Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thoughts on Politics and Life

Lately, with all the talk on health care reform and other new policies of the Obama administration, I have been thinking about it all, and the ramifications they propose. And as I have taken a look at it all, I have had to re-examine my own political views, and have found (to my surprise) that in reality, my views on politics were far different than I always assumed they were.

1.) Universal Healthcare: I admit that I am struggling with the issue of universal healthcare. From a purely political view, I am not that happy about government-run healthcare. I am of the opinion that government should generally be kept to a minimum (i.e., protect the country and protect citizens from fraud). However, from a humanitarian point of view, I am slightly sympathetic towards it. How can we spend tons of money on foreign affairs and bailing out big corporations (which I definately disagree with), and yet let our people get sick and die? How can we be so cruel and let people go without aid? And besides, there are already certain forms of "socialized" medicine already practiced within the U.S. Ever heard of the Department of Veterans Affairs? Any veteran of the United States military has full access to free healthcare coverage and free hospital visits if they wish. Or, how about the special perks of being President and a member of Congress? They get some healthcare benefits, don't they? "But", some might say, "they earned it! For vets, they served in the military! And, for members of Congress and the President, they are serving our country by making laws and looking out for us! They are earning their keep. Just like any other company provided insurance (but oddly enough, the company is us)." Alright- fair enough. But, is it a far step to expand coverage to all people? While people should earn their keep, shouldn't they get treatment, just because they are fellow humans? And technically, they are earning their keep- they are working, and paying their taxes.

This issue is a complex one, and an issue that tears me in different directions.

2.) Being Pro-Life: No, I am not becoming pro-choice. On the contrary, I am becoming even more pro-life. However, I am starting to question the tactics and actions of pro-lifers. We too often come across as close-minded, judgemental, bigots, and the like. Now, of course people are going to think whatever they are going to think about pro-lifers. However, we always haven't shown ourselves in a positive light. While we are always proclaiming the wrongs of abortion and defending the life of the unborn, how often does the public see our more passive side? Just us, being silent, and praying to God? And how often our we compassionate to those who have had an abortion? We find out someone has had an abortion, and while we may not vocally speak out loud, we think, "Oh, they've had an abortion! That is a really bad sin!" Come on now! How pompous and arrogant can we be! Yes, they had an abortion. Whoop-de-flippin-do! Guess what? According to Jesus, we've all commited murder (and adultery, and idolatry) in our hearts. We are obviously not holier than them. On the contrary, we are just as much sinners in need of Grace as someone who has had an abortion. We need to welcome them as a fellow sick person, and together repent, and bask in the healing the Christ gives. We need to shout that just as loud as we do that abortion should be illegal. Now, I'm not saying that there are not people who are saying this- I am just saying I don't see it. Now, I don't to see it for my own sake- it needs to be seen for the sake of those who don't know!

3.) Pro-soldier, Anti-War: For a long time, I have always believed in the concept of a just war. And to some extent, I still do. However, as I have lived through two wars now (Iraq and Afghanistan), and seen the effects it has on people, I have come as I can short of joining the military in seeing the horrors of war. And as my feelings have been changing, I have always been slightly guilty. "If I'm against war, than I'm anti-soldier. And I want nothing but to support those who serve in the Armed Forces." However, I've come to realize that I can be anti-war, AND pro-soldier. I now think that war should be a last ditch effort- that it should be avoided at all costs. War is a horrible thing, and a sin. Make no mistake about it- war is a sin, and a terrible blight upon this planet. However, there are times when we have no choice but to enter into it. However, whether in times of war or an era of peace, we can still support our men and women in the military. They basically sign a contract with the government and become dogs of the military, all in order to serve us. While not all go in with that mentality, that is in fact what they are doing. And they, just like any other public servant (indeed, any other person), they need our prayers and encouragement.

Now besides this, there are a whole host of issues that could be addressed. And I suppose as time goes on, as policies are implemented, as I grow older and wiser (hopefully on the wiser part), and as I just live out life, my views will likely change. What I do know is this- being "conservative" or "liberal" is a fading thing. People are starting to realize there is much more to the story than following with fervent loyalty a certain political agenda, and that more often than not, we are conservative in one way and liberal in another.

But what I also know (and this is more important), as that when it comes down to it, it is about Jesus. And thank God that He doesn't demand a political agenda- He demands a worldview, centered in His Word and His Son. As a Christian grows in faith, and is restored to the image of Christ, they will find their views going where they never thought they would ever go. All political ideologies will slowly go out the window, and loyalty to a certain brand of politics will die out. But no matter what, politics and government (as good as though things can be) will not save- only Jesus does. And thank God for that!