10 October 2008

Proud to Be Demublicans

Our KONOS wisdom unit has gathered our family at the debate table every morning, noon, and night.
I am honestly the least politically-minded person around. (So imagine living in the Washington DC area these days. (Yeah. Like Dorothy and Toto riding a house through a tornado.)) My brain does not readily grasp political spin-speak. I don't typically care one way or the other about watching debates or reading position papers, picketing, polling, or posturing.
I make sure to honor our democratic right to vote, every year. I vote my conscience. It's just that my conscience is often woefully uneducated when I walk into the voting center. (Like a lot of other Americans, I'm afraid.)

This year though, things are different. I'm teaching it. So I better know a little bit about what I'm teaching, right? I better care about the issues and platforms before I couch them in terms a 5th and 3rd grader, and a Pre-K kiddo can grasp, right? Right.
Though my brain is about to turn to mush over it, I'm totally enjoying our family debate table.

When teaching our future voters to make wise choices, I can get bogged down in the mudslinging, the emotion, the picking nits from someone's particular campaign weave, and the charged language surrounding an election, but sometimes the best indicators are as obvious as the sun in the sky. We need to learn to evaluate life with the Lord's wisdom.

Here is a significant question floating around our house these days:

- Can a person's character be separated from how they act in office?
Should it?

To quote a very good book, "Even a child is known by his actions."



Anonymous heather said...

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said, "When Clinton lied, he didn't hurt anyone."
Two rxns: really? Not a single person was hurt?
And does it make it okay to lie, then, just because it doesn't personally affect you?
(And then I thought of two things Clinton did in office that hurt a lot of people: one, ignore Osama Bin Laden when he was warned about him, and two, sell secrets to the Chinese.)
I don't mean to single out Clinton to pick on him, except that the bumper sticker yesterday brought this to mind. Unfortunately, so many of our politicians, both Republican and Democratic, have bad character.
I'm saying this because I agree, character cannot be separated from any aspect of our lives. This doesn't mean that if someone doesn't have perfect character, they won't do anything good. Beautiful art has come from not so beautiful characters. God used the Assyrians and Babylonians to get his people back in line.
And I don't think this necessarily means that the candidate needs to be a Christian. Martin Luther once said, in essence, that he'd rather vote for a Turk (i.e. Muslim) who could rule well than a Christian who couldn't. Just because someone's a Christian doesn't necessarily mean they have the most character. As C.S. Lewis said, Christians are on a process, and the end result is not to become nice (although that may be a side effect) but to be transformed. Sometimes the nicest people in the world aren't Christians. Of course, in this election, both candidates are Christians (I'm assuming this to be true based on what both have said).
Thing is, I'm not particularly impressed with the character of either McCain or Obama.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

You make a great point about integrity and accountability. I heard a radio program during Clinton's impeachment trial during which a caller stated that he didn't elect Clinton for what he did in his private life; that was his own business. He elected Clinton for how he would run our country and as far as he was concerned, Clinton had done a wonderful job so far.
It just struck me as curious that someone could so easily divorce a man's personal and private character with his attitude about leading our country. That's a heckuva lot of power he holds in his hands.

Jesus and the early apostles had a lot to say about marrying character with leadership. Not being a whitewashed tomb, to start with. All of the qualifications for selecting deacons and elders. Knowing people by their fruit. That's not light duty stuff.

I think one of the best looks at redemption a fallen leader is when King David repented of adultery with Bathsheba and using his position to arrange the murder of Uriah. He was called on it, and he repented. He did not back-pedal. He didn't try to redefine the terms to make himself look better. He called his sin a sin.
I have a lot more respect for leaders that have the strength of character to admit when their character falters.

If we waited for a flawless leader to step forward, we'd be waiting a long time. We just have to look at a candidate's track record, pray a LOT, and vote our conscience.

3:35 PM  

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