Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain/Palin: I Like It

I can honestly say now that I am excited to be an advocate for John McCain for President. After listening to his statements to Rick Warren regarding abortion, and after knowing who he chose as his running mate, Sarah Palin, I became convinced that McCain has every intention on being an advocate for the unborn. I make no bones about the fact that I am one of those hard-headed and ignorant (at least to many) people who vote primarily according to values. To be honest, I would rather have a president who runs the country into the ground financially than have a president who either advocates or turns a blind eye to the ultra injustice of the mass killing of the unborn. Anyway, I am officially excited about the McCain/Palin ticket. Only time will tell if McCain's choice of Palin was beneficial or not. One thing is for sure, his choice of her has determined my vote (have I mentioned how important my vote is? Let me just say this, "Ok, so my vote isn't that important." Leave me alone).

16 comments:

Jessy said...

I WHOLE HEARTEDLY AGREE. I am one of theose value voters, too, Jimmy. People sometimes think that holding to that view is a cop-out from having a really convincing political argument, but all I care about is having a leader who does not openly and delibrately stand against what God Almighty stands for: murder is sin in all its forms and the definition of marriage is the union between one man and one woman. The Bible has shown us over and over that having a leader who does not fear the Lord makes for a bad political career - Ahab much? People who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.

Brian Keith Phillips said...

I'm with you, Jims.
As I learned about Palin, it has changed my perspective from "voting against Obama" to "voting for McCain/Palin."
Unborn babies everywhere are dancing in the womb...? ;)

Tom 1st said...

I'm in agreement with you, Jimmy, in that values voting is the most important to me.

However, I'm not so sure that John McCain really upholds the "values" I support. Sure, he's pro-life (that is, anti-abortion), but being anti-abortion is not my only moral value. Christians should be anti-war and anti-poverty as well.

Certainly, I don't think Obama is offering anything better. It's just, I hate that these discussion which come down to 'values' only really speak of one value - abortion, all the while ignoring the fact that a consistent ethic of human life also extends to our enemies! I think this fact is all too often overlooked in our violence saturated culture, which Evangelicalsim props up more than it wishes to acknowledge.

Tom 1st said...

Just as a side note, as well...

I think the video link to Obama was completely unfair.
First, it cut him off before he was finished speaking on the topic - that makes me wonder what he said that the editor's wanted to hide.
Second, it went on to make fun of him for his verbal pauses.

I'm fine with anyone having their opinions, but its this kind of stuff that makes us unable to diaglue with one another on a civil level. Obama clearly (though I think wrongly) is wrestling with the issue. He wasn't trying to offer an easy answer. And to be honest - he's not entirely wrong, there is no clear biblical, exegetical evidence for life beginning at conception - that's an inference of certain texts, but never the main teaching of any text.

I think we need to start being more fair in our analysis of those with whom we disagree. I think Obama's wrong - but I can at leat appreciate his attempts to not give an easy answer, and his ability to consider the views of women here.

Jessy said...

Maybe, Tom 1st, you could check out Jimmy's post on Aug. 4th, if you already haven't. It may give you more insight into Jimmy's full convictions on the matter of this election.

Tom 1st said...

Thanks Jessy. I did read Jimmy's post from August 4th and had no problems with it. In my response to this post, I did not disagree with anything Jimmy said. I appreciate the full range of his convictions.

However, I was just adding the conversation that 'values voting' should be more than just abortion.

That said, I think Jimmy (unintentionally) goes against his convictions about treating the opponent as fully human when he uses that particular video to support his case. The video doesn't give Obama's full thoughts and it makes fun of him.

Again, I'm not in disagreement with Jimmy. I was just adding the conversation and critiquing the use of that particular video.

Jimmy Snowden said...

Tom,

I agree with you that Christians ought not just be outspoken about 1 issue. From your comment I suppose you to be a pacifist. I sincerely, but humbly, disagree with pacifism. I understand why one would hold to it. I do not think that Christians think through this issue enough--they popishly reject it. However, I really do not see it in the Scriptures (this is not the format to discuss this issue here because the post had to do with abortion, however, I am not annoyed by you bringing it up--it pertains to the issue in an indirect way). Although I am not a pacifist, I am against unjust war. I do not see Iraq as an unjust war. There simply is no incontrovertible evidence to suppose it to be so. Although I can see why some have their doubts, their doubts are not based upon incontrovertible evidence. This does not mean that it is not an unjust war, it just means that there is no way to prove that it is--and I have no reason to consider it so. If I felt a war to be unjust, I would fight against it with just as much passion as I would abortion. If I felt the Iraq war to be unjust (and I don't, but if I did), I would not vote for John McCain, period.

In regard to poverty: There is no telling which candidate is more for taking care of the down and outs. Although Obama may seem to be, I suggest that the difference between Obama and McCain to be a matter of governmental theory (specifically regarding how big and how much control the government should have--neither side can boast over the other of being more adamant about ending this social concern). Neither of the candidates out and out fight against poverty--neither of them fight against it either. Because of this, I do not emphasize it in my consideration of who I am going to vote for--it really is a non-issue in this campaign.

The only reason I single out abortion is because, in my opinion, it is really the only social issue that separates these two specific candidates in this specific election. Therefore, it is the deciding factor--that's why I make it the single deciding social issue.

However, I do think that your concern is largely needed. It is the whole 'scarlet D on the chest' issue (those who have been divorced are treated in the church as if they have committed the unforgivable sin). One of the issues that I do have with both candidates is their weak stance on the environment--and, for that matter, their stupid logic on when and how to be hardcore about the environment. All social issues should be a big deal to all Christians. And I am of the flavor that says that it is not the job of the government to take care of these issues; it is the job of the church.

Lastly, in regard to the argument about when personhood begins. This is largely debated, however, I just cannot not stand for the innocent--those who do not have a voice. The helpless must be spoken for. This is just too emphasized in the Scriptures for me to budge even a milainch. I am a large advocate for the rights of women, but I also thoroughly believe that there are consequences to having sex--children are conceived (I understand that issues regarding rape are much more difficult--I have too much on my plate to begin the debate). I also cannot stand Christians who make abortion and homosexuality the unforgiveable sin. Bottom line for me, the helpless should not be the one who pays. I take this pretty seriously; as seriously as I take other social issues concerning justice and the helpless. My greatest frustration is not with unconverted politicians, but with the church who yell with neck veins protruding at those who get abortions and yet will not lift a finger to adopt or provide for mothers in difficult situations.

I agree with you that the video was not complete, and thus it was unfair. I will switch it out for a better one as soon as I can find one on youtube. Thanks for pointing that out. I hate being unfair.

This is where we might disagree: I do not appreciate Obama's approach in struggling through the abortion issue--the helpless are the helpless. I may be hard headed about this, but I just cannot be silent about the mass killing of the helpless. I have no patience for the injustice which he advocates (although I do not consider him a monster).

Anyway, there are my thoughts on your multi-layered comment.

Jimmy

Jimmy Snowden said...

I switched the abortion video.

Lynn said...

Jimmy,

I love you.

Your mom

Luke Snowden said...

Jimmy,

I was waiting for your replies here. I think you have offerred some helpful insights. Here's my two-cents:

The emerging mentality in the Church tends to agree with the general cultural penchant by looking to the state as the deliverer of peace and tranquility. We look to the state to eradicate war, to eradicate poverty, to eradicate abortion, etc...

This is a multi-layered statement in that there are at least, if not many more, ways in which this happens. The non-Christian looks to the state to accomplish justice and just about every other wish they have because, if they do have a belief in a god, that god is distant, impotent, and/or too transcendent to really do anything here.

The Christian looks to the state to usher in Biblical morality and a 'psuedo-Christian' society because on the ground, practically, it appears as if that is the most efficent way of accomplishing the task. Hence we have set up ministries like the ACLJ, Focus on the Family, etc... whose major, if not main, purpose is to accomplish Christian purposes through the state.

Now, it is not wrong to use the means God has given us to make change. I believe it is imperative that we do. However, there is a growing trend to see this as end in and of itself. There is the tendency to believe that Government is going to usher in a "heaven on earth" if only the right man be elected!

I'm getting long so I'll finish up here: It is not wrong to hope and work for a Christian morality expressed in the state. It is however a sign of sickness to assign to the state primary powers to accomplish such ends.

What we as Christians need is a robust view of the sovereingty of God and his power to convert and change nations. It is amazing how fervently we'll fight and agonize over candidates who don't match our political and moral beliefs compared to how little we agonize over the furthering of the Kingdom of God through the Gospel.

Politics should serve our faith in this: that we are propelled to further the Kingdom of God: only his politics and rule is just and equitable. Only Christ's rule through the Gospel can bring us hope and joy.

So, I am a man with tension. The state has its place, but it is well below the power of the Church in whose hands rests the power to literally transform culture. To vote is to exercise an American right and privelidge that has minimal affect for four years. To preach the Gospel is to exercise a mandate to change the world.

Jimmy, how can we keep this in perspective during this election?

Jimmy Snowden said...

Luke,

I agree with you wholeheartedly. True change can only be achieved through the transforming power of the Gospel. The reason I make abortion such a big deal in regard to who I will vote for is because it is, for me, a matter of credential. In my mind, the commander in chief needs to be a man who is for justice and against injustice. A man who is neither against injustice (the killing and oppression of the innocent) nor for justice (the advocacy of the innocent and helpless, and the stopping of those who kill and oppress the helpless and innocent), is not fit to be commander in chief--he lacks the primary principle of justice (and/or discernment).

I really liked this from your comment, "To vote is to exercise an American right and privelidge that has minimal affect for four years. To preach the Gospel is to exercise a mandate to change the world."

Jimmy

Tom 1st said...

Actually, Jims, I'm not a Pacifist. I'm merely a consistent Just War Theorist - The Iraq War violated JW theory in 3 ways - it was preemptive, it was not the Last Resort, and finally it is questionable whether the ends justified the means.

All that to say - our political culture is so polemicized that to be "anti-Iraq-war" somehow means one must be a pacifist. This is not so - JW theorist need to have an equal abhorance to violence as do pacifists.

That said, I hope you can understand why an Evangelical Pacifist or consistent JW theorist might not want to vote Republican. It's still values voting.

Finally, on personhood, I agree with the Evangelical position about where personhood begins. I'm not arguing that point. I'm just saying that it is more difficult exegetically than we generally like to imagine. But, yes, I agree with you.

Tom 1st said...

Luke, I have just one quibble with your post, which otherwise I consider to be fantastic.

I think your comment on the Emergent movement is a caricaturization. There may be some Emergents like that, but, hey, there are some Calvinists like that.

In reality, b/c Emergents are Postmodern, and Postmoderns are generally skeptical of power and authority, Emergents do not generally have what others have deemed a "Soteriology of the State." That is, I see Emergents participating within government, but I see nothing in the Emergent movement like I see in the larger Evangelical culture (Focus on the Family, Justice Sunday, Moral Majority, etc.) They are too skeptical of any power-base to assume governmental power is our savior.

I just wanted to clear that up. If I've misunderstood or misrepresented you, I apologize.

Good discussion, gentlemen.

Jimmy Snowden said...

Tom,

Sorry for misunderstanding your position. I saw your blanket, unqualified "Christians should be anti-war" statement and took it at face value. Thanks for clarifying.

Jimmy

Luke Snowden said...

Tom,

I in know way intended the term "emerging" to mean "Emergent Church." These terms are so loaded these days. I specifically had in mind Focus on the Family and other longstanding overtly politicized Evangelical organizations. Sure, I think some of the Emergent Church have too much hope in the Government, but I do know enough about the Emergent Church to know that this is an anomaly and not the norm: for anything structured, and apparently objective, to accomplish anything of any percieved objective good apart from what seems subjectively flowery and in tune with a 60's "pass the pipe" CONVERSATION would be little more than taboo in such settings.

This is not at all representative of ALL Emergents, but as I have read widely on the issue, it does seem to be the norm.

Tom 1st said...

I apologize, Luke, for misunderstanding your use of 'emergent.' That's funny! You're right - the word is loaded these days.

I think if we limit ourselves to Brian McClaren and a few others, then yes, your charicaturization of the Emergent is spot on. But I don't think McClaren is really representative - I would say people like James K. Smith, Caputo, and Marion are really the force behind the Emergent movement - indeed, they are the philo-theolgians which provide the framework at least.

Cheers, brother. And, again, sorry about the misunderstanding - I hope I didn't come off as rude in my reply.

Tom