Campaign Season

I love the season right before presidential elections.  I start to get some of the funniest/saddest forwards in my email inbox.  The most recent I saw was a comparison shot of McCain and Obama in their “younger years.”  McCain is sitting by a fighter jet, looking very patriotic,  while Obama is dressed in what looks to be a traditional African man’s dress, with a head wrap that screams “I am a muslim.”

Here’s the thing.  You could find pictures of me in my “younger years” with all of the following:

  • a mohawk
  • an afro
  • wearing a tacky suit I bought for $1.50
  • wearing a traditional Saudi Arabian headwrap in front of a Saudi flag
  • holding the flag of Turkmenistan, Sweden, or Korea
  • standing outside a Mosque in Turkey
  • standing outside of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome (might have even caught a shot of me kneeling and praying there or at the mosque)

My point being that according to pictures from my past, I am a punk, a hippie, a televangelist, a friend of terrorists, not loyal to my country, a Muslim, and a Roman Catholic.  Ripping pictures from their context is helpful for crafting a story according to your agenda, but it is hardly helpful at all in discovering the truth.

I’m not making an endorsement either way in this election, primarily because I think it will not help the cause of Christ on campus to pick a side.  Jesus died for Democrats, Republicans, Communists, Socialists, Libertarians and Nazis(among others).  But I am calling for all folks, no matter which side of the aisle we lean toward, to argue the issues, not the pictures.

“The Most Important Issues in the 2008 Election”

John Piper offers three things to consider as we contemplate the upcoming elections.

What a phenomenal speech from a phenomenal man.  Here’s my favorite part, a part that I find universally applicable to any situation where someone or some group is trying to overcome oppression:

“But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”

Thank you, Dr. King.

And now, as we prepare to inaugurate our first President of color, let’s be sure to continue to judge him and all others not by the color of skin, but the content of character.

I’m praying for you, President Obama.  But my faith is not in you.

Proverbs 21:1

Wow.  What a video. I have tears running down my face.

I love the class and respect being shown.  It’s what makes me proud to be an American.

Thanks to Los for finding this first.

Public Servants.

Here’s my fear.  By posting something during this administration, following this speech, and during this congress, you might think I am trying to make a political statement in favor of one party over the other.  Rest assured that I think the elephant in the room has acted just as much like a jackass as anybody.

I want this, though, to be less of a statement, and more of a question.  I am not going to pretend that I don’t have an opinion. I do. But my question is simple: when the President says the federal government is going to cut spending, why doesn’t he (or any one of the members of any of the other parties represented) take a voluntary pay cut?  Commit to earing the same amount as a middle school science teacher during your 4 years, and I’ll believe that you are serious about balancing the budget.

Because what I saw tonight on the live stream of the State of the Union Address was a room full of $900 suits and $4,000 diamond broaches.  And it’s tough to hear you over the ticking of your Rolex.

Let me reiterate that even the suits that were sitting down most of the night were still custom-tailored. This is not a dig against just one party.

When my church went through their budget crisis last year, the first people to take a pay cut (by choice) were the senior teaching pastors.  And they announced that in front of everyone.  That’s leadership.

Want to gain back the trust of this American?  Simple.  Put your money where your mouth is.