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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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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