***** 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.