Friday, January 11, 2008

To Vote or Crawl Under a Rock...That's the question

I am in no position to sit at my computer and try to sound like I have a great deal of understanding when it comes to the election, the candidates, or the issues.


First of all, the position that I must take while seated at my computer is an uncomfortable one since there is a human being curled up in my rib cage. Second, I am in no position because of my ignorance on so many of the issues.


Now that I have made full disclosure of my shortcomings, I will share my two-cents anyway and hopefully come away with some insightful comments.

  • I know that I am a hard-core conservative.
  • I am staunchly pro-life. Period. No government funding for embryonic stem cell research. No provision for taking a human life despite dire circumstances. I don't budge here.
  • I support the 2nd Amendment. I have a Smith & Wesson in my Vera Bradley right now. (hee-hee)

  • Taxes? I hate them. I loathe them. They are ridiculously high and for reasons that I cannot even begin to wrap my brain around. I want a president who sincerely wants to drastically lower taxes....and never raise them again. (whisper...Ron Paul)

  • Healthcare? I am not very well-informed, but I do not think government is the answer. I like the idea of tax credits for insurance costs. I need more information on this.

  • Social Security? Another hot mess that I am clueless about. Raising the limits on the 401(k) is a start. Changing the way we view our government and their responsibility is the only way true reform will ever take place. I am an adult. I want to plan for my own retirement with my own money.

  • Education? Obviously the government and I have differing opinions on how our children should be educated. I certainly believe there should be some sort of tax credits for private or homeschooling. I am not invested in prayer during school or whether the 10 commandments should be posted in the hallway and I wasn't invested in those things when my children attended public school. Public school is not a Christian-based program.

  • Budget, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Environment, Oil, Corporations, Etc....I am not even remotely knowledgeable enough to form an intelligent opinion. Tell me what you think about these issues.
  • The War. Have mercy. I love Ron Paul but I cannot find solace in his plan for our withdrawal in Iraq. Maybe there is more to learn. On other issues that are radical, he does a better job of mapping out the transition. It appears that his plan is basically just *throw it in reverse*. It just doesn't make sense.
  • I want a smaller government. I have to admit that I have struggled with this in the past but no more. Let the individual citizen decide how & how much to aid their fellow man. Leslie hits the nail on the head below where I have her quoted. The responsibility of caring for the less fortunate should fall upon the church. The church has failed....is failing....and dare I say will continue to fail if there continues to be a lack of reformation....and I ain't talking about government reform.
I am talking about about church reform. I read other blogs and I have had countless conversations with other Christ-following Christians who are quick to point out that we need to serve....we need to love.....we need to give. The problem is that these characteristics do not appear naturally in our sinful nature. We are sinners. Let's start there. Preach that. Let the church be full but let it be full of those whose hearts are truly converted. Then service & love will spring forth from the only place where it is genuine...Jesus Christ.

  • What about the moral values and the integrity of the president? It certainly matters. I cannot say that he *must* be a Christian, while that would serve as a positive. The problem is it is hard to know a man's true faith position through speeches that are written by someone else and handlers who guard his every word. Actions and consistency over the course of a man's life serve as a greater measure.

So where does that leave us? A few days ago, I was having a conversation with a friend about the whole thing. The media circus, the lack of options, the decay of the country, etc... We were discussing the job of government (what it should be versus what it is). Later in the afternoon, Leslie posted this comment on Kim's blog. It reiterated so much of our conversation from earlier in the day, I thought I would just copy her thoughts here...

I think what we need to do is distinguish the difference between a true, or a traditional, conservative and a neo-conservative. Huckabee is a neo-conservative of the worst sort. He can talk a real good game, but that's about it. His biggest problem, apart from being a neo-con, is that he does not have any standards by which he makes decisions. He just does whatever he has to do to keep from making the really tough decisions. That's not leadership. I'm really surprised that the Harris family endorses him.

I'm afraid far too many Christians are supporting him just because he wears the tag "baptist." Well, Bill Clinton was a southern baptist, too, folks. (Or was he Methodist?) So was Jimmy Carter. All of the candidates wear their own religion tag. Does that mean we should vote for them? That should not be the basis on which we choose our candidates. Investigate their policies and positions. Make an informed decision. If you don't know about something then learn about it. Listen to what the candidates are actually saying.

The idea that we are supposed to choose presidential candidates based on what they will do for the poor and defenseless is faulty. Jesus gave those mandates for caring for the poor and the widow and the orphan to THE CHURCH! The Church has given up her God-given responsibilities to the federal government.

I'm not saying the President should ignore the Bible altogether, however, the Bible does not dictate what we do as a nation. That is the place of the Constitution.

Morality is not something that comes down to us from the White House, either, and I'm sick of listening to people tell me that we need a leader who can change our culture. Our culture is sick because it is full of sinful people. Plain and simple truth. Morality is not the job of the President of the United States of America. That is the responsibility of parents and churches. Let me ask you this, how holy are the people in your church? How holy is your city as a result of your church's presence? That's not POTUS's doing.

One more thing: Welfare and the nanny state is doing more harm to poor people in this country than you realize.

Think about it.

What are our options? I mentioned crawling under a rock, but that is not much of a solution. I tried it last week when the contractors tracked drywall mud up and down my stairs. It does absolutely no good.

So where am I? I have been following Ron Paul for several months and love (love, love, love) his fiscally conservative and socially conservative stand on so many of the vital issues. His unwavering & consistent voting record is impressive, especially considering all the times he has stood in a minority position. Popular opinion has not been his compass for decision making. I love that.

But.

I have always had and still have concerns about his plan for our nation's security. I can't say for sure that he is the guy.

Huckabee and Guiliani are off of my list. Huckabee is not a fiscal conservative and his immigration track record is foul. Guiliani is not pro-life. I could write more about both but I am losing steam.

I am in the process of gathering information. I think that is by far the wisest thing we can do at this point in the process. We have plenty of time to form a truly informed decision. I need more information on Fred Thompson. I need to really research Romney's position (and his previous position) on several issues. What about McCain? He seems to waver quite a bit, especially since his run in 2000.

Certainly a man is entitled to change his mind and his heart but when that man is running for president I feel like it takes on a whole different level of inconsistency. What caused the change? The desire to gain popular approval is more often than not, the cause.

Leslie has written some wonderful posts about this election. Kim has had some questions about Huckabee and her comment section was quite fruitful that day :) One of the commenter's said this,

" I have learned to rest and pray because none of these men (or woman) can thwart the plan of God. Remember, He turns the hearts of kings to accomplish His will."

True, and what peace we have to rest in that truth. At the same time, we must make a wise and informed decision and that can't be done if we hide under a rock.

O.K.

I'm done. I did not watch the debate last night because quite frankly....I am tired. I am so tired that just a couple of days ago, I told the telephone to "come here".

Honest to goodness folks. With my children as my witness, the phone began to ring as I was reading something and without even pausing to look up I said (and quite sternly) "Come here!"

And I said it more than once.

It was Emma who gently and curiously asked,

"Momma......are you talking to the phone?"

That confession should excuse any grammar mistakes or politically incorrect statements made in this post.

10 comments:

Wendy said...

lots of good thoughts here, Kim. thanks for sharing this.

i'm trying to learn more about all the canidates right now.

boo4baby said...

Kim, you might not think you know much, but you are certainly thinking clearly from reading this post. Thanks for commenting. I look forward to getting to know you better in cyberspace as we join together in prayer for our country and its leaders. May God give us wisdom as we go through the process, as well.

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing -- your thoughts are very helpful as I process everything.

Pray that you are feeling well.

Kim said...

It sounds like you know a lot about it all! Thanks for your thoughts on this...it helps me to hear from others!

Also, please know I am praying for you...I know the time is drawing near and I am excited for you! There is just nothing like anticipated a new life in your family! Please keep me updated. I want to send a little something...I may email you later.
Kim

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Our country deparately needs more women like you.

Thanks!

kittyhox said...

Well, hmm. It looks like we are not politically simpatico on several issues. (I am definitely pro-life though - don't worry!)

But what I really appreciate about the thoughts you shared is that, for the first time, I understand the reasoning behind "hard core" conservatism, as you put it!

Sometimes it's so difficult to understand where the other person is coming from. You just hear opinions from both sides, without the explanation for why they think what they think.

It's especially confusing that Christians can disagree politically. But, obviously, we can.

I guess we just have a different vision of government.

PS - I'm in the middle, in case you are wondering.

kittyhox said...

Okay, I've been thinking about your post for a while. I have a couple of questions for you, if you feel like answering them.

I'm just trying to find my own way, politically.

I understand that a lot of people want a smaller government. I just don't understand exactly why? What is it that the government should tax us for? Roads? Defense? Not sure.

Also, how can taxes be lowered at the same time that we are engaged in a mind-numbingly expensive war?

I guess I don't have a problem with taxes because I feel that if I have been blessed financially it is largely because I benefit from the US economic system. There are jobs available, for example. So I don't have an issue with carrying a greater portion of the burden of taxes than those who haven't been blessed in the same way, for whatever reason.

I'm not trying to be combative AT ALL. I'm just trying to figure out what I really believe politically, as a Christian. Your insights have challenged me.

5honeybunns said...

Kim,
Good insight. Romney and McCain are just to negative and attack each other too much for me to consider them as President. I want a man who is willing to stand behind his decisions--like Pres. Bush, even though he is in the dog house in a lot of people's eyes, he stands behind every decision and takes full responsibility. You know my stance on Ron Paul, I just pray he can get more back up to ensure him as a viable candidate. But, whatever the outcome, we know that God is in control. Praise Him for that!
Good Post

Tracy said...

mmm...I like reading your thoughts. Quite frankly, it all hurts my brain and makes me tired. I read Kim's too, but haven't read Leslie's yet. I can tell you are all on the same page with a lot of other things as I am, so I like to hear your opinions. We don't have TV and I am not a great reader, so I really HAVEN'T kept up on it as much as I should.

Kim said...

Thank you girls for your prayers! I certainly covet them right now :)

Kitty- If I had to explain what I mean by "small government" I would say this. I want to be the one who decides where our money is spent in regard to helping those less fortunate or sponsoring research or sparing the lives of the Virginia Big-Eared Bat.

At my husband's job they have opportunities to give to United Way or Meals on Wheels, but the company in no way has the right to tell the employees that they *must* give or how much they *must* give.

An even better example would be if they came to the employees at his company and said they were going to start sponsoring a family and paying for their rent, their food, their healthcare, etc... and the employees had no say whatsover about that decision. Money would just be deducted from their paychecks and at anytime, if the powers that be chose to sponsor more families or different charities it would show up on their check. I think he might be a bit fired up over that :)

My desire for lower taxes would come from less government funded programs, which seem to pop up left and right and not from the national defense or even education. Still, I must again confess my ignorance and rely on those people who are so much more informed and educated on a transition process and how budgets are deflated and taxes are lowered.

Very complicated stuff!

It might seem callous but I don't feel like it is. If it is my "duty" to give to the less fortunate then I prefer that my giving fall in line with my beliefs rather than the governments, because we do not hold to the same convictions.

Does that make any sense at all? I remember many years ago, feeling like we (the nation) should rise up and help the less fortunate but as I grew in my understanding of what the church should be doing (and moreover, what I should be doing) those feelings began to change.

I hope that makes some sense. I love your openness and desire to learn more. I am in the same position and I think it's the best way to learn from others!

Sorry about your Seahawks :( I thought they were gonna make it there for a while!