I always vote. I feel strongly that to not vote is a slap in the face to everybody who worked so hard to get everyone the freedom to vote, especially women and minorities. That's a whole other post in itself, for another day.
Although I vote because it's the right thing to do regardless, today's vote was rather anti-climactic. I'm not excited about anybody. Not that presidential candidates normally get my engine running or anything, but c'mon - have we ever before in history had this pathetic of an array of choices?
As I have blogged about before, nothing would please me more than to have a woman president, or a president of color. But why for the love of God, when we finally get both a woman and a black candidate do they have to be those who are currently running? Just because I believe strongly in a qualified woman's equal right to lead, doesn't mean I will check my brain at the door and vote for anybody with XY chromosones. Just because I feel very strongly about people of all races who also qualify having an equal opportunity to serve in leadership doesn't mean I'm going to vote for the first person of color that gets on a platform regardless of the fact that they might have unGodly values.
No, I'm not excited about anyone. No one.
A few people have said to me, "what about Huckabee? You're not excited about him? He's a preacher, after all..."
Yeah yeah, Jim Jones was once a preacher too. Listen, he's good friends with Bill Gothard. Do I really need to know any more than that about him? You know the saying --"show me your friends, I'm show you your future??" Well, the friends someone keeps tell you something about them --past, present and future. Mike Huckabee is a huge Gothard supporter and vice versa. Google both their names together and read all about it.
(Gothard has a strong following in the fundamentalist leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention. Former SBC presidents Adrian Rogers and Charles Stanley testified to Gothard's influence on their ministries. Gothard was featured on FamilyNet, a TV network owned and operated by the Southern Baptist Convention, and spoke to trustees of the SBC International Mission Board in 1992.)
Gothard believes women are to be completely subservient to their husbands and fathers - you basically go from being your father's property, to your husband's property. The fact that a woman is being abused is insignificant in Gothard-land...divorce is unacceptable under any circumstances, period. Dating is forbidden - parents make all a person's life decisions and individuals must live with their parents until they marry. Gothard teaches that most mental illnesses including schizophrenia are simply a lack of personal responsibility. Cabbage Patch dolls are "demonic," and music that has an accent on beats 2 & 4 (what he calls a "back beat) is satanic. Let this serve as a notice to those of you listening to or playing black or southern gospel - you're bound for hell unless you start clapping on 1 & 3.
Of Gothard's teachings, Huckabee is quoted as saying "As a person who has actually been through the Basic Seminar, I am confident that these are some of the best programs available for instilling character into the lives of people," Huckabee wrote in a letter promoting Gothard's prison ministry. Arkansas prisons had been using Gothard seminars and materials since 1996.
Um, no thanks.
People have described this election as the choice of voting for the "lesser of many evils..." So true. Yesterday I got an email that was sent to thousands of people from a district official from the denomination that I serve in (not from my particular district but another district in the US) that basically hailed Huckabee as the choice for us as evangelical Christians. Okay, so Huckabee's a Christian but what kind of Christian is he? There are all kinds of flavors of Christians out there and quite frankly IF Huckabee shares the views of Bill Gothard, it's the flavor I don't want in the White House. Honestly I would rather have a heathen run the White House anyday, over a Christian who holds views of prejudice. And I realize that's my personal opinion, and that's the beauty of America - land of the free, home of the brave. We all get a vote, at least those of us over 18 who haven't committed a felony.
I went and voted today primarily to honor those who went before me in fighting for my right to do so. But with the lack of good candidates part of me felt like I might as well go, "eeny meenie miney moe" instead of giving any real thought to this because I felt like the ballot was a disgrace.
Where are J.C. Watts, Elizabeth Dole, and Condi Rice when you need them? Not running for president, unfortunately.
p.s. So who DID I vote for today? I'm not telling. Many people say a pastor should not endorse a candidate or talk politics and that it's even against the law to do so (in the pulpit or at a church sponsored event). However please remember that although I would not speak of it in church or at a church function, this is my personal blog, not the pulpit. Second, I did choose to blog on this issue because quite truthfully there is NOBODY I endorse although I did vote. Third, although we shouldn't endorse a candidate, talking about the issues is another matter especially when they relate to our Christian beliefs. One of my beliefs happens to be Galatians 3:27-28.