Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Just One More Thing And Then I Will Shut Up About the Election. I Think.****

***** Edited again (11/6) to address the comment thread:

Auuughh! I knew it! Ye Olde Can of Worms has been opened.

Please forgive me if I get confused, but there are multiple "Anonymouses" (Anonymi?) in the combox. I'm doing my best to keep everything civil and open.

To Anonymous #2 (I think), regarding your comment about liberals and abortion, etc. I do have friends who have suffered through abortions and I do not for one minute believe that they came to their decisions lightly or without tortured grief. Let me re-state that: I do not for one minute believe they decided on a whim to go out and have an abortion, la-de-da. I know they have suffered and I pray for them all the time; that they may find peace, that they can be released from their inner sadness. I love them, I do not judge them, and I only want goodness for their lives. I know they want the same for me.

I agree that it is easier to demonize "the other side", no matter what side you are on. The pro-lifers become crazy, radical, wing nut, religious freaks who are hell-bent on destroying personal freedom, while those who are pro-abortion rights become unfeeling, selfish, manipulative baby killers who only care about themselves.

It is so wrong to do that. Are there people like that on both sides? Yes, and you know that as well as I. Any movement always has its extremists, but I sincerely believe that most people fall in the middle.

You say that Obama himself said that no one is "pro-abortion," but from some of his other comments and actions, he seems to espouse abortion rights far more than he espouses rights to life. The prefix "pro" means that you actively support something. It is more than fair to say that Obama actively supports abortion rights.

He has promised that the first thing he will do as President is to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, and he voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act four times. Even when all the language he said was objectionable was removed. Obama has said that he wants abortions to decrease, but he has also said that we will cut funding to pregnancy crisis centers. How does a woman in a crisis pregnancy even have a choice between abortion and the life of her child if she has nowhere safe to turn?

Above all, abortion is a human rights issue, and the most basic one there is. This is not me trying to foist my religion off on someone else; I know atheist pro-lifers. Science says that life begins at conception. There is no other magical point when that child becomes a human, it is human from the get-go. They deserve protection under the law.


To Anonymous #1 (who is the original Anon. from Canada, I believe), I appreciated your courtesy from yesterday, but it seems to have evaporated today. Again, please forgive me if I have confused you with a different Anon. or if the electronic medium of this kind of communication is causing me to see a sneering quality where there is none meant.

I think that you were mainly responding to the other Canadian commenter who disagreed with your take on Canada's view of Barack Obama, but you didn't miss your chance to take a few jabs at the rest of the people who have commented thus far. Regarding the people who voted for Obama, you said you felt that 70% of the highly educated people in America voted for him.

I am highly educated, and I don't think that means I have to abandon my beliefs to vote. To rely on my moral compass in matters of government is not crazy and it does not make me a "right wing radical." I have not disguised my issues with the Republican party in this country.

In truth, I don't feel there is any party in our country that accurately represents my concerns, but I do the best with what I am presented after studying the issues and the candidates, and after prayerful consideration. To imply that I am uneducated because I don't want universal health care (which, by the way, would benefit my husband's career, but I still don't think it's the best way) or some of the other changes proposed by the Democrats is insulting at best.

You say that America will go the way of Canada and other developed countries, and that very well may be our future, but as far as I know, I still have the right to oppose that if I think it's not in our best interest.

I don't know if you'll be back, Anon., since this last comment certainly had a more hit-and-run feel to it, but that's all right because I am feeling pretty done with this conversation. What started out in a friendly tenor has turned into nothing more that a way to snipe at each other, and that's something I don't allow here. I reserve the right to close the comments if I suspect that this is turning into something unkind.


****Edited to address the comment thread:

Well, I did say I "thought" I was done, but it turns out I might not be all the way finished.

Actually, I just wanted to respond to a few points raised in the comments by Anonymous from Canada. (Check out the comments if you can; Anon. mentions lots of interesting differences between Canadian and American politics. And Anon. is courteous, which can be a rarity in the combox these days. Thanks, Anon.)

First of all, I wanted to clarify my statement that "the real praying has only just begun." I apologize if that came across as snarky or flippant, but I meant it in the truest way possible.

I am praying for President-elect Obama because he has an incredibly rough road ahead of him. I have no business judging him as a person, and that is what I pray I might avoid. I love my country, and he deserves, at the very least, my respect for the office he will hold. It's easy to be a Monday morning political analyst and second guess every move made by our elected officials (whether they deserve that scrutiny or not), but not many would be willing to do the job at all.

And I am beyond grateful to live in a country where I can take my children to vote without fearing harm to them or myself, or where I get to express differing opinions at all.

Secondly, on the issue of hope and change, I don't say that my hope is in God just because I don't like Barack Obama's politics. There is so much in this country that needs to be addressed, and sometimes I wonder if Pres.-elect Obama's campaign rhetoric of change and hope may have left the wrong impression with some people. It's not that I don't think we need a change -- Lord knows we needed change way before this election cycle -- but I don't think one human being can deliver it all. I didn't feel that way about John McCain either.

Thirdly, on Anon's comment regarding conservatives being upset about "a few moral issues," I am laying my cards on the table. This was my deal-breaker. Anon., I know you mentioned that in Canada, Pres.-elect Obama is actually seen as a more conservative candidate than in America. You also noted that "he seems to be right in the middle," but I am going to respectfully disagree. Pres.-elect Obama's stance on abortion is the most radical we've ever seen from an American politician, and his ideas about the economy are not that centrist either. That is why I voted against him.

Before we start pointing fingers and shouting "one issue voter!," let me lay some more cards on the table. I really believe, deep down in their heart of hearts, that everyone is a one issue voter. There, I said it.

I think that everyone has that one cause or issue that hits so close to home that they will always weight it a little more than other issues, whether consciously or subconsciously. In America, your "character" as a voter depends on the particular issue to which you cling.

I know that life is a foundational issue. Human life begins at conception. There is no other DNA like human DNA. A baby in the womb is not anything other than human, ever, and as such deserves protection under law. I am not trying to diminish other social justice causes - poverty, war, health care - all of these are extremely important. And all of them mean nothing if you don't have the right to live. That is the filter through which I view politics and my elected officials.

I do hope that once in office, Pres.-elect Obama can bring both sides together. I think that my mood may be caused more by the divisiveness of this campaign than anything else. As I said before, it seems that more people have been nastier with each other this go 'round.

I may have opened a can of worms with this response, and I don't mean just in the respect of offending readers or even losing readers. Many of my friends hold completely different beliefs, but I have to say what I think is true.

I am hopeful, because I choose to be. I know that America is bigger than one person, so I congratulate our president-to-be, I pray for him and his advisers, and I hope that we can all work together for the common good.

I thank you for your comments, especially when you have a different view for me to ponder, I just thought it was time for me to articulate some things. I have a strong vibe that this blog will return to its regularly scheduled programming in the very near future. You know, kid stuff and weirdness from a 30-something mother of four.

Because nothing is more hopeful than kids. Good times.

*********************************************************************


Well, I wanted it to be over and now it is.

Or is it? I have a distinct feeling that the real praying has only just begun.

I haven't turned on the television since early last evening, but I don't live under a rock. I know my candidate did not win, but I still believe that our history has only ever been in God's hands. And our future is there as well. God only asks us for faithfulness, the rest is up to Him.

So that is where I am at. Faithfulness. Full stop.

And now I wish one of my children would do something completely hilarious for me because I could use a laugh.

19 comments:

  1. The world didn't end last night? Well, one good thing is that the kids will continue to be kids and we are sure to laugh a couple times but bedtime. Hopefully by the time they are our age then the country will have recovered.

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  2. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Hi there, I read your blog every once in a while. I don't mean to offend, but what America and the new president need is patience, support, and hope. Hope won over fear this time, finally. I'm in Canada, and Obama was clearly the better candidate from almost all Canadians' point of view, even the very religious ones. I hope all of the disappointment I keep hearing from all the very conservative and religious Americans isn't because of a few moral issues, and fear. It really is time to move forward. Change is scary, but the way America was going was scarier.

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  3. Aimee, I know what you mean. I went to bed last night upset that Obama won.

    Anon, your comment was quite gentle and very kind. I know where you are coming from. It's just that for some of us Abortion isn't the ONLY issue, it's the main issue. A country that doesn't protect the right for its citizens to exist will not be able to keep us out of stupid wars and cannot be counted on to take care of those who do somehow manage to make it out of the birth canal.

    Obama has pledged to sign the Freedom of Choice Act which will effectively strike down all state laws regarding abortion, including those mandating parental notification for minors seeking one and mandatory ultrasound testing for those women who want to seek an abortion.

    I'm glad that people all around the world are happy. It's a great thing that America has voted for a man of color after our horrible record of race relations here. I'm just praying that he doesn't turn out to be the Anti-life socialist I'm afraid he is. I really hope he'll work with Republicans and not be incredibly partisan once he takes office. I'll pray for him because he is my president-elect and he'll need my prayers. It's a tough job.

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  4. Anonymous1:48 PM

    "I hope that all of the disappointment...isn't because of a few moral issues." If we don't worry about the moral issues, who will?

    Or, in the words of JFK (1963), "Who watches the watchmen?"

    -Pensive in PA

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  5. Anonymous3:31 PM

    Hi again, it's just interesting because here in Canada we have the Conservative party in power (with a minority). Obama is actually much more conservative than our conservatives. We don't have an option anymore not to have things like same-sex marriage and abortion. I can also name the wives and children of most of the recent presidents, but have no idea if our current Prime Minister even has kids. It's different there, I think family values and moral issues are more important there. Not more important to people, just more important in politics.
    Abortion is a tough one. I'm a law student and could go on forever about this one. The courts have decided that women have that constitutional right. I think the fear about stricter rules has a lot to do with safety as well as rights. I may not necessarily agree with it, but for many reasons the way it is here seems to be the way it has to be right now. So it's easy for us to see reasons for Obama's choice there.
    He also seems to be right in the middle, a smart, reasonable, and moral guy, and will do a good job of bringing the two sides together.
    And yes it is a tough job. I'm just worried that people don't understand how difficult his job is going to be. And problems won't be solved overnight. Seems like a good step forward though.

    Ok I'm done now. Sorry, it's been interesting to read about the reaction to this result in many different countries. And almost surprising to me about how divided it seems America is among different groups of people with a person that is perceived by many here to be still very conservative.

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  6. I know how you feel. I'm feeling a bit like Eeyore today, a little down and gloomy.

    On one of the news channels this morning someone said something about how it is now time to hold Obama accountable for all his promises, and I agree. We as the American public have to be accountable as well, of course. I'll be waiting anxiously for all that hope and change he promised.

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  7. Hi Anon. from Canada! So glad you de-lurked and I want to say that I appreciate you taking the time to voice your comments in a respectful way. Seriously, I am very appreciative :)

    I am moving my response into the main body of my post because I will clog up my combox if I don't. I hope you will stop by again -- I've always maintained an open-combox policy towards civil discourse.

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  8. I am actually feeling hopeful ... hopeful that we can all put aside our differences and work together for the common good of this nation. We as citizens need to do our part to help the healing move forward, but that doesn't mean we need to be silent about the moral issues we strongly believe in. We just need to be meek and humble while voicing them and find common ground with those who disagree with us so we can attempt to solve these issues.

    I firmly believe that God is still watching over this great land.

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  9. I, too, am just totally trusting in a faithful God right now. It is so sad that we put money and foreign policy above basic issues of life. For me, the elections are about all of that other stuff, yes, but the social issues are huge to me and I know many who would agree.

    I will definitely give honor and respect to those God has allowed to be put in leadership positions, but I will also be praying fervently that the change everyone longs for so much is not something they find they regret!

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  10. Wow...Anon..there are so many out there who could learn a lesson from your "agreeing to disagree" perspective.
    I have read some of the rudest comments from people regarding difference in opinions on this election.(And believe me- they have come from both sides.)
    Even though this isn't my blog, I am refreshed by your tone and hope for our country that we love so much.

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  11. I don't agree with Obama's ideology, but I do think it's pretty cool that my children will think it is totally normal for a non-white man to be president.

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  12. Anonymous9:03 PM

    Aimee - thanks for your response to my comments and I guess we'll all see how things go in the coming months and years.

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  13. Anonymous9:37 PM

    I think we really need another issue of "how Rob and Aimee got married". Don't you?!?!?!
    -LisaL

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  14. Thanks for great post in defense of life and explanation of your (and my, I might add) voting rational.

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  15. Geeze, I was going to bed and then I came upon this post ;)
    I am a one issue voter. Not that I only care about one issue. I care about A LOT of issues. But my heart won't let me vote for anyone that doesn't respect life. I just can't do it. And it wasn't always the case. I voted for Perot my friends. The economy is a big issue, but my 401K won't save me when I'm burning in hell. Sorry, but in the big scheme of things it's really not that important.
    I used to be Pro Choice. Even though Catholic, I still thought a woman had a certain amount of right to choose. Then I became pregnant. And I knew the moment I became pregnant. Honestly I did. And I wanted that little baby more than anything. And I loved that little baby more than anything. And to me, that small mass of cells was a little baby. It was life. And now, I am PRO LIFE. Because I now know, from experience, that life begins at conception.
    I am praying for pres-elect Obama too. I am praying that he does what is right for our country and I am praying that God touches his heart and soul and changes his mind.
    I am praying for our WHOLE country. I pray that God touches all our hearts and keeps us safe and leads us down His path.
    And now, I'm going to bed.

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  16. Anonymous11:11 PM

    I don't think that there is anything to be ashamed of to be considered a "single issue" voter.
    I also pray that President Elect Obama can unite our country and be a great president. I know for myself, I didn't vote for him because I know that my values do not allign with his. Call me a simple person, but I cannot in good faith put my vote and my family's future in the hands of a man who believes abortion is just a choice.

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  17. Just a little clarification from another Canadian reader. I'm not sure that anon. can really say that "Obama was clearly the better candidate from almost all Canadians' point of view, even the very religious ones". I certainly didn't feel that way, and I personally don't think anyone concerned about those "few moral issues" did, either.

    As for whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper has children, I believe they were both (one girl, one boy) with him and his wife at the widely televised rally following his re-election last month. There are many, many Canadians who feel family values and moral issues are important in politics. However, we have a totally different electoral process, one in which we do not directly vote for the leader of the country. We vote for a local representative in the federal government, and the leader of the party with the most representatives becomes Prime Minister. This system is frustrating for me in that I often have to weigh the moral values of our local candidate against those of the party leader and voting becomes somewhat more strategic than just "I like what this guy says". I suppose that is perhaps why the values of the party leaders don't seem to some to carry much weight.

    I strongly disagree with your statement that Obama is perceived by Canadians as conservative, and more conservative than Canadian conservatives. I too pray for our politicians, whether I voted for them or not. And I pray for the politicians south of the border, as well, as what they do can have a huge impact on my own country. They have difficult jobs, and they need and deserve our prayers.

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  18. Anonymous12:34 PM

    I think it's important to point out something that Obama himself stated. I don't think anyone is "Pro-Abortion." It's a horrific situation for any woman. Liberals who are pro-choice are NOT pro-abortion, they simply don't want the government regulating their bodies, and often are also aware that abortion will still exist even if it is illegal, but it will go back to be the dangerous back-alley procedure it used to be. I am pro-life, but I think it's too easy to assume that people on the other side of the fence don't think all these issues through. Anyone who knows a friend who has had an abortion knows exactly the pain that it causes, and therefore the need not to judge.

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  19. Anonymous12:36 PM

    Please forgive me for not watching the rally last month. We elected pretty much the same government in an unnecessary election. I'm glad our electoral process makes it difficult for you to impose your religious values on others.
    I don't think I said that Obama is "perceived" to be more conservative than our conservatives, I said that he is. Whether you recognize it or not, Canada is much less conservative than America. Have you noticed our high taxes, universal healthcare system, education system, and strong concern for rights and equality? Did you see how well the New Democratic Party did in the last election? If anyone like that tried to run in America they'd freak out about socialists...ahh! And in our country, religious people vote for many different parties.
    Yeah sorry. I just spend a lot of time studying this and learning from experts and people who actually know what they're talking about. I'm sure you know better.
    Even in the most conservative province in Canada - Alberta, polls say that 70-80% would vote Obama. And I think it was 70% of the highly educated people in the USA did. I'll leave this bubble now and stick to those blogs from now on. At least the arguments there aren't "because God says so." I think you right wing radicals are in for a bit of a surprise as America goes the way of other developed nations. Canada is far from perfect, but if I'd been born in the states I would have moved by now. It's coming...it's just a little slow. Good luck.
    Bye

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