02 November 2006


In my last post I said I wasn't going to tell you who to vote for, but I'm going to push that a bit here. Just a little food for thought. My blog, my rules. I know most of you regulars are Christian, and even if you aren't, you likely have a Judeo-Christian background. So I want to look at some of the 'liberal' issues that will play a major role in the upcoming election.
The democrats seem to be leading the way on environmental issues. Isn't this something that Christians should be more concerned about? Weren't we commanded to be stewards and caretakers of the earth? When you consider energy consumption, carbon emissions, deforestation and other environmental concerns, it appears to me that we are not caring for the earth as God intended. As Americans, we should be leading the way to a renewable, environmentally friendly energy source. We need to be reducing our carbon emissions. We should have been the first to sign the Kyoto Agreement. Instead, our dependence on foreign oil increases.
I used to hear a lot of arguments against socialised medicine, but I was always kind of for it. Then I moved here. Now I'm really for it. Australia has a socialised medicine plan and Heather and I both feel it has a very positive effect on the quality of life here. We go to the doctor we choose and we go quickly. I have been twice this past year and got an appointment for the next day, late afternoon after work both times. It's not inconvenient and it's not substandard. The bottom line is that everyone has access to needed health care, leading to a healthier society that gets preventive care before it's too late and they need more serious and expensive treatment. Jesus was always concerned with the poor and the sick. Shouldn't we be doing the same?
Which leads me to my last 'liberal' issue: tolerance. Australia is a multicultural society that not only tolerates others but encourages and embraces them. America seems to be afraid of anything or anyone that is different. These differences are often seen as a threat. It doesn't have to be that way. Again, Jesus spent his time with people who were different, always accepting them for who they were. He never forced himself on anybody--why do we feel people need to change and be like us? America needs to reach out to other nations and be more open to others, both inside and outside its borders.
Please understand I don't say any of this to assign Jesus to a political party. In fact, I'm trying to do the opposite. The Religious Right has claimed the Republican Party, and in my opinion, that's a poor match, not that the Democrats would be a better. I don't need my government to tell me what to believe or define my morals. But I do think they should do as much as they can to improve the quality of life for all Americans and be an example of these qualities for the rest of the world. For more on these issues, check out Our Endangered Values by Jimmy Carter. Also see A Place to Rant, a blog by my friend Rus. I think it is on the decline since he hasn't updated it recently, but there are some interesting posts concerning religion and politics to consider.

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