Eugene Cho

politics and lent – super fat tuesday

Fat Tuesday.  Pancake Day.  Day of Ashes tomorrow and off we go into the Lent season. What better way to reflect upon the Lent season but to discuss the political process during this Super Tuesday.  Huh? 

Today, Fat Tuesday and Super Tuesday converged on the same day and as I was scrolling through by blog feeds, I read this thought provoking post from Al Hsu over at The Suburban Christian.  It makes you reflect on some issues of faith and politics as we enter into the Lent season:

An Associated Press news story reports, “Sens. Clinton and Obama each poured more than $1 million a day into TV ads in the last week alone; Clinton buying an hour on the Hallmark Channel for a town hall meeting on Monday night, Obama seeing some $250,000 disappear in 30 seconds in his Super Bowl ad a day earlier.”

Yikes. That’s $8333.33 a second. So if someone contributed $50 to the campaign, that $50 would have bought a mere 1/167th of a second of a Super Bowl ad. I understand that money and advertising are necessary components to elections, but it all seems so ephemeral. Some estimate that the candidates are going to spend a combined half billion or more this election season. Which feels like typical American overblownness – a lot of other countries have much shorter election seasons and spend far less money.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the candidates declared a cease fire for Lent and stopped spending money on commercials? Wouldn’t it be great if the candidates used that money elsewhere, to actually accomplish some of the things they’ve been talking about, in terms of reducing poverty, providing international aid and development, covering health care costs and improving education? A half billion might be a drop in the bucket compared to the multi-trillion national budget, but still, that could accomplish a lot more concrete, tangible good than TV commercials that will disappear like vapor. [read entire entry]

Why does this sound so refreshing?  Seriously.  I’ve always believed that America would be better off if somehow the political process allowed for each candidate to receive the same amount of advertisement – particularly on television and newspapers.  How cool would it be if television stations and newspaper outlets – as a service to the American people – gave free equal advertisement to each legitimate candidate for a certain period of time leading up to the primaries and elections?  This way, candidates could stop raising so much damn money and have mandatory, quality, sit down conversations, debates, and think tank discussions on “how” they intend lead. 

Free advertisement.  Restricted fundraising and cap amount for each candidate.  Shorter election season.  What are some of your suggestions?

One more suggestion:  I’d like to give each legitimate candidate an hour hour slot on prime time [via internet maybe?] where they are given some pens and a giganormous whiteboard with the simple instruction:  Map out your hypothetical presidency.

Filed under: politics, religion, , ,

2 Responses

  1. franksabunch says:

    I’ve always held true to the notion–whether accurate or not–that in the modern era, being the president of the United States is incompatible with being a Christian that actively walks and operates according to the faith. Politics is by nature a dirty game and there’s no way one can rise that high without playing in this game where, ironically, following the rules means breaking them.

    That aside I would isolate each candidate from their aides/speech writers for 1 week then sit them in a room with a pen and paper and ask them to write down what they love about this country what they think they can provide the American people. AND ban the rest of the United States from seeing what they look like (impossible, I know) since Americans tend to vote on style and not substance. If TV, internet and Geraldo (Lord forbid) existed back during the 1800s, an ugly guy but bomb diggity speaker like Honest Abe would have never been elected president and slavery could’ve existed until the turn of the century. I can’t remember the last time I heard a presidential candidate give a speech that actually moved me.

  2. Derek says:

    Anything to support campaign reform…

    It appears that McCain is the clear Republican candidate and neck to neck with Obama and Clinton.

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One Day’s Wages

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These are crazy, turbulent times. Fight the good fight. Run the race set before us.

But we also need you for the long haul. Don't burn out. Discipleship and justice work is a marathon. Learn to take care of yourself. Don't play the victim. It's far too tempting to blame others. Be rooted in prayer, Scripture, and community. It's okay to pause, critical to rest and retreat, and godly to practice Sabbath.

#NoteToSelf Everyone loves the idea of  reconciliation...until it involves truthtelling, confessing, repenting, dismantling, forgiving, and peacemaking. Charlottesville. So heartbreaking and infuriating. We weep and mourn over the hatred in the hearts of these white nationalists. We weep and mourn but we can't be defeated.

As I stare at this photo that's making its round on the internet, I'm reminded of the utter importance of showing up. I'm grateful for the news media, law enforcement, clergy, and peaceful protesters that are currently there to report, protect, pray, and protest.

And this is an invitation to us. May we not be mere bystanders. May we keep pressing forward. Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly. Commit to truth-telling, justice, reconciliation, peacemaking. Follow the ways of Christ. Every day. And it's important to note that we don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. In fact, it's more important that we do this exactly where we're at. May we live out the call to reconciliation in our churches, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and around our dining tables. Lord, may it be so... We don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. We have to do this wherever were called to be.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. /// Thanks to those who let me know that the photo wasn't actually from today but rather from last month in Charlottesville. - https://www.facebook.com/FrankSomervilleKTVU/posts/1551137301616258:0 Grateful for a spontaneous, last minute trip with Minhee to my old stomping grounds - San Francisco. 48 hours of visiting this special city that I called home for so many years.

Pic 1: Went to the Cliff House restaurant where we got engaged about 21 years ago to make out. Oops, sorry, I meant...to reflect on God's faithfulness over these many years.

Pic 2: Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge because it's such an iconic place - with some of the most incredible views.

Pic 3: Enjoyed a glass of some Cabernet Sauvignon and pretended to be wine connoisseurs at a vineyard.

Pic 4: Had lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Sam Tung, which boasts some of the best chicken in the country. And of course, we ate at In-n-out.

Pic 5: And finally, celebrated with the good folks at @thefreedomstory where @onedayswages received their annual Freedom Award. What an honor.

Grateful. Thankful for this sabbatical. Breathe.

Show yourself some grace.

We can't do everything for everyone in every situation. Do what you can and do it with a joyful heart.

Amen A family that eats sushi together stays together.

Seriously, I don't ever remember eating so much as a teenager but these kids eat and eat and eat. Perhaps, the reason why this kid is pushing 6 feet tall. Grateful for a special treat with the family at @JaponessaSeattle.

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