Eugene Cho

The 10 Commandments of Engaging Politics

The Presidential election is only weeks away…and it’s getting ugly out there. I mean…really ugly.

And before you think I’m just talking about the political process, the political parties, or the respective candidates, I was actually talking about you, me, us, and them…the people. And by people, I’m also especially talking about Christians.

Sometimes, I feel it would be appropriate to label how some Christians engage the Presidential election season as “Christians Gone Wild.

Since it’s time for another presidential debate and there’s sure to be drama this week and next, and the following week, and each day leading up to Election Day on November 6 and likely some weeks afterwards, I thought I’d share with you my 10 Commandments of the Election Season for Christians in hopes that it might speak some balance, sense, and perspective to any readers – not just during this election season but thereafter; Not just in this country but in any country.

Why else am I sharing this?

Because I really want you to still respect yourself the morning after the election season.
Because I really want your friends to still respect you, too.

Know what I mean?

So, here are my 10 commandments of the Election Season

…….. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , , , , ,

A conversation about prayer with President Barack Obama.

Unless it’s Justin Bieber I don’t get star-struck, but I have to admit, it was pretty cool to meet President Barack Obama earlier this month. During his visit to Seattle on the weekend of February 16, I had the opportunity and privilege to attend one of the events he was speaking at. Specifically, it was an event at Boeing Everett to celebrate the work of American workers, Boeing, and the culmination of the work of the Dreamliner 787.

Light to the World.

As you know. I don’t run in these circles.  Sitting in a special section with dignitaries and politicians including mayors, various council members, business bigwigs and the Washington governor was awkward to say the least.  How I got invited to this event is a little unclear but over the past couple years, I’ve been building relationships with the White House via their Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. It’s also from a commitment I’ve had – as a Christian, a pastor, and a leader – to be a light to the World and not just merely light to the Light. Translation: As we serve and love the church, we must also look outward and engage the larger culture. Folks notice and when opportunities arise, they sometimes ask for input and involvement or just merely your presence and that’s what happened.

Because of this theology and ecclesiology Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , , , ,

president obama opposes family, faith, freedom, white dogs, asians, and human beings.

It’s amazing what makes headline news nowadays.

Example:

President Barack and Michelle Obama’s Christmas card selection.

Yup. Headline news.

Why?

Because former Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, has come to officially criticize its selection as “odd” since it emphasizes Obama’s family dog, Bo, and as such, we can assess that the first family and specifically, President Obama, elevates canines over “family, faith, and freedom.”

Huh? Really?

I hope this doesn’t sound awkward, elite, or boastful:

Minhee and I also received the official White House Christmas card couple weeks.

When I first opened the card, I was secretly hoping it included a gift card from Target but I digress. When I first opened the card, I analyzed the card as I do every single Christmas card I receive since it’s very helpful for me to make judgments and analysis about that person.

So, I thought I’d join in the party and share with you 8 things I learned Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , , , , ,

vote for me! the politicization and manipulation of jesus, christians, and religion

I confess that I don’t have much idea with what’s currently going on with the Presidential primary process but can assume that things are heating up as candidates ratchet up rhetoric about all things including their affection for Christ, faith, religion, evangelicals, etc.

And why does this make sense? Because supposedly, America,  is a Christian nation – or at the least, a religious nation.

Statistically, in the United States, 83% claim to belong to some sort of religious denomination 40% claim to attend services nearly every week or more, and 58% claim to pray at least weekly. The majority of Americans (60% to 76%) identify themselves as Christians… [source]

All this to say that it makes perfect sense why politicians and political parties would want to politicize religion or faith – however genuine their faith is or not. This is why it made perfect sense for President Obama’s opponents and critics to question, Is Obama really a Christian? And that’s why it makes sense & smart strategy for Rick Perry to throw down some religious rhetoric to say “I’m one of you” when he promised in a recent political ad (click here for RSS readers) to:

“end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. ”

He goes on to say…

“there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”

While some folks holler and scream about Rick Perry’s ad, the blunt truth is Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , , , , , ,

why president obama is and isn’t american

What is the deal with President Barack Obama? Or maybe we should re-frame the question:

What is wrong with America?

Why is it that we have such a hard time

His presidency is historical for obvious reasons and everyone knew that he was going to experience an uphill journey but the questions he’s had to endure are ridiculous: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , , , , , ,

is he a christian, a muslim, or a cactus? why can’t we just believe president obama?

I received a letter this week from the White House. A big fat packet. Ain’t I special?

Unfortunately, it wasn’t an invitation to a special Gala or for me to sing at an event. It wasn’t about a partnership with One Day’s Wages. Or to join his circle of sagacious advisors. Or to ask me to join Warren Buffet in helping turn around the U.S. economy. Or to inform me that he’d be visiting my church. And no, it wasn’t a direct letter from President Obama himself. But it was a letter from one of his staff sharing some stuff about President Obama, some initiatives, and what I perceived to be clarity about his faith. Huh?

It puzzled me initially but after some thought, I think I know why I received the letter as I’m sure several other “pastors” may have received it as well.

Why? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , , , , , , , ,

pray for president obama?

I’m not trying to sound political or overly spiritual but today, I just had the most sudden “impression” that I can only describe as a prompting of the Holy Spirit to pray for President Barack Obama.

If you’ve been reading my blog,

I care about politics because it engages policies that affect people – but I try not to be political.

I am a staunch independent when it comes to political parties Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , , , ,

we should all learn to bow like obama

Dear Americans,

What is wrong with us?

So, President Obama bows in respect to the Japanese emperor during his recent visit to Japan and the next thing you know, all kind of crazy, nonsensical, and ridunkulous statements are flung through the newspapers, blogosphere, radio shows, and chit chats.

What exactly is wrong with the image above?
What are your reactions to the reactions?

Here are some of my thoughts: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

obama, the nobel peace prize, bono and rebranding america

from the NY Times

Like many folks couple weeks ago, I was stunned that Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, I thought it was some sort of joke but alas, it was legit. But I did manage to get couple tweets in there including this one:

Re: Obama: all he did was say to the world, “Hello”, “We’re sorry” & “Let’s Talk”… All good things but Nobel was premature.

…but was surprised at the number of responses via Twitter & Facebook. Many people seemed to have an opinion.

What did you think?

Again, I wasn’t a big fan but then I read this quote from Cornel West and it got me thinking that this Nobel Peace Prize was indeed a forward looking prize if there’s such a thing.

“It is going to be very hard to be a war president, when you win the peace prize.”

And then I read this pretty amazing column from Bono entitled ReBranding America in yesterday’s NY Times. Here’s an excerpt: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

pray for those liberals…

liberals

I remember being instructed as a new Christian many years ago to pray for influential Hollywood people.  I did as I was instructed and I still remember praying for numerous including Tom Cruise…umm, I should have prayed more. So, I kind of chuckled when I saw this article recently from the Christian Post entitled, Prayerful Americans Called to ‘Adopt a Liberal.’

I’ve been called lots of different names and labeled with different words including the ‘liberal’ word. I’ve also been called a ‘narrow minded fundy,’ ‘wanna be progressive’, ‘classic conservative’, ‘christian communist’ and the list goes on.

The positive about being labeled is that I might actually make it on someone’s prayer list and who doesn’t want prayer?  :)

I’m a fan of prayer. I’m a fan of civility. I understand the nature and necessity of politics. I don’t really like some of the views of the folks on the list but I also don’t know them as people – personally. And I know that while we’re instructed to pray for our ‘leaders’ but the ‘adopt a liberal’ thing sure seems weird.  How long before we get an “Adopt a Conservative” initiative? And thus, the perpetuation of the “otherizing” and worse, “demonizing” of others. Which leads us to the big picture question:

Is there another way?  What is the “follower of Christ” way?

Enough of me. What do you think?

Here’s the article: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , , , , , ,

stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

My Instagram

Recently, I had a chance to speak at an event in Washington DC and it was particularly special because my 80-year-young father was able to travel with me. 
My Dad had especially wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial with his own eyes. The weather was perfect and while it wasn't part of the plans, we ended up walking 8 miles that day and eventually culminating on the final stretch through the National Mall towards the Lincoln Memorial. But as we made this walk, I had forgotten the presence of the Korean War Memorial that was just a few yards away from the Lincoln Memorial.

I had seen it several times before but I didn't anticipate the impact that it would have on my father. When he realized what it was, he just stood there and I could tell he was deep in thought and memories. Eventually, he began to share some of those memories and stories. My Dad was born in what is now called North Korea and fled south with the rise of dictatorial powers. He was 14 years old when the Korean War broke out. He shared stories of how the bridges connecting Seoul were destroyed and thousands upon thousands of people were stranded. He shared stories of poverty, suffering, and even death.

And then, he just stared at the memorial. And I could tell he was fighting back some tears. He went on to say how grateful he was for the American soldiers who fought another country's war: "I'm here because of them. We're here because of them." He was actually so moved by the memorial that he walked towards the "Park Ranger" on site and kept profusely saying, "Thank you so much for helping us." If you know anything about me, you know that I take seriously the biblical invitation to justice, peacemaking, and reconciliation. So, I'm not here to glorify war or the military. War is utterly brutal & horrible...on everybody. In an ideal world, we would have no need for wars and militaries but unfortunately, we don't live in that world. And so, I continue to do my part to sow peace...but also pause, to also express my deep gratitude to those that have given their service and even their lives for the sake of freedom - even for those they didn't know. I am a recipient of that sacrifice.

Thank you. Say hello to our mesmerizing moon. Recently met an astronomer who had his big toy telescope that allowed us to take photos using the smartphone. Desert hiking. Made it. Barely. But worth it. Such are many of life's challenges. Sabbath. Soaking in a desert sunset. A new experience and interestingly, very spiritual. Happy Earth Day. Enjoyed this epic hike through the woods last weekend with my family. "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” - Isaiah 55:12 Soaking in this view and taking a moment to pray for our nation.

my tweets

  • My intent is not to glorify war or the military but to simply join my Dad to express thanks: goo.gl/cwtyl3 https://t.co/RhYBDu7UaD || 11 hours ago
  • Seasons change. Winds blow. Chaos ensues. Yet, Christ is our anchor. Fix your eyes. Keep working for God's Kingdom-on earth as it is heaven. || 2 days ago
  • Everyone take a breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Whoever becomes president, Jesus will still remain King. || 2 days ago
  • Wow. Recap: Foul on Waiters. Foul on Green. Horrible pass from Green. Manu should have shot the ball. Airball by Mills. Webber goes crazy. || 3 days ago
  • Let's be honest: No single one of us can change the world. The thought, in itself, is ridiculous. But... https://t.co/ZzxDEZeedb || 1 week ago
  • Thrilled to be part of @SEAJusticeMove - a youth driven justice movement in Seattle. HS/College students, check it: seajusticemove.org || 1 week ago

JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK

advertisements

Blog Stats

  • 3,392,038 hits
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,407 other followers