While commenting on the beautiful diary yesterday by Ex-vrwc "We are out here", someone suggested that I write my own diary. So here it is. It’s my first diary, so be gentle!
Yes, you read the title of my diary correct. I am in fact all of those things (however, in regards to "creationism" I’m not a "young earther"). I believe in the bible literally. To some of you, I might as well be committed for being as crazy as a loon, but trust me – I’m really quite sane. Sane and enthusiastically voting for Barack Obama this fall! And here’s the kicker: I’m voting for Barack BECAUSE of my Faith!
Join me below the fold...
So how did I get here?
First a little personal background. I’m an African-American woman, single mom of two grown sons. Never married. I come from a long lineage of gospel singers, pastors and deacons. There’s a story in my family of my great, great, great grandfather, a slave, who had a horribly sadistic master who beat him unmercifully. This man, Isaac was his name, was know for singing beautiful medleys to God under a big tree on the plantation, even after being beaten. I’m a worship leader in my church today. The love for God is, quite literally, in my blood.
My father was a political junkie, and raised me with a keen awareness of all things political. Unfortunately, He passed away in November 2006 and I only wish that he could have seen Barack Obama – Daddy would be over the moon. Anyway, My father was a dyed in the wool Democrat, and raised us kids the same. But in 2000, something happened. I got completely caught up in the "culture wars". You see, I am pro-life. I say that as someone who had two children and had four abortions, so I’ve been on both sides and that’s where I landed. Bill Clinton’s tryst really turned me off because I really believe in the sanctity and fidelity of marriage. So in 2000 and 2004, I got caught in the wave that took a lot of us well-meaning Christian Brothers and Sisters under. Quite simply, a lot of us thought that God, through George Bush, was going to restore a sense of morality to this County. We believed he would be moral and compassionate. I know, I know, but that’s what we honestly believed. Plus, it wasn’t the first time I fell for a man that I just wanted to have a beer with!
But during 2004 something happened, and I won’t ever forget it. As I was piddling through the house during the ’04 Democratic convention, I heard this man begin to speak from the podium. It was Barak Obama. I literally ran from kitchen into the living room to see this man. I can remember feeling like a fresh breeze had just blow throughout the country. In the fall of ’04, I still pulled the lever for George Bush, but this time I did it with much trepidation.
Slowly but surely, my eyes began to open and I began to take a broad view of the world around me. The war had began to descend into a incredible debacle, the economy began to slide, and I noticed a bitter divisiveness in this country that repulsed me. And I asked myself this question: Is this what God had in mind?
You see, in the book of Matthew in the bible, Jesus said that a tree is judged by its fruit. I don’t have the right to judge another human being, but I CAN judge the fruit of their actions. All I saw from the works of the Republican Party was orchards and orchards of trees with rotten fruit. I then realized that as much as I seemingly had "in common" with Republican Right-Wing Christians, I wasn’t really one of them. We may believe the same things, but we’re coming from a different place. I believe in the things I believe in because I have a relationship with God, not with a party. The Republican Party is NOT God’s Party, period! I’ve spent more than a few years now studying the life of Jesus Christ – his ways, his conduct. He uplifted those around him, he didn’t condemn them. He gave them hope, not despair. He spoke to the better parts of their character, not tore them apart for their completely human flaws. When God said He was love, he meant it.
I don’t buy the argument that the future is about judges. As I said, I’m pro-life, but I don’t need a Supreme Court judge to do the job I should be doing as a caring Christian. I have never, and will never, picket or scream at any woman who has made the hard choice to abort. I had to walk through picketers screaming at me once upon a time. I am sure beyond a doubt that you would never find Jesus mixed in with a crowd of vipers like that. It’s disgusting. Instead, I spend time with inner-city middle school girls and I talk to them about the value and worth of their bodies, minds, and spirit. I tell them they’re beautiful and to be treasured and respected, and that their future is important. I let them know, from my experience, the consequences of giving away too much of themselves too soon without being prepared and loved. Most of the time they hear me, and avoid getting pregnant too soon. Sometimes, they don’t. Either way, I’m there to love them and support them – just like Christ was for me. To me, that’s really being "pro-life"!
I realize today that true leadership is exemplified by those that practice these virtues. True leaders see each person, especially those that they lead, as precious, treasured sons and daughters of the same God that loves them. And never has this fact been more obviously and clearly displayed to me than when I compared and contrasted the Democratic and the Republican Conventions. You see, I get Sarah Palin’s Christian background. I’m of the SAME background, so I don’t have a problem with that. I DO have a problem with how "careless" she and other right-wingers are with their words. I watched the speakers at the Republican Convention go on an out-and-out vitriolic tirade. I was embarrassed and ashamed that people would hear these folks and associate them with me and my Faith. When Sarah Palin was speaking, I just became so sad. What an awesome opportunity she had! To ascend to a national stage and make God proud. But look at the fruit: anger, bitterness, strife, division. The fruit of their tree is just plain rotten.
To make it clear, I don’t see Barack Obama as a "Messiah". No man will ever hold that place in my eyes again. But to me, Barack’s leadership inspires hope and speaks of a better future. The fruit of his tree is good. Just look around. Across this nation, and in fact this world, he inspires a sense of joy about our future. I believe Christ, who to me was the ultimate leader, did the same.
So as an Evangelical Christian, conventional wisdom these days says I’m fired up and energized. That’s right. I am! The viciousness, the condescension, the "elitism" from Republicans; it certainly lit a fire under this Evangelical Christian, but not the kind the Republicans were looking for! I’m fired up to say loud and clear that they don’t speak for me, my family, none of my friends, acquaintances, or my church family! And I will not sit idly by while the name and character of the God I love so dearly is hitched to a bunch of folks who can’t even follow these simple words spoken by Jesus: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Matthew 7:12.
I’m voting for Barack Obama in the fall. And I’ll be praising God all the way!
UPDATED: Thank you all SO MUCH for recommending my very first diary!! I'm overwhelmed!
UPDATE 2X: Everyone, I am definitely feeling the love! Thanks for the kind words and even the not so kind ones! I'm so glad this has encouraged some and provoked others to some deep thought. I'm at work so I can't really reply as I'd like, but know that you have blessed me beyond measure today! Peace and Many Blessings, Angeleyes