Tag Archives: american politics

Sometimes I forget I’m American. But not during the olympics.

Sometimes I forget I’m American.

I’ve lived here for twelve years now and so–with a few exceptions–it’s all fairly “normal” to me. I’m always caught off guard when checkout chicks ask me how my holidays are going.

Huh?

And then I remember that I have an accent.

Oh yeah, I’m a foreigner.

There are, however, a few times that I’m keenly aware of being American.

One is during voting season. I can’t not be interested in American politics. Sometimes I wish I didn’t care… but that’s never really going to happen so I just try and keep up from a distance the best I can.

The other time is during the Olympics.

I’m not a very athletic person. I’m not super patriotic either.

But I do find it easy to get swept up in the romance and excitement and competition and pageantry of it all.

Living in Australia, of course they are televising all of the events that include Australians. This means we’ve seen a lot of rowing and swimming and dressage. (yawn)

Side note: How is a horsie dog show even in the Olympics anyway? Isn’t the Olympics for human competitions? *sigh* Crazy. 

Anyway, I’ve gotten really frustrated with the lack of coverage for Olympic events that I want to see. You know, the ones with Americans in them. (Hello women’s gymnastics with the US taking out the gold. Totally missed that. Arg!)

But there is one that I’ve gotten to see over and over – Michael Phelps. What a freak that guy is. Love or hate America, how can you not love a superhuman guy like that?

When you see an athlete perform like he does, it’s hard not to be amazed. Nationality goes out the door and it becomes about appreciation for what they guy can do. (Well, unless you’re Australian and insanely jealous – heh heh! or American and insanely proud – ha!)

Mr. Bolt, Mr. Jordan, Mr. Woods, Mr. Ruth, Mr, Federer, Ms. Komenechi (who the heck knows how to spell Nadia’s name, anyway?). These are a few athletes that belong in a league of their own.

Team USA or not, I applaud Phelps for retiring on top of the world.

Awesome.

(And don’t tell the Aussies, but shhhhhhhh, yup, I’m kinda glad he’s American.)

STOP.

Q for you: Do you get into the Olympics much? 

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.

Advertisements

Along party lines. Again.

It’s hard for me to be in America and not think about politics.

I love watching the news and hearing from the analysts.

This last week has been interesting – watching my facebook feed with Americans weighing in on the health care reforms that have just passed.

I’m certainly no expert, but I have read up a little. And although finding a perfect health care plan is impossible, my belief is that the reforms coming through “Obamacare” are moving us in the right direction.

As a Christian my primary concern is that we’re looking after those who are marginalized – those who have disease and disability, children, the elderly, the poor.

This imperfect plan (even by Obama’s admission) addresses all those those and more.

It’s a huge step in the right direction, starting from where we are right now.

Sincerely I try, but I just can’t understand the Republican/Democratic divide on this one. I really can’t.

I’m no Republican-hater, but my goodness, what’s the deal here folks? Are we disagreeing just because we’re “supposed” to be opposing? (Sometimes that’s what the debate feels like.)

From what I can tell the only ones who will really “suffer” from the impending changes are the insurance companies and pharmaceuticals. (But I make it no secret that I’m in favor of a more socialized health care system.)

And doesn’t the concept of helping “the least of these” seem like it will help build a better future for all of us?

And doesn’t it just seem like the right thing to do?

Just sayin.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Obamacare – what do you think? Do you get as annoyed that issues are always split down party lines as I do?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited

 


What if compassion moved us? (Thoughts on gay marriage)

It landed in my inbox and I couldn’t not read it:

A Christian Debate on Gay Marriage from Relevant Magazine featuring two “experts” on either side of the issue.

The article itself wasn’t even that good. (No disrespect intended.)

But the comments…

The comments are what drew me in.

I read pages and pages of comments, one after the other, from people in either camp of the gay marriage debate.

Some appeared to be written with much thought and intelligence.

Others seemingly rattled off out of haste and unbridled emotion.

Some quoting scripture and some quoting experience.

Many out of context.

All on both sides.

The tears began to well as I realized that what I’ve been fearing really is true:

We are more known for what we’re against than for what we are for.

Why aren’t Christians known for mothering for orphans, caring for widows, assisting the elderly, including the outcast?

Why aren’t Christians known for embracing the refugee and the alien?

Why aren’t Christians known for being accepting and gracious and abounding in love?

Why aren’t Christians known for bringing healing to the broken-hearted?

Why aren’t Christians known for being slow to anger?

Why aren’t Christians known for addressing poverty and engineering clean water and reducing childhood mortality?

Why aren’t Christians known for befriending inmates and serving the homeless?

Why aren’t Christians known for improving health care and education?

Why aren’t Christians known for diffusing discord and being bringers of peace?

Why aren’t Christians known for loving gay people? Any people? All people?

Why?

It breaks my heart that we are known for deciding who are sinners and who aren’t. Who gets into heaven, and who does not. What sins should be legislated and which sins shouldn’t. (As if that “right” belongs exclusively to us.)

Because don’t we all need Jesus?

Isn’t the ground at the cross a level place?

Wasn’t his sacrifice sufficient for everyone?

Have we not all been made in his image?

Does he not delight in his children, whether they know him or not?

Aren’t we all worthy of his gift?

Is there not room enough in his heart for all?

Is there not room enough in mine?

So I closed the screen as my lap became wet with heavy tears.

Forgive us Lord. Have mercy. Draw near. Show your face.

I wept as I prayed.

And then I wondered, what if we prayed more than we lobbied?

What if we practiced more than we preached?

What if we served more than we sought protection?

What if we asked for more of God’s heart to help us navigate our times?

What if compassion moved us, instead of anger, fear, and judgment?

What if we loved, expecting nothing in return?

STOP.

Related post: To my gay and lesbian friends who feel excluded and alienated and discriminated and rejected

 

Love,
A

P.S. I went over time limit today. And please note, I will delete any comments that I deem unkind or disrespectful. (Whether comments are in agreement or not is not the issue. I will not engage in online debate or tolerate slander.)

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.



A note to US voters

My friend Jim tweeted this today:

@jimastephens: Note to US voters: The Messiah is not among the candidates for election. Nor is the Anti-Christ. These are politicians.

Genius.

Every time an election rolls around it amazes me how so many of us get swept up in the tsunami of religious rhetoric surrounding the candidates.

As a believer, of course I think that the beliefs of the candidates are important. (But so does everyone else. That’s not a “Christian” thing.)

I want to know what people stand for. I want to know how they vote. I want to know where they will channel their efforts. (Or at least where they think they will. We all know wars and natural disasters and economic downfalls tend to derail things a little.)

But for the love, why must we go about deeming so-and-so the “Christian” choice (or not) and then villanizing anyone else that opposes?

The polarizing effect of elections is so disheartening.

Every time it rolls around people say “let’s work together” and then in a heartbeat we get busy defending our own issues and opinions and deciding the “other guy” is the devil.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have opinions. Even strong ones.

But how about we try and act like grown-ups, do our research, and lend our support in a way that brings life and hope and intelligence into the conversation?

And in the meantime, how about we quit with the anti-christ comments. (Cuz they make us all look like weirdos anyway.)

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you love or hate American politics? As frustrating as they are at times, I’m definitely of the “lover” category.

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited