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Letting Politics Shape Theology

Normally the debate we hear about regarding religion and government involves whether we apply religiously-informed principles in the voting booth and in legislation. This last election, though, political desires have trickled into religious confessions, especially in the case of Mitt Romney. CNN reported that Billy Graham’s web site removed its statement that Mormonism was an example of a cult. Working the school fair, I came across some co-workers who actually stated that Mormons were Christian. Since I had a job to do, it wasn’t my place to refute that misinformation.

It is as if Robertson and said school fair workers — Christians, I presume — couldn’t justify voting for Romney, the non-Christian, so they make him in their mind to be Christian and thus acceptable.

I’ll admit it. I voted for Romney in the general election — I voted for someone else in the primary. I live in Ohio and considered the situation. I thought he espoused policies that were better than what Obama had put into place and is promising to push even further. But Romney did not need to be a Christian in order for me to vote for him.

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Election Day

Don’t forget to vote!

Do yourself and your neighbor a favor: don’t vote based on what advocacy groups say about the results of any of the issues.

Don’t vote for Issue 3 because you think it will keep money and jobs in Ohio. Vote on the issue of whether or not you are in favor of gambling limited to certain areas. Don’t vote for Issue 2 because you think it will keep the Humane Society from getting on farmers’ cases. Vote on whether you think a governor-handpicked 12-person board is the best way to serve the farmer and the consumers in Ohio. Don’t vote for Issue 1 because you think paying our armed services is a good thing; vote on whether you think it’s good to pay them by incurring debt.

If we draw our judgments from the text of what we are voting on, then we don’t have to rely on the people who are paid to give us their point of view.

Go vote! May the best views (mine?) win! ;)

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Getting Deeper in Issue 2

I am frankly surprised and dismayed about my surrounding rural community’s support of Ohio Issue 2, which creates the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

One reason I hear that people are for it is because if we don’t pass this, then the Humane Society will come in and legislate for stricter rules. Even though this is an amendment to the constitution, there is no safeguard that the Humane Society can’t come in through this door and make price-raising, farm-crushing changes anyway.

You can’t win an argument by conceding half of it.

Wondering if I may have misread the issue, let’s go through the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution.

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Ohio Statewide Ballot Issues Preview

The website for Ohio’s Secretary of State is a little light in state issues this year. There are just three issues: bonds for Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan vets; the creation of a state Livestock Care Standards Board, and permission to build casinos and distribute tax revenue statewide.

State Issue 1: “TO PROVIDE COMPENSATION TO VETERANS OF THE PERSIAN GULF, AFGHANISTAN, AND IRAQ CONFLICTS”

I love the military. My dad and father-in-law fulfilled their draft obligations, and my uncle is a Master Sergeant in the Kansas National Guard.

The issue here is how the compensation is paid for.  The state wants to sell bonds to pay these obligations. Bonds are essentially loans, and they are fiscally wise if they are paying for equipment, buildings, or other capital items which are used for at least the life of the loan. Bonds buy time, to give an entity something now rather than wait and get it after the money has been saved up.

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Voinovich Opposes Cap-and-Trade

Americans for Prosperity reports that 28 senators have signed a letter asking that cap-and-trade not be included in reconciling the budget between House and Senate versions.

Among those: “George Voinovich (R-Ohio)”. Thank you, sir.

The letter starts:

We oppose using the budget reconciliation process to expedite passage of climate legislation.

Enactment of a cap-and-trade regime is likely to influence nearly every feature of the U.S. economy. Legislation so far‐reaching should be fully vetted and given appropriate time for debate, something the budget reconciliation process does not allow. Using this procedure would circumvent normal Senate practice and would be inconsistent with the Administration’s stated goals of bipartisanship, cooperation, and openness.

That last sentence is interesting. Following that principle, nothing should be negotiated in reconciliation. :)

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Election Wrap-Up

Obama wins.  McCain had a very classy concession speech. He made his best effort to declare the racial glass ceiling smashed. Jackson and Sharpton I hope are now moot in this post-Civil Rights Era new generation.

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) had very salient points. The Republicans need to return to fiscal conservatism. It will help that most of the RINO representatives were voted out of office. The Senate will not be filibuster proof, and for that I’m thankful.

Ohio decided to hurt itself on the important financial issues.  Issue 2, a levy for a science museum and some conservation projects, was passed despite failing in the last two elections. Issue 5, the imposition of restrictions on payday lending, passed. No personality is going to save the Ohio economy as long as Ohio continues to shoot itself in the foot.

For his concession speech, Obama thanked his family and those who worked with him on the campaign, gave a nod to Lincoln and individual liberty (how’s that for irony), and called on America to exhibit a “spirit of sacrifice.” He only had two Messiah moments, when he said “we could perfect this union,” and that speech where he kept repeating the “Yes we can” like it’s the new Amen.

Pr. McCain has a nice prayer.

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