21 October 2010

Day 19: What is your opinion of religion and politics?

Today was a better day than yesterday. I therefore have no excuse to evade the topic any longer. Although, I guess this post doesn't have to be about my particular beliefs - I could just talk about overgeneralized and easily corruptible institutions, but that could get rather dull.

First, Religion. From the outside, it's a quick label. Yes, I'm religious - meaning I have a deeply-rooted faith in God. I read the Bible. I study what it says. I pray. I take comfort in the relationship I have with Him. My faith gives me so much - joy, hope, peace, love, morality, integrity, understanding, and purpose. My faith begins with Christ. Basically, I believe He was who He said He was. Starting there, everything else falls into place.

a couple pages from one of my Bibles
Christianity sometimes (often?) gets thrown under the bus. People scrutinize it, find fault with it, and reject it at the first sign of trouble. Sadly, the criticism is frequently deserved. We hold ourselves to impossible standards and then act shocked when others fall short as well. We purposely err on the side of caution and then demand those carefully discerning what is right to be overcautious as well. We judge too quickly and take up a defense when we should repent, ignore, or accept. We give people truth when they need love and grace. Then again, perhaps I have held Christians to an impossible standard. We are all fallible people right?

Politics. They're everywhere right now. My parents are very definite about what they (and I) believe. I used to be definite too. I bought in to all the propaganda. Then I went to college and learned to think for myself. I realized the faults of the party to which my parents were so committed, but I reluctantly voted for the "lesser of two evils" in the general elections that came by. I've never really liked the party lines anyway. I don't understand supporting an unreliable person, let alone a party full of unreliable persons. I prefer to support ideas - the trouble is finding someone who supports them as well.

Some ideas that are important to me: Life is sacred. It's precious and must be protected, defended, and cultivated. People are precious and must be provided for, taught, and loved. But life isn't just human, we have a responsibility to take care of all life - including the earth. Personal responsibility is another important issue for me. I don't want the government taking care of every little detail of my life. I am responsible for my communities needs. I am responsible for my mistakes. I am responsible for meeting the needs of those around me. Finally, individual liberty is immensely important to me. Restrictions often just make bad people more creative. Obviously, some borders have to be drawn, but as much as is possible, I must be free to make my own decisions. So should you.

Sometimes I just want to vote based on names.

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