Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Making History

This is not a political blog, although politics have always been of interest to me. Earlier in my life it was my plan to become a United States Senator, so every two years when the election process heats up I am an interested observer. I have chosen not to become overly involved in the political process at the local levels because of my role as a spiritual leader in the church. My first commitment is to God and to the vocation to which I have been called, and I am reluctant to do anything that would diminish my ability to lead. So, while I hold pretty clear political opinions, and while my preaching seeks to connect my Christian faith understanding with the world, I do not believe God is a Democrat or a Republican. Frankly, I find political extremism on whatever end of the spectrum that is wrapped in religious ideology a bit frightening. I am as uncomfortable with dogmatic conservatives who claim God is theirs to shrill liberals who co-opt Deity in other ways. My position is that politics can easily become an idol for any person of faith. I want to avoid that, while continuing to recognize that God expects us to be involved in political process because that's how we, as a society, care for others and provide stability for human empowerment.

In any case, I exercised my right to vote this morning. At 6:50 AM I was standing in line (number fifteen) outside my precinct awaiting the opportunity to cast my ballot. Our second-oldest son Rand (now 20) was with me (number sixteen) as well. Two years ago Rand voted for the first time with me, and this year he is voting for the second time with me. Just a few minutes ago I spoke to our oldest son Kyle (21) who lives in the metro area; he experienced frustration at the polling place, but has also voted. Our son Mike (19) is a convicted felon and is excluded from voting. At some point today my wife Claudia will also vote. I'm not sure that she and I have ever accompanied one another to the polls, and historically she and I have sort of cancelled out one another's votes. She is rather close-mouthed about her political preferences, while I am fairly talkative about mine, at least at home. Our kids at home find it amusing to bait us with issues and then decide whether they're going to side with mom or dad. I always remind them, though, that politics is a human, faulty process with no guarantees, and that each person seeking office has their own peccadilloes. There is none righteous, no not one. (Hmmm. I think I've read that somewhere before).

Today, however any of us choose to vote, we will make history. Either the first African-American man will be elected president, or the first female will be elected Vice President. (As you can see, I don't give third parties much credence at the presidential level). And whatever your political persuasion, it seems like an election year when things need to shift in our country's corporate life. With the economic crises and other issues belaboring us as a nation, it seems that all of us with brief a collective sigh of relief when today is over. Whatever the outcome, we are tired of the political advertising, the intensity, the inactivity that currently characterize our common life as US Americans.

If you are reading this before the polls close, and you have not yet voted, do it. You will make history.

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