An interesting perspective...

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by ScottEmerson, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    from a 19-year-old friend of mine from Britain, no less. Not saying I agree, but it is a pretty well thought out perspective for a teenager:

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    Right, this is the way I see the election. I agree that Bush's social policies on abortion and marriage are more obviously Christian than Kerry's. But I see in Kerry a man who is more Christian in his compassion for the underdog. For me at least, this is more important. At the end of the day, God doesn't need the government to do his job for him. Issues like abortion and homosexuality are really difficult to understand for people who have never known Christ, because for them an answer that involves the all-encompassing love of God will never make sense. Whether or not a government legislates for or against these issues makes no difference to the minds of those who are yet to be saved - it's certainly not going to bring them closer to God. If we really want to see a reduction in abortion and immorality, ultimately the only way is for us to share the Gospel with them and for God himself to change their hearts and minds. Even the President of the United States cannot do that. On that level, in both your country and mine, I think the Church as a whole needs to change its approach: we need to transform our world from the bottom up, not the top down.

    Voting Kerry tomorrow changes nothing in the long run: our task as the servants of God will remain unchanged. What is more important, I think, is that our governments do what our church cannot and show to the unfortunate nationwide the compassion that Christ showed them. Considering Bush's obviously resolute faith, I have to say he has failed on this score. I'm not talking about handouts and dependency - I'm talking about a generosity of spirit and of opportunity. The obvious fact is that it's much easier for people like you and me to get on in life than it is for people born into poverty or to single parents. I think Jesus himself recognised this in his attitudes towards Mary Magdalene or to those who were ill that came to him. But I don't see any recognition of this from Bush. On the issue of health insurance alone, Kerry displays the more Christian attitude: I cannot believe that Jesus would have approved of a system where a child's health could be determined by her parent's ability to pay. I have read both Bush and Kerry's health care plans in detail - and similarly plans for education and social security funding - and on each issue it seems that Kerry's understanding of Christian compassion is deeper. Bush does not strike me as a man loving his neighbour as he does himself. Kerry perhaps might be.

    Obviously though, we vote as citizens as well as as Christians. This leaves the economy and national security. On the economy, Bush has failed to defend his record. The net job loss really is startling in a country whose economy has the potential yours has. As most
    commentators seem to agree, on this at least Kerry
    has shown every indication of being a better bet.

    Finally we have national security. On this, I think Bush has done a good job - or at least nearly. But there is a problem: before 9/11 it was tempting, even for non-Americans like me, to believe that your nation's military power was impregnable, that it didn't need anyone's help. As a very pro-American Briton, I very much hoped it was true, because obviously it's easier to manage security if you don't need to rely on anyone else. But everything since 9/11 suggests that the opposite is now true. Military might alone really isn't enough, much as we might wish it were. The combined might of the armies of America and Britain has been unable to subdue Iraq. We now know that the War on Terror needs a united front, not just more weapons. For me the very saddest failure of the Bush administration is this:

    on September 12 2001, the left-wing French newspaper 'Le Monde' had as its front page headline "We're All Americans Today"; today its editorials are full of anger and anti-American sentiments. What is so sad is that Bush has managed to alienate the support of most of the world in the war on terror. It is amazing that even in a country as contrary as France, and in a newspaper as radical as 'Le Monde', there was a massive outpouring of support and compassion for America.

    Where did it go? It would be nice, for my country as well as yours, if we could say we didn't need such support. But more than a thousand dead soliders in Iraq seem to suggest otherwise. The problem is that the disturbing anti-American ideas that are sadly so common around the world today are not really aimed at America itself.
    They are not a hatred of freedom, but a dislike of Bush and his disregard for the importance of global unity on terror. Bush has done a good job in securing the country - but I think he has gone as far as he can.

    What is needed now is a fresh start and a rebuilding of alliances. They may be inconvenient, but they are also essential. Only
    Kerry can provide this.

    For this reason, and because I believe that the mission of Christ will prevail regardless of who occupies the White House, and because I
    believe in the sincerity of his compassion for the
    unfortunate, for these reasons I am looking for a Kerry victory tomorrow. And I hope you will too.

    ----------------------
    Compelling stuff. Don't think it'll switch my vote today, but it's pretty good.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    I think it is extremely weak and misinformed on a number of issues.

    First, he seems to denigrate moral issue such as abortion and homosexuality to a level below "compassion" since they are hard to explain to explain to those who do not know Christ. That is a total copout. How can we be compassionate if we do not tell people about the soul-damning practice of homosexuality. How can we say we love someone and let them continue in a destructive way of living without confrontation. I daresay that such "compassion" never extended to a child playing on the highway. Every adult will quickly grab that child, without respect to whether or not the child understands the danger.

    Second, he condemns Bush's lack of a spirit of generosity and opportunity. But such a comment reflects failure to acknowledge that Bush's tax cut gave people the opportunity to spend their own money, rather than having teh government spending it for them. Bush encouraged and set policies to help small businesses start and succeed, to help home ownership (now at its highest level). Kerry would roll back those successes by raising taxes, increasing governmental regulation. Kerry's plan for healthcare actually provides a disincentive to employers to provide healthcare since the government will do it for them. Bush is the one whose policies will most help the single parents and the poor, by giving them tax breaks, increased child credits, and many other opportunites. Bush, for the first time ever, raised the standard of education by insisting that education be measured and evaluated. Kerry's health plan is not Christian. Even now, in America, a child's health is not dependent on the parent's ability to pay. No hospital in this country is allowed to deny service to babies. Kerry's health care plan is a bad one.

    Third, as for national security, the coalition is not losing Iraq. That is simply an uninformed statement. The US could demonstrate much more power than it has, but they are showing great restraint in order not to unnecessarily antagonize other nations. There is a great coalition of support for the Iraq War. The exceptions of France, Russia, and Germany have been seen to be politically motivated. Their support has been alienated for good reason ... They failed. That is not Bush's problem. Bush led ... He went to the UN; he took the steps to build a coalition; he enlisted the support of the world; and then he took action. Today, the world is a better place because America and her allies did not stand by and let a brutal dictator thumb his nose at the international community. Kerry has waffled and flip-flopped. He agreed with Bush's position as far back as the Clinton administration. He reiterated his support for Bush's position in 2002 and 2003. And then when he started running for President he changed. We need a man of character, courage, and commitment. Kerry is not that man. For all of his faults, Bush is a man who says what he means and means what he says. Kerry will not be able to rebuild alliances. He has done as much if not more to alienate allies. Consider his own inconsistency on allies and coalitions. Kerry complains that we "went it alone" in Iraq (something manifestly false and laughable to even suggest). Kerry also complains that we are multilateral in North Korea. Which does he want? Does he want the US to go it alone as he suggests we should do in North Korea, or enlist allies, as we did in Iraq? Kerry also complains that we "outsourced" Bin Laden at Tora Bora. He thinks we should have gone it alone there to capture him. Again, he is shown to be unthinking and inconsistent. Gen Tommy Franks, who clearly knows the truth about Tora Bora, has said that Kerry is wrong. Kerry is saying that Franks is lying. Is that the kind of man we want?

    This little piece is good in one respect: It acknowledges rightly that the hope for change is a bottom up hope ... or better put, an inside out hope. We must change the hearts of men and women by the gospel of Jesus Christ. As he says, the mission of Christ will prevail regardless of who is in the White House because the Christian mission is manifestly apolitical.
     
  3. superdave

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    I agree wholeheartedly Pastor Larry

    I have spoken to some of my co-workers from Europe, mostly Germany, and they are similarly mis-informed about the state of our economy, and the truth about the candidates. They thought Europe should be able to vote in our elections since it affects them so much, I agreed, I suggested that they are more than welcome to become U.S. Territories, and even petition to become states. I am sure the U.S. would have no problem with that. They could vote, have their viewpoint represented by our government, and they also would have to live with the consequenses.

    I fail to see how a not very clear tax policy equals compassion. Kerry's definition of the middle class goes all the way up to those making 250,000 a year. I feel real compassion for those folks from a financial perspective. Manufacturing is growing, Auto sales are rebounding. The supposed largest deficit in history is actually smaller as a percentage of GNP than it has been since WWII, Unemployment is lower than it was when Bush was elected, and Job creation in tech and life sciences are growing at unprecedented rates. Bush's economic plans are helping our economy grow, and are just starting to make a difference.

    There are more countries involved in Iraq now than were involved in the first Gulf War. The only notable exceptions are the three countries that were most guilty in the oil for food scandal, and yes that would be France, Russia, and Germany, as well as the U.N, which was in that up to its eyeballs as well. Kofi Anan's son made millions selling to Iraq while the U.N. ignored their own embargo.

    It is important who becomes president, and the responsibility to vote is upon us, but our country will not be changed by John Kerry, George Bush, or Michael Moore becoming president, but by the work of God's Word being used by the Spirit to change the hearts and minds of individual citizens, that should be our focus.

    God is on the throne, and his will will be accomplished. The outcome of this election, and every other, will be used by God to make his own name known, and to further his plans and purposes.
     
  4. john6:63

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    Can't disagree with that... [​IMG]
     
  5. LorrieGrace

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    I agree with Pastor Larry about the U.S. showing restraint.
     
  6. Daisy

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    Oh yes, killing only 100,000 Iraqi civilians shows remarkable restraint, considering we're there to liberate them (or their oil). I guess, in a sense, the dead are free.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    Should we just take your word that 100,000 civilians have been killed? I am sure you will understand if we are reticent to trust you on that number. YOu can probably understand why a lot of people here are skeptical about the things you say.

    Here are some actual numbers:

    http://www.iraqbodycount.net/ -- max of 16,000

    http://www.sadnews.net/CTZ/0Mem/WarM/US-IQ2/Us-iq2.htm -- 12,000 or so

    If anyone has some other numbers, please post them. Maybe we can add them all up to get to 100,000 :D .
     
  8. superdave

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    Maybe we can come up to 100,000 If we count Saddam's dead from his last year in power too, when we should have already been in there but were showing remarkable restraint watching the corrupt U.N. continue to obfuscate and procrastinate
     
  9. Daisy

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    For once, you are absolutely right. I stand corrected.
     
  10. LorrieGrace

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    Daisy,

    Have you considered that many that are killed are actually trying to kill those in the coalition?

    Do you think that dead Muslims are free? If they have Jesus as the Saviour, then yes. Otherwise, no!
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    [​IMG] Almost very gracious, Daisy ... :D
     
  12. Daisy

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    Those trying to kill coalition soldiers are not counted as "civilians".

    You're right about that, LorrieGrace.
     
  13. Daisy

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    I thought it was very nice considering your nastiness: "I am sure you will understand if we are reticent to trust you on that number. YOu can probably understand why a lot of people here are skeptical about the things you say."

    It turns out that the 100,000 figure was not made up by me. I had heard it, but I couldn't remember where and it seemed awfully high. I must have heard it on the radio, likely NPR, as part of report by the Lancet:
    Now I'm sure you'll disagree with the methodology and conclusions of these scientists, but it may be accurate. The Iraq Body Count is based on those deaths reported by the media - if it's not reported, it's not counted.

    Neither the US nor the UK military keep tallies of civilian deaths.
     
  14. LorrieGrace

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    How do they determine who is a civilian and who is an insurgent/terrorist??
     
  15. Daisy

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    I'm not sure, but I think it has to do with whether they were armed or not, in a mob or not. When you've invade a country it is difficult to tell who is who.

    Also, there is a difference between terrorists and insurgents.
     
  16. Pete

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    "As many as 100,000 people have died, half of them women and children. If that is not a war crime what is?" Stephen Hawking LINK. Where he got the number from is anybodys guess.
     
  17. Daisy

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    My guess is from the recently published Lancet report:

    It's a statistical analysis based on a survey of households and compared to previous statistical reports, if I understand correctly.
     

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