Christian, Right or Wrong

Addressed to Christians:

There has been a disconcerting outpouring of negativity in response to the election of Barack Obama, and while I expected a certain amount of it, the vehemence of the tone was a surprise. I can understand being dismayed at his economic policies (though I personally agree with them to a greater degree than I did with McCain’s), or feeling he is inexperienced, but that doesn’t excuse the behaviour I have witnessed in the last 24 hours.

Barack Obama, regardless of whether you voted for him or not, regardless of whether you like him or not, is our brother in Christ. He claims to be Christian, and the only one who could possibly know otherwise would be God. Yet I have seen brothers and sisters calling for his death, decrying his existence, and mourning the next four years as if the world was coming to an end.

It shames and appalls me, that Christians would call for the death of a fellow Christian simply because they disagree with his political stance. The justification offered, however, is that they simply don’t believe he is Christian.

One might ask, “How have they reached this conclusion?” Obama himself claims to be Christian, we can’t see into his heart and know the truth one way or the other, and so we must take him at his word. But that line of argument is, to be honest, completely beside the point.

He is a fellow human, the president-elect of the United States, and we have been called to love others as Christ loves us. I am by no means a pacifist, and if we must defend ourselves, I support military or physically violent actions to do so, but Barack Obama isn’t attacking anyone, not physically anyways. He isn’t threatening to kill the citizens of the United States of America. He hasn’t set himself against the Church. So what is the justification for threatening and belittling him?

Insufficient. It doesn’t matter what the excuse is, the behaviour is simply wrong. Barack Obama is my brother in Christ, and I will treat him with the same love and respect I do all of my brothers and sisters. I don’t necessarily like everyone in my family, but they’re still my family, and our president is no different. I didn’t particulalry like President George W. Bush, and I made my fair share of jokes at his expense, but I also prayed for his health and wisdom. I recognized that he was a decent person trying to do the best he could, and that his motivation was to help this country. Regardless that the best he could was pretty poor, he wasn’t malicious. He is my brother.

Barack Obama is part of our Christian family. It’s time for some members of the Church to wake up and remember what it’s like to serve Jesus, who loves even the least of us.

Victory

For the first time in a long time, a candidate I supported has won. To be honest, though, I would have been pretty happy with either candidate, and I was pleased to see some of the 2000 era John McCain in his concession speech tonight. I am hopeful for a bright future in this country, I anticipate an increase in multilateralism and improvements in international relations, and I’m excited to look forward to what we might expect.

I’m proud to have voted for Obama today, but I’m even more proud that I voted and that voter turnout was so high. I don’t care who you voted for, I’m just proud that you voted. Thank you for exercising your responsibility as a citizen of the United States of America, and for contributing to our democracy.

It’s time for bed, but I have a feeling I’m going to have trouble getting to sleep tonight. What a monumental, historic, and exciting occasion 😀

Exit polls are funny

We’re watching CNN at FnC while Brian talks (he was willing to have it running silently in the background so people would come instead of staying home), and it’s been really funny to see the results popping up.

Iowa has been projected for Obama with 0% of precincts reporting. It’s absurd. But to help balance that, Utah has been called for McCain… also with 0% of precincts reporting.

Even better are places like New Mexico, which has been declared for Obama despite the fact that only 6% of precints have reported in and McCain is currently beating Obama by 2 to 1.

We know how horribly inaccurate exit polls are, so why do they keep reporting on them?

Thoughts on the VP Debate

Eye Contact

Sarah Palin always made eye contact with the camera, and it started to wear on me after a while. Still, not a bad thing.

Joe Biden usually held eye contact with the moderator, and at first I disliked his manner. I kept thinking, “Look at the camera like Palin is!” But then he looked at the camera, and it was piercing. Joe Biden made eye contact when it was most important, and due to its scarcity, it was more powerful. It’s a good speaking technique I had learned once and had forgotten. Very good.

Can I call you Joe?

Governor Palin asked Senator Biden this question as they shook hands before the debate began. I realized at the end of the debate that I don’t think she ever called him Joe. Maybe I’m wrong, but I never noticed it.

Prologue

Palin called Biden about looking back 2-3 times, saying we need to stop worrying about the past administration and move forward. If we’re going to talk about change, we can’t keep looking back.

I really appreciated Biden’s response that the Bush administration wasn’t the past, it was a prologue, and that if we elect Bush, we’ll get exactly more of the same. Good point.

Nucular

At least 20 times, Palin mispronounced the word “nuclear.” Argh.

Dodgy

Truth to tell, Governor Palin, I was done listening about energy after the first 10 minutes. I really would have liked for you to answer the questions asked of you, rather than going back to it over and over again.

Concluding Thoughts

Palin didn’t suck. She wasn’t as bad as I had feared and somewhat expected. But I don’t think she did as well as she needed to, and I was disappointed that she didn’t talk about the issues more or actually answer half the questions.

Nevertheless, she won’t lose McCain the election now, and I’m OK with that.

I was afraid Biden would screw things up horribly, either by patronizing her, or being longwinded, or committing some horrible gaffe. He did very well, though, and I enjoyed listening to him. I like his smile, and he’s very knowledgable and solid. I think he’ll make a good vice president.

NaNoWriMo 2008

In exactly one month, I will embark on a quest of epic proportions. To write a 50,000 word novel in one month or less.

November is the National Novel Writing Month, a quasi-competition that I have wanted to participate in for about four years now. You don’t win a prize or anything for completing the challenge, but it does prove quite aptly that you, no matter who you are, are capable of writing a novel.

Of course, it’s hard work to complete 50,000 words in a month, but it’s a fun exercise and, even if you don’t finish, you at least participated. You got out and tried, sat down and wrote, and maybe met some new people along the way.

Springfield has a NaNoWriMo group that meets and encourages one another, and I want to invite you all to join me this year as we journey towards authorship. If you’ve ever been interested in writing, you should definitely give this a try. Even if you can’t finish, it at least gets you going, and there are certainly eleven more months during which you can work on the piece before next year’s NaNoWriMo.

As for me, I’ll be working on a science fiction novel I dreamed up a few months ago. I’m pretty excited, but the trade-off is that I’ll have absolutely no social life during the month of November. I’ll go to work, I’ll attend class, and I’ll attend church on Sunday mornings from 11-12. Other than that, I’ll be gone, sitting at my desk or various coffee shops working away.

I think we’re going to have a write-in on Saturday, November 1, starting at midnight (so we’ll probably meet late on Friday) if you’d like to join us; check out the forum for details. I’ll have more updates here as we near the beginning of November. Until then, think about what you might want to write on and sharpen those pencils!

First Presidential Debate of 2008

I had originally considered live-blogging during this event, then decided not to, partially because I was playing WoW when it started >.> But there were just a couple of moments when I couldn’t restrain myself.

10:03 p.m. That was the best presidential debate in quite some time. 1992 was probably superior, but still, quite good.

9:34 p.m. Senator McCain, please tell me what the advantages of your experience have been. From where I’m sitting, that experience has led you to doing the same thing over, and over again, with the same poor results time after time. We can’t support another failure for the next four years.

9:30 p.m. Obama: A Man for Diplomacy. ZOMGiddy. Restore our standing in the world? Get elected, and I think we’ll be halfway there.

9:26 p.m. Is it just me, or is McCain a bit of a spotlight hog? He’s overrun the moderator at least 3 times so far tonight. Admittedly, Obama’s done it twice now, though, in trying to respond to McCain’s out-of-time statements. I don’t know, McCain just seems more rude about it, and I think he’s talked a lot longer after being told to stop than Obama has. Obama seems more respectful of the time limits.

9:09 p.m. Hey, McCain: Talking to someone doesn’t mean you agree with them.

9:02 p.m. Senator Obama. Kicking ass. Taking names.