So I have been processing the election and needed to take a day or so to organize my thoughts which is why I hadn't posted anything yet. If you are sick of reading election thoughts, by all means skip over this post. However, this isn't really just about the election but just my thoughts on the country and government as a whole.
Yes - I'm conservative. Duh. If you didn't get that from the blog title, well I can't help you.
Yes - I voted for Mitt Romney. I didn't think he was perfect, but I do think he was the better choice for protecting our liberties, freedom, and making a better country for ALL.
Yes - I am a little sad he lost, but more than that I am BAFFLED.
That is my one word to explain the election this time - BAFFLED. I was blown away by the results, but now I am using it as an enlightening experience. I have learned that I don't I fit into the typical mold of my generation so it is interesting (and sometimes mind blowing) to hear why people voted the way they did. I don't think they are bad people. I was/am genuinely surprised by the election results. My husband's word(s) is CREEPED OUT. I'll explain that in just a few (I kind of am too).
First, let me say that I think conservatives/republicans do a pretty poor job on the PR front. I think they don't explain their beliefs very well so I am going to attempt to explain mine here. I am pretty sick of being judged and/or labeled as racist, bigot, selfish, not compassionate, religious zealot clinging to my Bible (although that maybe isn't that much of an insult - I do cling to my Bible!) and many other things. Like I said, other than the last part, I am none of those things and those are NOT platforms of the Republican party or Conservatives, at least not as a whole. I clearly cannot speak for everyone in the country, but I would be lying if I said I didn't feel like some Democrats and Liberals acted like those things sometimes. Which brings me to the meat of my post. On the whole world level, there is only one type of person - a sinner. We are ALL sinners and have ALL fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
Now, knowing that, there do become two different people in this world and it is necessary to make that distinction to understand the rest of what I want to say. There are believers/followers of Christ and then there are those that don't. If you are not a believer, we will fundamentally probably disagree and never understand where the other is coming from because our lives are based on two different cores. My core is Christ, and therefore that governs my life. I don't know what the core is for others - mine was mostly self before I gave my life to Christ. There ya go - those are the only different kinds of people I know. I don't frankly care about the rest of the stereotypes we have. Sure, I may disagree with your choices where it comes to things like gay marriage or such due to what God says in the Bible, but that is for you and God to discuss, not me.
I posted one comment on Facebook (that I didn't even think was that heavily political) but it got a couple of comments, and all of that just got me thinking.
My number one beef with the government is its size and reach. Many of the issues I don't agree with would go away if the government would back out of my life and go back to the limited powers our forefathers gave it. I frankly don't think moral issues should be a government's concern, but we have to have those debates in politics because our country has allowed the government to be involved and we took moral issues to the political arena. My comment on Facebook that sort of stirred up a couple of people was me saying how we can't afford entitlement programs (which I am learning are now called "social safety net" programs). I can even admit that maybe they have good intentions or did so when they started, but they are out of control and we can't afford them. That is simple to me. We can't afford what we have now so how on earth can we afford extra programs like nationalized healthcare? I know everyone thinks the answer is "tax the rich." I am sorry, but I don't like punishing successful people who worked hard for what they earned, and I would much rather help people learn to help themself -that whole teach a man to fish thing. So much of this was covered in my post before the election, and was said probably much better than I can. I get that people fall on hard times, my family has, but I want to run to my brothers and sisters in Christ for help, not the government.
Okay, so here is my question for people who think the answer is to tax those with more to pay for those who don't/can't/won't. Did you know that you are allowed to send in extra money on your tax return? If you truly believe that these programs are a worthy cause, why not just send in extra without asking the government to make people do so? OR why not get the government out of the way and let you decide to what causes you would like to give your money? Someone told me once that they knew driving while talking on their cell phone was dangerous, but they wouldn't stop doing it until it became a law. I just don't understand that logic, but it seems like it applies in this case, too. People won't give unless they are required to by law? But then I have to give my money to causes I may not agree with (Planned Parenthood for example), and frankly I would rather give more money to my church and the ministries there that I believe in. Why on earth would we want a government to be our moral police?
They are about the last people I would want doing that (and I work for a city government so I can talk from that side. Before you stone me for working there, I believe God brought me to this job and I figure how better to affect change than from the inside!) If you want to give more to the government, go ahead, but why do you have to make everyone else do it too? Some people say it is because people won't, well isn't that their prerogative? Again, why is the government their moral police? They will some day have to answer to their Creator, why is it your job or the government's to do so today? You see, Jesus told me, and you (if you are a follower) to help the widows, the orphans, the sick, the hurting. He didn't say rely on the government to do it. He didn't say, just pay more taxes so that you don't have to do anything because the government will. Besides, governments, especially big ones, are ineffective spenders of money. That should be clear to everyone. Bush wasn't perfect either - he did spending stuff I didn't like either. See, my basic thing is that we are asking government to do things (well some are anyway) that I believe God intended the church to do, and the government (especially some in it) make it very clear that God has no place in government so that makes me pretty sure they are going to mess up God's work. Does that make sense?
I would love for these issues (entitlement programs, gay marriage, abortion) to be "debates" outside of politics and government because they don't belong there but they have been taken there. Again, if you aren't a believer, this will probably all sound coo-coo to you. I do have to say though, on abortion alone, I don't know how a believer could vote for a pro-choice candidate (that is not a party-line thing necessarily either, I know there are democrats that aren't pro-choice out there). I really don't. I guess that is the one area that it seems we have to get involved because that is a human life being destroyed, and that to me is so against God and the Bible. If you are a Christian that also claims to be pro-choice, please try to explain that to me. I will probably never understand, but I really just don't get that at all. Sorry - that one is beyond my comprehension.
Okay, if you have made it this far - gold star! Now is where I talk about the CREEPED OUT part. Again, if you aren't a believer, this may sound cray to you. My husband said he felt creeped out because it just showed him how much the spiritual world is at work in this nation, and not the good kind. I know God is in control of all, so I know He was in control of this election but I also know He allows things to happen to show us our need for Him. I know it is because somehow this is going to work for good and His glory
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NASB
My dad said God must have finally turned His face against America, and I said I think America turned their face against God. I don't think you have to look to far in our culture these days to see that, and that is what is creepy and scary. I know I can rest in the Peace that surpasses all understanding because Heaven is my home, not America no matter how much I love her. However, I have to be honest, I don't really want to live in a place that turns against God (not in the sense of "I am going to move to X country" because I am mad). I mean I wish I didn't have to live in a time where our nation may be on the wrong side of Israel (read Genesis 12).
Anyway, this was long and I hope this makes sense to you. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me! If you aren't a follower of Christ - I hope you want to at least know more about Him. All are welcome in the Kingdom - He wants us all there! Trust me, I am a sinner. I was mean and ugly to my husband this morning, but as I keep trying to learn to walk in the Holy Spirit to become more and more like Christ, I know God's grace is enough and He already paid the debt for my sins.
In the meantime, I want to leave you with the words to an older church song that God gave me these last few days because this is where I am trying to rest. In knowing that the only thing I want in this world that I don't deserve is God's grace, mercy and love and I am so THANKFUL I have those. Everything else can just grow dim.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
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