Wednesday, November 21, 2007

American Politics

I've seen this video linked to twice today already (1 2), and it largely sums up how I'd feel about American politics if I was living in America. But not entirely - I'd want to question how much it's legitimate to expect non-Christians to obey a Christian morality and so on. But the end of the video is great.

The comment on the Telegraph's above-linked page is particularly interesting.

It's shocking, incomprehensible stuff. A US Christian political campaign video that's... well... thoughtful. And calm. And humble.

This cynical atheist finds himself a little disarmed.

Incidentally, I did a quick quiz on political issues in the US, and didn't come out with more than 38% agreement with any candidate. That's got to be worth something...


Anonymous said...

I don't know anyone who's going to vote for a particular candidate because some famous personality said that we should.

It's kind of hard to take the video seriously since it refers to the war in Iraq as "preemptive." That's a little silly considering that one of the stated purposes was to enforce terms of surrender from a previous war. Let's not forget that the Democrats supported the war, too.

And the comment "Republicans want the wealthy to keep their money"? Is that not asinine? Are we to assume the Democrats "want to take all the money from the wealthy"?

Sorry, but I don't find the video even remotely insightful.

Anonymous said...


Change must not on the youth depend,
But we the aged know,
As having tasted joy and woe
What it means to contend.

We know the value of the loss
We face; we know the price--
And having shucked so much of dross
We need not posture "nice."

Also we do not have so much
To lose, as nearer death:
The undertaker soon may touch
But soul goes not beneath.

Therefore it falls to us, to do
Or die--down tyranny!
Abolish all the evil crew
Before we drown in sea!

John said...

Casey - I think the issue isn't the treatment of the issues raised, which is cursory at best.

What I liked about it was the willingness to admit that neither side has anywhere near a monopoly on either good policies or bad policies, and that the priority for Christians should be how they live rather than which party they vote for.

Both of those are a refreshing break from the way that the Christian attitude to politics in the US is often portrayed.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess it's different if you're not an American. I don't pay any attention to how Christians are portrayed in the U.S. media anymore.

Anonymous said...

I just re-read my last comment, and I think I'd better clarify. When I say "it's different if you're not an American," I mean how you would perceive the video. I agree with you 100% that Christians have higher priorities than political parties. I just think the video is full of stereotypes.

I'm a one-issue voter myself. I choose whichever candidate is pro-life. If they're both pro-life (as is often the case in the South) I vote for the one that I agree with the most on other issues. Abortion is top priority for me, though, because I don't see how anything could be more important than protecting innocent human lives.

John said...

Likewise usually.

Though I'm getting increasingly sceptical how much any major party is likely to do about it. At least in the UK at the moment, there's the possibility of reducing the limit from 24 to 22 weeks, which is something.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's definitely a positive development.

I'm cautiously optimistic that the issue will be thrown back to the states in the US within the next decade or so. It would then probably only be legal in New York and California. It would only be one more step from there to get a human life amendment passed. To do that under the current political environment would require a majority of Republicans in Congress and a Republican in the presidency so that it wouldn't get vetoed.

Anonymous said...

Casey, why should abortion be a single issue? Most political issues can affect human lives. If you think that invading Iraq was wrong, that's caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. If you think your country is thowing its weight around to screw other, poorer countries out of money they desperately need for their hospitals and rightfully deserve for their trade, that helps shore up the figure of 30,000 people who die each day of poverty related causes. If you think your government's encouraging excess energy use (industrialisation, transport...) which causes flooding in low-lying countries a few years down the line, that's millions more people killed and displaced. Those aren't specific to the US: the UK can be accused of all three. But abortion's not the only reason that votes can save (or cost) lives.

Anonymous said...


Those are all relevant issues, but in the end, everybody wants the same thing, they just disagree in how to go about it. With abortion, however, some people think it should be a protected right, and some people think it should be illegal. In other words, some people think that unborn babies do not deserve protection and others do. This is a conflicting interest, and I side with the one that seeks to protect innocent life.

To discuss each of the issues you mention would require a lengthy debate, and I don't think this is the proper forum for it. For instance, nobody wants war, because innocent lives will be lost. However, a case can be made that more lives will be lost if action is postponed. Both sides ultimately want peace and want to achieve it with as little loss of life as possible--they just disagree on how to go about it.