All right, one post on the topic… that’s all I’ve got.
First: No, I am not American. But since all my forms of media have fed me nothing but the election for months now, I’m automatically entitled to an opinion, I figure.
And what is that opinion? It breaks down into a few dominant thoughts…
No, that’s not the race-conscious part of me celebrating the arrival of a first-time black president, though I DO like the visual confirmation that this is possible. For me, it’s simpler: I’m just glad this election is finally over! Seriously. It’s like seeing previews every day for a film that’s due out next year. By the time the flick’s released, I’d be ready to boycott the whole thing. So… sick of watching the campaigns and then the elections and then the real campaigns and then the real election…
Well, I’m just happy to finally get the chance now to observe the elected.
If I were American, I’d have been tempted (though not likely overcome by the temptation) to vote for McCain. He seems like a classy fellow, who’s not always strapped to his party’s line. He’s not flashy, but I think he’s a fellow some substance. And it’s refreshing to say that about a politician. So I MIGHT have voted McCain… until he chose Palin as his running mate. Then it was sealed. I must say that she makes me nervous. She’s a woman of faith, a follower of Christ. But I heard her say some BIZARRE things that tied “the will of God” to things like the Iraq war and a pipeline that will connect Alaska to the rest of the country.
Sorry, which God were we speaking of, Sarah?!
Readers of this blog will know that you almost never find political discussion here. Frankly, the whole realm tires me. Political blog junkies should instead hit the occasional posts of my friends: HERE or HERE or even HERE (if you like iSketches). However, I’m informed enough to know that whoever leads the US has a whole lot of opportunity to do good or harm to the world as we know it right now.
And that’s why Ms. Palin freaked me out.
Because there IS something to be feared when people entrusted with political power begin tying the “God’s Will” tag on to all that they do. They become like the popes of old, who “infallibly” did terrible things, but were beyond question. And those who did question were labeled as idiots or traitors or worse.
A professor of mine once voiced his concern for the twistedness that often happens when people of faith become political leaders. I’d like to argue that such a thing never happens. I’d like to declare that it’s just no so. However, history isn’t on my side. It seems that Jesus’ people, when power is placed in their hands, quickly depart from Jesus’ way. Give Peter a sword, and someone will get cut up. Create a Constantinople, and we’ll grab swords again and use them as conversion tools.
This isn’t a silly comment that people of faith can never lead politically. We all know otherwise. And I desperately HOPE otherwise too. However, Ms. Palin’s revelation of what she believes to be God’s priorities in the world today made me more than a bit nervous. So a vote to keep her far from the presidency… to me, that was a good vote this time around.
Besides the overwhelming “as much positive touch on our world as possible”, I hope that Obama’s election serves to simply shake up the categories some. I’ve met a large number of American Christians who seem to buy the idea that Republican = Christian. Now, I willingly plead ignorance to the intricacies of what makes a Democrat a Democrat or a Republican a Republican. But American voices that have influenced me like Shane Claiborne, Tony Campolo, Derek Webb, Brian McLaren, Peter Ralph (Canadian), Stan Helton, and more have all planted solid questions in me that make such a simplistic equation… well… simplistic.
So now we’ve got this “freak” as president: A man of colour, a man of faith, a Democrat! I’m not specifically an Obama fan, but Obama… I’m pulling for you. I’m praying for your family. I’m asking that unusual amounts of wisdom and grace will be yours. Your getting elected has dared many to dream of what’s possible in world politics and on our own continent. I’m really hoping that your presidency will now give us even bigger dreams of good that can be done in our world. I hope your leadership will be such that it blows our little categories apart and makes us reconsider our world and our Maker.
End of ignorant political post.