Saturday, November 22, 2008

Witness to Hope

Witness to Hope,
Saving love of God,
Mercy of His selfless love,
Face of the Faceless One.

Mercy of the One who bestows mercy,
Hands of the One whose hands were nailed,
Heart of the One whose heart burned with love,
Eyes of the One who sees only beauty

See my hand outreached,
Ready to receive your compassion.
See my eyes centered,
Ready to take in your holy beauty.

Feel my struggle to remain faithful in all things;
Enter into my understanding of hardship.
Feel my joy of passion to give freely;
Enter into my serenity of heart.

Help me to die to myself,
To give myself freely to you.
Help me to give without prompting,
To breathe compassion in my every breath.

Let me take on the fragrance of your love,
To be ever a constant effusion of your grace,
To become ever united fully with you,
And to never again be the same.

Witness to Hope,
Lover of Love,
Defender of the Faith,
Mother to be of many

Grant me your precious favor,
Guide me to the Most High,
Complete my joy with your endless joy.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Democracy 2.0: The Need for True Advocacy

It can be said that democracy is a two-step process. Yes, its important component is the actual act of voting, that exercise of civic duty that so few of us actually avail ourselves. The other centers on its aftermath: advocacy.

In a country where 64% (this year's rough estimate of nationwide turnout) is the best that one of the standard-bearers of the free society can expect, advocacy is an integral and needed step in ensuring that good government is actually carried out.

While we often forget that these politicians work for us and not the other way around, we must instill in them a sense of accountability for their actions not only in the voting booth (as has been done just this past Tuesday), but each day through contact with our local politicians, state politicians, and those going up to that bureaucratic befuddlement of Washington, D.C. We mustn't rely on others to speak for us. This country's government, as President Lincoln stated at the close of the Gettysburg Address, is one "of the people, by the people, for the people." We mustn't forget this...we must change government ourselves through advocacy if true change is to occur.

Yes, informed consciences are important before the voting process and during it, but so too are they important in deciding the direction of leadership in one's community, great or small, and much greater is the need of active and informed advocacy of those very ones we vote in (or have foisted on us). We mustn't be quiet. We mustn't go quietly into the night. We must organize, continue to organize, and speak out for the change we see needed in a country where change can be abused.

We need informed consciences not to lord things over people. No, we need them to give the Truth to our society. We need to be shepherds of the Truth. We must speak out to injustices and change the way we work as a country. I implore you, do not give up on the second half of democracy—advocacy.

This country is need of it, or we as a nation might just plunge off the cliff of instability or—worse yet—insignificance.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Civil Rights and the History of the Moment

My thoughts are on the amazing history of this week, and, in fact, this past year. I personally identified a great deal with what John McCain stood for, I could see a determination in his heart, in his words that I knew from the beginning he would make an excellent leader, an excellent president for our country. That what he said weren't merely words to get elected (as politicians, none in this group included) so often do. I could not find anyone else I could stand behind more in the run-up to and during the election.

I, in fact, did volunteer in the final hours for Sen. McCain because I could feel the gravity of the moment. I also offered my thoughts of the current events, in the wee hours of the morning of Election Day, because I knew in my heart what was at stake here: the honor of our country and the honor of the American people. I knew this election was different, but I did not see it completely the way a voting majority of the country saw it. Even if my predictions were incorrect, I ask that you to take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

'Scorched earth' was and is never a good policy of action. I think that we will see some of that in the coming weeks and months, unfortunately. This is indeed a historic time in our country's history, a very historic time.

I find a great deal of promise in Sen. Obama, something that others see even more in. There are a number of policies we don't see eye to eye. And beliefs that we fail to share, one regarding abortion—but his stance of how to deal with the root of the problem (and that is women in difficult situations) is at the very least understandable if not admirable. However, regardless the differences we share, he is a gifted politician adept at staying calm and cool that it reminds me of a difference of the 'Teflon' presidential years of the '80s...the validation or invalidation of this current reality will come soon enough.

Nevertheless, the history made on Tuesday is to be commended. It is a time to heal the racial divides in this country and actually get to helping those in need and to protect the rights of all Americans. We must stand up for the rights of all in this country of ours, and this is a step in that direction. There is much else to do and further rights to protect.

If we needed any further reminded let me quote the beginning of the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

We should always be wary of the abuses construed by those in power and ever vigilant of the rights we hold dear in this country of ours: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We must defend these rights for all, not just some. And, most importantly, realize once and for all human life is afforded those unalienable rights and are thus created equal. We are all called to have a voice, and we should always push further to form a more perfect union.

There is no "yes, we can"...for we have done, we are doing, and we will continue to do...all that is needed to ensure voices young and old, white or black, born or unborn are given the rights described in that Declaration of Independence.

We must never go quietly into the night. We must never be told to be quiet. If it is what it is, we must speak the truth of it. We must never stand for injustice. And for me, as we celebrate history, I must remember this as we celebrate one Civil Rights history and await another: the compassionate end of abortion where abortion is not necessarily illegal but simply and utterly unthinkable.