Archives for category: politics

The inauguration of Barack Obama as our nation’s 44th president marks a truly historic occasion.  While the election of our first African American president hardly solves our many racial problems, there is something remarkably hopeful about this new presidency.

Listening to interviews of people who were there at the March on Washington in 1963 and braved the crowds for today’s inauguration, watching jubilant celebrations from around the nation and, indeed, the world, trying to explain to our daughter (and grasp, ourselves) the significance of today’s events… time will tell, but it feels like the ground has shifted underneath our feet.

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I know this is totally presumptuous and kind of manipulative even to write, but I wonder how God must feel when He watches the post-election reactions of many people who claim allegiance to Him.  My guess: not so great.

Whatever your political persuasion, I hope we can all agree that the historic election of Senator Barack Obama as the next President of the United States is worthy of recognition, even celebration.  While his election does not mean that racism in America has been “solved” it does reflect the significant progress we’ve made over the last hundred, fifty, and even ten years.  As a person of color, I resonate with many reflections I’ve heard recently about how now we can honestly tell our children that they can be anything they want, even President of the United States.

However, the conversation among many Christians has been anything but celebratory.

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…you just know that this story is going to be used as an illustration in some sermon somewhere in this country as “proof” that God is sovereign.

Sigh.

I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but I’m pretty sure God wasn’t losing any sleep over this one.

Even though I graduated with a degree in economics, I won’t pretend to know the ins and outs of our nation’s financial mess or, more importantly, how we might get out of it [EDIT: This American Life has a great episode, Another Frightening Show about the Economy, that helps explain things in ordinary human terms].  The list of scandals, bailouts and general madness never seems to end.  Reading this article begs the question, how did we end up like this?

Days after it got a federal bailout, American International Group Inc. spent $440,000 on a posh California retreat for its executives, complete with spa treatments, banquets and golf outings, according to lawmakers investigating the company’s meltdown

Sure, we’re offended (even outraged) by the current political climate of mudslinging and finger-pointing and by the greed and corruption underlying the financial disaster we’re facing, but how do we change?

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Perhaps you’ve seen those “Obama Mama” shirts around but wished you could find one partially written in Korean?  Well, wish no more!  Thanks to artist Jee Yun Lee, you can now have your very own “Ahjumah for Obama” shirt! [h/t: Angry Asian Man]

It might not rhyme, but now English- and Korean-speaking Obama Mamas can show their support for their candidate!  I’ll let you know if I see anything similar for John McCain…

I want to be an informed voter but it is increasingly difficult for me to stomach the derisive, hostile and often mocking tone of many recent political speeches (never mind the all mudslinging ads or insane punditry out there these days).  Reading the transcripts afterward helps a little bit, but it can be difficult to sort out truth from fiction, innuendo from issues.

If there’s a silver lining to all of this, I suppose today’s political climate reminds those of us who follow Christ that our ultimate hope is not in a particular politician or the political process. Tony Campolo says this in the latest issue of Relevant:

My contention is that if anybody asks if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, the answer should be, “Please name the issue.” On certain issues, I’m going to come across as someone who likes what the Republicans say, and on other issues I will come across as saying what the Democrats say.

Jesus might not be on the ballot for president, but maybe He could at least run for mayor of Detroit?  Lord knows, Detroit needs the help.

Perhaps because the stakes are so high, or maybe because we just like to fight, this November’s historic election cycle has elicited some very strong, emotional responses among Christians of various political persuasions.

I believe that followers of Christ should be engaged in the political process in meaningful ways rather than withdrawing into our own insular dreamworld while, at the same time, recognizing that our ultimate hope is not in a particular politician or the political process.  The idea of being part of the already but not yet Kingdom certainly creates tension for any of us who want to live out our faith missionally into our culture.

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