Under $3!

As someone on the radio was saying the other day though: just because the economy is falling apart and driving gas prices down doesn’t mean that there’s any more oil in the ground than there was last year. This is just a nice little temporary reprieve.

On a side note, I actually bought a tankful of gas on Saturday for $2.77/gal, as it was the special “with car wash” price. I had paid for the car wash with a free coupon I’d received from the car dealership, so it was an all-around good deal for me.

A Myspace Exchange

I should seriously consider deleting my myspace profile. Too frequently I encounter “bulletin” messages that make me sad for our country. And occasionally I choose to respond, which quickly eats away at my already non-existent free time. But if I’m going to waste time with something like this, at least I can get a blog post out if it đŸ˜‰

Here is the text of a recent exchange with someone I knew in grade school, in which I don’t even bother discussing the complete unreliability of the Bible:

—————– Bulletin Message —————–
From: XXXX
Date: Oct 9, 2008 3:24 PM

I was stunned to hear these words from Barack Hussein Obama . . .

“we are no longer a Christian nation; we are now a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, . . .

As with so many other statements I’ve heard him (and his wife) make, I never thought I’d see the day that I’d hear something like that from a presidential candidate in this nation. To think our forefathers fought and died for the right for our nation to be a Christian nation—and to have this man say with pride that we are no longer that. How far this nation has come from what our founding fathers intended it to be.

And just to know that so many people are blinded by who he truly is, is completely scary!

I don’t believe any Christian could possibly vote for Barack Obama with a clear conscious. He is in favor of abortion, even giving doctors permission to kill living babies that suffer from a botched abortion. And he doesn’t believe this a Christian nation anymore.

I just ask everyone to commit to praying about this matter for the next 19 days until the election. Truly commit to praying for God’s guidance in the way you vote. And when election time comes, only vote how God leads you.

Love you all!

—————– Original Message —————–
From: Chris
Date: Oct 9, 2008 11:20 PM

It makes me sad to see you spouting this ignorance. I will pray that you are able to see past the manipulative lies spread in the name of Christianity today and open your heart to Jesus’ real message: universal compassion, which has no room for hate and judgment.

—————– Original Message —————–
From: XXXX
Date: Oct 10, 2008 12:53 PM

i don’t base my thought on “manipulative lies”, i have studied the Bible for myself. you’re right, we are not to judge, except for righteous judgement. we are to stand for what Jesus would stand for. and gas prices and the economy are definately not something He really cares about. one day when we stand at the judgement, He won’t ask if we our economy was good. He’ll wonder why we let our country kill babies that He created.

—————– Original Message —————–
From: Chris
Date: Oct 11, 2008 12:30 PM

In an effort to keep this focused on the original topic I had responded to, I must simply point out that the men who founded this nation recognized the supreme importance of freedom of religion. After all, the very reason for so many European immigrants at the time was that they had not been free to practice their religion of choice. So it is disturbing that an American would say that “the scariest thing Obama has said” is that non-Christians are just as welcome here as Christians.

When I referred to manipulative lies, I was referring to the many ways in which corrupt politicians and rich religious leaders work together to sway the votes of well-meaning Christians by distracting them with hot-button issues such as abortion. The simple truth of the matter, and something that most evangelical church leaders will not break ranks to admit, is that the outcome of this election will have very little, if any, impact on abortion laws. So regardless of whether or not you’re willing to recognize the fact that our stone-age, religious-right inspired “abstinence only” sex education is a major factor in the reason for a vast number of unwanted pregnancies that end in abortion (most of which would happen regardless of whether or not abortion was outlawed), abortion is being brought up only to change the votes of those who are concerned about doing the right thing but don’t realize that they’re being manipulated.

If Jesus were really to see the state of our nation today, he would be much more appalled at how we treat our poor. Rather than loving our neighbor, we live in a nation that caters to the greed and decadence of the rich. Our government has for a long time been in the hands of the super-wealthy, who can afford to manipulate the politicians and church leaders, so that no good can be accomplished without capitulating to some extent to the wishes of our corporate overlords. As a result, we turn a blind eye to much of the suffering in our country and around the world, and instead of investing in the health and well-being of everyone, the majority of our population toils away to generate outrageous profits for the wealthy few.

Topics like abortion and homosexuality are brought up as red herrings to convince otherwise good people to vote for those who will ensure that the exploitation continues. It is not very expensive to stir up unfounded fears among Christians that their faith is under attack in order to sway the vote. It worked in 2000 and 2004, and the unbridled greed was permitted to continue while we continued to neglect the well-being of the general public.

If we put the same money into educating our public and providing proper healthcare to those who are sick that we put into deposing a leader who was not in any way connected to the atrocious attacks we suffered in 2001, our nation would be strong, and vibrant, and capable of being the beacon of hope to the rest of the world that we once were.

It’s not about gas prices and the economy. It’s about whether or not our nation is working to love our neighbors, in and out of our own borders. The driving force of conservative politics is the protection of those who refuse to do so. When it is convenient, they call upon Christians to help them stay in power, appealing to them with empty promises that are tossed aside once the ballots are cast.