Tag Archives: election

Wishing I Could Say Something Brilliant Right Now

This isn’t going to be much of a post, mostly rambling. Everyone’s reflecting on the Election and I’ve really been trying to just take it all in. It’s been a roller coaster of emotion lately. Here’s a snippet.

Excitement. Going to the polls and joining hundreds of your neighbors to participate in the democratic process. Kids where shouting from the school buses that passed by. We were all excited (those I knew were voting for Obama, others I knew were voting for McCain, others casting blank ballots). Many hoping for their candidate to be victorious, but more then that there was just a real sense of purpose and excitement that we were doing something important.

Nervousness. Throughout the day about the votes I’d casts, the decisions I was now complicit in. Later nervous about the safety of the president elect.

Joy. Around ten, after we heard the report on the television, you could hear horns honking in the street, kids running around shouting. You could feel it in the air in our neighborhood. The significance of this historic moment.

Sadness. Largely due to facebook, I’ve witness the extreme negativity expressed by people I know and respect about the election results. The most troubling are those I call fellow followers of Christ. (Update: My sister pointed out this came across wrong, here’s a further explanation) I deeply respect people on both sides of the election results. My sadness is regarding the doom and gloom response that the election is ushering in the death of America, bringing on communism, destroying Israel, that the election was stolen, and that those who applaud the victory do not care about human life. (all of that summed up in people’s facebook statuses). I’m not trying to censor or discourage people’s opinions, it just makes me sad that that is the first and primary response from so many people I know.

Commitment. I’m committed to moving on. Moving past this political discourse and toward a dialog and commitment to action to address the issues that have been so passionately on the minds of those with whom I share my faith. I pray we can find common ground and worked toward living out the unified love of Christ in this broken world.

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Allegience and Hygiene: An Election Day Reminder

https://tryingtofollow.com/wp-content/linkedimages/upload/static.flickr.com/3272/2350165806_3a4122a6f3_m.jpgI’ll be the first to admit, I can get pretty caught up in the political scene and scandals this time of year. The latest news story, the terrible “what if’s”, the deep ideological questions and more, all draw me in (which is not all bad). The danger of this, for me, has come when I lose sight of my allegiances.

I consider myself a follower of the teachings of Christ, though it’s a miserable attempt at best, I live my life trying to follow those teachings. In doing so, I swear an allegience first and foremost to another kingdom, the kingdom of God. Before I am a US citizen, I am a citizen of the kingdom of God. (Try not to get too creaped out by that statement. If you want to know what that looks like lived out, read more of my blog). All Christians, those who follow the teachings they read in the Christian scriptures, swear alligience first and foremost to the kingdom of God. Yet, we often, and especially during election season, forget that. We lose our creative abilities to live like Christ, radically and subversivly living his kingdom on earth.

Personally, I believe voting is like brushing your teeth. We all know “cleanliness is next to godliness” (It’s not really, and that’s not in the bible, but humor me for a moment). While we recognize brushing our teeth and taking regular showers is important, it’s not something we as Christians, pastors or churches spend a whole lot of time on. In all my years of church attendance I’ve yet to hear a sermon on personal hygiene. It’s something important, and something we should do, but we don’t spend a lot of time and energy on advocating for it. Instead we take care of our hygiene and move on to more important things like loving our neighbor as ourselves and living the kingdom here on earth and being the church.

What has struck me by the political discussion I’ve engaged in these past couple months is the passion so many Christians have about issues, and those issues are factors in their voting process. My earnest hope and prayer is that on Nov. 5th that same passion is translated into action by the churches and Christians on those same issues. I’d love to be a part of the movement in the church that takes that passion about pregnant women and babies and translates it into graceful compassionate churches that love the people, woman, babies, men so passionately. I’d love to see the same relationship building involvement by Christians and churches in the GLBT community. My fear and disappointment is that is not what I’ll see, may I be proven wrong.

I’ll close with a seven minute video by John Piper. A pastor and preacher who has been extremely foundational in my Christian faith. He is a phenomenal theologian and eloquent speaker and he summarizes his election reminder far more thoughtful then I:

(I’ll post a four minute version tomorrow for YouTubesday. But it’s worth a listen. Also, for the record, I don’t necessarily agree with everything John Piper says or believes.)

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A Brief Look At Local Candidates (My Ballot)

Click on the Picture to download my PDF ballot

Well, less then a week away we’ll be casting our ballots (some of you already have), and it turns out there is more then just Obama and McCain to choose from. I’m not just talking about McKinney (she would have had my vote in 2004), I’m talking about the local politicians. This is not an endorsement, just a quick rundown on my picks so far. For those of you having a hard time investigating the local elections, let me lend a hand. (Sorry to you none Minneapolis folks) [also sorry that this is kind of long. Hopefully it will be helpful to you local folks. And I’d love to dialog if you have any comments on any of this].

(If your interested in doing your own research, here’s candidate info from the Star Tribune, and from the League of Women Voters) (And if you want to vote just like me. You can download my nifty PDF ballot right here)

Who I Endorse

Bobbie Joe Champion – This guy has my vote hands down for State Rep 58b (My district). The main reason: I see him everywhere. We are old pals now, because I run into him at every community event I go to, see him in the neighborhood, at the grocery store. He’s local and approachable. Hearing him talk and checking out his website gives me confidence he’ll have the communities interest in mind, and I also know I could go and knock on his door and complain if I had a problem, and he’d listen.

Keith Ellison – Also lives in my neighborhood. I’ve been impressed with his work and commitment to the community even though he’s got a busy job and off in Washington a lot. He’s on KMOJ giving straight talk about the political scene. He supports things I can get behind. He even gives time to the conservative talk shows (I heard him interviewed about the bailout package on one). He’s got my vote.

Dean Barkley – Barkley is the independent between the Franken and Coleman heated senate race. I’m a third party guy when I can be. This guy is a viable candidate, and a healthy alternative to the depressing two party system. I don’t agree with him on everything, but I think Independents are the key to any real change in our current politics.

School Board And Related

YES to Operating Levy – Educating our children is the most important thing we do. Take a walk through some of the schools and you know we need more money in public education. Definitely a yes on the Levy.

NO on Referendum – They are interested in changing the school board to 9 members and do it by districts like the parks board. Not sure what I think overall, but I’ve been impressed by the diversity of the current board and it seems the referendum and districts would negatively effect that diversity. We’ll see, I’m not set one way or the other, but I think the way it is now is better.

Lydia Lee – She’s an incumbent on the school board. I’ve listened to a few school board meetings and have been continually impressed by her. She’ll win no problem.

Jill Davis and Carla Bates – These are the two other DFL endorsed school board candidates. I heard them both at a School board candidate forum and was impressed. They seem to know what they’re talking about and are qualified to get the job done.

Sharon Henry-Blythe –  is the other incumbent. I’ve heard she’s done well, but I haven’t been able to investigate much. There was this candidates forum on the northside which she didn’t even show up to (all the others, including a write in did). She has no website, haven’t seen any yard signs or literature. It just doesn’t seem like she’s making an effort to get re-elected. Your call.

Thomas Dicks – is a write-in candidate. It seems like he has no chance of getting elected, but he’s got some good things to say. He’s big on revamping the whole curriculum and doing away with the eurocentric textbooks and sort of text/lecture driven classroom style. Interesting things to say at the forum.

Mann and Reed – I’m hesitant about Mann and I really am opposed to Reed. Douglas Mann simply isn’t a good public speaker. At the forum we were at he had a hard time articulating his views. And though he had some challenging things to say, I don’t know that he’d function well on the school board. Kari Reed is a homeschooling parent. I’ve got nothing against that, but she seems completely out of touch with the challenges that face parents of public school kids. When asked about funding for extra-curricular she questioned why we are having the schools “babysit our kids”, not even acknowledging that any single parent with a job is going to need some option between the end of school and the end of the work day for their children. I don’t want her representing my community.


Paul H. Anderson – He’s the incumbent for the supreme court justice seat. Seems like a decent guy and basically his opponent freaks me out a little.

Deborah Hedlund – Makes a good case for herself over the incumbent. She’s got my vote. After reading this article about Hedlund, I’m definitely voting for the incumbent Gildea.

Philip D. Bush – His opponent is simply counting on people being repulsed by the last name Bush. This guy seems decent, and I know nothing about the opponent except that tidbit.

Ranum and Piper – Couldn’t really decide, but Ranum has Rybak and Don Samuels as supporters. That wins me over.

Haeg and Swenson – I’m really not sure on this one either. Your pick. The Incumbent is Swenson.

James Wisker – For Soil and Water Supervisor. He’s young (27) and aware of urban community needs, wins me over.

Jeffrey Beck – He mentions involving minority populations. The other guy just wants limited government involvement.

Terri J. Stoneburner – Because Stoneburner is a cool last name. Seriously, she’s the incumbent and I didn’t see a compelling reason to choose her opponent.

YES on Sales tax amendment – it’s 0.375% and it seems to support good causes. My neighbor John has a yard sign supporting it. If he’s behind it so am I.

I’m not voting on any of the uncontested, because I haven’t heard from any of them. If there is a viable write-in candidate, I don’t want to lessen their chances by my uninformed vote.

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