This weekend, a friend on Facebook posted and asked folks to give one reason why we should re-elect the President. He specifically asked that there be no finger-pointing and he wanted to hear legitimate reasons. As you might imagine, he received a bunch of comments reeking with smarmy sarcasm. (I love that word “smarmy.” I need to use it more often.)
Earlier in the day, while at church, I listened to the preacher speak on an interesting passage in Titus.
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. (Titus 3:1-2)
He said nothing about politics in the sermon but gently reminded us of the importance of speaking to and about one another with respect and dignity. The pastor explained the background of these words written to Titus. He was ministering in several cities on the Greek island of Crete. It was a place where people were known as “liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons (Titus 1:12). You can see why my mind went immediately to contemporary politicians. (Now that is a great example of smarmy sarcasm.)
I have decided to take up my friend’s challenge and ask you to join the conversation. However, we will do it with the words to Titus as our guideline. In other words, there will be no name calling, preposterous accusations, character assassination, or conclusion jumping. That is my paraphrase of Paul’s warning to “malign no one, be peaceable, gentle, and showing consideration…”
So, here is my list of things to consider when making the decision about re-electing the President. They are in no particular order, other than the order that I thought about them:
- National Security
The world is no longer plagued by Osama bin Laden. The previous administration sought bin Laden for seven years and the entire nation breathed a big sigh of relief when his reign was finally ended. I am not suggesting that all threats of terrorism have ended but it is hard to deny this was a major accomplishment.
- The President’s Spiritual Life
Many of you will scoff at this one but hear me out. Of the two candidates, the President is the only one who is a follower of Christ. He is not as vocal about his faith as some would like, he does not teach Sunday School like some Presidents have done in the past, but despite the accusations of many Christians, his faith does appear genuine. I don’t believe a candidate’s religious belief should make or break a campaign, but if I must choose between a professed Christian and a member of a cult, the advantage seems obvious to me. (The term “cult” might seem a little harsh in describing Mormonism, but if you study the beliefs of the church it seems like an appropriate word.)
- The Economy
Any discussion about re-election of the President must address this issue. I am certainly no expert on this subject, although I have probably read more books on the issue than most of you (another bit of smarmy sarcasm). The economy was already headed toward difficult times before our current President took office. In 2008, prior to his election, the housing market collapsed and the government had to bail out the finance industry. In addition, Congress has been very difficult to work with in solving the problem. However, being unable to work with Congress is a lack of leadership problem that the President needs to address. It is his responsibility to find common ground with the opposition. His plan to bail out the auto industry seems to have worked very well. The economy is a problem but I have lived through double-digit inflation, mortgage rates higher than 20%, gasoline rationing, and double-digit unemployment so I am not in panic mode.
- Health Care
The President has taken a great deal of criticism over this issue, much of it unwarranted and irrational. I am not sure the current approach is the best we can do but it is better than nothing, which is what we had. For generations, Presidents have been promising to solve this problem and the current President is the first to actually get something done. If you have complaints about the health care bill, make sure they are legitimate. I recently heard a small business owner make the statement that it was going to put him out of business. I didn’t know how so I looked at the provisions in the bill for small businesses. The nearest I can tell is the new plan will actually help this small businessman provide affordable insurance for his employees, which seems like a good thing.
There are also legitimate reasons not to vote for the re-election of the President and no doubt, good reasons to support his opponent. Those are issues for another day. I am only responding to my friend’s request about our current President.
Now for the real purpose of this article. I am not campaigning for anyone. In fact, I’m not even sure how I will vote myself since I have two months to decide. It would be great if we can have a civilized conversation about this matter. This is especially true for Christians for a couple of reasons. First, Christians are often the most uncivilized when discussing politics. Second, we should do better since we have a higher standard to follow.
I am open for a discussion of the reasons we should or should not re-elect the President. While this is an open forum, you do not have the freedom to say anything. If you bring up issues about his birth certificate, being the anti-Christ, a Muslim, or other personal accusations, your comments will be deleted (it is my blog). As the Apostle Paul might say, there is no need to malign anyone. Talk about the issues and support your position with real (not Fox News) facts (sorry, I couldn’t resist one more smarmy sarcastic remark).