Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Obama

I was passed this meme by my brother Rick and it goes like this:

* each blogger posts 44 things about the 44th President of the USA
* somewhere in the post, the tag #44:44 is included, so all the posts are more easily tracked
* each blogger then tags 4 other bloggers (or 44, if they are wacky) to invite them to post their own 44 things about the 44th President on their blog
* i’m tagging:
Alan Hirsch
Kester Smith
Jason
Jen Lemen

Here is my list of 44 things

Advertisements

I’ve been reading Sex God by Rob Bell, my good buddy Karl gave it to me. As usual, Bell has the capability to analyze our complicated existence as humans and communicate the beauty of life. In the latest chapter I’ve been reading about the existence of tension in life that is crucial to us being whole. I hope to embrace this difficult place in my life, whatever the circumstances may be.

So, the other day my friend Bob Carlton pointed me to this Focus on the Family letter. It is a “fictional” account of what life in 2012 would be like with Obama as President. Go ahead, take the time and read it…I’ll wait to tell you the rest of the story.

I read this and just had to reply, and here is what I said:

My heart aches that we’ve become a country of hate and fear, and that your organization that proclaims to love God and His creation and His people have become a joke, and an organization of derision. You do not speak for me as a follower of Christ! I pray for your soul…

Regrets,

Carl McLendon

Much to my surprise, this afternoon I received a response from Focus. Below is their response:

Thanks for your e-mail. It was good of you to offer your candid reaction to Focus on the Family Action’s “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America.”

We’ve heard from many people who found this resource helpful; some, like you, have disagreed with our approach. While critics of this document accuse us of engaging in “sensationalist fiction,” it’s vital to underscore that we are not claiming to make definitive predictions on what a Barack Obama presidency would produce.

However, as the “Letter from 2012” makes evident, every scenario outlined in this piece is plausible based on recent documented events, court rulings, the Democratic Party’s stated agenda, and Senator Obama’s voting record and campaign promises. We invite you to re-read the introduction of the letter [http://focusfamaction.edgeboss.net/download/focusfamaction/pdfs/10-22-08_2012letter.pdf] which clearly states that we are neither employing unfounded “fear tactics” nor speaking out with mean-spirited intent. On the contrary, we’ve posted a reasonable projection of what *could* occur with a Senator Obama presidency and a Democratic-controlled Congress. Of course, we hope and pray that none of the possible outcomes described in “Letter from 2012” come to pass.

It might be beneficial to provide some additional background on our mission to help you better understand our reasons for engaging in the public policy realm. We have no interest in partisan politics; rather, we care deeply about the sanctity of human life, the value of marriage, and the preservation of religious freedom. Dr. Dobson has espoused these crucial issues since he launched Focus on the Family in 1977 and has always encouraged people to consider them at the ballot box. Despite what the Matthew 25 Network and other pro-Obama action groups may say, we contend that Senator Obama’s record *significantly* differs from the pro-life and pro-family policies that many Christians hold dear. Some may label this “fearmongering” — we call it a sobering, rational assessment based on actual events documented in the letter.

It might be helpful for you to read a concise summary of four key points that motivate us in our actions:

1) Senator Barack Obama’s record is well outside the mainstream. For example, he was rated the most liberal United States senator by the _National Journal_ in 2007 [http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/].

2) A Democratic president, House and Senate has significant implications for pro-family policies. _The Wall Street Journal_ has stated that this election will usher in “one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history” if the Democrats control the White House and possess congressional majorities, including a filibuster-proof Senate [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122420205889842989.html]. This type of unchecked power, not seen since 1965, demands that voters critically examine the policies advocated by the Democratic Party.

3) Senator Obama’s commitment to causes championed by extreme liberal groups such as Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), both of which have endorsed him, are a source of great concern. Earlier this year, Senator Obama pledged that if elected president, he would advocate for and sign the “Freedom of Choice Act,” which would repeal virtually every federal and state law regulating or limiting abortion — including parental involvement laws for teenagers, late-term abortion bans, and limits on public funding of abortion. He has also indicated that he will make it a priority to repeal the “Defense of Marriage Act,” which allows states to restrict marriage to one man and one woman. In addition, he backs other HRC-supported initiatives including the passage of “hate crimes” legislation and the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” [http://washingtonblade.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=20935]. Similar legislation has penalized Christians who hold a biblical view of sexuality.

4) Senator Obama’s stated appreciation of United States Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and David Souter — along with his votes against the nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito — indicate he would appoint judges with a judicial philosophy detrimental to pro-family causes.

On a final note, organizational endorsements of political candidates wed groups to their candidate in a way that may not lend itself to an honest critique of that individual’s weaknesses. As you’re likely aware, the group behind the Matthew 25 Web site endorsed Senator Obama for president.

Again, thanks for writing. We hope this response has helped clarify our perspective and explained why we feel the Matthew 25 Network’s version of “choosing hope” without a sober look at the troubling elements of Senator Obama’s candidacy is misguided. Grace and peace to you.

Jonathan Bartha
Focus on the Family Action

I know that the Matthew 25 network and Focus on the Family both believe their actions are honest and sincere. But, once again I’m trying to find the truth that usually exists in the midst of the struggle that rages on the extremes of anything we humans find ourselves involved. I’m hoping to resist ideologies that force themselves upon us, and instead embrace the tensions we must negotiate. This is what makes us human, this ability when we find ourselves in difficult situations, to be capable of thinking, praying, and asking each other what would God have us do?

I really want to stress the importance of the “third way” of Jesus, and for you to understand it’s not about ideas (yours or anybody else). You belong to this new millennial generation that is making the older generations rethink many things, but you don’t have a monopoly on correct thinking. It’s about knowing in your heart that the right thing to do, is not always the easy thing to do and that the ideas of others are most often not those of people who choose to follow Christ, even if they proclaim Him.

Soccer moms, NASCAR dads, and now holy hipsters have been touted by political pundits and the mainstream media as the group du jour that political candidates must court in order to win the coveted presidential prize. Using select books and blogs, they conclude that these missional millennials have abandoned the political party of their parents and will be casting their ballots for Obama come November. However, as Jim Wallis wrote earlier this year, “This doesn’t mean young evangelicals are automatically becoming Democrats (and I don’t think they should). It does mean that their agenda is broader and deeper, no longer beholden to a single partisan ideology.” —Becky Garrison “Jesus For President: Declaring Independence from Partisan Politics”.

 

If you intend to live what you proclaim when you follow Christ, you do not have any agenda other than to love. Politics is important, the needs of your family are important…but nothing is more important than your love for each other, for God, and for all others. That’s easy to say, but hard to live. I want you to understand the difficulty of this life I hope you will choose to engage, but I want you to know it is the best way to live.

I know, I know… He’s not to talk of these matters. He’s running for President of the U.S. Separate church and state, the government shouldn’t get involved in faith (or it’s already too involved). I get the arguments from both left and right, but damn it sure is refreshing to hear somebody talk about doing kingdom work and knowing they have actually participated in such activities. And, the fact that he’s running for President is a bonus. Yes, Bush said some of the same things, and we know that didn’t turn out so well. But, I just hope there is something different about this Obama…

 

Now, I didn’t grow up in a particularly religious household. But my experience in Chicago showed me how faith and values could be an anchor in my life. And in time, I came to see my faith as being both a personal commitment to Christ and a commitment to my community; that while I could sit in church and pray all I want, I wouldn’t be fulfilling God’s will unless I went out and did the Lord’s work.

There are millions of Americans who share a similar view of their faith, who feel they have an obligation to help others. And they’re making a difference in communities all across this country – through initiatives like Ready4Work, which is helping ensure that ex-offenders don’t return to a life of crime; or Catholic Charities, which is feeding the hungry and making sure we don’t have homeless veterans sleeping on the streets of Chicago; or the good work that’s being done by a coalition of religious groups to rebuild New Orleans. 

You see, while these groups are often made up of folks who’ve come together around a common faith, they’re usually working to help people of all faiths or of no faith at all. And they’re particularly well-placed to offer help. As I’ve said many times, I believe that change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up, and few are closer to the people than our churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques. 

That’s why Washington needs to draw on them. The fact is, the challenges we face today – from saving our planet to ending poverty – are simply too big for government to solve alone. We need all hands on deck. —Barack Obama July 1 2008 “Faith and Community”

I had a nice conversation with my friend Shelton today about his experience a couple of weeks ago at a Sojourner’s event in D.C. The question I had for him and for others is what does this “third way” of thinking about political involvement as a disciple of Christ look like? I can’t follow the right-wing view of personal salvation at the expense of my community, and I can’t follow the left-wing view of social justice without Jesus as risen lord. I still believe it is at the intersection of the cross from which we must begin our political involvement. We talked about Shane Claiborne and his new book “Jesus for President”. I think he gets it, that it is not really about public policy, but instead is about doing small things with great love as Jesus showed us time and time again.

Lane found this short article on Shane at CNN Politics today. My favorite part of the article follows…

“This is not about going left or right, this is about going deeper and trying to understand together. Rather than endorse candidates, we ask them to endorse what is at the heart of Jesus and that is the poor or the peacemakers and when we see that then we’ll get behind them.”

Claiborne says the movement of younger evangelicals is growing and looking at the Bible in more holistic terms. He is quick to say the call of Christ has more to do with how people live their lives on November 3 and 5 than how they vote on November 4.

“It’s certainly easy to walk into a voting booth every four years and feel like you’re going to change the world but that’s not going to do it.”

Had the pleasure of listening to Tony Jones read and talk about his new book last night. I also found the link to video below from my friend Bob at The Corner and as I watched couldn’t help but wonder if the conversations between the institutional church and the emerging church are something like this… 

Check this out…http://obama.senate.gov/speech/060628-call_to_renewal/ 

Last chance to avoid the long lines on Tuesday…

Please join Barack Obama at a Stand for Change Rally in Austin, where he’ll talk about his vision for bringing America together and bringing about the kind of change we can believe in.

WHAT: 
Stand for Change Rally with Barack Obama 

WHEN:
 
Friday, February 22, 2008 
Gates Open: 6:00 p.m. 
Program Begins: 9:00 p.m.

WHERE: 
Congress Avenue at 11th Street 
Austin, TX 78701 
Public Entrance: Located at 10th Street

HOW: 
Click below to RSVP 
http://tx.barackobama.com/austin

The event is free and open to the public; however an RSVP is required. Space is available on a first come, first served basis.  For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners are permitted.

QUESTIONS? 
If you have any questions, please contact the campaign at (512) 476-2008or texas@barackobama.com.  Thanks for your support! 

Read the short story below of an example of why I think Obama is fundamentally different than any politician I’ve known (except for maybe Reagan) in that his candidacy is not about him, or even what he will do for the country. Instead, it is about what we can do as a people bound together to recreate a government of, by, and for the people. I consider myself apolitical, even cynical with the state of governmental affairs, but I do believe in the power of motivated individuals who are willing to work with others to make our neighborhoods and cities a better place to pursue, participate, and enjoy in the redemption begun long ago on the cross. 

Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 09:28:51 -0500To: Northern Virginia for Obama! <NorthernVirginiaforObama@groups.barackobama.com>From: donnacywinski@comcast.netSubject: [NorthernVirginiaforObama] Hope in Catlett, VAAccording to the Virginia Board of Elections website, Senator Obama won inCatlett, Virginia by one vote. Catlett – a small town in Fauquier CountyVirginia where we live, is a very conservative place. There are not a lot ofDemocrats here. Over the years, as our sons have watched us vote forcandidates who did not win, they have often asked me whether their votewould make a difference. My response has always been, “How can you hope tochange things if you don ‘t vote?”When the campaign came to Virginia, we signed up to volunteer with a smallgroup called “Fauquier for Obama ’08”. Since people in Fauquier County donot live close enough to each other to make canvassing worthwhile, our groupgot permission from Giant Foods to set up a table outside. We handed outstickers, copies of Senator Obama’s policy proposals downloaded from thewebsite and obtained names and contact information from the twenty or sopeople who were brave enough to come up to our table in front of all of theRepublicans who were shopping that day.Our son manned a table at the local community college. He got about fivemore volunteers and handed out stickers. He and five other studentsorganized a commuter waive along U.S. Highway 29 where they held up signsand braved lit cigarettes, obscene gestures and spit from passing cars andwhere they also got thumbs-up signs, smiles, honks and waives. On ElectionDay our sons voted for the first time . We sat at polls, passed out morestickers, and served coffee and hot chocolate to voters.Senator Obama won Virginia by a large margin. He won Fauquier County by asmaller margin. He won Catlett, by one vote. We will never know who castthat one vote that put him over the top. But never again will my sons ask meif their vote makes a difference. They know it did.Senator Obama is winning elections because of one vote at a time. Everyperson who is inspired to hope that our country could ever be united or thatwe could have affordable health care or that we could improve educationalopportunities for average folks or that we do not have to fight wars just sooil companies, the arms industry and Halliburton can make obscene profitswhile young Americans die too young, can make a difference. We know thisbecause he won in Catlett by one vote.Yes We Can!!!