Eugene Cho

obama, clinton, and mccain

During the Lent season, I’ve been thinking that one of the things I should considering letting go is “politics.”  I’ve been spending a bit too much time on the internet and tube but it’s been difficult to resist as there’s definitely something different…  As I’ve shared before:  Never in my thoughts did I imagine that in my lifetime, I would experience the legitimate candidacy of the following three individuals:  a candidate [John McCain] at the age of 72 [if voted] and 80 if he completes 2 terms; a woman [Hilary Clinton], and an African-American [Barack Obama].

Again, while I do not believe policies, politics, and politicians are THE answer, Christ followers ought to be involved in the process to work with others in using the system to DO GOOD.  I intend to vote in the February 19 primary and will do more due diligence in voting for a presidential candidate between the two party representatives on November 4.  I have no party affiliation but will seek to support the candidate “who will give us the greatest freedom to proclaim the gospel, live it out, and provide the system closest to what we think is gospel-like.” [Scot McKnight]  FYI, Quest Church will be a voting location on February 19 as well.

This blog’s presidential “caucus” has produced some great conversations and support for respective candidates.  Since the majority of the support appeared to be for Obama, I thought I’d share couple links that will be worth your time to consider the other two candidates:

What I Want Rabid Obama Supporters to Understand by An Angry Asian Mans Supporting Hilary Clinton for President.

I’ve also been reflecting on this comment from the Jesus Creed and some dialogue about McCain

…I guess what i am trying to say is that we know we are living in a broken world. Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen to bad people. There are rich people who are bad, as well as rich people who are good. God sends rain on the rightous and the wicked.

People seem to be trying to fix this broken world through the government, they have good intentions. It is tough to see poverty and suffering and injustice. But man did this when we sinned, the world is broken. We can not fix it through organizations run by man.

The good news is that Jesus came to mend it, through his Church pain and suffering are eased but not removed. Jesus told us life would be hard and painful, but there is a better place. We should do the best while we are here to help those in need while sharing the Gospel with them. I think we should pray to God for help and guidance on the best way to do this. I have trouble trusting a government that does not believe in a higher power than itself, and that seems to be where we are heading. If and when government gets too much power they think they are god and do not have to answer for anything it does, that is a real danger. It has happened before and will probably happen again…”

Filed under: politics, religion, , ,

11 Responses

  1. Tim D. says:

    I hear you. It’s been very exciting to start caring again about politics and with technology, just seems to be all around me. Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts. I agree that your blog is one of the best blogs.

  2. godfactauthor says:

    HI Eugene

    As our priest said in the sermon on Sunday. Lent is a time to sacrifice those things that have a hold on you. But does that mean giving up on speaking out for justice and a government that will uphold the sacredness of life? Of course not. I’m a Catholic author from New Zealand who has two books available in the US. I’ve sent a request to add you on Facebook.

    God bless

    Brendan
    http://www.godfact.com

  3. Tess says:

    Eugene,

    Would you explain how the Washington delegate system works?
    In other words, how can you hold both caucuses and primary?
    And how, then, is it decided what number of delegates candidates get from each??

    Totally confused!

  4. How come Huckabee is not an option. He is the only christian candidate. We have seen our country without GOD. Isn’t it time to bring GOD back?

  5. me says:

    teri from texas: he’s certainly still an option since he hasn’t removed himself from the primaries. but, you have to admit he has a very long, long, long shot.

    as for your question about “isn’t it time to bring GOD back?” – wasn’t george w. bush supposed to do that? and while huckabee might be more similar to your christian spirituality, i think we’d be wrong in thinking or believing that clinton, mccain, and obama aren’t christians.

  6. uenomurakami says:

    Tess,

    If you want to figure out the delegate system and all that you should check out CNN’s website – http://edition.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/. It is really comprehensive and really easy to understand. I used it to explain the system to a room full of Japanese. They got it (to some degree). I think you will find it helpful.

    Peace

  7. me says:

    tess,

    yes, you can do both here – technically.

    for the democratic party, all the delegates were used during the caucus this past weekend. for the republican party, they split up the half of the delegates for the caucus and the other half for the primary coming up on the 19th.

    confused? read the following for more clarification:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004148965_caucusprimary28m.html

  8. BEW says:

    Eugene,

    I hope this doesn’t come across as just a plug, but have you heard or read much of Greg Boyd’s thinking on the subject? He was interviewed by Charlie Rose a while back. The Myth of a Christian Nation is *really* good, as are his sermons and blog posts.

    Here’s the Charlie Rose interview:

    http://www.charlierose.com/shows/2006/08/17/2/a-conversation-with-pastor-gregory-boyd

  9. me says:

    BEW,
    I’m a fan of Greg Boyd and have enjoyed watching that clip before. I haven’t read the book yet but check out his blog every now and then. Wished he opened up comments…

  10. BEW says:

    I also wish his blog was open to comments, but I can understand why it’s not.. he says a lot of things that could (unfortunately) be considered offensive to some. Opening his posts to comments could be Pandora’s Box for people who want to attack him in a public forum.

    On the other hand, his church is taking a poll of their website users to get a feel for exactly how many people are out there listening to him (IIRC, they’ve got something like 9000 podcast subcribers) and how they can expand their presence online. One question asks if things like discussion boards, web chats, and online classes would be useful. So hopefully there will be an opportunity soon to engage with his ideas like that.

    I will say this, though. I emailed him about a blog posting not too long ago and he took the time to respond thoughtfully. I think it’s pretty astonishing that someone as busy as he is would take the time to do that.

    More directly to your original post, I found this comment interesting:

    “Christ followers ought to be involved in the process to work with others in using the system to DO GOOD”

    While I totally agree with you, I think I’ve given up on the hope that our system will ever be a consistent agent of good. It’s the nature of our democratic system entangled with our society’s continuing shift towards greed and self-interest. Slowly, the “stars and stripes” is being replaced with a flag straight out of Richie Rich. A white banner with a big gold dollar sign. We’re a nation of flat-out rich people.. yet our education system, our transportation infrastructure, our outreach to the poor both home and abroad are all crumbling. Why? Because apparently no one wants to pay for them. Even if some do, it would be political suicide for a candidate to stand up and say “You know what? We *really* need to raise taxes. A lot.” We can (and I will) continue to vote for the candidates that will work towards enacting good, but I’m learning not to place my hope in our government’s capacity to actually follow through.

    PS – visited Q for the first time today and you’ve really done a great job there!

  11. me says:

    BEW: having comments open doesn’t necessarily mean you need to respond to stuff. i just let things play themselves out unless someone goes overboard. the issue is time since he must be pretty busy.

    as for your comment, i agree but we need to keep trying. we need to keep our hope ultimately in the force of the GOOD, MERCY, and JUSTICE [the triune God] and work within the systems of this world.

    in some way, when i read your comment, i almost thought you were describing the “C”hurch. we have must to repent and work towards as well.

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One Day’s Wages

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People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
Regardless, still love this city. Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

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