Eugene Cho

the next president of the united states?

Alright folks.  I’d love to hear from you.  On this blog, I would love to host an engaging, passionate, but respectful conversation on who YOU are voting for as the next President of the United States.  Since the elections are exactly a week away, I thought this would be great timing.  Some of your answers will likely be helpful for me as I prepare my sermon for this upcoming Sunday on the topic of ‘Faith & Politics.’ 

If you don’t mind sharing, share WHO you are voting for and WHY and for some of you, reasons why you are NOT voting[If you don’t mind, tell us where you’re from.] And let’s try to refrain ourselves from the ‘Obama is a terrorist,’ ‘Palin is moosehunter,’ ‘Biden is a plagiarist,’ and ‘McCain is so old that he farts out dust’ comments.

I know that it might be unfair for me to ask you to share your answers without sharing my choice but I hope you understand.  As I’ve shared before, while I openly share the larger issues that matter to me, I made a decision NOT to divulge who I am voting for as long as I am in active pastoral ministry.

When it comes to politics, I wrestle with how I handle my “influence” as the lead pastor of a church. While I will discuss topics and issues, I decided elections ago not to directly endorse a specific candidate – especially behind the pulpit on a Sunday. I will  never do that.  But even through conversations, emails, questions, and through this blog, I still hold in tension that very question…

I think many at Quest have personally wrestled through their decisions and wouldn’t at all be influenced by my thought processes. Others, however, have personally asked for my feedback. Rather than give a direct endorsement of one candidate, I have tried to encourage them to wrestle through the issues that are important to them and through other issues that are not as readily discussed.

If you feel uncomfortable sharing your vote, I’d love to hear some feedback and pushback on Andrew Sullivan’s 10 Reasons Why Conservatives should vote for Obama.  As a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Alternative, Anarchist, or Other, what do you think?   Where do you agree or disagree?

10. A body blow to racial identity politics. An end to the era of Jesse Jackson in black America.

9. Less debt. Yes, Obama will raise taxes on those earning over a quarter of a million. And he will spend on healthcare, Iraq, Afghanistan and the environment. But so will McCain. He plans more spending on health, the environment and won’t touch defense of entitlements. And his refusal to touch taxes means an extra $4 trillion in debt over the massive increase presided over by Bush. And the CBO estimates that McCain’s plans will add more to the debt over four years than Obama’s. Fiscal conservatives have a clear choice.

8. A return to realism and prudence in foreign policy. Obama has consistently cited the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush as his inspiration. McCain’s knee-jerk reaction to the Georgian conflict, his commitment to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and his brinksmanship over Iran’s nuclear ambitions make him a far riskier choice for conservatives. The choice between Obama and McCain is like the choice between George H.W. Bush’s first term and George W.’s.

7. An ability to understand the difference between listening to generals and delegating foreign policy to them.

6. Temperament. Obama has the coolest, calmest demeanor of any president since Eisenhower. Conservatism values that kind of constancy, especially compared with the hot-headed, irrational impulsiveness of McCain.

5. Faith. Obama’s fusion of Christianity and reason, his non-fundamentalist faith, is a critical bridge between the new atheism and the new Christianism.

4. A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.

3. Two words: President Palin.

2. Conservative reform. Until conservatism can get a distance from the big-spending, privacy-busting, debt-ridden, crony-laden, fundamentalist, intolerant, incompetent and arrogant faux conservatism of the Bush-Cheney years, it will never regain a coherent message to actually govern this country again. The survival of conservatism requires a temporary eclipse of today’s Republicanism. Losing would be the best thing to happen to conservatism since 1964. Back then, conservatives lost in a landslide for the right reasons. Now, Republicans are losing in a landslide for the wrong reasons.

1. The War Against Islamist terror. The strategy deployed by Bush and Cheney has failed. It has failed to destroy al Qaeda, except in a country, Iraq, where their presence was minimal before the US invasion. It has failed to bring any of the terrorists to justice, instead creating the excrescence of Gitmo, torture, secret sites, and the collapse of America’s reputation abroad. It has empowered Iran, allowed al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan, made the next vast generation of Muslims loathe America, and imperiled our alliances. We need smarter leadership of the war: balancing force with diplomacy, hard power with better p.r., deploying strategy rather than mere tactics, and self-confidence rather than a bunker mentality.

Those conservatives who remain convinced, as I do, that Islamist terror remains the greatest threat to the West cannot risk a perpetuation of the failed Manichean worldview of the past eight years, and cannot risk the possibility of McCain making rash decisions in the middle of a potentially catastrophic global conflict. If you are serious about the war on terror and believe it is a war we have to win, the only serious candidate is Barack Obama.

Other Stuff about Politics You May Enjoy Reading:

(photo: NY Times)

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61 Responses

  1. Jenny says:

    I have a feeling McCain supporters will be far and between so let me cast the first vote.

    I was very disturbed that during the Democratic National Convention, there was a single comment about the war against terror that is as real today as it was during the attacks of September 11. I am all for diplomacy but I don’t believe Obama has the guts to engage in this war against terror. Honestly, while I find him to be likeable, I just do not believe he is ready to be the President of the United States.

  2. Brian says:

    i can’t decide. I have too many issues with both candidates and I don’t identify with completely with either party. Thank god I don’t live in Florida or Ohio as I think I would go absolutely nuts in my decision. Lets be honest. Living in the “Blue” state of Washington my vote has already been decided. Its Obama.

  3. kayti says:

    i agree that most will be obama supporters, and i don’t blame them cuz the coverage media has been giving him has been amazingly tolerant while wildly skewed toward the republican ticket. i was convinced obama was not afraid to straight up lie when he said in the last debate that 100% of mccain’s ads were negative. obviously, they were not, but he didn’t even blink twice when he insisted. small detail, but one of too many lies.
    i will be voting for mccain/palin because i agree with their stance on the issues (economy, health care, abortion, education), the better combined experience (military and business among others), and the right kind of change. though i would probably benefit most from an obama presidency (i make very little and have no health insurance), it’s not about me. it’s about a better America, a country i love and am very proud to call my home.

  4. Kayti: what would make a better America? More money in the central bank? Bigger companies selling stuff right across the world? Or a country where privellege means the responsibility to provide for those less well off than yourself? Just because you’re a low earner doesn’t mean its greedy to want all low earners to receive the protection from hardship they deserve in a country as rich as America, that has benefitted so much from low paid people’s efforts. I’d be much more proud of a country where the poor were looked after properly.

  5. Channing Park says:

    I agree with Kati. It is about a better America. An America which will cease its unilateral foreign policy decisions. An America we hope will see diminishing the demand for abortions is just as important than preventing them. An America which will attempt to provide health care for millions of children. An America where we value education and put our money where our hearts are. I live in Texas – a really Red State and I voted early for Obama/Biden. Let’s hope the GOP can gets its collective act together for the next election. The decision for me was too easy this time.

  6. Tyler M says:

    I’m Alaskan, John McCain is 72, please please Jesus don’t let Sarah Palin become president. You need to understand, she is the soccer mom who brings the snacks and none of the other parents like her. Christianity has already had its nose rubbed in the mud by the evangelical right, please don’t let it continue. Electing Sarah Palin to office will only destroy the name of Christ by wedding it to Empire. (she thinks we are doing God’s work in Iraq). It’s going to take years (maybe hundreds of years, think of the crusades, I’m Catholic and still try to live that down) to pull Jesus out of the public relations nightmare Bush has created for Jesus, why, because a homeless man from Palestine doesn’t bend to oil companies to invade another country. But thats what the story that is being sold, Jesus is on the side of America, America invades other countries for corporate gain, therefore Jesus is a Hallibruton employee.

    I’ve spent the majority of my adult life in a Bush presidency, now John McCain was more independent a year ago and I was very excited to see he was the republican pick. Only to see my dreams fade when he completely compromised to the evangelical right by picking Sarah Palin. First of all read Chrstine Wicker’s book The Fall of The Evangelical Nation to see that the evangelical right has lied to us about the power and control they really have.

    I don’t think John McCain understands the basics of leadership, you paint a vision and tell a story. John McCain takes pot shots at Barack to create racial and class division to separate Americans. Barack can win because he understands the basics of leadership, its not about being right. Its about selling people your ideas. You can’t sell a Toyota but talking about how bad Ford is, you sell a Ford by selling people a story, by creating a story people want to participate in.

  7. phyllisophy says:

    I will be voting for Obama on Nov. 4. I chose Obama because he represents a radical shift from the status quo. We need a little bit of that right now. I also have to agree with Tyler M – about painting a vision and telling a story and understanding the basics of leadership. I also feel that he is trustworthy and someone of character with a good head on his shoulders and down to earth. I think those are important for anyone taking on the most difficult job of being President of the United States. It doesn’t just take experience to make a good president… There has to be a solid core character and also a good head on one’s shoulders.

    On taxes – no matter who we put in to office, taxes will be raised. It can’t be helped. Remember when George Bush (Sr.) said to the public: “Read my lips, no new taxes.”? It was a lot of baloney. The reality of our economic state is going to push anyone to raise taxes. Maybe it depends on who will get hit most in that tax raise… If it’s for the greater good, go ahead and tax my meager non-existent salary a little more.

    I also think Obama will handle himself well in our war on terror. I really believe he has the guts to fully engage in it. 9/11 was horrible and we pray that it will never happen again. G.W. Bush did the best that he could when he first was hurled in to the situation, but I don’t think he had the staying power to pursue that which was right and just rather than what he felt “Americans” wanted – total decimation and revenge. I honestly feel that with McCain, we may change for a little bit or show the appearance that we would be going in a different direction, but instead head right back there.

    I love this country too – very much and am proud to call it my home as well. I want my President to resemble more of what this country is becoming and less of what we used to be still trying to relive our old glory days.

  8. Gillian says:

    Personally, I don’t think either candidate is going to be the savior (or the downfall for that matter) of this country. Whoever wins this election is in for a very rough ride. I believe both candidates truly want what’s best for the US – whatever they perceive that to be. In other words, I won’t fret about the outcome. Having said that, I have voted for McCain/Palin. And on my part, it’s probably a very petty reason. It’s just that I’m sick of hearing about how old McCain is. Even the comment repeated in this blog about McCain being so old he farts out dust, smacks of ageism. I’m tired of this country assuming that if you’re not “young” you lack worth. So I’m giving McCain some respect in the form of my vote. Oh, and in case you’re thinking I’m too old to recognize the error of my ways, I’m 23.

  9. D C Cramer says:

    I’m leaning strongly toward fasting from voting this year. As an Anabaptist, there is precident in my tradition for such a move. Instead of laying out all the reasons here, I will simply direct those interested to an insightful article by Mennonite historian, John David Roth: http://www.catapultmagazine.com/election/feature/polls-apart

  10. Kari Byrd says:

    First of all, I really hope everybody votes. Imagine if every single person in the country decided not to vote. We wouldn’t have a democracy.

    I’m voting for Obama because he’s making an attempt at major healthcare reform, not just putting a band-aid on a serious problem. I also like that he is rolling back Bush’s tax policies when it comes to the top earners in America. He’s extremely intelligent, level-headed, well-read, and nuanced in his thinking. I also believe he has the humility to surround himself with a sharp team.

    I am also voting against the possibility of a President Palin. I think she is out of touch with her own abilities and, like Tyler said in his comment, would do major harm.

    On a personal note (and not related to the issues so I wouldn’t base my vote on this or anything) I love that the Obamas seem to genuinely love and respect each other. And they love their kids. I think it would be so great to have a healthy marriage in the White House.

  11. Sarah says:

    I am voting for Obama. I respect him. I like his views on diplomacy, and his stance on health care reform and taxes. I do not think he is inexperienced, or a socialist, or a secret Muslim, and so on. I think he is going to be a great President.

    I will not be CRUSHED if McCain becomes president. But I am not thrilled about Palin. She is a great lady, I have respect for how strong she is. But I do not agree with a lot of the things she says.

    I have a hard time aligning myself with the conservative right this time because I do see so much negativity… I’m sorry, I do. I can’t tell you how many ridiculous forwards I have received saying that Obama is a secret Muslim, that he is the anti-christ, and a bunch of other lies about his policies…and so on. On top of that, the negative ads and the things I have heard at McCain/Palin rallies. I feel further and further pushed away. Not that other side has been perfect, neither have, its politics, its dirty. But after observation, at this point I have more respect for one than the other.

    I have been told that as a Christian there is a right and wrong person to vote for…. I believe that is wrong. As a Christian I am going to weigh through the issues, read and research and come to my own decisions based on my values.

  12. Emily says:

    I won’t be voting. The biggest reason being because I’m a new transplant to Washington and didn’t register in time! Also, though, I feel like either choice would be a moral compromise for me, and I’d rather sit this one out and figure-out what it looks like for me to give my full allegiance to Jesus’ politics.

  13. DK says:

    It’s not the main reason why I am voting for Obama but Sullivan’s #3 is one big reason. The thought of Palin being the President of the United States is beyond belief to me. I think she’s a likeable person but likability doesn’t mean she’ll be a great VP or President. As others have noted, she’s alot like your average American but we don’t need your average American for VP.

  14. eugenecho says:

    @graham martin: i don’t know why every time you post a comment, it always goes to the spam box. and that’s just the times i look.

    sorry. i want you to know there’s nothing on my end why that happens. glad i retrieved it this time.

  15. Ken G. says:

    Mc Cain is the ONLY logical choice.

    1) What has Obama ever done as a senator? What are his accomplishments? Compare his accomplishments to Mc Cain in the senate and it is clear who has the RECORD, not RHETORIC, for bipartisan cooperation that will lead our nation.

    2) Obama blinked when he chose Biden. Even Biden knows that Hilary was a better choice and a more deserving choice for VP.

    3) When has Obama ever been tested to make a tough decision? Even Biden acknowleges that the world is going to test him in the first year. We’re going to have an international crisis and Obama is going to stumble just like JFK.

    4) Biden’s run in with plagarism as a student and a politician is disturbing.

    5) You can cut through the rhetoric about who is going to give a better tax cut to the middle class. Its pure nonsense and meaningless if you don’t have a job. McCain is better for small businesses which will drive this economy. McCain wants to spur small businesses so they create opportunities and jobs. Obama wants more government and more people on the government payrolls.

    6) Let Obama keep raising the minimum wage, strive to have employers provide universal health care, redistribute wealth from “Joe the Plumber” yada yada yada, and you wonder why american businesses can’t compete in the world market place. California has been losing businesses because these liberals keep making it harder on the small businessman.

    7) Let me give some of you a free history lesson. Back in the day, Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, CA was a leader in commericial aircraft. They were the makers of the legendary DC-3 and DC-10. After their merger with McDonnell Aircraft of St. Louis, they became McDonnell-Douglas and produced such popular planes as the MD-11. Airbus was being subsized heavily by several european governments and McDonnell Douglas was losing market share to #1 Boeing and #2 Airbus. McDonnell Douglas asked for government assistance (who can forget the Chrysler bailout…) so they could compete with the likes of Airbus which was being subsidized by foreign govenment. It wasn’t a level playing field. After being denied, McDonnell Douglas was working out a deal with an asian partner. Selling off 40% of the company so the next generation MD-12 could be built in cooperation with some asian companies while providing an influx of much needed cash. Barbara Boxer and the other idiot liberals lobbied against it to keep the union jobs in america rather than have some of it go overseas.

    Government won’t help bail out Mc Donnell Douglas and the government stops the company trying to work a deal. Final result, the commerical aircraft faciliites in Long Beach were shut down. It went out of business So rather than getting 60% of a huge opportunity and joint venture in asia, we got 100% of nothing, In their attempt to save jobs, they lost THEM ALL. Airbus stepped in and what do you know, its an asian company that is their launch customer for the new Airbus A-380

    Boeing swoops in to buy McDonnell Douglas and within a few years, Airbus even over takes Boeing as the #1 aircraft manufacturer in the world.

    As a businessman, I want the government to help me to compete when I need it and to stay out of my way so I can compete. Liberals like Boxer and Obama just don’t get it. They’re going to kill our businesses and our ability to compete.

    There is only one logical answer, McCain is the better choice to lead us out of the mess the world is in.

    Wake up america. Don’t be fooled by the smooth talking Obama. I want substance over style. I want a proven leader, not someone who is not proven. He is pulling the wool over your eyes and you don’t even realize it.

  16. Kacie says:

    I echo all of Sarah’s comments. And I am also like Channing, and I early-voted this morning in Texas for Obama, adding to the tint of blue in the sea of red.🙂

    I give my reasons here: http://weblog.xanga.com/papua2001mk/678972180/why-im-voting-for-barack-obama.html

    My biggest reason is because of the philosophy behind Obama’s foreign policy, his respect for other countries, his intelligence and careful examination of complex issues, and his understanding that fighting terrorism must be done at a societal leval by dealing with poverty and injustice, or else all of our military efforts will fail.

    Yes, Obama’s stance on abortion makes voting for him tough in some ways, but because I think the President has unparalleled powers in foreign policy and very limited powers to legislate, foreign policy is my big issue.

  17. iambillpower says:

    I early early voted for Obama with my wife. I just feel like the Republican party does not stand for things that I believe in. They pay lip service to caring about “family values” while doing nothing to honor families in this country (or others for that matter). I’m not super thrilled to be voting for a democrat, either (I am against abortion). But I like Obama. A lot of people have complained that he lacks experience in Washington. I think that’s probably one of the things I like the most about him. We definitely do not need more of the same old white guy politics as usual. I care about health care (my insurance sucks), education (my wife is in grad school) and quality of life for ALL Americans, not just the rich guys. McCain, to me, just represents more of the same disasters we’ve had for the last 8 years. I am a veteran and I would not want that guy as commander-in-chief. He can’t admit a mistake, like Bush. No good. Anyway, what’s done is done. And no matter who is elected, God will still be in control. So PRAY and then VOTE. And then let’s all hug it out and move on. 🙂

  18. Sue says:

    Ken G., I agree with you that McCain is clearly more experienced than Obama. I can’t see how Obama supporters can even say that Obama is experienced like McCain.

    The world we live in is not the world that was when Reagan was President and there are so many Republicans who can only think of the days of Reagan. That era and world is over. That is how Bush sought to run the country and the world walked away with unpleasant words for this country.

  19. iambillpower says:

    P.S. 2 final nails in the coffin for McCain for me were Palin (the possibility of her ever being president is TERRIFYING) and when he went to DC to vote for the bail-out. How can you trust a guy who says he will veto ANY bill that has “pork barrel” spending in it when he signed on THAT bill? To me, that was the ultimate in hypocrisy.

  20. I’m voting third party this year… Probably going to vote for Chuck Baldwin.. I don’t necessarily agree with the two party system that exist right now. i think it’ s forced the votes to choose “the lesser of two evils.” Which in my mind is not really a choice. My vote for Chuck Baldwin, is actually a vote for the US to bring in a third party.

  21. Sarah says:

    “He is pulling the wool over your eyes and you don’t even realize it.”

    Everyone who supports Obama is not an ignorant sheep following blinding. I already said I am following Obama and I think I am doing so very informed about him and his policies. I respect someone’s choice that is different than mine and I don’t believe they are being fooled. We all make our choices based on our information and values. Someone should not be made to feel stupid for their choices.

  22. Matt says:

    I’m voting for Cynthia McKinney. Obama will win comfortably in my state of California, so I am using my vote to propel the Green Party toward a 5% share of the electorate. Reaching this threshold confers “major party” status and unlocks federal funding in the next election cycle.

    I want to see our two-party system give way to a multi-party system (common in other democracies worldwide), in which ideologies are subjugated by the necessity of coalition-building. The Green Party and Libertarian Party are the next-largest parties in our country, and I’d love to see both rise to challenge the hegemony of the Republucrats. I’m voting for the Greens because their platform aligns the most closely with my own political opinions.

  23. Ben C says:

    The details will work themselves out via Congress, but the very fact that a black man has a very real chance of becoming the leader of the one and only superpower in the world is an amazing once-in-a… never-before-seen event.

    The world will be different, I purport for the better, if we have Obama as the next POTUS just from the color of skin alone.

    Presentation counts especially in the public eye. Especially when the world is watching. Then comes substance and hard work, etc.

  24. Sean Nelson says:

    I am having a hard time with this election because I don’t like any of the candidates. So this one made me dig down to the “what is most important to me” question and try to believe that one of these gentlemen will actually do what they say as it relates to this issue.

    Given that, I decided my most important value is taking up the cause for “the least of these.” I believe in helping out those who have the least ability to help themselves. I believe the most compassionate thing we can do is protect the life of someone who cannot protect their own life. I will be voting mainly from a pro-life standpoint. Please understand, I don’t think that “pro-life” only pertains to the issue of abortion. In fact, being pro-life reaches much farther than that. (i.e. poverty, war, etc.) BUT…

    If you are OK terminating the life of a helpless child and pushing for further legislation to make that easier and more prevalent, I don’t think you’ll actually take care of the poor and needy among us now. I find that to be a heartless decision that shows only self-interest. So even though I hear that Obama wants to take up the cause of the poor, I don’t believe him because he won’t take up the cause of the most helpless and vulnerable people in our society… the unborn.

  25. KH says:

    Eugene: This race is pretty much over. I think Obama will win 40+ states. The press might make us believe otherwise because they want their rating to be up. But it is all a bunch of baloney.

    Being respectful to racists and people that vote against Obama just because is a bit hard. People with a clear mind do not vote for someone who is in fragile health and has a totally incompetent running mate and who has no other strategy but to throw dirt around. It is just that simple. 40+ states for Obama next week. Remember my words.

    You are right, though. We should still all be nice to each other. But sometimes it is a bit hard. Some Republicans are using “liberal” as a hate word and try to throw liberal in one box with evangelicals. They are basically calling “liberals” fundamentalists. That’s because the have trying with rethorics to move the center further to the right for many years. Thanks Karl Rove! And that is something I am willing to fight against because it is just outwright wrong in my eyes. And that’s as nice as I can be about that.

    And yes Obama will slip at times and will disappoint us and break some of his promises he is making right now. It is still as good as gets these days.

    Peace!

  26. Rick R says:

    McCain – never baptized. Why? His impetuous personality made for a terrible pick in Palin, and is a recurring theme throughout his life. His personal life-style choices have impacted his family; horribly disloyal to his first wife. His recklessness is well documented. These are not rumors or lies.

  27. elise says:

    I’m 23 and I live in St Paul, MN, where Obama gave his “yay i’m the candidate” speech and McCain and Palin gave their acceptance speeches.

    In 2004 I voted exactly as you did, Sean Nelson. Exact same thought pattern. So I hear ya. : )

    I’ve changed in my thinking since then (and this is me, it doesnt have to be you sean, or anyone else). Getting to know people from other backgrounds, cultures and nations and working at a christian inner-city teen community center has all contributed.

    What first started turning me off to Republicans was not policy – it was attitude. And sadly, it was in Christian publications and talks that I sensed the attitude. Disrespect for others. An unwavered sense of Christian = Republican, and Republican only = Patriotic. It hurts my heart. And the amount of blind whiteness blew me away – especially because i came from there. Ethnocentrism. Sure, unintentional perhaps, but also unwilling to listen to how or why.

    Then I started to change my policy thinking. Materialism. Should I really advocate so strongly for the capitalism that encourages man’s greed in order to run an economy? Should I really look down on someone who was born into poverty, never taught or modeled responsibility, and therefore has no job and is poor, and tell them to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps?” Refuse to let my earnings help them?

    I’ve done my very best to research both sides of every issue, and come up with what I think the Lord has led my heart and mind to agree with. And I’ve discovered that the democrats align closest to me on most of the issues. All? No way. But more than the Republicans, when I ‘weigh’ each issue equally. And I will continue to ‘weigh’ each candidate.

    I am voting for individuals – Obama and Biden – not a party. Interestingly, I will be voting Republican (or third party if the polls look good…) in our Senate race.

    Barack Obama’s background in understanding poverty and riches, whiteness and blackness, discrimination and privilege, all sealed the deal for me. What an amazing combination, and how he can empathize with so many people of different areas, will be key to his role. I too believe he is wise and will surround himself with wise people who are experts in their fields. Joe Biden is also very well-rounded with lots of experience, and a mouth that tells what he’s thinking.

  28. I’ve been an admirer of Obama since before he declared his candidacy 21 months ago. I disagree with him on several points of policy but I believe he’s perfectly experienced after seeing him craft the most formidable political machine in the world. That experience plus his first-class temperament and his commitment to improving the lives of Americans earns him my vote.

    But while Obama got my presidential vote I went with Republicans for many of my state and regional offices. There are some very qualified Republicans in Washington state who’ll do a good job.

  29. @KH, @Ken G:

    There are perfectly valid reasons to vote for either candidate. Many folks will disagree with you and it has nothing to do with their inability to see fact. It has to do with the way they prioritize their values. Understanding that your opponents hold opinions just as valid as yours is a prerequisite for respecting or loving them.

  30. Sean Nelson says:

    Hey Elise, Thanks for your kind and gentle response and for your willingness to help me see things form your perspective. Much appreciated.

    I would like to add, that I am not a “Christian = Republican.” I hate the 2 party system that is in place now and will probably register as a different party next election that is neither Republican or Democrat. I do despise greed and selfishness at the expense of those who are impoverished and underprivileged. Just wanted to throw that out there. Why? Not sure. But there you have it. PEACE!

  31. I’m from Tennessee and I’m voting for Obama. A lot of my friends assume that this must mean I have a shrine to the democratic nominee stashed away in my closet somewhere…but I don’t. I’m not voting for him because I think he’s some sort of Messiah or because I think he somehow embodies my values as a follower of Christ. I’m voting for him because I prefer his policies over John McCain’s. The biggest factors in my decision were:

    1) Healthcare: I believe that healthcare is a right, and I am distressed by the number of people who have to file bankruptcy each year as a result of medical bills. Obama’s plan in NOT socialized medicine. He simply wants to give Americans without insurance the opportunity to buy into a government-backed plan, which should help lower costs for everyone. He also wants to regulate the predatory insurance companies and prevent them from discriminating against sick people. I’m just not as impressed with McCain’s tax credit plan, which might actually cause more people to lose their insurance.

    2) Foreign Policy: Having talked with friends and relatives living in other parts of the world, I am convinced that Obama’s approach to foreign policy will help restore America’s standing in the world. We cannot continue with the “you’re either for us or you’re against us” attitude of the Bush administration. We need more give-and-take in our diplomacy, and an approach that is less ideological and more practical.

    3) Temperament: I think Obama handled the onset of the financial crisis better than John McCain, and has made better decisions throughout his campaign. He doesn’t seem to get too up or too down, but takes things in stride. This may sound shallow, but I like the fact that he gives good speeches and can inspire people. I think that his election would be a great thing for the African American community…and it would say a lot about how far we has come as a country. (We elected a black guy named Barack Hussein Obama! Now that’s something!)

    Just my two cents!

  32. randplaty says:

    @ Andrew Sullivan
    10. Never vote for someone because of their race.
    9. That article was written in April 2008, before the financial crisis. Since then McCain has called for an across the board cease in spending. Obama has not. Obama will spend far more than McCain.
    8. Obama bungled his comments on the Georgian conflict and then after three days of consulting with his advisors, finally said the exact same thing McCain said on day 1.
    7. Confusing McCain with GWBush.
    6. Conservatism is about policy, not personality.
    5. Conservatism doesn’t align itself with either new atheism or new Christianity. Obama’s faith is based on his concern for the poor as #1 priority. While Jesus cared for the poor, his father’s glory was his #1 priority. Obama hasn’t shown that God’s glory is his #1 priority. (Neither has McCain BTW).
    4. Obama ignites the culture war. His views are extreme leftist and aligns itself very closely with secular humanism.
    3. McCain is more likely to serve out his term if he were elected than Obama. (Very unfortunate, but true.)
    2. Obama doesn’t align himself with anything to do with conservative reform. Are we imagining things about Obama? Are we wishing he were something he isn’t?
    1. Again, confusing McCain with GWBush.

    Obama is a social democrat whose policies will carry the US toward a Canada or UK type of society. If that’s what you want, there’s nothing wrong with that. I personally believe that Christians are called to give to the poor, but it is not compulsory giving. Income redistribution is compulsory giving and defeats the purpose of giving the first place. The purpose of giving is not elimination of poverty. The purpose of giving is the cheerful heart.

  33. Yun9 says:

    I already voted for OBAMA via absentee in Washington state.

    I feel that the most important issue is the economy.

    McCain wants to further extend Bush tax policies and economic principles which has not worked the past 8 years. In fact, these tax policies of trickle down economics didn’t work under Reagan, Bush 41, or Bush 43. Real wages for the average American worker became stagnant while the wealthiest Americans saw their bank accounts expand. A growing income gap cannot be filled by never ending debt on the working people.

    Obama understands that a healthy economy starts with a strong middle class. 70% of the US economy is based on consumption . When the middle class cannot afford purchases due to increasing costs and stifled wages, there is no growth in the economy unless it is driven by debt and speculation, which is what we have right now. I think Obama’s tax policy is sensible and needed to relieve the stress on working class families. I believe Obama will be pragmatic about government regulation and trade. He’ll focus on jumpstarting the economy by investing in renewable energy and green initiatives to help guide the country to be energy independent and become a global leader in alternative fuels.

    One last comment about this whole of “redistribution of wealth” talking point going around. As far as I’ve been alive, the US has always had a “redistributive wealth” tax policy and even now under Bush. A progressive tax policy helps to prevent the US from turning into an a full blown Aristocracy. There is nothing extreme about returning to Clinton level tax rates. If you think that’s socialist, then Reagan was a communist.

  34. randplaty says:

    @Yun9

    The only specific policy that Obama proposes is universal heath care. We didn’t have UHC under Clinton because of a Republican congress. We’ve never had UHC in America as long as you have been alive. But even in this economic crisis, Obama refuses to abandon the idea of UHC.

    While that is the only specific policy he proposes, its pretty clear that his ideal is far more progressive than Clinton. He feels the radical Warren court did not go far enough in terms of redistribution of wealth. My assessment is that Obama desires a Canada/UK type of social democracy. He won’t specifically propose that type of government because he knows it will be rejected. But he will slowly take steps to move America toward the governments of Europe and Canada. That is his ideal.

    If Europe/Canada is your ideal, that’s fine. I personally believe in free giving rather than compulsory giving.

  35. Peter Adams says:

    Sadly as a Brit I cannot vote in the US elections. Given history that’s OK, even understandable. But since the vote there impacts our lives, and especially the lives of the 2/3 world, I have been urging people these past nine months to Vote in the 2008 US Elections with the whole world in mind.

    I work with an Anglican church in UK in a town with nearly 50% multicultural population, focusing on intercultural and interfaith relations in the town and building a multicultural church modelling reconciliation in a divided world. So the election is in the back of everyones mind here. And the overwhelming message here to those of you who have a vote is to please choose Obama

    Eugene, I have been tracking your blog since hearing of you from my friends Tom and Christine Sine. Visited Quest in April and liked what we saw. (We were over in the area to witness our son marry a half Korean.) I am thinking of stealing the title of ‘Global Presence Minister’. I will be listening to the sermon on Sunday with interest.

  36. Rick says:

    Obama said that the failure of the Supreme Court during the civil rights era lay in its failure to address redistribution of wealth, and thus that it was not radical enough and did not break free from the essential restraints placed upon it by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution. The tragedy, he says, is that the civil rights movement tried to enact change through the courts instead of legislatively. In other words, this man who lots of people want to make President and charge with upholding the Constitution believes it is a tragedy that the Constitution has been upheld in the past. So this isn’t a faith-related objection to Obama. It’s an objection to his clearly articulated opinion that money should be redistributed by the government, and if the courts can’t make it happen, the legislature should. I object to this and therefore will cast my vote for his opponent. Listen for yourself at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOtdbqjDHJI

  37. DK says:

    “I personally believe that Christians are called to give to the poor, but it is not compulsory giving. Income redistribution is compulsory giving and defeats the purpose of giving the first place. The purpose of giving is not elimination of poverty. The purpose of giving is the cheerful heart.”

    Clearly, you speak from a place of privilege. You can feel good about yourself but others want to help those who need compassion, mercy, justice, and empowerment.

  38. Jeff says:

    I voted McCain-Palin. I beleive in Capitalism, Free market, less government, fair taxes, equal opportunity. We have the best country in the world. We have some of the most passionate, compassionate and brillant minds in the world. We are a responsible Free society. We are world leaders. Take a look around.

  39. randplaty says:

    @DK You too speak from a place of privilege. If others want to help the needy, let them. Let them give to charity. Let them volunteer. Let them develop relationships and move into the inner city. But for those who do not wish to give to the poor, I’m not going to Robin Hood them. I’m not going to force them to give to the poor.

    And for those rich who already do give to the poor, Obama will be reducing their ability to do so. For every rich man who chooses to give money to Worldvision, or the local rescue mission or to his local church’s homeless ministry, he will have less capacity to do so. Instead Obama will take his money and give it to welfare abusers, drug addicts, and illegal immigrants. The worst part is, Obama will be taking away the treasure he was storing up in heaven because the rich man will no longer be able to give. No. Instead of giving, he is taxed.

  40. eugenecho says:

    @randplaty:

    hey, just to clarify. you believe in taxation, right?

    @Jeff: we live in great country but i’m not certain that the US is the best country. it’s hard to quantify that. but i do question the statement that we are ‘world leaders.’ makes you question how we are leading. i mean…we have to put some weight to the fast declining perception of our nation’s standing in the world. even recent allies are questioning our nation’s general leadership…

  41. eugenecho says:

    and why are people so idiotic and plain crazy.

    http://gretawire.foxnews.com/2008/10/27/gov-palin-effigy-in-a-noose-halloween-fun-or-going-too-far/

    “A house in West Hollywood, California features as part of its Halloween decor a mannequin dressed as Gov. Sarah Palin hanging by a noose from a chimney.

    The homeowner says it’s all in the spirit of Halloween and only meant to be fun.”

  42. Tom says:

    I’m learning I can’t sleep on your blog, Eugene. Don’t check in for 24 hours and you end up buried very deep in the comments section :^)

    I’ve enjoyed and been challenged by pretty much everything Sullivan writes. I’m starting to think he’s a national treasure. An open minded gay conservative opinion leader is just what the conservative movement needs. I’m a committed progressive evangelical but I’ve always thought real conservatism–which Sullivan understands and deeply appreciates–is so very important. He’s got a wonderful article in the latest issue of The Atlantic making a case for importance of blogging. I’m sure you’d be encouraged.

  43. randplaty says:

    @eugenecho yup, taxation is fine. Progressive tax? Not so sure about that. Taxation for the express purpose of redistributing income? Nope. The constitution was a document of negative liberties for a reason. I, unlike Obama, believe that we should obey the restraints of the constitution rather than “break free” from them.

  44. Leslie says:

    I strongly support Barack Obama mostly because he represents a turn away from some political trends that have made me uncomfortable over the past two presidential terms…one being a total disregard for international law which has been devastating to our nation’s foreign policy. Another is the expansion of executive power beyond what the Constitution permits…making the executive branch the arbitor of law and not the judicial branch…and finally, the erosion of civil liberties…the government racially profiling it’s own citizens and getting into the business of private citizens without provocation…these are my main concerns this term…

    I have concerns about the national economy…the great disparity between the average American worker and his or her CEO…gaps in earning we haven’t seen in this country since the Great Depression…but I am not sure either candidate can really deliver on promises of deliverance from these trends…I recently read an interesting article at the New York Times about this…
    “Can A President Tame the Business Cycle?” (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/10/18/business/20081019-metrics-graphic.html)

    I have other concerns as well…but I am most concerned on our nation’s global impact. I can’t see any republican candidate being rehabilitative of our current bad wrap…

  45. […] November 2 – Teaching on Faith & Politics.  All three services at 9.15am, 11am, and […]

  46. the true “winner” of this election season = the media.
    it has controlled the thoughts, opinions, viewpoints of the american people. so subtle yet efficacious. you think your viewpoints are your own, you think you are an independent thinker. but when even dan rather calls out the liberal bias of the media, something is afoot.

    the true loser of this election = the american people.
    reading some of the comments above (w/ some refreshing exceptions) is a clear demonstration to me of how effective the media has been in injecting its own agenda into the american mainstream. the same regurgitated thoughts, the same propoganda: blah blah blah.

    the true disappointment of this election = the reactionary christian
    and by that, i mean the christian who thinks it is avant garde, hifalutin fusion of spirituality and social compassion to love jesus and vote obama. i’ll tell you what it is. a knee-jerk brainless reaction. hey, i understand the embarassment of president bush. i understand that you want to untangle the stereotype of christian = republican. but a knee-jerk brainless swing to the other side merely reinforces the stereotype that christian = brain-challenged, christian = gullible (this time to media), christian = society-wanna-be.

    randplaty: props to you.

  47. juanito says:

    I support Obama. I’m less concerned about his specific policies or campaign promises, because as a very successful politician, he knows (and we should all admit) that they’re fabrications and barely-truths, designed to get him elected. I hate that about US politics. No, it’s more about character and personality. McCain would be fine, but Obama might be phenomenal.

    To answer those who’ve asked “What has Obama accomplished?” Well, i know you’re talking about legislation, but lemme pull a Palin and answer a question not as it was asked: Obama has accomplished this: he’s built an overwhelmingly successful campaign, he’s spoken for millions of Americans who’ve never felt that they had a place in American politics. The guy might be a genius, IQ wise, and he’s also gotten a heaping portion of other talents to go along with his high intelligence. And he’s not, apparently, an arrogant jerk. This is exceedingly rare. McCain, for instance, is very smart, but he’s a hothead.

    If you’ve read this deep into the comments section, you must be extremely bored, so i offer you another way to waste half an hour, and read my post about why i support Obama. It’s long.

    http://ozerik.homeip.net/pivot/entry.php?id=1592

  48. My dream at one point for this election was Obama vs. McCain. With those options I thought that I would for the first time in my adult life not just be voting for the lesser of two evils. That was before McCain became the GOP pawn and Palin joined the ticket. She frightens me and giving her power terrifies me.

    I continue to find it amusing that the right continues to dismiss Obama supporters as “blind sheep” or as trusting in a false messiah. That’s false, stop spreading lies and let’s move on.

    I’m voting for Obama, but what saddens me is that neither candidate truly thinks globally. I love this country, but unless we care about the whole world and not just ourselves we are guilty of serious sin. Following leaders that encourage such self-centeredness is shaky ground imho.

  49. Sarah says:

    @ the cutting truth

    I am just trying to understand your thoughts and comments..

    “you think your viewpoints are your own, you think you are an independent thinker. but when even dan rather calls out the liberal bias of the media, something is afoot.”

    –> where are you do you get your information, what news do you listen to? I’ve heard this argument before and when I asked where they got their news they said “from FOX – they are fair and balanced.” and I was blown away because FOX is also very biased. Maybe you don’t watch FOX, but either way you have to watch or listen to some news, right?
    why is everyone who doesn’t think like you being controlled and youre not? that mentality, “I’m right, everyone else is wrong” is a hard argument to buy… I hear a lot of this so I could easily say that you are victim to the fearful right that is suspicious of everyone and makes outrageous accusations of those who are different… I’ve seen a lot of that and I’ve chosen not to agree, but I must be controlled?

    “the true disappointment of this election = the reactionary christian”

    –> why can’t a Christian vote for Obama and it not be wrong? It’s a “a knee-jerk brainless reaction” .. thats very harsh and general… everyone who thinks differently than you is brainless and dumb? …. and you’re not? You get good information and are not being controlled, everyone else is? I sense some Rush Limbaugh in there… I’m feeling some influence from extreme conservative right… I sense fear and divisiveness. Its so easy to attack those who thing differently than you… I don’t mean to attack, I am just saying that you can do that to both sides…. what’s more important is to respect someone’s opinions and try to understand the issues… not attacking.

    If you share other reasons to explain your choices I would respect that and try understand your points.

  50. Sue says:

    @thecuttingtruth,

    I find it laughable that you can criticitize others, make sweeping statements, identify the winners and losers, call people brainless, and not say what are you for. You are like the classic righteous person that tells people what you are against but have no idea what you are for.

  51. eugenecho says:

    @Leslie: thanks for your comment. simple but to the point of why you are voting for the respective candidates.

    @julie clawson: re: your comment about the lack of global mindedness of the candididates. i agree. this is why i question how we can call ourselves ‘world leaders.’ leading in what?

    @thecuttingtruth: as usual…good, critical and thought provoking comments. but now, i agree. i think it’s best that you stay an anonymous blogger. on a side note, thanks for the plug on my ethnic beautiful. i don’t know if you’re a guy or a gal but it helps pad the ego.

  52. elise says:

    i’m back, and i’m more confused than ever.

    While I agree with Obama on so so many issues, I strongly disagree with his stance on unborn life and choice. I was ok with that in the past. But I’ve been reading more on his positions on abortion, partial-birth abortion, Freedom of Choice Ace, etc (thanks eugene for asking us to say why we support someone – it really is making me think again). I also have been reading about the probable vacancies to the Supreme Court and what type of Justices Obama supports. And how that would affect our nation. Did you know that the partial-birth abortion ban was passed by 1 vote?

    What do you all think of this statement, received in an email?:

    “Just as many of you do, I too, want to see a first black President, but not Senator Obama. To allow that noble and godly desire, the economy or one’s position on the war to trump this issue of life and death for the innocent unborn is simply wrong. The scriptures teach that if we choose first to exalt righteousness and turn from evil, God promises to heal our land (see Proverbs 14:34; 2 Chronicles 7:14). It is righteousness that exalts a nation, not wealth, prosperity or armies. If we will finish the process of removing the curses of death and anti-God laws off of America by electing a president that will continue to shift the Court, God will grace us with breakthrough in other areas such as the economy, the war against terrorism, etc. My faith is not in a person, and certainly not a political party, for the healing of America, but I know God’s word and His ways well enough to know that our decisions do move Him to action or inaction. ”

    Specifically, what do you think of “If we choose first to exalt righteousness and turn from evil, God promises to heal our land. It’s righteousness that exalts a nation…God will grace us with a breakthrough in other areas…”??

    I’m struggling. I want to support so many democrat policies but want to support so much pro-life….

  53. Hey Eugene,
    I’ll be casting my vote for McCain and I’ll give you three reasons:
    1) Taxes. Obama’s claim that taxes will go down in his presidency just doesn’t ring true with me. I’d rather give my money to the charity of my choice than have Obama funnel it through the government to questionable programs.
    2) Foreign policy. I do see Islamic extremism as a threat to the US and the world. I think McCain has the experience and mettle to stand up to crazies like Ahmadinejad. I just see Obama blinking.
    3) I am pro-life. I know it’s not fashionable. But if we can’t say murder of a human being is wrong and should be illegal, where are we? I think McCain is the best chance we have of holding back onto some of the gains we’ve made, Like not allowing doctors to partially deliver babies and then kill them with scissors in the head (Partial birth abortion). Or not allowing hospitals to try to abort babies and, when they survive and are born, leave them to die alone on a table in a storeroom. (this is the issue at stake in the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which Obama voted against.) It”s not pretty, but these issues fall under the category of protecting the weak and innocent.

  54. […] abortion conversation Every presidential election, abortion becomes a tense issue and I suspect that will never change.  Let me first say I […]

  55. eugenecho says:

    @rebecca cusey: hey, really good to reconnect with you. when we were in school together at college, this thing called the internet didn’t even exist.

    the one thing i’d push back on is #2. our current foreign policy or our standing in the world is horrible because we’ve chosen to move forward without our allies on many fronts. i agree that islamic extremism is a legitimate threat but we can’t fight this alone.

  56. Tracy says:

    I am voted for Barack Obama via Washington’s Absentee Ballot because of one reason: SOUND JUDGEMENT. Obama has proven to make good judgments for example:

    1. His selection of Joe Biden as Vice President
    2. His marriage & family stand and values.
    3. His commitment in respecting and using Biblical scriptures in an applicable way in majority of his public speeches.
    4. His vote against the war in Iraq at a time where it was popular to vote for the war in Iraq.
    5. His judgement in hiring the best campaign talent to help spearhead his politics via the internet with young people.
    6. His ability to articulate without fear his plan to help the working class families in America.

    All these things and more, Obama has made a judgement call to either do or represent…in which there is no offense in.

  57. […] lively and sane conversation on who people are voting for at Eugene Cho’s […]

  58. Eugene,
    We’re dating ourselves. Ha. I remember the freshmen doing this new thing called email. It took a ton of effort to make it work, only a few people were connected to send and receive it, and it seemed pointless when you could just pick up the phone and call.

    I agreed with McCain when he said that America was the greatest force for good the world has ever known. We have stood against tyrrany, and by the grace of God, won the stand, over and over in our history. We’ve made terrible mistakes too, I don’t deny that. But we’re still the best hope the world has. I don’t think our standing in the world is as bad as some think. People still give their life savings and run terrible risks to come here. People still are grateful for the billions we send in humanitarian aid, both governmental and priavte funds. People still conusme our cutlture all over the world (some of which I’m not proud of). Yes the Iraq war is unpopular in many places, but I think the only thing that some of the thugs that run the more extreme branches of Islam understand is the threat of force. I think the message toward them has to be a) we will work with you toward peace and b) when you’re unreasonable, we will stand against you. If not us, then who?
    I see Obama blinking. I just do. McCain understands both the horrors and occasional necessity of fighting. He won’t blink.

  59. Tod says:

    I disagree with the context of Jenny’s first comment. I was actually glad to see that the Democrats did not, like their Republican counterparts, continue to scare voters into voting for them by constantly reminding them of the dangers that are ever-present to us, and that we supposedly need protection from. In my opinion, the greatest threat to America over the past eight years has been our willingness to sacrifice our Constitutional freedoms for “protection” by our elected servants. The Patriot Act (especially the second and permanent one) is a perfect example of that.

    I am not an Obama supporter, but feel that I need to vote for him for no other reason than to keep Sarah Palin from becoming President of the United States of America.

  60. Bret says:

    I beleive in social justice for all. At the top of the list are those who are defenseless, those who are guaranteed by our consitution to the “right to life”, those who are supposedly in the safest place God has created this side of heaven, the unborn child in the mothers womb.

    I beleive in taking care of the “least of these”, who could dispute that a baby in a womb is the least of these?

    I beleive in being my brothers keeper, and would not allow my aunt to live in poverty in south Boston, nor my half brother to live in a shanty shack in Kenya.

    I beleive that Gods inerrant word teaches us HE has formed us in the womb, and knew us even before….hence, life begins at conception, and that that answer is not above my payscale, but is clarified by scripture.

    I beleive that there is only one way to heaven, that is grace by faith, and that there are not multiple ways to heaven. I do NOT beleive that just because an atheist mother was a “good person” that she is in heaven, nor that works can get us there.

    I do not beleive that if my daughters would get pregnant, that the baby in their belly is punishment, but as Luke teaches us , babies are a gift from God Himself.

    I beleive that there will be a time to put partisanship aside and that Obamas pitiful 13% history of reaching across the aisle in the senate will not produce unity.

    I beleive taxation is theologically sound, but am confused about why the top ten percent of income workers pay 75% of all the taxes. I know when my taxes rise by $4000 a year, it ill hurt the ministries I support, including pregancy centers, addict ministries and feeding the needy.

    I know I can feed the needy and help those who need help more effieciently than any government agency, if you dont beleive this, go to your local DCF or DOT.

    I beleive Christians should be more gracious and should feed those who need it, both spiritually and physically and that when you forcibly remove finances from those Christians via taxation, it removes the Christians principle of graciousness.

    I know when Peter “escaped” imprisonment by the Pharisees and Sanhedrin, that instead of going back to prison, he made the statement that we should listen to God, not man, when the governing bodies are going against Gods moral laws.

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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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