Saturday, September 6, 2008

something to check out

We have an unwritten rule in our house (made by me :) ) "No political talk after 10pm" Partly because I dream so vividly that whatever Michael and I discuss towards the end of the evening, usually makes its way into a dream.

Most of us are sick of the squabbles between the candidates at this point. Myself included. However, I watched a VERY good interview on YouTube yesterday. It was the Saddleback Civic Forum. If you have a minute - watch it. It is broken up into 5 parts. Rick Warren states at the beginning that each candidate will be asked the same questions in the same order. It was more of a relaxed and informal interview which I loved because you could seem to see their character a little clearer. A question may have been asked an you could see Obama cough, wiggle, or not be confident of his response. It was good to to hear the perspective from both sides equally and fairly.

I have since become in conversation with a friend on Facebook. She is an avid Obama supporter and I am clearly not. I do not trust that man. I am very excited about McCain's experience coupled with Palin's fiery convictions. After a long post on my message board, I responded to her praise of Obama and her disagreements on McCain. At the end of the day, God is on the throne, not McCain or Obama (THANK GOODNESS) but I wanted to post my response simply to hear any input you may have and if you haven't already, watch the Saddleback Civic Forum! I would love for you to post your comments.

My response to her email...

You are exactly right. We will not see eye to eye on this so it is better to agree that we will disagree. The good news is that at the end of the day McCain or Obama are NOT on the throne - God is (thank goodness) so whatever happens is not by chance. Bear with me as I know this is REALLY long.

I do understand your respect for Obama because his passion for the poor. From being in the school system for 3 years, teaching in the inner-city of Louisville and now at a low income school where we have 80% free reduced, I see a lot of poverty. I see children who come to school for the 3rd day in the same clothes, I see kids who beg to save their milk instead of drinking it at lunch so they have something that night at home, and I've seen kids who live in dumps with no electricity and no where enough space or safety in that neighborhood (one of my kids last year- I went to his house to get a field trip permission slip) Yet, just down the street there are beautiful neighborhoods with picket fences and lawns mowed. On the other hand, I have seen every way to work the system. For instance, a student we have this year is on free and reduced lunch (which means the government covers the deficit of $.30 a meal instead of $2.60) and yet the parent was outraged that the afterschool program was $50 a week. We are required to keep students anyways by law. The funny thing, the parent drives a new car, has a new cell phone, and according the student - has an HDTV at home so they don't like our classroom TVs. The sad thing is- this is SO MANY families that are being assisted. The issue is priorities, NOT poverty. On the other hand, I know a lady who is raising her 4 great grandsons and has made a way for herself. She has been promoted at the hospital due to her work ethic (not a degree) but bc she is making "too much money" her food stamps have been taken from her. This is a women who has sacrificed everything for her grandchildren because they are family. She also told me that she could foster them and cut a bigger check but she knows that is not right, so she will cut a smaller check to know no one can snatch her boys. This is a lady I greatly respect and the govt. is not working in her favor. I am convicted about this issue of poverty bc the reality is - it ISN'T and shouldn't be the govt job to aid those who make poor choices, we as the church need to step up and provide for these families. At school, there is a church that comes in every Friday and does just that. They package microwave meals and snacks for families in need so the children can eat over the weekend. We need to step up as the church in America, not the govt.

We have children in our schools systems, who are NOT legal citizens. By law, we are required to give all children an education. Not very securing to me that if a child doesn't have a social security number, the school system is to assign them a "pin" number instead. These are not just Hispanic illegals but from various countries. Your tax dollars are paying for this. Children of families who are here on "a free ride" while we are working 60 hour work weeks to make ends meet. There is something terribly wrong with this. Obviously this is not the result of one loophole but many.

When it comes to the war. Who does like it? Who does want to stay in this state of turmoil? I don't see many people raising their hands to this one. However, it grates on my nerves when the soldiers are referring to being "sent" or "forced" at such a young age. We do not draft men or women to serve our country. They willingly sign up to serve. A man that works with our youth at church has a wife, 2 kids, and adopting the 3rd, has been to Iraq serving with the Army for almost 2 years. He has been home about a year and a half and is about to head back out. Why? He sees the great relief we have been giving to the Afghani and Iraqi people. They have since the time we have been there been able to establish themselves and women and children run to our soldiers as they look to them as their own heroes. The pictures from there are unbelievable. Within the past two weeks, our military turned over complete security to Iraqi military of the Ambar Province of Iraq. Where was that in the news? I wish our news channels where more balanced on the good that is occuring there, not just the sad case of how many men we as Americans have lost. It is a new day in the media. We have lost a little over 4,000 men in this war over the course of 6 years. Although this is a sad loss, these men knew the cost of sacrifice. They knew the price they were willing to pay. What saddens me more, is how as a country we have FORGOTTEN the events of 9/11. Just the other day I was getting my hair cut by a lady who I discovered moved from NY because her apt was next to the towers and she had lost everything, including 11 family members and friends. I immediately told her how sorry I was that we had forgotten Sept. 11 as a nation. We lost over 3,000 people in one day from an unexpected event that sadly could have been prevented. Those people that were in the towers and on the planes and those family members are who we should remember to grieve for, not just for our soldiers. Are you aware that the media is not allowed to show the planes hitting the towers on national tv? why not? yes - it is devastating and no one wants to relive that day but what a reminder of the blatant evil we are up against and what we are being naive to.

I do not agree with Obama. I do not agree that his "change" is what we need. He can speak well. But a President that only speaks well is not appealing to me. I want a man of conviction. I value substance over style. Someone who is not seeking success in a career ladder but has "been there, done that" I heard someone say if you can't stand behind and support the President, stand in front and do his job. As for the Saddleback Forum, I don't care what "environment" he was in. It was apparent that on certain topics he was more concerned with others opinions of him than standing firm on an issue. Leaders are confident and lead regardless of their environment.

I have a MAJOR issue that he does not consider militant Islamic terrorist as evil. I also have a MAJOR issue that he is willing to negotiate with these terrorists. Within the last year, our soldiers have found floor plans of multiple schools in the US in places where Al-Qaeda had fled from. These men are willing to strap bombs to their own children and mentally handicap women in order to achieve a higher after life reward. THEY DO NOT CARE TO DIE. I am unsure if you have heard of "The Perfect Day" but it is the new plan of attack from Al Qaeda has threatened to the US. A similar strategy in Russia was successful a few years ago and our soldiers have found video footage (in these same hiding places) of "training tapes". This basically consists of causing some reason to evacuate a school building (fire alarm is what was used) When all children and teachers are outside they execution style kill innocent teachers and children. In addition, they have strapped bombs to their OWN children or themselves ( they are bus drivers who are hired illegals) and blow up multiple buses in the bus lane then attack the building. THIS IS REALITY. In Texas, buses have already reported missing. Scary. These people are patient. They are confident that the more that are killed the better rewarded they will be as they sadly misinterpret the Koran. On the same note, the Mullahs (religious leaders) as well as Iran's President, believe part of their role is to usher in the 12th Imam, which basically brings about their world domination. Therefore, negotiation is absurd especially when we know the potential of attack ahead.

Like I said before, we will agree to disagree. I believe that most of America's problems can and should be solved by America's people, whereas it seems you would argue that most of America's problems should be solved by America's government. Thanks for reading this, I know if was really long. Maybe this helps you see why I take the perspective I do.

Hope you have a good week!


Anonymous said...

Amen! Amen! AMEN! Very well said!

Anonymous said...

Jonathan stole the words right out of my mouth. I have never been active in "politics," until now. God has really laid a passion on my heart to pray and pray and pray for those who are running for the presidential ticket.
My heart is so heavy to the point to where I want to cry myself to sleep at night. Mostly because I hear so much about abortion. I have never engaged in reading about abortion and politics, until now. Mostly because I see pregnancy in a different light, since I'm six months pregnant.
You really spoke well and I'm so proud of you standing your ground and not turning back. You have an awesome heart, and I'm so glad that you share your heart and love with so many people!
Take care.

Ginny said...

Hi Traci,
I wasn't going to comment but there are some things I feel I should correct you. First of all, men do not willingly sign up to join the army any more. When a boy turns 18 he has to register with the US army in case of a draft. This disturbs me because I have a younger brother who doesn't support war and shouldn't have to fight in something so pointless.
In terms of national security I must say you have no idea what its like to enter a subway station and see national guards carrying maching guns. I live in one of the most dangerous cities in the world for terrorism. I have to say at the end of the day I feel safer with Obama.
Sarah Palin wants to put religion in school. I have a HUGE problem with that. Every child in this country is entitled to a free and appropriate education. If we started teaching religion, education will no longer be appropriate. What about people who are Jewish, Muslim, or Atheist? Should they not be allowed an education. Isn't this America where we have freedom of religion. She should focus on Sex Education. I think her daughter and her family would have benefited from that rather than hearing a bible verse daily in the classroom. I also feel very uncomfortable with someone taking away my right to choose. As a sexually active young adult, I don't feel like anyone should tell me what I can and cannot do with my own body. I'm sure we disagree on EVERYTHING and that's ok. That's the beauty of America. I can have my beliefs and you can have yours. However, at the end of the day, I can't judge you for being conservative and can't be the one to say you are right or wrong.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify Ginny- Governor Palin is not supporting a school curriculum that pushes any one religion, she is however, in favor, of teaching intelligent design in American classrooms, along with the theory of evolution so that students have both sides of this argument and can make an informed decision- and that I applaud.

There were a few more points I wanted to make, but I don't want this to evoke a heated political debate so I'll leave it at that.

Audrey said...

and for some reason I laughed out loud when at the end it reads "Have a good week!" hahahahaha.

...and here are my two cents to one of the comments...


Jason said...

Great post, Traci!

Dana said...

I just want to ditto both of Jonathan's posts!!


Great Post :)

P.S. I just found your blog through Talysa's new blog :)

Ruth Ann said...

Wow! I love how articulate you are! :D If I were the girl you had originally written the reply to, I would be blown out of the water and would really have to question my political position. With your great passion for true, justice, and small government, I am so glad you are teaching our children!

Love you bunches!

Carrigan Family said...

Hey neighbor - well said. I'm so glad you and Michael got away - we pray for you guys everytime we drive by your house - I know your summers are insane!! Addie and Ryan are ready for you guys to come and play again whenever you have a spare second :).

Love you!
Mary Lee

Rebecca said...

Traci, thanks for putting so much time and thought into your post.

I recently heard a woman speak about an orphanage that her family had started in Africa. She was talking about how she was so tired of seeing those little naked kids with the swollen bellies and the flies buzzing around their eyes on commercials. Money isn't the answer. Without changing the culture and minds of those children, they just grow up and have more children who are on commercials with flies buzzing around them while someone asks for money to help feed them. It's just a circle of poverty that doesn't end.

Our country has done the same thing. We have trained generations to look to the government as their source of security. We are a culture of self-centered consumers whose primary concern is "what's in it for me?" It is now our government's job to "forgive" us for our mistakes and not just let us start over like it never happened, but actually create a new life for us that erases all evidence of past mistakes, regardless of expense. This system doesn't encourage anyone to learn from their mistakes, but to profit from them. It's also plain to see that people have exchanged a faith in a living God, who is capable of the forgiveness and change they're looking for, with a faith in a man-made flawed system.

The fact that Obama's campaign has taken on the word "Hope" as a slogan is quite telling. Are these people placing their hope into their government? Is the government their SOURCE of hope? If so, we as a country are doomed to failure. If our government is "of the people, by the people, and for the people", then we are a hopeless people looking to another hopeless person to give us hope that they do not have.

(Every time I see those HOPE signs, it makes me sing "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness." LOL)

People need to realize that they are a part of something way bigger than themselves. The decisions that they make today, may have short term benefits to them and make their life easier for a short while, but those decisions can impact generations to come.

(And now, Rebecca will step down from her soap box and get back to doing the oh-so-unfair task of cleaning the house while feeling oppressed.)