Eugene Cho

my random thoughts about tina fey and the presidential/vp candidates

As promised, here are my wanna be expert but random thoughts on the respective candidates’ speeches and other non-linear stuff from the DNC and RNC.  As usual, remember to respectfully share your thoughts, opinions, and corrections.


John McCain: He was solid.  Not the greatest or fanciest orator but clear communicator.  Thought he handled the hecklers extremely well.  Enjoyed the way he thanked and congratulated Obama. Heard it often but was moved by hearing his POW story personally from him.  But grew very tired of the line, “rather lose an election than lose a war.”  Please…no more.  His demeanor, his story, his authenticity = Grade:  B+. 

Sarah Palin:  She has a compelling story and is a gifted communicator.  I was surprised how comfortable she appeared in her speech.  Having said that, too many disrespectful shots in my opinion.  For her first national appearance, do you really want to do that?  I walked away remembering one liners and really no idea about the substance of her speech.  Someone on FoxNews called it one of the greatest political speeches.  Umm, no.  But she still gained points for the party.  She got lucky and I’ll explain later.  Grade:  B- but barely.

Barack Obama:  Clearly, a very gifted communicator.  Brilliant…the only speech you feel like you need to go back and listen to again because of the nuances of his content.  The only problem:  my high expectations.  He didn’t meet mine but then again, I want him to be as eloquent and prophetic like MLK and the reality is NO ONE will ever be like MLK.  Final Grade:  A-

Joe Biden:  Hate to say it but I don’t even remember his speech.  I thought it was your typical stump speech but did enjoy learning about his “family story.”  Average at best.  Yawn. Final Grade:  C.


1.  Wednesday’s RNC was WAY over the top.  As an “independent” voter, I was turned off. Rudy Giulani was too much.  Goodness gracious. Worst unforgettable line:  Drill, Baby, Drill.  Huckabee still surprises me with his eloquence.

2.  How come the music at the respective conventions are so different?  And we discussed this, but where’s the diversity in the RNC?

3a.  Seriously, is it Sarah Palin or Tina Fey?  I can’t tell. Tina Fey is funny.  Sarah Palin is not.  Who wants punchlines when we need solutions but I do dig Palin’s glasses. 

3b.  Sarah Palin’s biggest draw: her compelling story.  Can’t even make up her story.  But this is where she got lucky…very lucky.  Her selection was announced AFTER the DNC.  She would have been ripped for the reasons already mentioned in the media.  Next time:  all candidates should be announced before the respective conventions.  Everyone needs to take the heat.

4.  Is Sarah’s daughter’s pregnancy an issue?  Loved what Obama shared that family should be off the table for the opposing camp.  Agreed but it doesn’t have to be off the table for the “voter” because we’re not just voting for issues, we’re voting for the person…the whole person, right? 

5.  Is questioning Palin’s ability to balance her possible new job and adequately care for her children sexist?  No and yes.  It’s not sexist but really more common sense. Should we ask the question to Obama.  Absolutely but no one did.  Palin has five children, youngest is an infant with DS, and will be a grandmother in approximately 4 months.  Why shouldn’t we ask the question?  We can ask but she, her husband, and her family make the decision.  We don’t.

6.  A person’s character is important because I want the President to exhibit high character. Not perfect but high character which is why I couldn’t support Bill Clinton post Lewinsky.  He had an affair – Okay, I can forgive even though it upset me.  He lied under oath and lied again when given a chance to come clean and apologize – Not okay.  Character matters.

7a.  DNC did a smart thing to tone down the rock star frenzy around Obama.  Kind of scary…has anyone received this kind of fanfare?   Not in my lifetime.  But the aspect I appreciate the most about Obama is his nuanced thinking on issues.  The aspect I appreciate the most about McCain is his clearcut answers.  I could support a hybrid of these two.  Honestly, we have two solid candidates for President and I wouldn’t oppose an Obama/McCain ticket.  You can argue who’s the Pres.

7b.  But enough of questioning the patriotism of Obama.  Enough is enough.  Let’s move on to engaging in civil debates and dialogue. 

8. The “experience” factor.  Let’s not mince words.  Obama has some experience but nothing remotely close to McCain.  But then again, if Obama was 72, he would have much more experience for the simple reason called age.  I hope this doesn’t sound weird but McCain and Obama reminds me of “Crimson Tide” [two Navy officers played by Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington] but two angles to same intense situation] but then again, maybe it’s because it’s on TV right now.  Advantage here to McCain for his experience. But does one person run the country?  I hope not.  The cabinet makes the President and vice versa.

9.  You can’t compare Palin and Obama.  She’s refreshing and has a compelling story but let’s be honest, she’s inexperienced.  Six years of a small town mayor?  Um, not dissing the town but completely different context.  2 years as governor of Alaska is solid.  Why do I consider Obama light years more experienced than Palin?  20 months of grueling and intense campaign against the Clintons!  There’s nothing more difficult than running against the Clintons.  Palin’s speech on WED will be the easiest thing she’ll do in this campaign. 

10.  Person most dissed at both the DNC and RNC:  George W. Bush.  Wow, amazing.  I was stunned that he wasn’t even referenced by his name by McCain.  Gustav wasn’t what prevented him from coming…he was asked – politely or by “straight talk” – to keep his distance.  Amazing.

Last thought:  the elections make for some good blogging and intense conversation but it’s [referring to politics, politicians, and policiesnot our Ultimate Hope:

Personally, I dont believe that followers of Jesus should be in bed with either of the two major parties.  We ought to remain Independent with a commitment to collaborate, listen, engage, and support the political system all while understanding that the political system is not our ultimate Hope or Answer.  In addition, we must never lose the courage or conviction to speak prophetically to a group of people because we are lured by the power associated with politics or a political party.

More from this old post:

POLITICS IS NOT THE ANSWER. Rather, it is not THE answer. Politics is a process, structure and medium by which we can do much good as a society rather than much harm but many, I believe, can fall astray in thinking that politics, policies, and politicians can provide the salvation for the nations. It certainly has its purpose and must be used accordingly and wisely.

Lastly [if you’ve read this far], I am a fan of conversation. People need to talk. Sadly – deep, rich, meaningful conversation – talk

Filed under: politics, religion, , , , , , ,

41 Responses

  1. sulochanosho says:

    Good random thoughts and expectations of the politicians and leaders there. Ofcourse our politicians are not brought from a different up world. People and politicians evolve and emerge hand in hand.

  2. Kari Byrd says:

    I agree with just about everything you said. And it’s worth saying again: “Drill, baby, drill”? Seriously? I’d like to add a couple of things to the conversation.

    Michelle Obama’s speech was great. I give it a B+ She’s a sharp woman. I really enjoy the dynamic of their little family.

    I asked my cousins who live in Alaska for their perspective on Palin. They said she’s very popular but that’s partly due to the fact that the last governor was SO bad. Wasilla is a tiny, dysfunctional town. And they like her but absolutely do not think she has the experience to be (possibly) president or even to lead the senate. I still can’t believe she’s 44 and has only left the country once (in 1997!). Yikes.

    EVERY VOTER needs to go to and check out the truthiness of both candidates. It’s a fantastic site!!

  3. gar says:

    You mean “Crimson Tide”, not “Crimson Time”, right Pastor E? =)

  4. Matt EHH says:

    What’s been striking to me is not so much the speeches. Although, they have been some REALLY impressive ones. But its the people’s reactions. Both campaigns recongnize change is the theme of the country. GOP seems to be evoking its target to reminisce about the greatness of this country. Its history, its successess, “we’ve been happy once and we can be again”. Dems seem to be tapping into a change that seeks to be rooted in the promise of america that has never been experienced to many americans (ever), but that under the “idea” of america, it can be achieved if “we” go at it together.

    I thought the Palin and Obama speeches really underscored this. Palin :”don’t tell “us” that we are not thre greatest country in the world, there is an “American Way” and you (Obama) are not grasping that.

    Obama: there is a shift occuring. Its rooted in the promise of America but not necessarily in the experience for all Americans. That fundamental shift is what will move to address the issues we face as a nation.

    That’s how I see it. Obama and Palin ARE the experienced ones for the public. Palin embodies the America many see slipping away and Obama embodies the one that many feel we could one day become.

  5. Dan Hauge says:

    Fun to read your thoughts–are you hoping to be discovered by MSNBC or Fox? 🙂

    A couple things: I do want to weigh in and say that I do not believe the pregancy of Sarah Palin’s daughter is a legitimate campaign issue. Yes, to an extent we are voting for the ‘whole person’, but exactly what relevance does a teenage daughter’s behavior have on who Palin is? Are you suggesting that it reflects on her abilities as a mother? I’m not sure if that’s what you’re implying (though if it is, I disagree). I don’t think the pregnancy tells us anything of any import about who Sarah Palin is as a person or candidate, and I’m very glad that Obama called on his supporters to let the issue go.

    Also, I’d agree with you about the tone of the RNC Wednesday night. In particular, I was offended by the mocking and belittling of the vocation of community organizing. Is there some reason why working among marginalized people to organize and empower them in the political process is somehow worthy of contempt? That bugged me more than anything else. For me, Obama’s political experience working at the grassroots level, building relationship with people at ‘the bottom’ and devoting himself to their concerns, is a huge factor in his favor.

  6. miles says:

    I’m glad that in this years race is filled with tons of great speakers. On the bright side; if Obama loses at least we have a great speaker for President & VP. Palin is a great speaker and she reminded me of a comedian doing a stand up routine with all the shots at Obama. She reminds me of Elaine from Seinfeld. (looks like her too) I really have to agree with Pastor Eugene Cho on this one.

  7. eugenecho says:


    re: the pregnancy. all i’m saying is that while it’s not a concrete issue, it is a slippery one. it’s something that a voter thinks about if there was no explanation on the situation. but they explained it.

    take away the terms PRES and VP, the issue is really about LEADERSHIP. how one leads the country, a city, a town, a community movement, a family, etc. so, it matters to some.

  8. For me the confusing part about whether Bristol Palin’s pregnancy is fair game has to do with how the eldest and the youngest children are being used in support of the campaign. I’ve heard several times that Palin keeping a Downs Syndrome kid is a testimony to character. Leave all of them out of it.

    It really hurt to watch parts of the RNC. I felt personally attacked as the party that’s controlled all 3 branches of government for the better part of a decade blamed “liberals” for all the pain we’re suffering. And to do it with such sarcasm and vitriol. That hurts. That hurts deeply. Having been both ignored and blamed for years by our current leadership has me treating Obama like a rockstar. Do I think he’s perfect? Of course not. But he’s capable, doesn’t blame others for his mistakes, is honest, and believes that healthy government is important.

    As for McCain, I really liked him when he wasn’t running for president. Now I’m not sure what he stands for. He used to say he’d never use his experience as a P.O.W. as a campaign prop. I believe he still feels that way and still loves his country but something’s changed. I hope he gets back to his old self soon.

    And Biden? Definitely not a rockstar but probably better at his job than most folks. I get the sense he’s like the science nerd who can’t get elected class president.

  9. oliver says:

    i think people underestimate the tactical prowess of the Republican party.

    Sarah Palin was picked to be a counter-cultural folk hero to excite and galvanize the socially conservative portions of the Republican party that might’ve otherwise been leery to support John McCain.

    She delivered by stirring some blood in the RNC waters to excite the sharks, while McCain can still appear above it all, magnanimous even, to moderates who would thusly find him more reasonable.

    Palin is the fullback to McCain’s halfback. =)

    wrt to your earlier question about diversity at the RNC:
    1. MN is like, 90% white to begin with. That’s not me talking, that’s census data. Chris Rock once made a joke that the only 2 black ppl in MN were Prince and Kirby Puckett (R.I.P)

    2. The convention attendance doesn’t necessarily reflect the demographics of the party as a whole. Also, on TV, we only get sweeping glances over the crowd which would compound sampling assumption errors.

    3. From a game-play standpoint, the opportunity cost for investing heavily in the minority vote is probably way too high, given the dynamics of this election year. They likely still garner the most votes by protecting their socially conservative, evangelical base while simultaneously wooing moderates with lower taxes and keeping the incumbent President at arms-length.

    In the end, it’s all just a game and you win by getting into office. Picking Palin was not about how she will do as a VP, it’s all about becoming VP. Any of the other Republican presidential candidates can rightfully lay claim to greater depth or breadth of experience germane to the Vice Presidency. Some can claim both…but none will excite the target constituents the way Palin will.

  10. @oliver

    Denver and Minneapolis are both 65% white: ,

    Here are some specific numbers for the delegates:

    I don’t think it’s really a problem though. I agree with your #3 point that the base of the party is largely white and they’re focusing on that this year – which is totally a fair thing to do. It remains to be seen what effect this strengthening of the base will have on bringing moderates and independents into the fold.

  11. Dennis says:

    I’m sorry, Eugene, but I have to protest. You’ve gone over the line and I am furious.

    Please do not compare Sarah Palin to Tina Fey. She ain’t even close!

  12. chad m says:

    quick question…can a Christian really support anything whose slogan is anything but “Jesus first.” can Christians throw a “country first” bumper sticker on their car or is that idolatry?

    don’t get me wrong, i understand where McCain’s people are coming from given his life story. but do Americans really want their “country first”? country before religion; before family,; before health; before their own pocket book…does that work?

  13. Dennis says:

    Chad, It’s that clear cut. We all live in tension. We cay say “Jesus first” but living that out can be filled with difficult decisions. McCain and Obama are both Christians. So, is Bush. So is Palin. So is Biden.

    The point? We have to ask ourselves what “Jesus first” even means.

  14. justin says:

    i don’t like how mccain keeps saying that obama will raise taxes for americans. it is a 95% lie. obama will LOWER taxes for 95% of america (as he clearly stated in his nomination speech). if mccain is gonna accuse obama of raising taxes, he’s gotta at least mention that obama will raise taxes for RICH americans. there’s a site that will even calculate how much of a tax cut you’ll get under an obama adminstration (or not, if you’re rich):

    i’m also surprised that we’re talking about palin’s pregnant daughter but not talking about mccain’s two-year extra-marital affair with the woman that broke up his first marriage.

  15. randplaty says:

    @justin its an economic policy debate that’s actually much more complicated than that. Under Obama’s tax plan he raises taxes on the rich and corporations. The argument at the RNC is that raising taxes on business will affect us all because we all buy food, gas, clothes, pay rent to corporations. So in effect, Obama is raising taxes on us all, though not directly. Obama will cut taxes for the middle class and the poor, but overall, it will be a tax increase. That’s the argument that the GOP is making. We may disagree with the argument, but it’s not a lie.

    I really do appreciate Obama’s character. He seems to be a very honest person. Did anybody see the O’Reilly factor where he admitted that the surge succeeded beyond his wildest dreams? That admission is something you’d never get out of the Bush Administration about WMDs. Also the fact that he told the attack dogs to lay off of Palin’s family. That is good stuff. I really think that Obama is a genuine person that truly cares about the “least of these.” Whether or not that translates into a good president is still up for debate, but at least he’s convinced me of that one point.

  16. Todd says:

    I agree with so much of what you’re saying! It’s great because you’re taking all of the ideas I have and can’t really classify and putting it all in to words for me! Thanks!

    I did disagree on a single point. I know that you’ve addressed it already in your comments on Dan’s point, but Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy should have nothing to do with this campaign. I’m pro-Obama, but I can respect the family issues of the opposing team. Even if a voter’s choice might be determined by things like this, I don’t think they should. The pregnancy says nothing about Palin’s leadership or parenthood abilities. That was a choice her daughter made and it should not be held against the governor by anyone.

  17. Rick says:

    Chad – “Country First” is not a contra to “Jesus First”. It’s a statement about McCain’s priorities vis a vis Political Success. To interpret it otherwise is is respond to something he is not saying and has not said.

    Jack – I have no idea to what you are referring when you speak of “the pain we’re suffering”. Is it the war? Everyone agrees the war is rolling to a conclusion very effectively; even Obama says the surge suceeded beyond our wildest dreams. Is it the economy? If it is, read
    which tells the stats about the economy. I realize that may not “feel” good, esp. if you’re hurting personally. Speaking from experience, the only 2x in my adult life that I’ve been unemplyed were in the Clinton years, but I don’t blame him or the Democrats for that. Presidents don’t create jobs or destroy them, neither does Congress. So as I say, I don’t know to what you are referring. No politician is responsible for any pain I am going through.

  18. Rick- are you actually defending the “country first” slogan? What happened to liberty first? I know The Constitution is quaint and all but you’d think the GOP would find time to at least pay lip service to the bill of rights between all the hyper-nationalism and appeals to emotion. Nope.

    All this “country first” and “winning wars at any cost”- even when we should not have started them in the first place (anyone remember the Just War theory, or how even Reagan said “we will never start a war”? I guess my only question is: where do I get my uniform, Comrade, and does it come with a “neocons rule” lapel pin?

    Also- the CURRENT STATUS of the war via any “surge” is a red herring. It overlooks the illegality of the war in the first place (proven to have been built on manipulated intelligence) and the horrific mismanagement/lack of a ground plan for years- which led to thousands of US soldiers dead, tens of thousands wounded, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead or injured, and millions of them driven from their home as refugees throughout the Middle East. How about we not reduce the turmoil we’ve caused by using the surge or the present calm as a ribbon to tie it all up in a red, white and blue bow. It is profoundly coldhearted to view such a catastrophe through that lens.

    Lastly- read some work by economists, Rick. Presidents, their policies and a federal debt that has been doubled under bush with another 5 trillion- those all have profound effects on inflation and the job market. Dig deeper.


  19. Rick says:

    Ian – Sorry, I won’t be responding, your tone is too argumentative. Sorry about your telegraph though.

  20. @Rick
    I believe you when you say you don’t know what pain I’m suffering. That’s primarily the problem. ‘Progressive’ is a term that loosely defines some 40+% of this country that loves the nation and has seen it transformed in ugly ways over the last two terms. We’ve seen the principle of pre-emptive strike used and defended, we’ve seen the deliberate system of checks and balances co-opted by Bush-appointed attorneys general who refuse to investigate the administration, we’ve seen torture redefined and defended to the point that what was done to McCain in Hanoi is not considered torture by Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney.

    I’ve watched as the party that believes in Norquist’s wish to drown government in a bathtub and believes in the Project for the New American Century miss valuable opportunities to unite the country, save troubled cities and lead in world affairs.

    You may not agree with how I place the blame but don’t tell me I’m not hurting. I’ve called my congressmen often, I’ve visited the town where the Taliban started in rural Pakistan, I’ve fact-checked all I can. And I’ve seen 7 years of my leaders showing indifference to government transparency and outright scorn for people like me that disagree with them. It’s been hard. And I’m done. So Obama’s my man all the way. Not just because I think he’s more capable (I do) but because he isn’t connected with the people that have left the country in shambles.

    I’m going out on a limb here sharing how I resonate emotionally with this election. I could spend days throwing out facts that whittle down any credibility McCain has (as I’m sure you could do about any of your opponents) but I’d rather let you see something that’s real and unequivocal. I, and all the tens of millions of other progressives, have had a rotten time politically these last few years.

  21. Dennis says:

    Rick, actually, I think you responded.

  22. Rick says:

    Jack – Thanks for risking by going out on a limb. I admire your willingness to reveal your meaning. And (your 3rd paragraph) I don’t think I told you that you are not hurting.

    I think there’s plenty of scorn for those who disagree with anyone expresses an opinion. I think Sarah Palin has been on the receiving end of plenty in the last week, as have the other 3 people on the major tickets. I even took a little from another responder on this blog, but I’m not complaining.

    I have no interest in whittling down anyone’s credibility, and I don’t consider that I have any opponents. There are people who I think would be less suited for the job that’s up for grabs in the election, but they are not my opponents and I don’t want to demean them.

    Dennis – Forgive me for being less than clear. I meant to say that I would not be responding to the content of the poster; i.e. I have no interest in arguing.

  23. eugenecho says:

    thanks for everyone’s input. good dialogue here.

    @jack: thanks bro for sharing.
    seriously, you need to start a blog. one entry a week.

  24. Tom says:

    Appreciated you last comments, Jack. For some of us older progressives in the evangelical community, we’ve had a few bad ‘decades.’ :^)

    I’ve been struck by how pretty much everybody–both left and right–have condemned questions about whether a mother of 5, with a Down’s Syndrome infant, could easily handle the VP job, or in case the Rep ticket wins and something happened to McCain, the presidency.

    I thoroughly understand why folks aren’t talking about it. And in most ways I appreciate the social progress shown by people’s reticence to discuss it seriously. But I do think it’s a legitimate question that I’d be asking–if only in my own mind–about a candidate like Palin regardless of her party affiliation or political philosophy.

    In my experience, in spite of clear changes in models of family and child rearing, most of the heavy lifting in the area of raising kids and making a household work is still done by moms. Even the most politically correct Christian couples among us normally acknowledge that.

    So, from a practical standpoint, I do think it’s a legitimate issue, even if it can’t be talked about openly because of current social mores. I was impressed that by all accounts, Michelle Obama had to be convinced over a fairly long period of time to give her ok for her husband to run for president, primarily because of her concern about the impact on her kids and on their family.

    So whether the issue can be talked about openly or not, I think lots of folks–whether conservative or progressive–will be thinking about it and that it may influence some people’s votes.

  25. Oliver says:


    minor distinction, but I wasn’t referring to Minneapolis specifically, I was actually talking about Minnesota:

    also, i completely agree with your earlier point about the expansion of executive powers and resulting imbalance in executive vs congressional powers, vis a vis telecom immunity for warrantless wire-tapping, suspension of habeas corpus, torture, Karl Rove’s congressional contempt for failing to testify, etc…

  26. randplaty says:

    @Tom – How can that question be a legitimate question? It’s not just social mores, its fundamental beliefs about equal opportunity. That question should be condemned. “most of the heavy lifting in the area of raising kids and making a household work is still done by moms.” Does that mean that if Todd Palin were the VP nominee you would not be asking the question? Because that’s what your statement implies. I’m not saying you are sexist, but the implication of that statement is VERY sexist. I hope I am misinterpreting you.

  27. randplaty says:

    One of the reasons I respect Obama is that he instinctively knows that the entire family issue is off limits.

  28. Aaron says:

    @ Justin: as for raising taxes… the capital gains tax is going to affect all of middle class America who will be cashing out retirement funds (in a big way). So although there are income tax cuts, there are major increases in capital gains (i.e. taxes on stocks and other investments). So, I believe your statement about lowering taxes for 95% is false.


    The issue of Sarah Palins daughter… at least the way I see it: You can be a great parent and do everything right, but ultimately your child is going to have to make some choices for themselves. We can guard against poor choices, we can teach them, try to protect them, keep track of where they are and who they are with… but ultimately they are responsible for their choices, not their parents. So for me, its really a non-issue.

    Personally I am wrestling with this election more than I ever have. One the one hand, I feel the Republican party (i.e. Bush) has led us down a terrible path. On the other hand, I do not think Obama has done much and I am afraid with a Democratic Congress he will be able to do too much to easily. I am afraid we will lose some of the checks and balances. I am afraid McCain will take us further into war and farther from peace. I think Obama has more of a heart for the poor, but I think programs like a universal health care system will be a complete failure. (California can not even handle medical which only deals with a small percentage of the population). Ultimately I think McCains idea of a freer markets is better for the overall economy, but I wrestle with the disparity between the rich and poor. There are also issues of future supreme court justices, of abortion and gay marraige… which are not as important to me as other issues, but still factor in.

    Needless to say, I am at odds.

  29. amanda says:

    I’ve been leaning Obama since early in the election process. And my fiance said something tonight that absolutely hit the nail on the head.

    He said, “Obama inspires me.”

    You can hear McCain talk, and yes, he has some great things to say and wisdom and experience that Obama doesn’t. But Obama has this charisma that inspires me to change something. We whine and complain that the government has too much power, but if they were to offer it back to us, I can’t help but wonder if we, as a collective America, would shy away from it. With Obama as president, I feel like ordinary citizens will be inspired to “take back” America. I feel inspired and encouraged to do something.

  30. amanda says:


    thank you for also bringing up the idea of “leadership” vs. prez and VP. i think that’s a key idea that’s getting lost in all of this.

  31. RK says:

    Eugene, thanks for starting this conversation.

    I’m a college educated, minority female business starter and owner, as well as wife, and mother of three children who homeschools for that matter. I think Palin is a strong person who is very capable. However, in life we cannot be all things at once. My business is more of a hobby…while I give it attention, I have chosen not to make it a priority, which would demand huge amounts of my time and energy. If it ever fails, I would be okay with it. Just so people understand my husband cooks, cleans and helps homeschool the two days he’s working from home.

    The situation with Palin, I think, is different. Given McCain’s age, it’s quite possible she will have to take on the role of President. This, unlike my or my husband’s job, does demand absolute commitment, perhaps even above family. I think sometimes pastors make that sacrifice. I know a little about this because my father has been a pastor and missionary for almost 40 years. Also, needing to care for a baby with special needs are relevant because these needs demand extraordinary time, energy and thought. Unless, she decides to let someone else take care of her children. I don’t think we ought to ignore the issue just because she is a woman…this would be just as sexist. As much as I’m for women’s rights, some things are common sense. Is it sexist that a woman has to go through 9 months of pregnancy, then go through horrendous labaor pains, then be the only one capable of nursing your child and not the man? Is it sexist that a female can’t stand up and pee? Men and women are created differently; I don’t think it means we’re created unequally.

    I appreciate Oliver, Tom and Jack’s input.

    Justin, thanks for pointing out that omission by McCain.

    Randplaty, obviously, it’s politics, and it’s McCain–without perhaps outright lying–attempting to convince his supportors or would-be-supporters to believe that Obama’s intention is to raise taxes. It is extremely misleading, when clearly Obama’s intent is to lift the tax burden on 95% of the population. Perhaps some, like you, would argue that in raising taxes for the wealthiest that it would in the long run cost the majority more. Even so, this does not equate Obama raising taxes.

    Aaron, how much do you think an average retiree will be taxed on capital gains in a lifetime? I imagine the wealthy would be hit hardest, but I still believe the majority will benefit from Obama’s overall tax plan, including one to cut income tax completely for those over age 50–about $1,400/ year savings for most. Hey, look my husband and I fall under the top 5% income bracket in the nation. In addition I am a small business owner. Still, I’d rather pay a little more and give relief to the majority of folks in the country who make a lot less than we do. Many people who make way less work just as hard as we do…it’s capitalism at work. I love it and hate it at the same time. Let’s consider minimum wage. No matter how menial a job, is this right? Someone will always be the employer and others the employee. Unless we return to a bartering system, there will always be people on top and those below. I think those in position to do so ought to make it a little fairer for those not in the position to do so. I think of God’s Jubilee. Tell me if I’m mistaken, Pastor E, the idea was that every 7 years all the people started again at the same place; all was balanced out again.

  32. randplaty says:

    @RK That’s what politics is. It’s trying to describe an extremely complicated tax plan in one convincing sentence. It’s tough. I don’t think you can say that McCain is being misleading. I don’t believe that’s his intention. All he said was that Obama will raise taxes… and that’s true. Overall, he’s going to try to increase revenue in order to support his healthcare plan. That’s going to involve raising a lot of taxes.

    It’s the same as Obama saying that McCain won’t even follow Bin Laden into the cave he lives in. Is that true? Not really. Of course McCain would catch Bin Laden if he could. Obama is just making a pithy statement basically saying he’s going to try harder than McCain. I don’t accuse Obama of misleading although if you just judge the words, that is what you get. It’s just politics. Both sides do it, and both sides must do it.

  33. Tom says:

    @randplaty–No, I don’t think this situation is about equal opportunities, as much as I respect and deeply share those fundamental beliefs.

    I wouldn’t support Todd Palin running for national office given his responsibility for 5 kids and and an infant with Down’s Syndrome. And, by the way, one of those kids is headed for Iraq.

    I think it does just come down, sometimes, to common sense and practicality.

    I’ve been generally disappointed with the way evangelical women have responded to the remarkable opportunities they’ve been given by the secular feminist movement, so again, I appreciate what I think you’re talking about.

    I thought RK’s comment was a model of the kind of grounded and realistic take that might help us through the ideological thickets.

  34. Steve says:

    Check out Dan Kimball’s thoughts on Palin and the complementarian issue:

  35. Aaron says:

    @RK, Obama plans to double capital gains taxes… so yes this will cost the rich a larger dollar amount, but think about those who have scraped and saved to barely reach a place where they will be able to retire… now the taxes on their investments are doubled… so the greatest burden here will be middle class or even lower middle class retirees. The rich will still retire.

    I do recognize the disparity in our economy… and again, taxing the rich does not really bother me. I agree, they should have greater responsibility. But in my opinion the tax burden of capital gains on middle and lower-middle class retirees are going to face, that is unjust as well.

    Then I wonder why we have to increase taxes? As a business owner when you need a greater profit, do you just go straight to your prices… ‘oh, we dont have enough, we probably should charge more’… or do you look internally as well… is your money being managed wisely?

    You mentioned minimum wage… its not ideal and its not perfect by any means, but if you doubled it, all of the sudden businesses would be shutting their doors like crazy. So what is better, jobs for many that pay little or jobs for few that pay more?

    I think the Church needs to step up to the plate. In an American Church that tithes 2-3% average there is not a lot of hope. So we cop out, we take the easy road and look to government to solve the problems of today. If you want jubilee, then it should probably come from the Church and it should come from God, not from a crooked and corrupt government. Not from a government concerned more with power and political interest than caring for creation.

  36. randplaty says:

    @Tom – ok if you wouldn’t support Todd Palin, then that’s fine. I personally believe its a personal family issue that they need to decide for themselves. It’s not something us voters should factor into our decision… but at least you are being consistent and not sexist.

  37. RK says:

    Aaron, like you I don’t support Obama’s capital gains taxes as you seem to understanad it. I hope and believe that it will be done with moderation, considering middle income retirees. I do believe that he has the desire to do this in a fair way. Only time will tell.

    I’m a small business owner with employees and I have to make some of the decisions that you mentioned already. Each business owner has to be shrewd in order to keep it viable. Let’s say we keep ours well managed in that sense. While similar businesses are losing business, and some are about to close, we have been steady if not increasing in profits. Also, which taxes on small businesses are you speaking of. Tell me if I’m mistaken, but from what I can remember, Obama wants to support small businesses, not increase higher taxes on them. Then, I guess, we’d need to clearly define “small business”.

    I agree that ideally people, communities and especially churches should do their part to be our “brother’s keeper”. Part of the problem is that we don’t do the right thing all the time, and that’s why we have laws that cause most of us to do the right thing–even in helping the least of us. It is sad, I agree.

  38. Sue says:

    I just heard today that there were only 30+ Africian American delegates out of the total 2300 at the RNC. Enough said for me.

  39. Aaron says:

    @RK, sorry for the confusion. When I mentioned the business and managing its money I was trying to make a parallel between a business and government, when it comes to managing money. The point I was trying to make is that, they are raising taxes rather than dealing with (what I see as) inefficiency and waste.

    @Sue… WHY were there only 30+ African Americans at the RNC? I agree that is an alarming statistic… I just wonder why it is that way.

    I am not trying to lend support to the republican party… personally I am at odds because of huge holes I see in both platforms. Lastly, I am beginning to feel guilty for turning this into a chat room…

  40. RK says:

    While I would consider myself pretty moderate, Obama has in much less time accomplished more than McCain. I agree with Aaron, neither party is perfect, but the Republican party had 8 straight years to prove themselves. While I don’t condone Clinton’s personal choices in life, I respect him as a President and appreciate what he did for the country. While only time will tell, if one takes the time to look at Obama’s records, he has shown that he wants to move the whole country forward and benefit the greatest majority (both red and blue). Even in his campaigning, he has shown the most restraint and modeled respect and decency. I’m willing to put my money on him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

It. Still. Hurts.
#TamirRice Incredible news: @onedayswages is projecting to have our most impactful year as we grant out $1.3 million dollars! Thank you so much for your prayers and support...please read on to learn how you can join in our work.

As you gather with family, friends, and loved ones for Thanksgiving and the holidays, I wanted to share an opportunity. Often times, when I speak to people about the privilege of generosity, I remind them, "You don't have to but you get to." It's so true.

My wife and I (and our three kids) started ODW in 2009. We felt the Holy Spirit convicting us to give up our year's salary. It wasn't an easy thing to say "Yes" or "Amen" to but we made the decision to obey. As a result, it took us about three years to save, simplify, and sell off things we didn't need.

It's been an incredible journey as we've learned so much about the heart of God and God's love for the hurting and vulnerable around the world - particularly those living in extreme poverty. ODW is a small, scrappy, grassroots organization (with just 3 full-time employees) but since our launch, we've raised nearly $6 million dollars to help those living in extreme poverty: clean water and sanitation, education, maternal health, human trafficking, refugee crisis, hunger, and the list goes on and on.

So, here's my humble ask: As we do this work, would you consider making a pledge to support our that we can keep doing this work with integrity and excellence?
You can make a one time gift or make monthly pledge of just $25 (or more). Thanks so much for considering this: (link in bio, too) Don't just count your blessings. Bless others with your blessings. Here, there, everywhere. Be a blessing for this blesses our Father in Heaven and builds the Kingdom of God.

#ReThinkRegugees #WeWelcomeRefugees
@onedayswages Grateful. Still reflecting on the letters that I've received from classmates and students that have come before me and after me. Never imagined all that God would have in store for me. Lots of humbling things but in the midst of them, there were literally thousands upon thousands of daily decisions and choices to be faithful. That's what matters. Seen or unseen. Noticed or unnoticed. You do your best and sometimes you stumble and fumble along but nevertheless, seeking to be faithful.

Also, you know you're getting old when your school honors you with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Lol. 47 is the new 27. Or something like that. Here's to the next 47. In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply.

my tweets