Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Black Christians for Obama; You Can't Serve Two Masters

Since the election of Senator Barack Obama to the US President, I've had and heard many a conversation. In these conversations I've noticed a common thread of inconsistency; Christian voters who are black that voted for Obama. Now the meaningful part of the observation isn't expressed solely therein, although one could look at just that alone and note a contradiction. But I want to address for a moment why this is a sad reality, why it is a bad thing, and how it speaks volumes about the hearts of many black people who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. Yesterday after getting off work, I was stopped by a black woman, a custodian, on my way out the door. She asked me was I pleased with the president-elect, presuming already I think that I would be of coarse, seeing as though I'm black as well. I said no, and I explained my reasons why. An odd thing happened...she agreed. She agreed not only that I the reasons I gave were correct ones, but that we shared the same view point. Now, whats wrong with that? The convictions I have made it that voting for Barack would be unthinkable, yet this woman who claimed to share the same beliefs somehow transgressed her beliefs to vote for Obama, without regret but even more so, joy. How is it reasonable and explainable for a person to vote in direct opposition to what they hold to be true, to what they say matters to them the most? I think this could only work if a person has another vested interest, one that is equally or even more important than other convictions they might hold, and it is my firm belief that many black Christians have exactly that; two agendas that they seek to uphold. One is their faithfulness to the will of God which for most but admittedly not all, is completely sincere and genuine. Not simply in a flakey sense which is common in this day and age, but an actual dedication to obeying the will of God and following Christ. However on the other hand, there is another appointment to be kept, one that is dedicated to following self-interest; namely blackness. They have a commitement to everything black within reason (for the most part). Essentially they want their so called "self-identity" and identity in Christ to coincide, even though Jesus Himself does not give way to such thinking,but rather that one must die to themselves on every level,and decide to adopt His views. They want to have their race cake, and eat their religion too, but they can not co-exist. The recent election gave us a means to witness why this is such a bad way of thinking in action.So many Christians had the power to do what was right, in keeping a man out of office who would see to it that the rights of the unborn were taken away and would allow for their lives to be taken at will under the smokescreen of a "right to choose", and elect a man who would see to it that a long standing law supporting the unjust "right" was overturned. Now before the case is made against Mccain, I'm not arguing for him wholesale. However in the words of Scott Klusendorf, a second class fireman is way better than a first class arsonist. So what we have is rather than Christians voting a Christian worldview, we have people voting in diametric opposites in what they say they believe and a serious injustice follows from the decisions of those who should be using their vote to see to it that what is morally right is what reigns over the country.But what made Christians abrogate this responsibility, for what did they leave their post as ambassadors of Jesus? Embarrasingly, all to have a President whose skin is light-brown. Now do I think that the only reason all black people voted for Obama is because he's black, of course not. But do I believe, and I think we all know, that it was a reason for most if not all to some degree, yes; and I think we also all know that there were some, if only in minority that voted based solely for that reason. A vote casted in favor of melanin content of the skin, on any level, is wrong. It's the same reasoning that those whom we look back on history and scold for their bigotry used, and some have hypocritically applied the same thinking, and placed the lives of millions in jeopardy. A persons skin color should in no way sway your thinking on his ability to lead the country, such reasoning is an obvious reflection of a lack of focus on what actually matters and a symptom of being jaded by racist thinking. Finally, a persons skin color should not trump what you claim to believe to be most important when their values lie in direct contradiction to yours . Especially as it pertains to the Christian perspective, such a position is untenable; you either are a follower of Christ, or a follower of what you percieve to be your races' best interest to be but you can't have it both ways. Please, for the sake of the rights of millions, choose wisely next time.

Barack For President:1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back.

There is a great celebration amongst the American people in regards to the election of the first African American president. The U.S, as common with its history has shown us that it is able to overcome bigoted thinking and continually improve its moral clarity; some would even say that this is a significant landmark in the ongoing progress of civil rights in this country. And I agree it is, it seems that we continue to recognize all humans as being equals based solely on the quality of their being human and we hold this with the highest regard. However, human rights are still not equal for a major portion of the people who live in this country, and in a sort of sordid irony, while we traverse barriers in civil rights once thought impossible by electing a black president, it is by electing this president , that we degrade a whole class of human beings as being unworthy of the same protection under the law and rights as other human beings.
The heinousness of slavery was that it extricated a whole group of living, breathing, human beings and considered them unworthy of the same protection and freedom under the law as every other living, breathing, human being based on unjust criteria. Abraham Lincoln argued rightly that the standards used to diminish the black man as sub-human and thus unworthy of equal rights were illogical, unjust and wholly irrational. The notion that the quality of humanness depended on intelligence, color or some other physical characteristics were shown to be incredulous, and most of you would, without batting an eye, agree. We know that our value as humans does not depend upon physical characteristics, nor is it assessed by another man. Rather like our Forefathers pronounced, it is transcendent, inalienable and irrevocably bestowed to us by God, our Creator. And even in knowing this , as he was a law professor, Barack Obama's first act as presidency will not only ensure but proliferate that the rights and value of a whole class of human beings, the unborn, are taken away and diminished . Unlike you and I who are protected under law from having our lives arbitrarily taken from us at will, the Freedom of Choice act will promulgate the killing of unborn human beings, at any stage (and by that I mean trimester) for any reason, and will be funded with tax payer's money.
Now initially I know the knee jerk reaction is to say "it's still a fetus or a zygote". But so what? Those are just terminologies that describe a stage of growth, not a type of being. Following the scientific law of biogenesis, species produce after their own kind. And while it may be that determining when life begins is "above Obama's pay grade" as he phrased it, in the words of Robert P. George of Princeton "Treating the question as some sort of grand mystery, or expressing or feigning uncertainty about it, may be politically expedient, but it is intellectually indefensible. Modern science long ago resolved the question." We know that life begins at the moment of conception, so the issue is: what is it about the unborn human beings that make them subhuman, not worthy of equal protection under the law? We don't accept discrimination for other groups of people, why the unborn? So while we sit back and rejoice that the day has finally come, that we've jumped another hurdle in the ugly marathon that is overcoming immoral discrimination and the unequal treatment of humans in this country, I would urge you to take a step back and reflect. Sometimes focus can make you blind. It may seem that we've made a stride in the right direction, but it is my opinion that unbeknownst to most, we've actually lost our footing, and stumbled devastatingly far back, all because like those before us, we've mistakenly applied a criteria to being human and thus worthy of inalienable rights that can't be violated, that is illogical, unjust and wholly irrational.
It is a great day in American history, but we've traded one evil in for another, one form of discrimination against human being for another. We've exemplified the liberation of a people from unfair treatment by electing someone who at one time would've been less than human, all the while electing someone who will deem a group of people unworthy of their God given right to life and the right for that life to be protected by law like every other group of people. As the saying goes, one step forward, 2 steps back.