never had it.

But I question the policies of those who have put them into harm's way.

I believe that democracy is best. But it cannot be imposed.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Truth, Justice, and the American Way

I avoid talking about politics. It isn’t a discussion that can usually be handled smoothly because passions run too hot.

But this is a blog and you do not know who I am. Though I was born and live in Santa Ana, California that is \a very vague description of who and where am. In fact, the internet allows me to be so anonymous that most of you wouldn’t know if I’m not really writing this in Albania.

So since I needn’t worry about offending anyone (you can just click the “Next blog” button, or I can delete your comment) I can say here what I would not say in the grocery store or in the lobby of my church.

So in the spirit of freedom and openness that complete anonymity brings I would like to say this:


It baffles me how this political party has usurped this position of faith, but I’m here to say they are wrong about too many things to claim that they speak for God.

I used to be a Republican. In fact I think I’m still registered as one. But I do not vote along party lines. I suspect that fewer and fewer Americans do either.

I voted for our current president when he was elected for his first term as president.

I was concerned, but still I voted for him. I was concerned that he would not respect the environment enough. (I think that the care of our world was the first job God gave Man to do.) But I felt strongly enough about another issue that I set that concern aside.

I was concerned President Bush would enact policies which would favor the wealthy too much and put greater burdens on the poor and the middle class. But I felt strongly enough about another issue that I set that concern aside.

I was concerned that he would not surround himself with wise advisors and counselors; that he would surround himself with “yes men” who would tell him what he wanted to hear and not what was best for our nation and our world. But I felt strongly enough about another issue that I set that concern aside.

I was concerned that he would go too far in saber rattling and draw us into conflicts around the world. But I felt strongly enough about another issue that I set that concern aside.

And now the United States is seen as the greatest threat to world peace by huge portions of our globe.

This hurts.

I love my country. I believe in what I learned from John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. I believe that our country can be a force of good in a darkened world. I believe that we can show the world that truth and justice ARE the American way.

BUt I am embarrassed by the actions of my government.

Please do not misunderstand. I think that the people of Iraq needed to be freed from the forces of tyranny. I just do not believe we know how to do that.

I believe that the events on the morning of September 11, 2001 revealed a visage of evil that needs to be discovered, brought into the light, and banished. I just do not believe that bombs are the best tools for fighting bombs.

Neither did Jesus.

So I am standing in my little corner of the globe, my little spot in America, and I am shouting with this small voice into the internet that GOD IS NOT A REPUBLICAN! I may be, but I do not believe that this party represents what is right and true and best for our nation, for our world, and certainly does not represent what is Truth, Justice, and the American way.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Frankly I'm tired and confused. I'm a Chrisitan... strike that, a Christ follower, and people seem to think they know who I am from such a simple statement.

I used to be a Republican. And though I sometimes vote for a democrat, I can not say I follow any party line. I vote my conscience. Which is getting harder all the time.

I read a lot of blogs written by Christians. I like them. But I don't always agree with them.

So I am going to use the anonymity of the blogosphere to share my views. Who knows? Maybe some day I'll work up the courage to say these things out loud, perhaps even in my own church.

Be prepared to be offended. You may not like what I have to say about faith, politics, and living on this rolling ball of dirt.

I will try to post once a week.