Thursday, October 28, 2004

Voting for Senator John Kerry

An anonymous comment came asking me to explain how I justify voting for John Kerry.

My blog is not about campaigning for a particular candidate. I don't think I've ever said who I'm voting for in my blog. Rather, I'm trying to redemptively unsettle us all so that we come out of our corners and talk. Are we allowing our two party system to corner Christians into two camps and convince us that one or the other camp is necessarily morally rotten?

I'd encourage you to read through several posts in October where I bring in my brother's comments on stem cell research, comments on the debates, and links to sites such as Sojourners.

What if we had no political parties? Some Christians have chosen to bow out of the political process altogether because the church is diluted and splintered in the process, rather than strengthened. I don't think bowing out is the solution.

But it's interesting to consider what life without parties might be like. Without political parties urging us to polarize, I suppose we might not have to choose a certain subset of morality that comes along with the particular party we vote for. We could be Christians who want less government, spend no public funds for abortion yet begin new programs for adoption, are pacifists, seek justice for the poor, have fairness toward those making more than 200K and don't tax them exhorbitantly, and insure the poor and educate the children of our nation, and allow people to bear arms, and forbid stem cell research yet don't drop bombs on innocent children in foreign countries. Then we could vote for what our biblically- and kindom-shaped consciences call for.

But we are living in an imperfect two-party system (I know there are others on the ballot but practically we are still a two-party system). We have to chose a particular set of values and the person we feel will represent those to the best of his or her ability. This is the case in all levels of government, not only in the presidential race.

8 Comments:

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Maurie said...

Greg, I noticed you are an editor. Are you currently looking for any writers? I write some essays and have been published a few times in small magazines.

You can look at my blog (I'm not much of a blogger, but I'm trying)...www.maurietraylor.squarespace.com

Wade Hodges goes to my church (I was there first.)

Maurie Traylor

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger Greg Taylor said...

Yes, Maurie, I'll go to your blog and read and respond to your question about the magazine I edit, NEW Wineskins

 
At 9:24 PM, Blogger Clarissa said...

'Tweren't me! :-) Though I think it's clear which button I'll be pressing come Tuesday. I don't mind putting my name with my opinions when I actually have them.

 
At 5:12 AM, Blogger Maurie said...

Thanks, Greg.

 
At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg,

I'm only posting "anonymously" because I don't have a Blogger account, or Blogspot or whatever this is called. I'm new to the world of 'blogging' and still trying to figure this thing out. I don't want to advertise my identity for the world to see, due to privacy issues. I've been a victim of identity theft at least once before. It was a nightmare.

I will tell you that I attended Harding in the 1980's, where I knew you, your wife, and your brother. Can't say we ever hung out in the Student Center or prayed together at a Lily Pool Devotional, but we did used to know each other. I was a science major and your brother was in many of my classes, and we sang together in the Troubadors.

After college, I moved to Little Rock and worked at UAMS, while your brother was in med school. We saw each other from time to time at the Wendy's on Markham, where we'd each be grabbing a quick lunch break. I've always admired you and your family.

Your comments about not having any political parties, I find a bit naive and idealistic. Your heart is in the right place, in that you want to promote unity and minimize division.

However, if we applied your comments to religious doctrine, the message would be that we should all agree and there should be no division. True, but we are all human and all sinners and all flawed individuals.

As Christians, we must draw a line in the sand and set boundaries for what we will and will not tolerate. And just as we do this in our religious life, saying that certain things are inherently good or inherently evil. And we must stand up for what is right.

Issues like abortion, gay marriage, racial discrimination, etc., are WRONG. and we must stand up and say so publicly, both in our religious lives and in our political lives. My problem with Kerry is that he talks about his deep Catholic faith, while at the same time voting for abortion rights in the Senate for the last 20 years. That is just WRONG, and Catholics (or Protestants) who support him knowing his views on this are making a serious mistake in judgment.

 
At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, it bears noting that not all of the 'anonymous' comments on here were written by the same person. It appears there are several anonymous posters.

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger Keith Brenton said...

Hey, is one of those Anonymous posters above Barry? And is the "Greg's brother" referred to Toby? Forgive me, I'm just putting this all together!

And I just have to put in two cents' worth. A lot of things are wrong that aren't illegal. Do we want to make them illegal? How about remarriage after divorce? That one would put me behind bars.

Do we really want to turn over our work as Christian disciples -- which is persuading people to live righteous lives in Christ -- to our government -- which can only legislate the "right" way to live?

Do we really want the government to determine what's "right"?

Can we really defend forcing others to accept the precepts of our faith without the benefits; the relationship with God through Christ?

Would we really be comfortable if, say, Muslims or Buddhists or Wiccans or even Latter Day Saints became the majority in our country and they tried to put their precepts into law?

How would we feel if we gave them the precedents to do that in this election?

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Greg Taylor said...

I do not prefer anonymous posting myself, but I can understand why some might want to do it. Thanks for those who spoke strongly about not liking it. You have your say, too. If you want to post anonymously as a way to state some views and test the waters without fear of recrimination, that's fine with me. I want this to be a place where you can express your views safely and openly.

 

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