Tuesday, October 12, 2004

and the beat goes on

Choosing a president sucks. Especially if you love Jesus. I'm sure it's just as hard for the "theistically-challenged" population out there, but at least they can fall back on utilitarianism when choosing who to vote for. But I'm not afforded that, because of my reluctance to part with Biblical Truth. How can I vote for Candidate A when he is for Position X? Or Candidate B when his is opposed to Position Y? It's worse when both candidates seem to have a real faith in their lives.

Will the real man of God please stand up? No, no! Just one one of you! You can't both be the right guy for the job. Can't you follow simple instructions....

There's a verse I like from Micah, which reads (in part): "And what does Yahweh require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Simple enough, right? Now we can apply it to Kerry/Bush and see which one is seeking to do that which God requires through his public policies? Right?

Wrong. The problem is that neither candidate really fits the ideal that Micah puts forth (not to mention that it's impossible to live up to that in every instance of every day because we're all fallen, selfish individuals). So I try to sort things out, and see who comes closest to the ideal. And that's where I hit the snag mentioned above. Choosing a president sucks.

The snag, in its longer and expanded form, comes down to two "seemingly" conflicting debates, which in my mind, shouldn't conflict at all.

1) It's the official position of the Republican Party to do whatever it can to protect the life of the unborn child. This extends beyond the abortion debate to issues like cloning, embryonic stem cell research and criminal penalties for murdering pregnant women. And I, being a backward religious conservative, like this. I think it's Biblical, and I think it's righteous. This is an issue where I refuse to compromise. Bush agrees with me. Kerry, a devout Catholic, agrees in his person, but not as a matter of public policy, so as to not alienate his entire liberal voting base. So score one for Bush.

2) Since the time of Kennedy and Johnson, and the Democratic Party has become synonymous with the civil rights struggle. They have spearheaded federal, state and local efforts to make sure that minorities are afforded the same opportunities as everyone else. Nevermind that this was originally a commandment for the Church, and that somewhere along the line the Church decided it was more important to save people's souls and not their lives. The State picked up the slack that Church left, and the Church let them have it. In fact, we didn't even put up a fight.

So the Dems are more actively supporting the cause of the widows and the orphans, the oppressed and the voiceless, the kind of people Jesus loved to hang out with. This isn't to say that all Republicans have given up on furthering civil rights, that would be a grave overstatement of the matter at hand. But Bush hasn't put much emphasis on his "Compassionate Conservatism" since he won Florida in 2000. And I, being a big fan of the Jesus and the minor Prophets, am more than a little peeved at him because of it. This, once again, is an issue where I refuse to compromise.

Problem. I have to compromise if I'm going to vote. I can't pick the policies I like the best, and vote for "fictitious, patchwork policy-man." I have to vote for "OT prophetic tradition, but not so much into protecting un-born babies" guy ; or "let's get the rights of those babies into the Constitution, but ignore most of the teachings and life of Jesus" fellow. And everyone else has to as well.

So which is more important to me? Neither. So who do I vote for? Both? Illegal. Neither? Morally wrong. Bush? Let's just ignore the Gospels. Kerry? Let's just ignore Life.

Not to mention there's a war going on.

The third and final debate tomorrow tonight is about these, and other, domestic issues. Finally, the country is going to see what's important to the hearts of these two individuals. But it won't make my job any easier. Because I know where they stand. And I know there's not a chance one might be persuaded to change his mind in the next 3 weeks based on overwhelming Biblical evidence to the contrary (though maybe that's a whole other issue).

I will vote in November. Hold me to that. Just don't ask me to be proud to do it.

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