Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:2, "I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." Governmening leaders have massive effects on all of our lives. It's so important that Paul urges Christ-followers to diligently pray for them... indicating that government leaders are important (duh).
In the United States we have the unique opportunity not only to pray for our governors but also choose them! So, what are the primary realities of our nation and world that inform your 2008 voting priorities? Please take a moment to comment. Here are some of mine (in no particular order):
- Globalization ... The world is connected like never before, meaning that there are no longer "closed" nations. All are connected by trade, technology, and travel... the carriers of culture and influencers of power, both economically and militarily. We can no longer ignore China's environmental policies because they affect the entire planet. We can no longer ignore Mexico's economic situation because of the ever-increasing immigration flow from hardship to American opportunity. The list goes on and on. It is a scenario of unbridled threat and unimagined opportunity. It's time for the US to invest more in the global village scene instead of continually retracting our participation.
- Terrorism ... Like the hydra of Greek legend, cutting off one head only produces two more. This growing world-wide plague of suffering-induced hatred and violence penetrates the most protected borders; and it cannot simply be quenched by military power. The causal issues are too complex; and no military is sufficiently resourced to overpower the consequential problems.
- Education ... This is a central issue in shaping our nation and world. Education, and the lack thereof, influences culture, worldviews, and the ability to recognize and capitalize on opportunities and overcome obstacles. Entire cultures are enslaved to the brutal consequences of their ignorance. Men in Africa infected with HIV / AIDS are having repeated sex with virgin girls because they believe it can cure them. Meanwhile education is frequently inaccessible, too expensive, or poorly constructed. In the US, education is the great unused tool for intentional culture reformation. We're so busy drowning in our own hedonism and protecting our own "rights" that we have failed to teach our children the human narratives of community, heroicism, knowledge, wisdom and compassion. The result is that Americans are technically advanced and simultaneously one of the least thoughtful cultures in the world. Yes... I'm saying we're dumb. And it's a tragedy, considering the powerful educational tools at our disposal both to receive and share.
- Finite Global Resources ... While post-industrial human population continues to multiply exponentially, the world's resources remain as fixed and finite as ever. Related to this issue, the U.S. alone, with only 6% of the world's population, consumes 50% of the world's resources. Wealthy nations abuse technology and power in the theme of human selfishness to hedonistically satisfy their impulses while countless millions that are easy to get to still suffer and die with nothing at all. Additionally, air pollution, water pollution, deforesting, and unchecked urbanization is killing our planet.
- Justice for the Helpless ... Another timeless issue, this one affects everyone. Children are aborted or abused or thrust into orphanages. Healthcare for the young and elderly is inaccessible, even in the U.S. Blacks in Darfur suffer genocide at the hands of the militant Janjiweed. Uganda's children are kidnapped and stripped of their humanity by the Lord's Resistance Army. Slave prostitution, death squads, inhumane orphanages, sweatshops... the US has the power to affect salvation for the innocent in all these scenarios if we would only be smart and find the heart to intervene with more than foolish military brute and economic sanctions - methods that continue to overlook the innocent.
- Legislative Moral Shaping ... Our government influences social morality with the legislation it creates. It's proven by examples like federal tax benefits for gay civil unions, government assistance and anonymity rights for minors who have abortions, evolution vs. intelligent design in public education, etc. This is more of a domestic concern than international, but since it's happening already and, in my opinion, should be used to check the complex self and social destructiveness of sin, I believe it's significant for us in 2008.
- Proud Leaders Suck ... That's a global and national reality we've seen repeatedly demonstrated. Arrogance in office spells nothing but trouble. It's a reality I hold as a core influencer in my voting choices.
- 7/16 addition ... Economy ... jobs, minimum wage, home ownership, interest rates, taxation, national debt, etc. Yeah this is an ongoing reality that really deserves its own category.
So those are some of mine. How about you? What realities in our world shape your issues of concern?