Tuesday, September 16, 2008

on my mind

OK, so I have a few things I want to get off my chest today. My sincere hope is that anyone who reads this will see where my heart is and will understand that it is not my intention to blame or shame anyone, but rather to offer a slightly different viewpoint than what seems to be the popular opinion in my community.
First, let me say that I do consider myself to be a Democrat. I also consider myself to be a strong, Christian woman. Contrary to some people's beliefs, I do not consider those 2 things to be mutually exclusive!!
I think the thing that has bothered me the most during this election, is the notion that if you are a Christian (or at least a good, worthy Christian) then you MUST be a Republican. I am not sure exactly where this idea began, but it is a philosophy that has run rampant during this election season, and I find it to be extremely offensive.
I am ALL for political disagreement. I have enjoyed politics for as long as I can remember, and I like nothing more than to have a friendly, political debate with someone. I have learned a lot from people with viewpoints that differ from my own, and even when I have disagreed with someone on their personal beliefs, I have tried to be attentive and respectful.
We all come from different backgrounds, we have different stories that have shaped and formed our beliefs along the way, and although I passionately disagree with many of the "Republican" idealogies, I can still respect the individual.
What I can NOT respect is when someone uses religion (and to a lesser extent, patriotism) as a means of attacking someone else's political beliefs. For example, I recently recieved an email with the subject line saying something to the effect of, "Obama makes fun of the Bible." OK, first of all, that is a pretty bold statement, and one that I hope people would not take lightly. Remember that we all also recieved emails in the not so distant past that told us Obama was a Muslim, that he refused to salute the flag and that his wife was anti-American.....all of which we later learned were untrue.
I followed the link on the latest email attack ad and found a video on Youtube that uses an excerpt from one of Obama's speeches in 2006 and is followed by a man's voice detailing all the reasons why Obama is misguided and why we should not vote for him. One of the things that stood out to me in this ad was that the "expert" declared in his comments that he was certain Jesus would not have "turned his cheek" to terrorists. My question is, O really, how exactly does he know that?? I admit that I am no expert on the Bible, but I think most people would agree that at times it can be difficult to understand. I believe that is why it is important for us to stay in the Word each day, to continue trying to muddle our way through and to draw personal conclusions from what we read.
What I understood Obama to be saying in his speech is that we must be careful in using the Bible to form public policy. He quoted certain passages from the Bible as a way to show that when taken out of context, flawed human beings could use the Bible as their justification for certain policies, laws, etc....and the Bible would then be reduced to a tool for someone's political gain. I agree with Obama that that would be a dangerous path to take.
My understanding of the Separation of Church and State is not that you can not love the Lord and still serve your country, but rather that you should not use your own personal understanding of God and His Word as justification for creating public policy.
My personal preference is to have a President that has a personal relationship with God, who prays daily that He or She will make the best decisions for our country, who looks to the Bible for wisdom and truth......my belief is that God will take care of the rest.....if that person has his or her own life right with God, then we don't have to worry about the direction of our country.
I am the Mother of 2 beautiful children and I am voting for someone that I believe will best represent my viewpoints: I am passionate about the environment (I know I need to get rid of my big 'ole SUV), I am for gun control, I am personally opposed to abortion but passionately pro-choice, I believe in gay marriage and women's rights and equality and I believe in helping those that are less fortunate than myself, I believe that I am my brother's keeper, but mostly I am voting for someone that inspires me to be a better me, someone that I believe will bring a sense of optimism and hope to a country that so desperately needs that right not.
Yet having said all that, I still believe that John McCain is a good man....a man that has served his country well and who loves his family. I do not believe it is necessary for me to attack his spirituality or his morality....I have simply made a decision to vote for someone else.
So there it is. I hope I was able to communicate effectively what is on my heart and I pray that I am a good representation of what a Christian-Democrat can look like......someone who loves this country, loves her God, loves her family and genuinely wants the best for everyone.
Thank you for listening.
XOXO, Kristy


rachael ortiz said...

Kristy, I have known you for so long and seriously never relized what a wonderful writer you are...one of the things that I love most about our friendship is how you challenge me to be more open minded...we may not always agree on everything but I think our friendship is a great example of how fun it is when you can respectfully challenge one another...I loved our political discussion yesterday...I think you are Very right about it being wrong to attack these candidates personally...Obama is not making fun of the bible...both of these men's hearts are in the right place, so people should really vote for whose policies they agree with rather than falling for scare tactics. Thank you for your opinions...I know your character and can vouch that you are a great Christian democrat... Love you, rachael

The Russell Family said...

KAK!! haha remember that!! ok now....

I'm proud that you are confident enough to voice your opnion yet secure enough to do it an a way that expresses your thoughts without out pushing them on someone else... It's wonderful that we live in a country where we have choices and can vote ~ where we don't all have to agree on everything but as friends and Christians we can respect each other opinions without making personal attacks.... And Rachael is right you are a brilliant writer! Luv ya too, Wendy


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