Can you be both Pro Life and Pro Obama?

Running in Christian circles as I do, this comes up a lot.

Then I found Matthew 25

The Matthew 25 Network is a community of Christians – Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Evangelical – inspired by the Gospel mandate to put our faith into action to care for our neighbor, especially the most vulnerable.

The election of our public officials, and the politics they stand for, are a reflection of our core values. We believe that those elected to public office carry an important trust, as their decisions have a profound impact on our nation and our world.

We believe that people of faith should actively participate in the political process as an important avenue for social change. We are called by our faith to engage in the world as it is, while we seek after and hope for God’s Kingdom.

Therefore, while no elected official will be without flaw, we come together as individuals to support candidates for public office who share the values of the Matthew 25 Network: promoting life with dignity, caring for the least of these, strengthening and supporting families, stewardship of God’s Creation, working for peace and justice at home and abroad, and promoting the common good.

They also are the creators of Pro Life Pro Obama

We need a systemic, common ground, common sense approach. Nearly two-thirds of women who have abortions are poor. Almost half are college-age or younger. Two thirds are single.

We can drastically reduce abortions by helping reduce unplanned pregnancies and supporting pregnant women and families that need help.

Senator Barack Obama will fight to make sure that every woman in America has the support she needs when facing an unplanned pregnancy. Senator Obama’s grass-roots, faith-based approach of support for women and families will help them when they most need it, preventing abortions by supporting women and families to choose life.

Now, I want to go on the record of saying this very thing YEARS ago. I did (Shmoop, you remember that conversation? Zeek might). The law is there, but that doesn’t mean people need have to take advantage of it. It might still be a law, and we can reduce abortions by HELPING others. I give everything my babies didn’t need to my local Crisis Pregnancy Center. Everything. They have all of my cribs (I had 6), clothes, you name it. They took everything up to 2T clothes and I stopped by once a month with a van full.

Here are some abortion stats from Pro Life Pro Obama to prove this position.

I’m looking forward to the culture of life that we can make happen. Where there aren’t so many poor, so many in need. Where a girl doesn’t have to choose abortion because she doesn’t have the finances to choose life.

This subject is close to my heart because at 19 I found myself pregnant (even though I had been on the pill), and thinking I had no other option I made the appointment to have an abortion. I went into my parent’s study and cried on my knees. I didn’t want to do it, but I hadn’t even graduated high school and couldn’t see how I could raise a child. Adoption wasn’t an option for me. I’m not brave enough to give a child I had up.

So there I lay, on the table. Girls were going in and out, crying. It’s a horrible place to be. I begged for an ultrasound picture to remember my baby by, but the nurse refused.

I was granite inside. Emotionless. I had to be, there was no other way I could get through it.

You can imagine my astonishment to have the Dr say he couldn’t perform the procedure. You see, the Planned Pregnancy Dr. had made a mistake when he told me I was 19 weeks pregnant. I was actually 24 weeks pregnant and at that stage it was illegal to have an abortion.

In a way my prayers were answered. The decision was taken from me, and I drove home that day numb.

My son is now 18 and I love him to pieces, but raising him with no money and bouncing from job to job and house to house was a nightmare. I would save all my money to feed him, while I ate one grapefruit a day. We made it through, but now I see it as my job to make that decision easier for a girl whose shoes I was once in. I want her to know she can make it, and I help in every way I can.

THAT’s how you reduce abortion.

 

(previously published on my other blog)

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A Realization~

Popping Zantac like M&Ms when I imagine McCain/Palin in the White House means I am not trusing God. So this morning I came upon Zoecarnate and read almost every link (I had aready found Brian McLaren’s posts).

It talked me down.

It also talked me up. I am almost crying seeing what people like Ordinary Radicals are doing. It make me so deeply, deeply happy to see that I am not the only one who has gotten sick of Christian Status Quo and are living their lives in truth to the change that they wanted to see.

 

I’m happy that I’m not being lumped in under the Evangelical title anymore. Yes, that minor thing bothered the bejeebus outa me.

 

I want this to be over. I have to say that I want to be unified under the inclusive message that Obama has been speaking about. I was reading through Oprah’s magazine and a quote from Rachel Maddow summed up how I felt.

Humans are ambitious and rational and proud. And we don’t fall in line with people who don’t respect us and who we don’t believe have our best interest at heart. We are willing to follow leaders, but only to the extent that we believe they call on our best, not our worst. (as told to Mamie Healey)

To me, the McCain/Palin ticket has preached division, fear and war-and with Sarah Palin’s religious beliefs, I am deeply offended that she would tie those opinions to God. They happen to be three things that I am staunchly in opposition to, while also being a Christian. Yes, I am pro life, but not to the exclusion of everything else I stand for.

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Feed my Sheep

I hate this election. It’s splitting the nation, houses, families. My husband, who is not voting because he hates the two party system, is predicting riots in the cities if the race is close and Obama doesn’t win, and I can’t say I don’t agree. My blame goes to the racist attacks of the Right Wing-the portion that preaches Jesus out of one side of their mouths, and division and hatred out of the other.

I’ve never been a political junkie before this race, but since Obama won the primary I’ve had CNN on every day (and MSNBC at night only to switch back to CNN for the second Anderson Cooper’s 360 loop). I tried Fox just to get some balance but my husband would have to buy a tv a week because of the things I would throw at them.

Back to what I was saying.

Eight years ago I left the institutional church (IC). It was a non denominational pentecostal church that was putting on it’s then 1 million dollar addition(-and now totals 10 million). I left because I had realized that it was empty, even though every seat was full twice on Sunday. To understand the depth of that statement, know that I had been raised in church. I’d been a faithful attender since I was three-my mother had been a part of the Jesus Movement and I had gone to every stadium filled Jesus concert with her and her BFF. She even played guitar with one of the bands. 🙂 Church was my LIFE. But as I got older, I had some questions that no pastor wanted to answer.

If we are to love our brothers as ourselves, why do we preach hate against homosexuals?

If we are to love our brothers as ourselves, why do you preach against being friends with non Christians?

If we are to love our brothers as ourselves, why do you preach against interracial marriage?

If we are to love our brothers as ourselves, why do you preach against women being the full partner in a marriage?

If we are to love our brothers as ourselves, why won’t you let the woman with bleached hair, ragged nails and an eyebrow piercing sing with the worship team?

Continuing in this vein, why does the Right Wing, who professes conservative Christianity, endorse Sarah Palin? She is preaching discord (Pro America-thus making some areas Anti American), thinly veiled racisim (allowing racist threats to be yelled and smiling when she hears them-watch the footage) and xenophobia (he’s different than us).

Is that what Jesus would do?

BUTBUTBUT Obama believes in abortion, they preach from the pulpit! He’s a socialist!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m staunchly pro life and I have the seven kids to prove it. But I cannot say that I’m pro life and then erase that statement by supporting torture, an unjust war that has killed not only over 4000 of our troops, but wounded over 100k others and then there’s the Iraqies. (I’m again reminded of Mark Twain’s War Prayer)

I can’t say that I’m pro life, and not support healthcare for the least of these. I can’t say that I’m pro life and not support helping the needy. But isn’t that socialisim? No. It’s Christianity in action.

When Jesus had multitudes to feed after preaching, what did he do? He took the child’s lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fishes and distributed it to the hungry. 

We, as Christians have a high calling. To walk in our faith.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'”

You know, Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. Faith is not a group, it’s not an institution, it’s not a person. It’s a way of life. I COULD vote for McCain/Palin, but it would be becuase I held one portion of humanity above all others.

The principle of equality. Equality and fairness are not popular words in a capitalistic culture, but Paul believes this is the goal of Christian giving (2 Corinthians 8:13-15). He is not seeking to eradicate all economic differences, but he does want those who have the means to give charitably to those who do not; if the situation were reversed, others would do the same for them (2 Corinthians 8:14). The parallels with Acts 2:44 and 4:34-47 are significant. Ownership and personal rights are not the most important issues when we think about our possessions; the most critical considerations are the needs of others and the kingdom in light of the gift of Jesus (2 Corinthians 8:9). In Acts 4:32 we read, “None of those with possessions claimed them as their own, but they had everything in common.” The result in Acts 4:34, that there were “no poor among them,” was the result Paul intended in this situation. Ironically, the funds he was collecting were going to the church that practiced such care for those in need (Acts 2, 4 and 6). In fact, that church probably had exhausted all of its resources, in part through generous care for those in their midst in need. Christians today must carefully study and wholeheartedly imitate the commitment of Jesus, Paul and Scripture to care for the poor and suffering. The principle of equality means that we pay careful attention to injustices and to the absence of necessities around the world. If we have been blessed with more than the essentials, we must commit ourselves to alleviating the material needs of others around the corner and around the world. This applies not only to material necessities such as food and medicine, but also to spiritual necessities and resources (Romans 15:27): Do we share the relative wealth of spiritual benefits and education with our under-resourced brothers and sisters? Let us follow the example of Jesus and Paul by giving generously to the spiritual and material needs of people throughout the world..

There is always Hope. We can come together, as one people, and transform this nation. Our God is big enough for miracles.

– Senator Barack Obama

If there were no poor among us, I believe there wouldn’t be a fight over abortion, becuase it would be almost non existant. So there’s my sermon of the day. Go in Peace, Children of God. 😉

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On days that I shake my fist at God~

Robert Mugabe Militia Hacks, Burns Alive Opposition Leader’s Wife

The men who pulled up in three white pickup trucks were looking for Patson Chipiro, head of the Zimbabwean opposition party in Mhondoro district. His wife, Dadirai, told them he was in Harare but would be back later in the day, and the men departed.

An hour later they were back. They grabbed Mrs Chipiro and chopped off one of her hands and both her feet. Then they threw her into her hut, locked the door and threw a petrol bomb through the window.

The killing last Friday – one of the most grotesque atrocities committed by Robert Mugabe’s regime since independence in 1980 – was carried out on a wave of worsening brutality before the run-off presidential elections in just over two weeks. It echoed the activities of Foday Sankoh, the rebel leader in the Sierra Leone civil war that ended in 2002, whose trade-mark was to chop off hands and feet.

Mrs Chipiro, 45, a former pre-school teacher, was the second wife of a junior official of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) burnt alive last Friday by Zanu (PF) militiamen. Pamela Pasvani, the 21-year-old pregnant wife of a local councillor in Harare, did not suffer mutilation but died later of her burns; his six-year-old son perished in the flames.

 

God rest their souls.

The floods in the midwest, the fires, the tornados, hurricanes. Food riots, gas prices, foreclosures. It can all be so much to bear, but when I feel like this I give. I need to know I am doing SOMETHING to help-even if I can’t directly help the people in Zimbabwe. 

 

With my free food I get from clipping coupons I’ve been able to bring bags of food to the loca pantry. You can do this too-and it will cost you next to nothing. http://www.thegrocerygame.com  You’ll save $ for your family, and help someone else, too.

My heart’s been focused on Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation too. They can use your Box Tops for education, and your empty printer cartridges. 

 

The only way we can fight back all of the darkness is to give. 

 

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I love the whole world

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think think think

I have to admit, I’m, in a Pooh like mode, scratching my head and trying to think think think. So much is swirling around in there, research that I’ve been doing that is feeding online conversations I’ve been having and it’s getting to be quite a muddle.

Like-How do you define the transcendent? Over at Zoecarnate there is a fantastic discussion going on. I have to admit, it’s making me think long and hard about how I communicate, and it’s making me stretch my perceptions. I love it when that happens.

I’m a writer. I love words, but I also see on a constant basis their limitations. There is always a space between what I the writer am trying to say, and what the reader is percieving. Reviews teach you a lot. The first thing it teaches is that EVERYTHING is subjective. One editor LOVES the work, thinks it’s brilliant, totally gets it and what youare trying to convey. Another editor can’t understand it at all and either rejects it or wants to change everything about it-including the names of the characters. Is one wrong and the other right? I, personally, didn’t like Cold Mountain. Are all of the people who loved it and made a movie out of it wrong? No, of course not. It’s all subjective. That’s the beautiful thing about God. He has no one way of doing things. As many people live on this planet is how many ways God shows us his limitless creativity and glory. He is not Infinite the adjective, He is Infinite the noun.

So the other day they were talking about deconstruciton of certain denominational phrases (the Holy Spirit) and I developed an opinion after thinking about it for a few days.

Love.

love (too long to quote the defintion here)

Look at all those words that try and convey the different meanings and shades of love. It made me wonder, How do you define the transcendent? CAN it be defined?

You are lying in your bed with your mate in post coital bliss. You are overcome with love for them. How do you even begin to define the depth of your emotion? How can a four letter word with it’s huge definition accurately portray our feelings? It can’t! But we muddle on with this silly four letter word and we use it becuase it’s short hand for a universal emotion that is bottomless.

In turn, how can we accutately describe an encounter with the Spirit of the living God that is beyond mere words. Yes, Mere words. We do it by creating a shorthand that holds meaning for the circles in within the denominations. There is overlap, there always is, and those people are the bridge builders, but for the most part, each denomination creates it’s shorthand for an experience that defies the boundries of words. 

To parse it down even further, and to take myself as an example, I love my husband, but I do not love my husband in the way I did when we were first married, and when I am married 30 years I will not love him as I do now. Growth brings us to the saying,  “You can never step into the same river twice.” 

Can that four letter word portray the constant change of the emotion? No, of course not. God is the I AM. He encompases all that is, was, and will be. Mere words cannot define the vastness and depth of what He means, and how He ministers to each of us. Everyone’s experience with the Holy Spirit is unique to that person, and thankfully so! 

If we look at this all from a different persepctive. There is a lot of intellectual discussion going on about things of the Spirit, but the intellect likes definitions and it likes to place things precisely so. It’s rational and it has an important function. It keeps us safe and secure and I’m not saying those things with a bad connotation. But it also ikes to Label. This is Us that is Them.

“There’s Russia, here’s America–see how it can potentially get you into trouble? “…and this is separate from that…and I’m separate from you…and the child is separate from the adult…and the animals are separate from the people…and the people are separate from the Diety…and this tribe is separate from that tribe…and this race is separate from that race…” Separate from, better than, worse than. Divisions which can get you in trouble. It’s terrific when you say, “Oh, this is a fern and that is a tree and this is a rose…” And then it can be very nice. But when it gets into, “Our guy is better than your guy, our spears are bigger than your spears” –that’s when it gets into trouble.*1

The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you. (Romans 8:11) 

The wind that is the hurricane, is the same wind that is the gentle cooling breeze. The water that is the Tsunami is the same water in the bathtub. The same earth that Adam was, is the same earth I will become. 

When Columbus set off for America his sailors thought they were going to fall off the end of the earth. Finis. That was their understanding, their perspective, their world-a waterfall into nothing. On the old maps it used to say, “That way there be dragons.” where they had not explored. 

The same world that Columbus and his peers KILLED for (it was heresy to believe the earth was round and circled around the sun) is the same earth that is bouyed on a web –Columbus and his peers just coudn’t fathom the I AM. They tried to understand Him though their limited experience and vision. Aren’t we doing exactly the same when we discount a brother experience becuase we don’t understand it and it doesn’t fall into our frame of reference?

All this blabbering and where am I going? 

It’s OK to not understand everything. It’s OK to shrug your shoulders and write it up to another paradox of God. He loves them, you know. 

*1 The Goddess Celebrates-An Anthology of Women’s Rituals edited by Diane Stein pg 27 (research book)
 

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Hello Again

It’s not you, it’s me. 🙂 When I get into percolating mode I hunker down and get caught in what can be an endless loop of research, absorb, refine, repeat. Sorry I’ve ignored the blog. I started out  best of intentions of sharing my spiritual and homeschooling journeys, with hopes of meeting others who are journeying also.

It started out with a simple Google search (like all good things do, no?) Something like, “Home church, Emerging Church, Lakeland Outpouring”. I wanted to see what the homechurchers were thinking about it. I won’t even link to the blogs that came up bceause there was some mightly distilled vitrol with a double shot of judgement being spewed.

But then I found Zoecarnate where they are discussing, along with the Lakeland Outpouring, things like the space between Emerging Church and Charismatic Church.

My Mom discovered Jesus in a Charismatic church in the mid 70’s. I was about three. We ended up in Pentecostal churches, but inbetween flirted with Lutheran and for a while I had a deep affinity for the reverence of the Presbeterians. There’s still a part of me that loves all the trappings and there is a huge momement in NYC being quietly led by a Presbyterian Priest. People are finding Christ through him. My husband had an encounter with Jesus in the Catholic Church, so there is a deep love for the Catholics, too. He told me of a story where a tiny Catholic woman prayed for a group he was with and how a mist filled the chapel and swirled in a cloud on the ceiling-something he’s never seen since, even through all of our Penecostal days.

Even though I loved them all I wanted more, and left for what I would learn was the Homechurch movement. I disagreed with the doctrines, but I loved my times with the people. Looking back after 7 years, (yes, I’m sure I’m romanticizing a bit), I was devastated when I left my last church those scars still smart sometimes, but there’s a covering of love for the people who made up the institutions.

Back to Zoecarnate-I read and surfed and read some more until my head exploded with NAMES and Doctrines and after having another cup of coffee and four advil remembered why I hate The Name Thing. Which, is not a part of the discussion but further pondering as to my comment and worrying if I had misnamed and who I would accidentally offend because of it. 

I have to say, I really agreed with what John said, even though his vids made me smirk and shake my head. All in all I was elated there is a DISCUSSION going on, not WWF smackdowns like I saw on some other blogs.

You see, I love all of it. I take a bite of this cake, and then move onto that pastry and then the cannoli’s becuase who can resisit a good cannoli? The beautiful part of that is that I get spiritually fat. 🙂 It just when you have to define yourelf, to draw that box around who you percieve yourself to be in the knowledge of which doctrine you agree with most, you may be leaving off some of the most important aspects of who you are. All of which is nothing. Just a pilgrim, trying to walk. 

I have to admit though, that I have been trying to reconcile (outside of myself) two ideas which some don’t want to reconcile, but today, after reading that post (and the coffee and advil) I realized that they are reconciled within me becuase Jesus reconciles both of them to him. (ha! how’s that for overuse of a word!)

All in all, I’m content now knowing that others have the same questions and are thinking about them and discussing them in a thoughtful open manner.

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