Monday, October 04, 2004

Okay. . . here I enter the current discussion of the upcoming election (hopefully from a perspective of faith above every other conviction).

I like the positions Bush espouses on some moral issues more than Kerry, but I really doubt that Bush will actually do anything substantive about those issues. I know Kerry won't do anything.

I don't like the harsh, angry, judgmental attitude that conservatives often seem to have about the moral issues. Conservatives always seem to win on the "being ugly" scale over morally lax liberals. The liberals seem more condescending than spiteful . . . but is that any better? Can't one be right without being condemning or dismissive?

I don't like the way Bush seems to have sold out to big business and the wealthy, but I don't know if Kerry's concern for the middle class and marginalized will be expressed in truly helpful ways.

Bush's simple view of the world scares me. He does not seem to appreciate the complexity of issues . . . for him everything is clear-cut, black and white. He's always right and can admit no wrong. Because some good has been accomplished in Iraq, all the wrongness of how we got there is justified. Why don't we free all the other oppressed people of the world by invading their countries? Much of the world is afraid that America might decide they are wrong and invade to fix things.

Kerry seems to appreciate the complexity of things but I don't trust the basis on which he would choose to address the world's complexity. What good is it to truly understand the many issues and ramifications, and consider them all in the course of making a decision, if the decision is not an expressing God's nature? But now I'm expecting more from a worldly government than is possible.

It seems that much of the campaigning on both sides knowingly misrepresents statements and positions of the other party/candidate in an effort to score political points by instilling fear. There seems to be little generosity, good-will, grace or mercy displayed.

Bottom line - this thoroughly un-Christian system of government which is predicated on competition and conquest (the idea being that two parties fighting against each other in order to win produces good government is like thinking war produces peace) displays all the weaknesses one would expect with something so un-Christlike at the core. A Christlike core would be love, grace, mercy, hope, peace, and joy in a cooperative atmosphere - but it would never succeed in governing sinful people. A government of grace would only succeed in governing people of grace. Capitalism works because it is based on greed. You can always count on sin. An economic system based on loving your neighbor would never work - unless all the people were filled with the Holy Spirit. It is the same with government systems.

For me, I am as disappointed in my choices as I should expect to be - given that this is the world and I am a citizen of God's Kingdom. I have hope . . . but it's not in either Bush or Kerry.


Ken Haynes said...

Well said...before I read your blog this morning I read an interesting article by Mark Noll in Christian Century

Steve Duer said...

Amen. Well said. Being in a liberal profession I often get things fowarded to me most conservatives don't. Yesterday I got an alert about a "radical" OBGYN who was being appointed to the FDA's Reproductive Medicine Review Board (not the correct term but the jist is there). It was simple fear mongering. I checked out the FDA web site, obtained some fax and sent it back to my friend asking for clarification. He intern copied me on an email to the Kerry Campaign asking for clarification. At this point and time, I am not even sure I am going to vote because I don't enjoy picking the lessor of evils. I am not undesided, I am simply disgusted!