upper room daily devotions

Monday, July 23, 2007

debates and faith

Tonight YouTube and CNN hosted a debate among the Democrats vying for their party's nomination to become President of the United States. As a Christian, it is important to me that those who lead my nation do so in such a way that cares for the disadvantaged, lifts people from poverty, seeks peace rather than war, protects and conserves the environment, values individual liberty, provides for the wellbeing of all Americans, welcomes the stranger, nurtures the "widow and orphan", educates the young, and creates a just economy. These are the values of my faith. I was delighted that many of the videos submitted by YouTubers got right to the heart of the matter (and I was slightly annoyed at some of the sillier videos selected by CNN).

Too often I hear people in my church and in other places say that they do not participate in the political processes of our country because of a sense of overwhelmin cynicism. Simply put, they just don't expect real and significant change to come through the system currently in place. And, since they also don't expect a new system to arise, they have chosen to step away from the tumble and fray of the political process. While I can certainly understand their skepticism, I find hope in the stories of my faith. They tell me that change is possible. From the stories of the Exodus to Jesus' movement toward Jerusalem, the stories of my faith instruct me that God will use outsiders, the disenfranchised, the despised, "aliens," women, and minorities of all kinds to bring systemic change to structures that have grown stiff and fat with corruption. No candidate - not Democrat, not Republican - will be able to do all that any one of us would like, but that doesn't mean that there aren't better and worse candidates from which to choose. It also doesn't mean that there isn't a candidate out there who might be able to bring significant change, even if it is incomplete change.

Listen to some of the debate questions on CNN.

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