Saturday, October 09, 2004

Decision 2004

I’m sure not a fan of bipartisan politics, and I don't like debating about it. I have, though, paid attention to the recent presidential debates, and I have formed some thoughts. With great fear and trepidation regarding this subject, I am prepared to share:

I think there are some really simple realities that often get lost when we take one side or the other.

As far as domestic policy, Republicans generally favor lower taxes (generally a positive thing) and therefore less government programs (generally a negative thing) to meet social needs (health care, education, employment, etc). Democrats generally favor more government programs (generally positive) to meet the same social needs and therefore higher taxes to fund them (generally negative). I’m not sure one is “right” and the other is “wrong.”

As far as foreign policy (including the Iraq War issue), Republicans generally favor taking the lead to protect our best interests while Democrats generally favor working together with the United Nations in order to try to create world peace without unilateral uses of force. I’m not sure one is approach is inherently “right” and the other is inherently “wrong.”

As far as honoring creation, Republicans generally fall on the pro-life side (which I will say is a positve), yet are more into balancing economic issues with environmental issues (which I will say is a negative). Democrats generally fall on the pro-choice side (negative), yet are more proactive about protecting the environment regardless of the economic consequences (positive). Here, I think both sides have it half right and half wrong. It is inherently inconsistent to be pro-life and anti-environment in my opinion. Those two issues ought to be linked to the core.

Overall, what I’m trying to say is that when we see one side as “noble” and the other side as “evil” it is usually because we have been conditioned to think that way by our families, our social economic status, or other major influences around us (even maybe our church). The reality is that both sides have their benefits and detriments, and that the real core difference is in their ideology of how we go about governing.

I know most readers will disagree. I've already listened to and weighed both sides best arguments to win me over to their side. Why is it that I chose a point of view that will get most people disagreeing with me!? (If I chose to be a Democrat or a Republican, than at least half of the people would think I’m right!).

I don’t think we can live honestly if we insist on taking one side on every two-sided issue. We would lose the ability to frame the questions if we readily took one of the two answers to somebody else’s questions! The kingdom questions that we must ask are much different questions.

(P.S. I'll love you no matter who you vote for -- and even if you don't!)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Feeling Her Pain

Tori came home from school crying yesterday. Her best friend in class, Isabelle, is being moved to a "new" Kindergarten class that the school is starting because of overcrowding. I felt so sad for her.

In first grade, my best friend at school, Andy, moved away. A couple of years later another best friend, Aaron, moved to Kansas (his family & my family were very close -- in fact, his parents just moved back to Indy where my parents live after being gone over 20 years, and my parents were thrilled).

One of the saddest days of my life was college graduation, mainly because I had to leave my best friends in the world, not knowing if our paths would ever cross again.

In 1996, my college friend Brian moved to New Jersey where I lived. It was great to be back together, but then Rebekah and I moved to New York a few months later.

In 1999 I moved to Vegas and was reunited with my college friends Joe, Ernie, and Doug. Since living here, though, we've seen a lot of friends pack up and head off to other places. Kirk & Jen Rowland helped me start "Apex @ UNLV," then they moved to Pennsylvannia. My office was one foot away from Brent Colbry's office for a year (with no wall between us), and then he moved to Montana. I helped start "Thura" at Andy & Tera Harshman's house, and now they are moving to Arizona. Dave Carder has been a fellow Apex Elder and a partner on the simple church journey, and in January he'll be moving to Iceland.

You think I'd be used to, but I'm not. It's a downer.

So when Tori came home crying, I understood. I felt for her. I knew her pain.

Monday, October 04, 2004

From the Great Theologian, Dr. Seuss

I learned there are troubles
Of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead
And some come from behind.

But I've bought a big bat.
I'm all ready, you see.
Now my troubles are going
To have trouble with me!


It's a troublesome world.
All the people who're in it
are troubled with troubles
almost every minute.

Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you're really quite lucky!
Some people are much more . . .
oh, ever so much more . . .
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!