Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Political Life

Today is a busy day, indeed, with lots to think about.

Sad news has arrived today. It has been announced that Dr. Sujin Pak, a history professor here at Garrett, will be leaving her post to move on to teaching at Duke University. She is one of our strongest faculty (or at least one of my favorite), and she has been greatly missed this semester as she was on sabbatical/maternity leave. I wish I could squeeze in another class with her before she leaves, but my schedule is already overbooked for the spring...

Caucusing starts tonight in Iowa. I wish I were there! I am looking forward to finishing enough work that I can sit in front of a television and watch history unfold tonight. I "feel" like they're going to go with Obama, with greatest competition from Edwards. Sorry, but I just don't think Hillary Clinton is going to swing Iowa. She didn't "show her face" enough to those Iowa really cares about- the rural communities, the farmers, the "nobodies" that don't live in cities. Edwards and Obama did a great job at this, and I think Clinton's add campaign last night during every 6pm news broadcast in the state may have been "too little, too late." But I guess we'll see! (I also have to say that I LOVE Dennis Kucinich, but he's so far from winning I wouldn't want to "waste" a vote on him...)
*Republicans? I'm not sure... it seems a lot closer (though maybe that's because I'm so indifferent?). I would guess Mike Huckabee in first, with Mitt Romney behind him. I don't feel like the Republican party has any outstanding candidates this time around. Maybe they'll prove me wrong and in the next 11 months before the election someone will somehow impress me?
If anyone hasn't been following the elections and would like more information on any of the candidates, a good place to start would be The Washington Posts's brief run-down on leading candidates- the links above will take you to this profile. Or you can check out the NY Times coverage on the candidates and the main issues... these are only 2 of many sites with their own biases and agendas that are trying to cover the issues. NPR is also doing a great job at covering the election news... but as always, I suggest taking the time to google the candidates you're interested in for more information.

I'm still praying for Pakistan as investigations continue and decisions are made about their elections...

I am still in shock and distress and deeply saddened by the turmoil in Kenya. With over 300 lives lost and 70,000 displaced since Sunday's election, I can't imagine what they are going through. Unfortunately, this kind of unrest is not incredibly unfamiliar to many parts of the world, but somehow this struck me a little harder than usual, and I am weighed down by it. Perhaps this is good, as it has allowed for me to stay in prayer with and for them. I just hope President Mwai Kibaki's promise to speak to his opposition is not "too little, too late," as he has refused to speak to them until the violence has ended. May God be with Kenya, her leaders and her people...

Politics. That's what our lives come down to. No matter how much we may or may not want them to, they dominate us. There is no avoiding it. Even in the Church we are political. In many ways, we must be. Jesus surely was. Let us come together in this season of change, that we might work toward a greater change in all of our communities, whether local, national, or global. Starting and participating in politics locally in Christ-like ways: this is the key to effecting global change. Whoever said the power of one has no power at all, lied to you. Every big change that has ever happened has started with the power of one person who believed they could make a difference. That's why I'll be calling our politicians into question this election year. I'll be making my ONE vote count. I hope you'll do the same.

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