Monday, November 10, 2008

Elections are almost all done...

I say almost because this week my church (the Orthodox Church in America) will be electing a new Metropolitan. Once that's done and approved by our Synod of Bishops (who may have to do the selection themselves if the delegates to our national convention can't call someone with a clear majority on the first ballot) we'll have a new Top Dog in the OCA. And hopefully we will see more positive growth in how our central office works with our dioceses and laity.

But of course that's not the main "election" story.

Nor is the decision by the (now former) Episcopal Diocese of Quincy to shake the dust off its collective feet with regard to the increasingly liberal U.S. Episcopal Church.

Those attending last weekend's annual synod of Quincy made that decision by an overwhelming majority (96 to 24). They aren't leaving the Anglican Communion though--they are now a diocese of the Province of the Southern Cone, in South America.

After about 30 years of increasing repudiation of traditional Christian teaching by the church, the good folks of Quincy (and Pittsburgh, and San Joaquin, and soon Fort Worth) decided the Episcopal Church had left them, and chose to align with another Anglican province.

Seems sensible to me, when the disagreements are so large and ongoing and apparently without possibility of resolution, especially when you can maintain your place in the greater group (the worldwide Anglican Communion).

One hopes that the majority, aka the Episcopal Church, will show good sense and Christian charity and allow the dissidents to make their way in a path that is right for them--something the Episcopal Church professes to support for everyone else in its polity though to date has shown little willingness to extend to traditionalists.

And so from that election story to the third and likely most pertinent to the vast majority of Americans: November 4th.

Those who know me know I am something of a centrist with rightward leanings and a handful of leftish opinions to spice things up. Call me Goulash Guy, if you will.

I'm a bit put off by the seemingly endless comparisons of Obama to FDR and Lincoln. It's far too soon to even contemplate such things, other than at the most shallow level, because so far he's had no opportunity to do anything. Let's let him serve his term (maybe two if he does okay first time around) and then get a few years under our belts. Then we can make that kind of judgement call.

That said, give the guy a chance. He IS a personable, intelligent, and apparently reasonable fellow, and I think he has the ability to do a decent job as president. There's no need to start off by trying to tear him down. Once he's actually DONE something, then the loyal opposition can make its voice heard. Plenty of time for constructive criticism later, really.

At the same time, spin it how you like, but Mr. Obama does not have anything approaching a mandate. 52% to 47% does not constitute a mandate, even if it does denote a clear choice. The majority should be very careful not to tread upon the rights of the minority as they take their opportunity, their chance, to make a difference in this country.

Come to think of it, that advice applies to all three of the elections I've mentioned.

The future holds both good things and bad. We might well weather them better if we work together than if we spend all our time bitching at each other and moaning about how unfair it all is.

I'm sure I won't like everything Barack Obama does as president. Why should he be different from every other president under whose authority I have lived?

But in the end, we'll get farther and have more to be proud of if we make an effort to move ahead in some modest unity.

And I cast my vote for that, no matter what the election.


Anonymous said...

A good thought; a worthwhile comment. So the brief descent into vulgarity actually detracts from an otherwise helpful expression of thought. Logos is a gift from God, of God Himself; language therefore is a sacred gift and is well served when honored and used accordingly.

pravoslavniye said...

I'm sorry you did not like the use of the b-word, but I believe that is the appropriate word for the kind of complaining, griping, bellyaching, yammering and/or whining to which I was referring.

I disagree that it detracts, but do feel free to insert one of the common synonyms listed above.

Yes, language is a gift of God, and He has seen fit to allow us the occassional forceful vulgarity.

When used correctly, in a proper context, many of the "four-letter words" can be effective highlighters, emphasizing a point.

But not too much, and certainly not every other word (as some comedians seem to think makes them funnier).

As my fellow Quincyan UMR says:

(Thank You for coming by)