Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hooray for Obama

Still leading in Iowa

6 comments:

Benjamin Ady said...

iowa writers' workshop, here we come! p'haps!

(this is megs speaking!!)

love you, my wonderful, hopeful husband!

megan

David H said...

Benjamin, heard this piece on NPR and found it interesting. Didn't know what to do with it, but maybe it fits here.

On NPR’s “All Things Considered,“ Monday, Dec. 3, the pastor of a conservative church in Des Moines, Iowa was interviewed about the upcoming presidential primaries ( http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16846063). Pastor Mike Rose had some interesting things to say.

Firstly, he expressed dismay that many Republican candidates are not, in his opinion, simply moving toward the center but shifting over to the left. More on what he meant by that in a moment.

Before detailing those issues and how they affect himself, his congregants and the position of a larger body of “Christian” political conservatives, he took a swipe at Mitt Romney for being a Mormon. While noting that he didn’t want to take a swipe at anyone’s faith, Rose said many pastors are concerned because they have taught for years that Mormonism is a cult. Not they have a presidential candidate who upholds many of their “moral” values but if they endorse him then they are legitimizing his “cult.”

However, Romney, and a couple of the other GOP front-runners, do not oppose abortion and/or same sex marriage.

While he did not address the latter directly, Rose made it clear that homosexuality falls into the realm of moral absolutes. On abortion he said: “It is very important for myself and my congregants. We believe that life begins at conception and we believe that abortion is taking a legitimate life. Therefore we believe that we don’t have the right to make that decision. Candidates who want to support that become candidates it is hard for us to support.”

I found it interesting that Pastor Rose moved, without missing a beat, from a WE that meant him and people who shared his beliefs, to a we that would encompass everyone in the United States. In essence, we believe this is wrong therefore you can’t be allowed to do it.

When asked by the interviewer what it would take for him or his congregants to look past that, he added: “I’m not sure that we can. If we wound up at election time next November and have a candidate on both sides who is for abortion and for same sex marriage, that will force voters to decide: Do I vote for the lesser of two evils as they may look at it or do I not vote at all.”

Under those circumstances, Rose said many conservative Christians may choose to bypass the presidential election. However, “I don’t agree with that ... and I would encourage people not to do that,” he said.

What struck me most forcefully about this is that politics — unlike morals — is all about compromise. I was never clear on how people who wed their faith to moral absolutes could ever come to terms with a system that essentially forces people to trade what they “believe” for what they can get. But it was doubly ironic to hear the church pastor advocating for such compromise so that Christians could maintain their role in deciding the secular power structure.

But it also made me wonder anew: What place should morals and a moral agenda have in the selection of the President of the United States? What role should followers of Christ take in defining that moral position — based on the teachings of Jesus? Should believers in the absoluteness of some truths ever compromise them in order to maintain their place in a power structure?

Benjamin Ady said...

david,

man you ask hard questions.

Isn't part of the problem wedding moral absolutes and power? I mean it seems to me like it would be a good thing if moral absolutes and power were further separated from each other. They seem like a dangerous combination.

I'm taking the liberty of reposting a bit from your comment to the top of my blog. Hope that's okay.

Wasn't Jesus about power under, and the presidential election is more about power over?

byron smith said...

As an outsider, I'd love to hear why you prefer Obama over Clinton. I'm not aware of enough of the differences to make a call (not that my judgement makes much difference! Though my wife is a US citizen).

Benjamin Ady said...

byron

obama over clinton is a pretty easy call.

I mean just background wise. Obama has been working his whole career to help the disenfranchised. Clinton has been working her whole life to be president.

That's a massive oversimplification. But there it is.

The impression I get from clinton is that she wants and plans to serve two terms. The impression I get from obama is that he wants to change the world.

byron smith said...

Fair enough. I was just chatting with an American girl tonight (who is very up on her politics) and she prefers Obama to Clinton as well.