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.... ;)