Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Putting things in perspective

Yes, it's another political post...

For any stray visitors who may have stumbled across my blog: I am not Roman Catholic. There is much with Roman Catholicism and its theology that I find problematic. But there is much that I believe, despite its flaws, the Catholic Church has gotten right.

I am old enough to remember the Roe v. Wade decision, and to remember the deafening silence, apathy, and ignorance within Protestantism. I am old enough to remember going to pro-life events and having my Catholic brothers and sisters greet me warmly, sometimes tearfully, and say, "We have praying for years that Protestants would finally join us in concern for the sanctity of life."

I remember Catholic acquaintances who were shocked when I was happy about my third pregnancy. One blurted out, "But I didn't think Protestants liked children!" She went on to say, "It's really difficult to get Protestants interested in pro-life issues and, besides, most of you don't even allow children and babies in your church services. Plus, you're the first Protestant I've ever met who wanted more than one or two kids."

Our actions --- and lack of actions --- and our silence have spoken volumes. No matter how opposed to Catholicism you might be, I would urge you to set aside those differences, if you are a follower of Jesus, and prayerfully consider what part of the following message might apply to you:

Yesterday I received an email containing a link to The Judeo-Christian View. Some of what they write might seem alarmist, disturbing, and a bit over the top. But please do not discount it out of hand. Read it prayerfully:

Our nation faces a fork, a divergence between the high road and the low road -- and you and your congregation could very well determine the direction we take. The high road upholds America's peaceful tradition of Judeo-Christian tolerance and morality. The low road marches us toward militant secular-paganism, militant Islam, or both.

The high road upholds traditional marriage between one man and one woman, and the sanctity of innocent human life that springs from such unions. The low road favors homosexual "marriage" and child sacrifice (we're not referring to familiar abortion here – see below).

The high road upholds the rights of pastors, priests and rabbis to "speak truth to power" in the tradition of Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, (and for Christians) John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, Stephen and Jesus. The low road would officially censor the Judeo-Christian view from the public square.

[To read more, click here.]

There are those who accuse people who speak out against Obama of fear-mongering. I will agree: there is some of that. There is also fear-mongering among those who become somewhat hysterical at the thought of another four years of a Republican in the White House. But that doesn't mean that there is no cause for fear, or that we should plug our eyes and ears and refuse to think about the fact that Obama stands for much that we, as followers of Jesus, should oppose.

Some of us are accused of being ignorant and narrow-minded one-issue voters. We are told that the abortion issue doesn't really matter as much as we claim. We are told not to worry about the fact that Obama has publicly promised that, as his very first act as President, he will sign the Freedom of Choice Act. We are told, as if this will assure us, that this will not result in that many more abortions. We are also told that same-sex marriage is not that big of a deal either. After all, does it really impact, in a negative way, our own marriage? If not, what's the big fuss?

What really matters is the economy, and Obama's plans to redistribute the wealth, and the fact that he talks about hope and change. And isn't hope oh so Christian? Isn't that what really matters?

My grandfather was a bold voice in a time when many thought he was alarmist, over the top, concerned about peripheral issues rather than about a nation's economic survival. People thought he was a fear-mongerer when he attempted to warn them. They saw no danger. They saw only hope...and change. Eloquent words, which my grandfather did not possess, persuaded them. Some...way too many... paid with their lives. They thought they were safe. They were not.

We may be safe. Today. We may feel completely unthreatened. We have grown callous to the abortion issue. We have watched so many movies and TV programs, and perhaps even laughed along with Will and Grace, that we are jaded about homosexual unions, just as we are jaded about adultery and pornography and pre-marital sex. We don't see how far our nation has drifted away from what is right and decent. We don't even see how far we ourselves have drifted away. Do we have the mind of Christ? Are we truly concerned about the least of these? Do we even care about rescuing those who are being led away to slaughter? Has holiness become just a religious word to us?

There is no candidate that I can enthusiastically support in this race. But there is one who stands, openly and unashamedly, for things that I simply cannot accept. I fear --- and I believe there is good reason for fear --- that the change that Obama will bring is not a change that the followers of Jesus should find acceptable or pleasing. But it may be the change we, as a sleeping and disobedient Church, fully deserve. May God have mercy.

Please pray. My daughter is planning to join with many others, in California and across the country, to intercede earnestly on behalf of our nation. She has been fasting and praying. Some may just think this is just youthful zeal. Please do not despise it. Please pray for some of that zeal for yourself.

My father has been praying that God might show us mercy...yet again. Mercy is, by definition, undeserved. Please join him in that prayer.

Pray that we might all be awakened, that the change and hope we seek may come from Christ, rather than from those who oppose His Words, and that God might make our hearts tender towards Him and towards the least among us.

May God have mercy.

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  1. The Judeo-Christian View: A Right Wing Hate Group Misuses Faith To Attack Barack Obama

  2. I admitted that some of the statements on the website seemed alarmist. Personally, I would like to tone down some of the rhetoric.

    In addition, I followed your link. I admit to a problem praying imprecatory prayers; I can hardly consider myself a David, nor can I claim that God has specifically inspired me to pray in that manner.

    However, I do not think that being opposed to abortion or being opposed to homosexual marriage, even if one uses rhetoric such as "child sacrifice" to describe the barbaric practice euphemistically known as "partial birth abortion", can be classified as hate speech.

    But then again, I tend to be a strong believer in a traditional, straight-forward reading of our Constitution, and thus I'm quite the fan and advocate of free speech and freedom of religion.