It’s over! The wedding happened. I’m mostly recovered. Extra decor returned, leftover food consumed, gown is at the cleaners and the house is mine again. All that’s left are the pictures, we wait impatiently. It was lovely, beautiful, fun, intimate, weather perfect and magical. Yea!
Onward and upward. The Presidential campaign. I’m still deciding who my write in or 3rd party candidate will be. I’m not afraid of the outcome of this election, I refuse. Either candidate will take us places I’d rather we not go so as Joey says, “It’s moo”.
One of the things I’ve been doing this cycle is looking at my conservative political stands of the past to see if they fit the “Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God” lens. All of this mental wandering led me to a newer site called Christ and Pop Culture, I love these people. Millennials who are trying to redefine what a 21st Century conservative world view will look like, O.Alan Noble is their brave and fearless leader. Their definition of conservatism is also the just, merciful, humble approach. He stated that if the entire Evangelical community voted for a 3rd party candidate neither of the current candidates would win. Chew on that one for awhile. Sigh…it’s good to know I fit somewhere.
So, lets talk about a few of the hot button topics that plague my party. First, immigration and refugees. Immigrants are great! They are interesting, hard working, funny, eager, loving and by knowing them I can travel the world without ever getting on a plane. Yes, we have a problem with illegal immigration. What I find totally disingenuous though, is the idea that we need to deport all illegal immigrants when we have been lax in enforcing our laws in the first place! Criminals of course, but employed, hard working residents who’ve lived here for decades need a path to legal status minus full citizenship, it’s merciful. There is nothing just about deporting a person who grew up here illegally due to parental choice and for them, a path to citizenship needs paving. Military service? Automatic citizenship. As for refugees? Bring them on. As far as I’m concerned the Skittles analogy is subhuman. If not America then where? We have plenty of room, churches willing to help and the financial resources to get them on their feet. I see this as a reverse missions opportunity. Bring them here where they can experience Christianity in action instead of sending individuals to dangerous and hostile countries. Yes, we run the risk of admitting terrorists but that risk already lives worldwide and is higher among student visas than refugees. Our current GOP nominee and I disagree but then, I wouldn’t define him as either humble or merciful.
Next up, Abortion. I believe abortion is a human rights issue not a woman’s rights issue and I believe life begins at conception however that conception occurs. The child is never at fault for being conceived and its life is valuable whoever it’s parents are, be they criminal or incestious. I also know that many women who have abortions decide on this path with tremendous pain, facing circumstances unthinkable to those of us who live average middle class lives. I also believe that the abortion industry is intrinsically evil, has an agenda to destroy life and is aided and abetted by government dollars and yes, I know those are fighting words. While I do believe in compassionate medical care for women who face this decision I will always favor candidates who strive to reduce and even eliminate the factory methodology of it’s current existence. Ultimately I want my party to broaden the conversation to include and promote adoption. To find ways to strengthen, educate and build up girls of every demographic and financial status. To encourage them to value themselves and their bodies. A party that will promote outreach to unsafe and unwed mothers who are trying to survive. I support contraceptive education as long as it stresses the ability of a girl to USE it or to say NO. To define sexual aggression, i.e..rape, to girls as young as age 10. The possible risks associated with abortions at any stage, including the morning after pill and post abortion mental health issues, must be explained in clear language to any girl or woman considering this procedure. Statistical data on abortion complications (currently unavailable due to privacy laws) is a component of that full disclosure conversation and may need legislation to require it’s reporting. I realize some of these are unpopular stands for conservatives but this is the world we inhabit–EVEN in middle class neighborhoods. Denying it is too costly for all of society. To borrow from C.S. Lewis, it’s a Severe Mercy.
Next up, Schools. This is one of my favorite political topics. I see what schools do to (vs for) children all across the spectrum and it ain’t education! I am a huge proponent of education choice, whatever choice that may be. I think that inner city parents need the freedom and resources to find viable and healthy school options for their children that will allow them to revolutionize their neighborhoods. If that means vouchers or charter schools, FANTASTIC! I also believe the public school system needs a strong and assertive challenge to the status quo, it has become lazy and bloated (apologies to those of you who are diligent educators). Living in the Chicago suburbs where the Chicago Teacher’s Union is the most powerful teacher’s union in the country, with the most lucrative contract and one of the worst outcomes, only further proves my point. The entire system needs napalm, or maybe merit pay. I could go on for days about the content of education, testing, closing failing schools, literacy, ADHD, the impact of technology, longer and shorter days and so on. Suffice it to say its shameful that the wealthiest country in the world cannot educate ALL of it’s children well. How’ya going to fix it GOP? What solutions are just and merciful?
Lastly (for this post), the Supreme Court. I watch the Court and certainly I want my President to appoint justices who have moral standards that reflect my values-don’t we all? I’d like to believe the court abides by the Constitution. I also know that historically, the court has had many evolutions which haven’t always led them to act justly. Slavery and segregation come to mind. In recent years the GOP nominees have been disappointing. Justice Scalia was probably the last of the true conservative justices that will grace the bench in my lifetime. Our Senate and country are so hostilely divided at this time in history (brief reminder, it’s not the first time) that going forward, I don’t believe either party will be able to appoint their ideal justice and have it endorsed by the Senate. But rather than see this as a sad or hopeless time in history, or cast my vote for a complete charlatan, in the false hope that he will keep the court from perceived liberal anarchy, I look at it as an opportunity. An opportunity to place my trust in a higher form of justice and mercy. An opportunity to demonstrate to society that I’m not deceived or driven by fear of liberal politics. An opportunity to set an example to my sons and daughters that I’m not blind to their world nor hopeless about their future one. I long to be a wise voice to their generation. I couldn’t face my future grandchildren if I succumbed to the fear that is currently motivating the Evangelical Community to endorse the GOP candidate. It’s a shameful testimony, one that I believe will cost us in ways we can’t imagine.
I encourage those of you who are looking for a humble, merciful and just take on conservative politics to look into Christ and Pop Culture.
Let’s resolve to be wise voices for the future, our children will thank us.