Sunday, November 4, 2012

2012.11.04 Twill Soon Be Over—But First You VOTE

It’s amazing how much email I’ve received in the last two months— every day all day from so many really famous people like the President of the USA and every hot shot Democrat you could name. 

I’d be flattered if I didn’t know better.  Intense partisanship exausts me.  I’ll vote for President Obama because I trust his face and his grin when he opens it up. I trust his vision for the future of our country and I know he’d never put a dog on top of his car for a long highway drive!

When I was a child I wanted a “ Romney-esque “White Knight" (or John Wayne) to sweep in
and make everything right even if it meant hurting everyone else but me. As an adult I want a Yoda-type who can see all colors in all people and work to fit everyone into a multi-colored, multi-religious community.

I’m a Democrat because I’m a Christian who believes Jesus “occupied” the Galilee and stood firm for his vision of peace and justice, dignity and  economic equality for all citizens of the kingdom of heaven on earth. He lived and died for his vision—not the only one in history to have done so!  If the grossly wealthy have to pay more taxes to help the government even out the playing field I’m for it. I don’t trust private business or philanthropists to accomplish this. 

In Massachusetts we also vote on question #2 about Death With Dignity, aka Physician-Assisted Suicide (language is everything.) I will vote in favor of it so the conversation will open up. Legislation that allows a choice is not forcing anyone to choose the option provided.

I worked as a chaplain on the spinal cord team in a big city hospital. What we are talking about here is NOT ending life but ending prolonged/ chronic suffering—agony either physical or emotional that even medication doesn’t remit for long. Having no choice in such situations is costly to the patient, the health system, and the loved ones who stand by. witness.

Ever watch the euthanization of a beloved pet?  Casey the retreat center dog at Mercy Center  was always there to welcome guests, hang out in the chapel—a restful wagging presence. When it was time to say goodbye to Casey, who could no longer live without constant pain, the vet administered an injection and those who wanted to could visit to say goodbye. It was Compassion in action, sort of like the Godde of love I love.

They shoot horses, don’t they?

I am not a Christian who believes that Godde desires the agony of anyone, and certainly not of Jesus who freely chose to die for his gospel of Love. I bet that choice broke his “father’s” heart.   

Voting isn’t a right or a privilege, it’s a responsibility. As religious professionals clergy promised at ordination to take our places in the councils of church governance—to be church politicians and church business people.  We grouse about it because we think we should be about higher things, loftier tasks. Nevertheless................ the spirituality of governance in the church is that the body of Christ politic argues and debates. No one is forced to follow what our majority resolves. And then we sing a hymn of praise—not to ourselves. 

Thou shalt not not vote.