Hope of the Earth: a political eschatology (we can all breathe) [REPOST]

In light of the election, I wanted to re-post this article from a couple of weeks ago. I hope it’s encouraging.

November 7th, we will wake up to front pages declaring with finality the results of the American Presidential Election. Most of us will see these headlines and have some sort of emotional reaction (especially those of us that stayed up as late as we could to know the results early).

Depression? Fear? Anger? Injustice? Sadness? Joy? Elation? Ecstasy? Worship? Peace?

I remember after the 2004 election when Bush beat Kerry. Going to a large, urban University dominated by idealistic and passionate liberal youth, the campus was in mourning for the rest of that week. People walked in silence, hugged one another, and I saw a good number of people crying as they resigned themselves to what they felt would be the end of every good thing they’d ever thought about this country.

This election cycle, I was certainly active–probably more so than ever before (especially on this blog, at least). I’m almost certain that I have been blocked from my fair share of Facebook feeds and removed from some feed readers in the past six months or so. I’ve been quite passionate on those few issues that have guided so much of my writing and reading.

But I haven’t lost a bit of sleep over any of that stuff. I’ve been able to enjoy good books and beers, and pipes and peers, without any discussion of politics or debates or elections.

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[image credit: Untitled piece by Arielle Passenti. Read my review of this piece.]


a prayer for President Obama & America

Ruler and King of all, our nation is now entering into such a delicate time. Many emotions are being felt very deeply after this election. It was a hard-fought fight that many had much invested in. Would you be with us as the immediate emotional aftermath of the election occurs?

Lord, hear our prayer.

O God of peace, you do not desire that we would be filled with anxiety, frustration, or gloating after elections, as if our greatest joy or pain would be the result of this one vote. You have taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray, into your presence, where we may be still and know that you are the God who is the sustaining Presence in all nations,

Lord, hear our prayer.

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a prayer for election day

O Lord our truest Ruler and King, many words have been said these past months leading to this election day. Far too many of these words have been hurtful, fearful, divisive, angry, and anxious. Being able to see our nation’s policies so tangibly, it is far too easy to equate this nation with your Kingdom, and so act as if this election were of supreme eternal importance.

Lord, forgive us, we pray.

Bless the leaders of our land–those that have been and those that will be, after today–that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Let this be the conviction of every leader as they model for us, however imperfectly, political relations amongst both their fellow countrymen and citizens of the world.

Lord, keep this nation under your care.

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Thoughts on the final debate {#4} [GUEST POST]

Last night was the Presidential foreign policy debate. It was completely uneventful. Today, I was going to post my musings on the final debate of this Presidential election (as I have for Debates 1, 2, and 3) . But, I realized last night I’m tired of the politics. Believe it or not, I am. Prepare for my comments on this stuff to become fewer from now through election day.  I’ve pretty much said what I need to say. So, instead, I wanted to post the take-aways of a friend of mine, Nikita Hamilton, a Ph.D. student in Communications at USC’s Annenberg School. But first, I’ll only make three quick observations:

  • Iran does not pose an imminent, existential threat to either America or Israel (and Israel knows it). The sanctions, instead, are killing Iranians and making them more angry with the U.S. rather than spurring on some revolution there. The world’s saber-rattling only spurs on Iran’s nuclear protectionism. Of course they want a bomb! They are more at existential risk from others in the world than anyone is from them. Also, even if they got a nuclear weapon: what would they do with it? They know that the second it’s employed, they would be “wiped off the map”. It’s defensive. And we’ve created the environment where they feel like they need to be that way.
  • Romney’s final statement (which he repeated twice–no accident under pressure here) that “American is the hope of the earth”. Says more about the naiveté, hollowness, and failure of our nation’s foreign policy than anything the two of them have said in this entire campaign.
  • My roommate pointed out (and Wikipedia confirmed) that in high-end ties with diagonal stripes, you can tell where the tie was made based on the direction of the stripes. In the first, domestic policy debate, Romney wore an American-made tie. In this foreign policy debate, he wore a European tie (see picture above). That Romney may have actually put this much thought into this says a lot about him.

Okay, on to Nikita’s comments!
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Dan Carlin Debate Prep: the only thing you need to listen to

Tonight is the last debate before the November election. The topic is foreign policy. I’ve said so many times before (especially in this series of posts), that foreign policy (and it’s domestic implications) is the most important issue to me in this election.

Now, people disagree with me on this, and I won’t pretend to have the historical perspective and political knowledge to be an authority everyone should listen to.

But, there is someone else I would trust as that authority: Dan Carlin.

Perhaps the biggest influence on my political thinking, Carlin’s political podcast (he also has an amazing history show) is the one I’ve been listening to for the longest time. He’s a total political junkie with so much historical perspective to offer to his commentary, it gives you great comfort to know there’s at least someone out there with his mind applied to these issues.

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/dancarlin/cswdcc39.mp3|width=580]

If you have a half-hour to spare, he has this podcast (also above), which he posted the day after the last debate. It contains some of his reactions to that debate, plus his thoughts on the foreign policy issues surrounding the next one, some imminent issues that would be easy for Romney to exploit (and yet he doesn’t), and the impact of these issues on our society today. It’s one of the best of his podcasts ever, and I want to share it with you all.

Really, honestly, it’s just 30ish minutes long. Please listen to it before watching tomorrow’s debate, and especially listen to it before voting. (If you’re absolutely short on time, the real meat begins at around 9:54. Have fun.)

[image credit: DonkeyHotey/flickr]

A Presidential Debate Debrief {#3}

Last night was the second debate in the 2012 Presidential Election. It was a Town Hall formet where the candidates walk around freely and take questions from audience members. Yesterday, I talked about what question I would ask if I was there, and I invited others to post there’s as well (incidentally, that post got picked to be highlighted on the front page of WordPress.com, and so there’s a lot of lively discussion to join over there, if you’re interested). Anyway, as I’ve done for each debate, here are some of my thoughts (here are my thoughts on the first Presidential Debate and the Vice-Presidential debate): Continue reading

Some post-Presidential Debate thoughts… {#1}

Well, last night was the first debate in the 2012 Presidential Election. Be sure to check out the various Fact-Checks going around the web (here’s The New York Times and POLITICO). So far, it looks like Romney stretched the truth or was wrong more often, but that was because he said so many more specific things than Obama. These were some of my thoughts from the evening: Continue reading

The Atlantic gets it right on Obama’s civil liberties abuses & the value of your vote

Yesterday, Conor Friedersdorf (Twitter) wrote an amazing piece for The Atlantic in which he explains why–no matter how liberal he is–he is not voting for President Obama. He writes:

Sometimes a policy is so reckless or immoral that supporting its backer as “the lesser of two evils” is unacceptable. If enough people start refusing to support any candidate who needlessly terrorizes innocents, perpetrates radical assaults on civil liberties, goes to war without Congress, or persecutes whistleblowers, among other misdeeds, post-9/11 excesses will be reined in.

I found this link on Facebook through J.R.D. Kirk. I absolutely agree with every word of this post. I shared it to my own Facebook wall, and….wow…I got some major pushback, mainly over my inclination to vote for a third-party candidate. People through around the same phrases I’ve heard the past few weeks about “wasting my vote” and “throwing it away” and “de-valuing it”. I found this odd for a few reasons.
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