What kind of America do I want to live in?

In the quest to answer the question, “Who would Jesus vote for?”, that question has also come up. I think of stuff like September 11, and about Katrina and the response there. I think of how much more difficult our life is now than it was four years ago. Don’t think I’m blaming our life situation on Pres. Bush –just saying that I see life a whole lot more differently from this side of the poverty line. I know what it is to need and obtain help from the government now. Way different. I know what it is to lose a job and not be able to find a replacement right away. I know what it is to be hesitant to go to the one place you should be able to go to first, the church, because you have heard the (innocently uttered) judgmental comments about the poor before.

So, I’m a registered Independent, and have been ever since Bush ran the first time. And, yes, I did vote for him, both times. After Sept. 11, there seemed no better choice. He seemed much more prepared to deal with and take seriously the threat of terrorism. He stood for unborn life, and supported faith-based initiatives to help the poor. All good things. But now, I see things differently. I’m finding myself asking different questions. How is it possible to be completely “pro-life” when we spend so much time defeating legislation that hundreds of thousands of moms are slipping through the cracks and left with no answers as to how to support those children yet to be born -or not. Laws are important, but did paper get more important than our neighbor? Is it “pro-life” to be sending young men to war? Is that war worth the lives lost? Maybe. Jury’s still out on that one in my mind. Both sides make some sense. …And what about the quality of those lives we are protecting? Are we creating a society that protects the poor? That defends the downtrodden? What else was Jesus about if not that? Jesus is for losers, after all (think about that statement –it’s not a slam on Him, but our sinful condition).

So, I’m in a bit of a quandary, still, but the conclusions I’m coming to are really scary. Lots of questions that lead to more questions that lead to answers that I didn’t want to find. It’s so much easier to live in a box. That’s why I’m an Independent. Sometimes I need to do hard things, and I may have to do just that on election day. I’d like to believe that the Church could take on poverty single-handedly. God can do anything, I believe that. What is changing, however, is my observation that perhaps the “powers that be” are one of the ways God works to take care of poverty. To be continued (in other words, my mind isn’t made up yet 😉 ). For further reading, go check out www.matthew25.org. Still ruminating through the stuff there…