Tag Archives: politics

Government Shutdown And Who Is Right

I know you readers are from around the world, but if you aren’t aware our government has shut down. If that is news to you, I suggest you read this first.

I love America. I love that we have a system of government in place that demands agreement in order to move forward. What is problematic for me is the way this is all going down and the critical approach both sides have.

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Me and the hubs in DC this past spring

I was going to write about the shutdown, but then my brilliant and fantastic friend Stephanie at Stifling Trivialities did. So, I am reposting her thoughts here. I’d love you to comment at the end about what your thoughts are regarding the shutdown. But be warned — I will only allow posts that are kind, respectful and constructive. You can disagree, but be nice.

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This morning I was listening to NPR and they were talking about the Affordable Care Act and the fact that there is a 40/48 divide in America regarding the way that America should be run. 40 percent of Americans believe that we need “smaller” government, and 48 percent believe that ‘big’ government is more effective. **disclaimer- I have not seen this study, I have no idea how this question was asked, to whom, and how many people were polled.

However, I do know that 1/2 of America ( or so ) believe FUNDAMENTALLY they are right – we need LESS government, BIGGER business, less intrusion, lower taxes, the government needs to step aside and let America be for the people by the people and give the people back the ability to rule ourselves…

Another 1/2 of Americans believe FUNDAMENTALLY they are right – we need the government to step in and do their jobs. To legislate where things are blocked, people are falling through the cracks, the minority is terrorizing the majority, to stop the widening gap between rich and poor, to control the flood of guns and violence, and death due to poverty…

So who is right?

One or the other.

There can only be ONE right? That’s the way we’ve allowed this to be constructed. That there is a right, and there is a wrong. As if it is a game of political Red Rover. You are either for or against.

The problem with being right is that it assumes there is someone who is wrong. There are some places where things are this black and white. Touchdowns and death for example – but politics not so much.

Politics is more of a game of Go Fish…and it’s about that exciting as well. Just think about the fun the OMB had when they sat down and said, ” Well, we’ve got a 40/48 split – what’s the line in Vegas on a shutdown October one?” When they heard the numbers, they ordered in Chinese and set to deciding which 87% of Veterans Affairs were essential, which 81% of the Department of the Interior needed to be furloughed. Commerce another 87% – 97% of NASA, 94% of the EPA, 81% of the Interior, 80% of the Treasury, 69% of Health and Human Services and so on and so forth…

“Do you have any State Park employees?”

” Go Fish”

“I would but normally I do that at Acadia National Park”

It’s well known that in the most successful negotiations everyone walks away without getting everything they wanted. No good negotiation is a winner take all game, or it’s not a negotiation. Somehow, Americans seem to have forgotten that.

We have begun to think that it’s our way, or no way. It’s behavior that we despise and punish in our children, that we critically critique in the coming generations, and demand uncompromisingly from our political representation.

The problem with being right, is that you can’t be right all the time , it’s a statistical impossibility. Beyond that, it’s difficult to like that person – the one that can never be wrong. And we are a nation full of them.

Two bickering sides.

Both always right.

Neither side ever wrong.

To what end?

At what cost?

I ask, in the long term, how can anyone benefit from this petulant behavior?

The problem with being right, is that it’s not working, and we’re not learning – and no one seems to be ashamed of their behavior.

We should consider who we vote for.

We should consider what we demand from them.

We should consider our political posture.

We are not moving forward, we are not at a standstill, we are sliding backward.

In three weeks, we will be facing the discussion regarding the debt ceiling and we can barely have an adult discussion with one another regarding the rules within our own home.

Our politicians are simply representatives of the people, they do as we demand. I cannot be angry at them for something that I am pretty sure starts with me. —> click to tweet

I am looking for places to concede and compromise, had our founding fathers been as obstinate and bull headed as we are, there would be no Constitution or United States. It might benefit us to remember the great concessions and compromises they made in order to move this great republic forward.

So what do you think? If you live in another country what is your take on this? For Americans, how do you think we actually solve this breakdown? Please share your thoughts and join the conversation!

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Filed under current events, Global, Politics, Uncategorized

abortion

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I woke up today thinking about people. When I think of the world in terms of millions, the signficance of  ‘ 1 ’ can easily be overlooked. For some reason this led me to thinking about abortion and I felt compelled to share my thoughts with all you beautiful people.

I am discussing this today because our bumper-sticker dialogue isn’t working so well. We read a “pro-life” or “pro-choice” sticker on the car next to us and then steal a judgmental glance at the driver as we pass them.

And so we sit in our own little cars, going our own little ways. Today I want to get out of my car and get into yours where we can really talk. Can you handle that?

You see, I am pro-life. Half of you are cheering and others are gasping. I am sure I will say something everyone disagrees with at some point in this post. I believe in you. I believe you can handle that.

But unlike what is often portrayed, my reasons may be different.

I am not pro-life because my church told me to be. I didn’t drink  kool aid of any sort. My beliefs are my beliefs & am not speaking on behalf or at the request of anyone else.

I am not pro-life because I am a Republican. Guess what? I am not a Republican. I’m an independent that votes on a case by case basis. So, there ya go.

I am not pro-life because I want to punish people who have sex. To be honest, I do not expect people who do not share my faith to share my moral values. An 18 year old girl who doesn’t believe in God doesn’t really care what He says is best for her. I get that.

I do not think that people who are pro-choice hate babies. To be frank, that is really stupid. I have a lot of friends who are pro-choice simply because they don’t believe the government’s role is making personal decisions for others. I see their point.

I am not pro-life because I don’t understand rape. I have several friends who have been victims of rape and the severity of what they go through is not lost on me. I realize that to ask them to birth a child from that assault sounds like way too much to ask. Especially if their life is at risk.

So, why am I pro-life?

I am pro-life because I believe that every life matters. The lives we planned and the ones we never saw coming. I am pro-life for the same reason I believe a Palestinian  life has the same value as a Israeli life. Jesus isn’t biased toward gender, geography, race or religion. Every person matters to God and therefore they matter to me.

I am pro-life despite the fact that I don’t have all the answers. The complexities of what would happen to our economy or our environment if every baby ever conceived was born…yeah, that is no small thing.

I am pro-life for the same reason I support rights for immigrants, healthcare for uninsured, providing aid for those in poorer nations, financial assistance for unemployed in our own nation…those are complex issues too. Not easily resolved or funded. However, I care about them because there are people behind the “issues”.

I believe a child’s value goes far beyond simply having the right to be born. They should also have access to good education, nutritious food, healthcare and a secure home. Those things matter too. Life is worth fighting for from conception to final breath.

It seems I would be amiss if I were to ask a 20 year old to not abort her baby and then deny her the healthcare and assistance it would take to raise it. My opinions may not be very popular, I know.

Also, chances are that someone reading this has had an abortion. Don’t beat yourself up. Wanna know why? Because YOU matter too. And God loves you. Seriously, He does.

I don’t know how to pay for all these people and their needs. But what kind of nation are we if we value people primarily based on how much they will cost us? Now, I’m not dumb , naïve to the scale of all this or think that the government can pay for every person and every need. It isn’t realistic to ask the government to handle it all. To be honest, I don’t know how we solve this problem either. Our systems are quite broken & maybe it isn’t solely the government’s responsibility anyway. One thing I know about God is that He always has a plan. Which is why I pray a lot. About everything.

I know that God made people and they have worth. If we hold to this conviction, despite all of the challenges, then somehow we can help others. Maybe it is one by one. Neighbor by neighbor. But if every life matters, then that is a cost we are willing to take on ourselves. Isn’t that what the Church is for anyway? Hands & feet & such?

For me, unborn babies qualify as people. Maybe they do or don’t to you. Lets talk anyway.

We try to solve issues like abortion and immigration by talking to people who have the exact same perspective that we do. Which, if you haven’t noticed, gets us nowhere.

So, I’m ignoring bumper stickers and sticking my neck out there. I am not 100% right and you are not 100% wrong. We have some big problems right now & they are worth talking about.

Two heads are better than one. So find someone with another view. Be respectful & work to understand where they are coming from. Then start talking. Maybe you will become friends. And maybe, just maybe, your conversations will change the world.

28 Comments

Filed under Faith, Fire, Politics, Uncategorized

Sunday Kind of Love: Kid President

I don’t usually post about politics, but this is a president I can get behind.

4 Comments

February 3, 2013 · 1:43 pm

Why Gaza Should Matter To You

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So the Middle East is fighting again & in the past six days approx. 100 people have been killed in Gaza. Justin Bieber & Taylor Swift won more awards last night at the AMAs. What else is new?

It is so easy to get numb to what seems to be an endless & pointless conflict. Why should we care about a piece of land that is twice the size of Washington,DC and home to 1.7 million people? What does their mess have to do with a modern & civilized country like ours?

Some Americans care for political reasons. Other Americans take an interest for religious or economic reasons. I really can’t explain this to you. I could try, but that would be a three month series that I am not prepared  willing to write.

I will tell you why every American should care about what is happening in Gaza.

Gaza is full of people. And we should care about people. These aren’t just an idea of people or a hypothetical group of people. These are real people. And people should matter regardless of their language, religion or history.

I don’t care about your religious or political view of the situation. Gaza is full of people & people matter. The victims aren’t just evil & violent men. They are kids walking home from school, widows trying to sell their food in the market, and fathers trying to protect their kids from gunfire.

The victims are people & that is why we should care.

If you want to know more BBC has a great summary and Donald Miller wrote a moving piece that tells the story well.

Will you join with me in praying for peace & safety for the those caught in the middle of this conflict?

2 Comments

Filed under Global, Politics