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Monday, September 8, 2008

I Believe

See that knife? The one with the emotional blood still dripping from the blade? That's the one that was just pulled out of my heart.

Today I was called an unbeliever. A non-Christian. A person who doesn't love Jesus.

Stab, stab, stab.

I didn't think that these accusations, from the cyber mouth of a stranger, could hurt so much. I so badly want to emulate Jesus, to radiate because of what He's done for me, to be faithful in my actions and words.

Oh, there are countless times where I've failed miserably in my Light-Shining pursuit. I've said hurtful things, I've lied, I've cheated, I've blown up. I wish I could take these moments back and change the words coming out of my far-too-open mouth. I've pleaded for God's forgiveness, and for some amazing reason, He's obliged....a million fold.

Yet, today, my love for Jesus has been questioned not because of a mistake, but because of my political beliefs.

Apparently, I don't love Jesus because I support Barack Obama.

I was told today that there is no way that a Christian, someone who truly, fully and all-bountifully loves God, could vote for Obama.

Wow.

As much as it pains me to admit, this stranger aimed directly for my heart, and punctured it well. Because I truly, fully and all-bountifully love God. I envelope myself in God's grace and mercy every day. I bask in His faithfulness and stand upright only because of the strength He gives.

And I really like Barack Obama and would vote for him in a heartbeat.

My bleeding heart won't allow me to post the link to the blog where these comments are made. I can't promote such hurtful words. I know that I should be responding to her, but I need an injury time-out before I jump back onto the field. I actually cried when I read the comments. I don't cry often.

It all started because of a comment I made regarding a propaganda You Tube video which has been spread around the internet. The video falsely accuses Barack Obama of supporting late-term abortions. It is one-sided and much to my chagrin, some people have decided that a You Tube video is gospel truth.

Of course, in the spirit of a good political debate, I'm always eager to give my Democratic two cents worth (okay, often five cents worth). I explained that I am pro EVERY life, and that even though Obama is a supporter of Roe v. Wade (but does NOT, in any way, shape or form, support infanticide), his belief in universal healthcare and bringing the troops home from Iraq, means that these policies will save countless lives. When Joe Blow can afford to see a doctor, his cancer can be caught early and he can survive. A life saved. When Soldier Sally is home in Wisconsin, far from road-side bombs, she can survive. A life saved. So, although in different ways, BOTH Obama and McCain can be categorized as pro-lifers.

The response to these comments? I am an unbeliever because I support Barack Obama.

I've been thinking about the politics of life, both born and unborn, a lot in the past couple of days. Today, in a Providential coincidence, I came across a wonderfully thought-provoking article at work (oh, the joys of working in a library!). I felt reassured by my candidate.

"I have repeatedly said that I think it's entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother." Barack Obama, July 2008 Relevant Magazine

Don't worry. I realize that Obama is still a supporter of Roe v. Wade. I realize that Roe v. Wade allows for legal abortions. I realize that many of you rock-star readers are pro-life and would love to see the law repealed. I am also pro-life. I would also, if asked out-right, say that I disagree with Roe v. Wade.

But.

And there is a HUGE but.

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with Barack Obama in that the best way to eliminate abortion has nothing to do with gavels. It has everything to do with love. It has everything to do with a support system. It has everything to do with building up a woman's self worth. It has everything to do with access to social programs. Tony Campolo says it best (italics in brackets are mine):

"Seventy percent of abortions in this country are presently driven by economic forces. You have an 18-year-old woman who works at Wal-Mart at minimum wage--she has no hospitalization, she has no opportunity for for maternity leave, she has no access to daycare when the baby is born, she's in dire straights. If you're going to be pro-life, you cannot only be concerned about the unborn; you have to be concerned about after they're born. Are we going to have universal health care so that she doesn't have to worry about paying her hospital bill? (Barack Obama's healthcare plan includes medical accessibility for EVERY AMERICAN.) Are we going to raise minimum wage, because presently that woman cannot pay for her rent, let alone take care of herself and a child? (McCain has continuously voted against raising the minimum wage.) Are we going to provide daycare for her so she can continue to be employed? (Sarah Palin, as governor of Alaska, cut funding to pregnancy crisis centers that provided, among many other things, affordable daycare options to teen mothers.) Are you willing to give her maternity leave so that she doesn't have to lose her job or have an abortion? (Obama supports the extension of the Family Medical Leave Act as part of a support system to mothers, fathers and families of babies.)"

Maybe, just maybe, it's not so black-and-white. Maybe, just maybe I support Barack Obama BECAUSE I serve a loving God Who created all life. Maybe, just maybe, I love Jesus AND really like Mr. Obama.

Honestly, this has been a really difficult post for me to write. I am at the verge of tears as I plunk away at my keyboard. You all know where I stand politically. I probably know where YOU stand politically. But, to question my love for Jesus? That's where things become personal and where my Issues-Only armor turns soft. That's where my feelings get really, really hurt.

I want to see lives saved. I want to see every baby live. I want every person on earth to die in their sleep, while dreaming of Peyton Manning or Rhubarb upside-down cake, at the very ripe age of 104. However, since I know this is not the world in which we live, then I want second best: I want girls to know that, if they find themselves face-to-face with a very unwanted positive pregnancy test, they have somewhere to turn. I want women to know that society, as reflected in government and funding, will give them an opportunity to make a decent life for themselves and their unborn child. Isn't that a Jesus-attitude?

I believe. In social support structures. In daycare funding. In pregnancy shelters. In universal healthcare. In paying people a fair wage. In a mat leave longer than 6 weeks. In Obama.

Most of all, though, I am a BELIEVER. In the One who gives me strength.

10 comments:

Jane said...

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with Barack Obama in that the best way to eliminate abortion has nothing to do with gavels. It has everything to do with love. It has everything to do with a support system. It has everything to do with building up a woman's self worth. It has everything to do with access to social programs.

I could not agree with you more. You said it perfectly.

And I'm sorry that some online asshole decided to use you for target practice - it's easy to hide behind a computer screen and it brings out the worst in some people.

(hug)

Anonymous said...

Oh Chrystie,

I am sorry that you have been hurt in this way and I hope you know that when I see you in church on Sunday mornings, and when I hear about the wonderful work you are doing with the youth girls, I know wholeheartedly that you are a BELIEVER, A CHRISTIAN, & A PERSON THAT L-O-V-E-S JESUS!

Angela B

Erin said...

It hurts my heart that this online zealot made you cry, Chrystie. But, if out of the hurt came this beautifully worded post, it may have been worth it. You are so eloquent with words, and I think you hit the nail on the head with several points. Love you, dear.

The Mitchells said...

We don't have the same political views, but I love you dearly. More importantly, our gracious Lord and Heavenly Savior loves you more than anyone can ever imagine. Rest in knowing that He created you perfectly and knows your heart better than anyone could, especially another blogger. I will pray for your mended heart.

Peitricia Mae said...

Oh darlin', this post made me cry, too - but for good reasons. I love your belief, and I love your willingness to stand for what you believe in, even when you receive unmerited criticism.

Trying to fit Christianity into politics is a bit square-peg-round-hole-ish - you'll have to shave off at least one of the edges, and even then it still won't fit properly. You do the best you can with what you've got - and that's exactly what you're doing.

Laurel said...

Why is it that 99 people can say fabulous words of encouragement to us but it is the one person that offers a negative comment that haunts us?

You know that politics and religion are both things that people get passionate about. Put them together and it's extra passion time. The people that know and love you also know that you love God. Don't let a stranger let you question what you, and we, already know.

~Laura~ said...

I love you my dear and if there is ANYTHING that I know for sure it's that you LOVE Jesus.

No, we don't agree politically...not even close, but I can say with 100% certainty that you love Jesus.

Sunny said...

Oh sweets. THIS is why I don't talk politics. :) You can't put people in a box because of what they believe. I know you love Jesus with EVERYTHING! We totally are on different sides on things but the heart is the same. HUGS!

missm said...

I love reading your passionate posts. Feels like I'm listening to myself. :)

My belief in Jesus has recently been questioned by a (close) friend ... and it sucks .... to be them!! (HA, HA ... okay that just wasn't nice ... at all).

Love the song by John Mayer, Belief.

You are so smart and have such great arguements. I'm so glad that you're wise enough not to question your beliefs when someone else does.

neverapartinheart said...

Hi. I dont know you personally. I dont really know much about you. But I have to tell you that your post touched me. Its nice and refreshing to hear such passionate words about both your Beliefs and politics. You have so wonderfuly captured your emotions, and hopefully more people that feel like you are not afraid to voice theirs. It is not easy to belive in God and be a Democrat or a Liberal. Why is it that your faith has to be questioned? Its not fair. From my teachings of Christ I would belive him to be a liberal. Love each other, treat each other fairly, equality... those preachings are powerful.

You go girl. That was amazing.