Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A few political rants that I can hold back no longer...

1. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over. I know someone in the military who also grew up over in Indonesia like I did, and she wrote about the ultimate outcome of the war. Coming from someone who has been in Iraq and asked Iraqis what they think of it all, I found her post awesomely insightful. Check it out here: http://manjamanis.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/the-ending-of-a-saga/

It just so happens that Isaac and I have very different opinions on the Iraq war and always have. The invasion happened when we were newly dating, and I was looking into American politics for myself for the first time. The passionate debate over the war among our friends got to me and I started doing research on the history of Iraqi sanctions by the US and the UN, the progression to the point of nearly invading, etc. I ended up being quite passionate that the US should NOT invade Iraq and I was deeply disappointed when we did. Isaac felt differently. To this very day we still have the same debate over and over again. Isaac says we can't know if it was justified or not because they quite likely had WMD's. I say, again and again, that the potential presence of something does not justify invasion of a sovereign nation, and our evidence was and is lacking. Years later, we finally end the operation. Was it worth it? Is Iraq better off on this side of things? Gosh, for our sake I hope so, but I have my doubts. I also think the Iraq war distracted from the war that we were actually meant to fight - against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Thus.... here we are today, still fighting in Afgh. and with no end in sight.

2. Last week for the first time I talked to a very liberal friend who passionately supported Obama and now regrets it. For my friend, Obama hasn't been liberal enough, and he idealized what Obama could do in office. I've also seen a number of signs and bumper stickers saying things like, "Voted Obama? Embarrassed Yet?" or something similar. My answer? No. He has pretty much done exactly what I expected him to do to, and I am satisfied. I don't always agree with him, but I didn't expect to. On several things I'm quite pleased with his policies and reactions. On the areas where we disagree he usually has limited power anyways, and Congress holds a greater amount of responsibility. I hold to my main argument during the election, which is the President's largest area of power and influence is in our foreign policy, and in that I quite like Barack Obama.

3. Another friend, Sara, posted about a Mormon friend sort of using their friendship in hopes of drawing her into the Mormon church (read it here). This paragraph from her post was great:
This is how “non-Christians” feel when we only invite them to church events. No wonder they don’t come! Nobody wants to be a project! I’ve never felt like the potential convert–I didn’t know what it meant to be on this side of the fence, and you know, I didn’t like it! Leave me alone, let me follow Jesus and if you want to be my friend that had better entail a lot more than just religious excursions. Because if it doesn’t then you really aren’t interested in friendship and I am out.
 4. Speaking of interactions with people from another faith, yesterday I had the privilege of attending an event for Dallas Christians in which a Muslim mullah presented basic Islam, including what the Koran teaches about Jesus. It was great. One Christian stood up during the question and answer time and asked an aggressive and confrontational question, and I was relieved when he was told that this was a friendly interaction and not a time for debate. It's amazing how often we try to be combative with people who believe differently than we do - what do we think this will help? No one is ever converted by angry debate, and they already know our differences.

I am amazed by the fear in our culture at the moment about Islam. Among the Christian community it is deep-seated and tied in with eschatological misconceptions and end-times theories. It extends to such small things, like people being afraid to refer to God as "Allah", because it is a "Muslim" word. This is all a bit strange to me, considering Allah is the Indonesian word for "God" and fills the Christian Bible and Indonesian worship songs.

5. If we are afraid to associate ourselves with anyone Muslim because of our fundamental differences, then it is ridiculous that we are willing to march with Glenn Beck in his call to bring America back to God. I understand aligning yourself with someone because of similar political convictions, but when your political convictions are based on returning to religious principles, it makes no sense to follow someone who doesn't even agree with you on the basics of God and faith. It boggles the mind, I tell you. The rationale evangelicals use against Muslims and for Glen Beck is completely contradictory.

Okay, did I just bother just about everyone that reads my blog because you almost all disagree with me politically? Sorry 'bout that.... ;)

7 comments:

Jaimie said...

I said a few things about this political stuff recently. Couldn't hold back either. (First two bullet points.)

junglewife said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I always enjoy reading what you write. Of course, I don't always agree with everything you say, but most of it, and really, is there ANYONE in the world that I will always see eye-to-eye with?!

Rach said...

1. I don't feel educated enough about WMDs to really know where I stand, but my uncle is a White House Deputy Director of Intelligence for National Security under Bush and Obama, and based on his experience going to the Middle East under Clinton, he is 100% positive that there were (are?) WMDs in Iraq. I don't know, but I do consider my uncle a well-informed, trustworthy guy who was literally one of those guys who was searching for these weapons in the late 90s. http://www.dni.gov/shedd_bio.htm

2. I was somewhat indifferent about Obama getting elected (Jason and I were some of those lame ppl who didn't vote), but he is somewhat unfortunately making me into a Conservative. I am alright with some of his policies, but I think that he is a complete fiscal disaster. I am the first to admit that I am comparatively financially inexperienced, but I CANNOT for the life of me understand where his head is in this area. Most of the jobs he has generated have been government jobs (and quite often temporary in nature), and I do not agree with false economic stimuli due to bailouts (Bush did this too, of course, and I also disagree with him on that).

3. So true! I need to always try to remember this!

4. I am also disgusted by the outright religious prejudice many Americans are demonstrating towards Muslims. It makes my heart sad for the thousands of peaceful Muslim families trying to enjoy life in the USA. I also find it ironic that many of the same people (Conservatives) that consider themselves proponents of basic freedom from government intervention are so outraged at the building of a mosque in NYC. I would not want to be categorized with many Christian extremist/cult groups simply because I call myself a Christian.

5. Glenn Beck can be kinda crazy. Fo realz.

Rae said...

I will have to reread this because I didn't find anything to disagree with. :-D

Isaac said...

For the record, I feel as though my views on the Iraq war have not been fairly represented :)

You may have come away from the post assuming that I think exploratory weapons adventures are a good excuse for war. I like to think my rational is somewhat more sophisticated than that.

So, other than your blatant employment of the straw-man fallacy to discredit your opponent, good thoughts, hun! :D

Isaac said...

For those of you who don't know me, the above comment is supposed to be funny. Sometimes it's hard to communicate playful sarcasm in type.

Anonymous said...

...the differences between the Christ of the early Christians and the "American Jesus" is glaring for those who have the "eyes to see"..this new God sponsored patriotism is frightening for those of us who see through the emotion laden hyperbole spouted by the ratings hungry talking heads of T.V. ....somewhere along the way Beck and his cohorts started taking themselves seriously when they saw just how easily the american people could be duped.