are you republican or democrat?

i grew up in rural indiana. if you wanted to stereotype the religious-right “conservatives” i was one of them. i voted for george w. bush in 04 for one reason. abortion. I didn’t look into any other issues cuz i thought abortion was the most important.

now i’m going to vote for barrack obama.

so am I a republican who has turned democrat? or am i still a republican who is just voting democrat in this election?

when posed with this question, i’d have to say that i’m neither. well, maybe i’m one (i’m just not sure which one i am) but i know this:

before i’m a republican or democrat, I’m an american.

and every then.

before i’m an american, i’m a member of the human race (so i really don’t support bullying other countries)

but being a follower of Jesus supersedes my alliance with fellow humans.

so if we’re going to throw labels around, i’ll just stick with american, or human, or christ-follower.

thanks to freethinker for getting me thinking.

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by curious on October 21, 2008 at 11:15 am

    can you name 5 reasons you’d vote for obama over mccain?

    Reply

  2. 1. i want to pull troops out of iraq
    2. i want more of my tax money to go to the poor, hungry, and homeless
    3. we need to jump-start the green economy
    4. from early in the primaries, i sensed that obama had the personality of a history-making leader
    5. authenticity
    6. i wouldn’t mind if Joe Biden were president

    ps. i want to reiterate what i’ve said before on this blog. this election isn’t about “obama is right and mccain is wrong.” there has got to be a middle ground. Obviously there are things that mccain is better at than obama. no one is perfect and i’m not going to go around and become some partisan talking head, but i’m going to be honest and transparent.

    also, it is very difficult to not bash the other candidate, but i tried very hard to only include positives for obama in my response.

    Reply

  3. Posted by joel on October 21, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    i’m so there man. I’m glad that even though we are many miles apart that we still have the same brain waves.

    Reply

  4. Posted by curious on October 21, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    it’s hard to find the middle when you’ve voted 97% of the time within your party’s ground. if you want the middle, Barak is far, far removed.

    those are all fine reasons to vote for a candidate. i would, however, suggest that from a policy-standpoint, they are all relatively weak. your blog is not a guest’s soapbox, but i suppose i was hoping to see some of your response include ideas like your supporting barak’s universal healthcare, his relatively anti-gun ownership disposition, or even his stance on abortion. Instead half of the reasons are personality-based reflections rather than policy observations.

    i do think it responsible and Jesus-esque to avoid outright bashing the other candidate. but i’ll be honest, as Jesus-followers, I think our political responsibilities, as Augustine would attest, go a little deeper than hoping for personality and going green.

    Reply

  5. curious.

    as i read your response to my 5 reasons, i realize that you’re right. they had very little policy behind them.

    and that may be a reflection of my personality and how i tend to paint issues with more broad, general tones.

    for example, obama’s universal healthcare idea would fall under my #2 reason (in my mind). so would programs for schools, hungry, poor, immigration, etc.

    and i do understand that obama is far removed from the middle. i used to think he was all about bringing politicians together and quickly realized that every candidate claimed that.

    and as far as being all about “change,” i think that obama would be a change from “bush” but not necessarily a change from government as usual (unless he takes the “grassroots” style of his campaign to the whitehouse). for complete, systematic change you’d have to go with nadar or ron paul or something.

    i also agree with your augustine reference, that is why i can vote for obama though i do not agree with some of his policies. i see him as a leader who is “president material.” and it is my job as a US citizen and as a Christ follower to continue to influence my government throughout the years in-between election seasons.

    as with any president, we are taking a gamble. neither mccain, obama, nadar, etc. is a “sure thing.” and they’d probably all enact policies that “hurt” the american people in some way.

    so yeah.

    i’ll vote for obama.
    but i’ll also recognize that who we elect for president is a small part of my influence in the world.

    Reply

  6. Posted by curious on October 22, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    i suppose my final question would be, how did you make your peace with abortion this time around? if it played such a strong role in your previous vote, how does Barak supporting the “Freedom of Choice Act”(making partial birth abortions legal again, as well as requiring taxpayer funding of abortion) and his 4 separate votes against protecting babies born alive after abortions affect your vote?

    does “presidential material” include actions such as those?

    Reply

  7. i would say that i haven’t made peace with the abortion issue and obama’s stance on it. i would say it is the issue that i am most outwardly critical of obama on.

    i think that “presidential material” does not include some of those actions. i will openly and honestly point out the areas where i don’t agree with obama on. and i am not saying that i agree with him on either issue.

    on abortion:
    i think that the abortion debate is framed incorrectly. i think we need to think about what we can do to make it best for everyone (unborn children and the mothers who are carrying the child). it is my assumption that people operate out of incentives. they need incentives for certain actions – especially if those actions are “comfortable” or “beneficial to that individual.

    that being said – it is my understanding that around 70% of abortions are happening in situations where poverty simply limits whether or not the mother can support the child. we need to provide the single mom who is working a minimum wage job with some incentives to keeping the child. maybe give a huge tax break to single moms. maybe cover the expenses of the birth and following year of raising the child. i don’t know. all i’m saying is that if we want to see abortions end (i would love to make them illegal, but i’m more interested in saving babies than writing legislation) we need to be excited about seeing the number of abortions end (even if it isn’t 100%). as a tax-payer, i’d be more than willing to pump out the taxes if i know my taxes are battling poverty and therefore helping lower the number of abortions.

    also – in my opinion – we need to be about promoting safe-sex to teenagers.

    also – in my opinion – we need to make adoption easier.

    that being said – i don’t see roe vs. wade being overturned anytime soon (as it would require the government to recognize that life “begins” somewhere before birth). and therefore, we need to deal with abortions in the realm that we deal with them now.

    we need not hope for our government to lead the charge on this, but the government will follow the people (they have to, we vote them in).

    Reply

  8. Posted by curious on October 23, 2008 at 12:40 am

    i’m afraid that i perceive your idea of taxes to be rather on the idealistic side. the government’s purpose behind taxes isn’t to act as a robinhood (taking from the rich to distribute to the poor) but rather as a means of generating an income to take care of a wide variety of different expenditures. this includes the roads you drive on, healthcare, parks you enjoy, the defense of the nation, etc.. welfare is indeed a part of taxes (roughly 3.2%), but rather than petition the government to use more of your tax money, why not simply give directly to organizations that would be more effective (and certainly less bureaucratic)? you would be hard pressed to find any politician (regardless of party) willing to pump out taxes to fix the plight of the poor: politically speaking the idea is political suicide (if your voting in hopes this changes, it will be a long four years).

    incentives is an interesting idea. but barak is not interested (or at least he has never thus far) in seeing abortions fall in number. how can a man offer incentives to clamp something that his party so heavily favors–that is to say, if a man has voted 97% of the time in his party’s ideological lines, will he be willing to offer incentives to lower the abortion rate, against the wishes of his party?

    if abortion is detestable, then should Christians be willing to compromise? is principle worth abandoning because something seems unattainable?

    Reply

  9. Posted by Also Curious on October 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Adam,

    Have you ever heard of the “Freedom of Choice Act?” Obama on July 17,2007 and on other occasions has made it clear that if he is office this is among the first things he will sign into law. Look into it down below by Dr. George. As I understand it this will erase virtually all of the pro-life movement has made.

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/viewarticle.php?selectedarticle=2008.10.14_George_Robert_Obama's%20Abortion%20Extremism_.xml

    Voting for Senator Obama is effectively voting for abortion. He has never voted for a restriction on major or minor on abortion in his political career.

    The overruling of Roe v. Wade is also interesting because currently there are 5 supreme court justices who would not allow legislation to pass that would overrule Roe. There are 4 that would. 4 of these are among those that voted against the ban on partial birth abortion. Now, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 75 and has had bouts with cancer and Justice John Paul Stevens is 88. There is a great reason to believe that the next President will appoint at least one judge. If Republicans (scratch that pro-lifers) are in charge of the Congress then legislation will pass with the overruling of Roe v. Wade that would take the issue back the states. Currently a little less than half the states ready to criminalize abortion, but this is a huge step forward. It is closer than you think and that cannot be ignored.

    Here’s a few more questions for you to think through though:

    Is abortion the equivalent of murder?

    Is it any different than targeting all red-heads and killing them because they’re different?

    There is a great difference between improving the quality of one’s life and their rights and granting the right to be born and have rights at all.

    Great comments though about how abortion involves working with organizations that give women in poverty options other than abortion and adoption. I couldn’t agree more on this point of examining our own lives and assisting those around us or in poor communities who ironically enough don’t think they have “a choice” sometimes. The only option is abortion Keeping our elected “pro-life” officials accountable and putting pressure on them is also important.

    A few other thoughts on Obama:

    Two out of the Four years as a Senator he’s been running for President and he is very inexperienced in this middle ground that you desire to see take place.

    You also mentioned that, “i want more of my tax money to go to the poor, hungry, and homeless,” and while this is good, here are my questions:

    Why do you trust the government to give them your money?

    No matter who controls the Government (Republican or Democrat) I trust you to give your money to the poor, hungry and homeless before Washington. There are countless ministries and other non-profits that are set up specifically for this purpose and I know you realize this. Is there a reason you can’t just give straight to organizations and you trust the government with your money?

    Regarding the jump start on the green economy:

    Have you seen what initiatives McCain has been a part of? Do you have any basis to believe Obama would make this more of a priority than McCain? And please go beyond saying that it seems as if Democrats care more about the earth than Republicans.

    To wrap up I am voting for McCain because I agree with him on a lot of issues (I can tell you more about these later) and also because I believe Obama is not only inexperienced, but has taken very radical partisan positions on many issues.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Also Curious on October 23, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Correction: Dr. George did not discuss the Freedom of Choice Act in this article. However, it is on Obama’s site and these other sites expand upon them:

    http://www.barackobama.com/2008/01/22/obama_statement_on_35th_annive.php

    http://www.lifenews.com/nat4359.html

    http://www.naral.org/issues/abortion/access-to-abortion/freedom-of-choice-act.html

    Reply

  11. yeah. i totally agree.

    like i said before, in 2004 i voted solely on the issue of abortion. this time around i’m rethinking my vote.

    your discussion has helped me see a lot of stuff (though i already knew obama was pro-choice).

    “endorse no one. advise everyone.”

    Reply

  12. Random thoughts/questions.

    This is not a Christian nation.

    So before we try to convince people to vote for McCain based mostly on abortion issues, shouldn’t something else be occurring before we expect them to come to the same conclusions?

    And do we expect all Christians to vote for McCain?

    Do you think a Christian can vote for Obama?

    Reply

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