It’s been more than a week since the Presidential election, and I’m still breathing. A few thoughts:
1. I’m happy that the United States of America has elected its first black president. Although in theory skin color should not matter, it does. Race continues to be a major factor in our society, and hopefully this will improve relations rather than exacerbate them. Here’s hoping that this election will bring hope to millions of people of color. The phrase “Yes, we can” surely holds a much deeper meaning to a young black man now than it did two weeks ago.
2. I wish our first black president were not a leftist.
3. Barack Obama is now my president. I accept this fact, and I will treat him as such. And I’m thankful that I live in a country that allows me to speak openly when I don’t like his policies.
Among the entries in the Homecoming Parade of my once-conservative Alma Mater, Abilene Christian University, were a couple of political advertisements:
If you, like me, have been bothered by a nagging feeling that something dramatic but hard to define is starting to happen to our churches, I have a book for you. In my twenty years supplying churches with furnishings and construction specialties, I’ve enjoyed a certain constancy, from both a business and a spiritual standpoint. As a business, church construction has maintained a fairly consistent growth pattern, with less volatile ups and downs than those of many other businesses. I’ve always assumed that this reflected the relatively stable nature of America’s Christianity, and therefore assumed that changes in the market would necessarily be gradual. As a Christian, I’ve assumed that traditional approaches to Christian living would be as effective in the future as they have been in the past.
I may have been wrong on both counts.
In his book The Millennium Matrix, M. Rex Miller presents interesting insight into church dynamics and Christian life in general. Miller observes that human history can be divided into four ages, based on how we store and distribute information. From the oral culture of ancient times, to the print era brought about by Gutenberg to the broadcast world of 20th century television, he describes how our worldview is shaped in large part by how we communicate ideas. As he peeks into the emerging digital culture and predicts what the implications will be, he shows us a world in which Christianity will change radically in ways we may not expect.
Miller’s Matrix distills this information into a literal chart in the center of the book, which makes a handy summary reference for these concepts. This is a good thing, because the book is not a fast read; his thoughts are deep and his language is precise, requiring focus and concentration to fully absorb.
This book will impact how I view my business, but more importantly, how I view the world and the role the church will take in it. To the extent that my views affect my actions, this book will affect how I live my life.
The McCain/Palin compaign is going negative. It’s about time they did, but they are going about it all wrong. Linking Obama to Bill Ayers is a tactic that must be used (and should have been used sooner), but the campaign is focusing on the wrong thing. Simply calling Ayers a terrorist accomplishes nothing, because it happened forty years ago. Young voters consider the sixties to be ancient history, and see such attacks as a weak link to an irrelevant person. Many older voters view the sixties with nostalgia and forgive the guy for youthful indescretions. After all, he did stop bombing things!
While it may stir up the conservative base, this approach does nothing to attract weary Republicans, fed up Libertarians, or anyone else who might still be swayed. In fact, it will have a negative backlash. Nobody seriously thinks that Obama endorses bombing buildings, so this comes off as a desparate character attack.
McCain and Palin claim that the relationship raises questions of “Honesty and Judgement”. This is true, but what McCain really needs to do is to explain Bill Ayers’ PHILOSOPHY. While he may not be throwing literal bombs, he continues to promote his extreme left, anti-capitalist philosophy as a professor of education at University of Illinois at Chicago. Consider this Ayers quote:
“We have always been small ‘c’ communists in the sense that we were never in the [Communist] party and never Stalinists. The ethics of Communism still appeal to me. I don’t like Lenin as much as the early Marx. I also like Henry David Thoreau, Mother Jones and Jane Addams […]”
Senator Obama’s allies and connections, including Ayers, are an indicator of his worldview, his concept of America, his political and ethical philosophy. We should know by now that you cannot blindly trust the words of any politician running for office. In order to predict what a man will do after he is elected, we need to understand what motivates him.
I fear that American will not see Obama for the leftist he really is. But more than that, I fear that America might see Obama for the leftist that he really is…and still choose to vote him in.