Me with my lovely wife, Kathy:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Praying or prating? And casting my vote:

I meant to say, "Something to pray about." But the "t" is right next to the "y," so my statement came out "something to prat about." Not only does that not say what I want it to, but it almost says exactly what I don't want it to say. To prate is to to "talk excessively and pointlessly; babble." ( One of the definitions given in the same source sounds like it came from the Bible, "empty or foolish talk." (see Ephesians 5:4 & Proverbs 10:10)
OK, a typo is a typo. I need to be more careful about proof-reading--tough when I try to use the internet as a tool to pass on information quickly--tougher as my coordination deteriorates with age. But my mistake reminded me of all the things I do rather than pray. Paul tells me that I ought to pray rather than worry. I can't argue with the wisdom that says that there is much that I can do after I've prayed, but nothing of consequence that I can (should?) do before I pray.
Anyhow, it was a reminder.

On a totally other note:
I went out and voted in the Virginia presidential primary.
I won't tell you whom I voted for (though you will likely be able to figure it out from my comments), but I did find the various influences that sought to influence my choice to be interesting, and somewhat distressing.

It has been the catchword of the campaign. It seems that the candidates, at least several of them, are appealing to the general idea that "Anything has to be better than this." We are familiar with the adage that defines idiocy as the belief that one can repeatedly do the same thing and somehow end up with a different result. Of course that adage is only true if one is doing the same thing, in the same way, with the same people, and in the same situation. Life is seldom that static or uniform. History is replete with stories of folk who kept on, and finally succeeded. Several years ago I had to get an old cast-iron bathtub out of my house. A plumber friend told me to break it up with a hammer. He told me the first couple of blows would break the porcelin, but after that it would look like I wasn't accomplishing anything. "Just keep on," he said. "It will break." Sure enough, I would say from the 6th to the 25th blow I could see no result. Then I saw it. A crack opened up and soon the tub was reduced to pieces of a manageable size.
It made sense to keep doing the same thing, even though it looked like nothing was happening, all the time expecting a good result, because I knew I was right. My friend had broken up many of these. He told me the truth. So I took another swing, and another, and another . . .
Wilberforce spent most of a lifetime whacking away at the institution of slavery in England. I certainly would have given up. Praise God, he didn't.
This idea of change being the measure of wise behavior--at least during this election cycle--seems to be a first-cousin of postmodernism, if not just an alias.
"What we are doing isn't working." At least not based on the narsasistic standards by which our age makes such judgments. "So we need to do something different."
There is little if any question of what is right. The change advocates are only concerned with what works--narrowly viewed as what works for me.
Policies that are wrong should be changed. Practices that are right ought to be continued. If they are ineffective then we should seek to do right more effectively. We should deal with the opposition. We should honestly ask ourselves the question, "If I have to choose would I rather die right, or pass on with the reputation as being the person who always stayed a step ahead of failure?"
I am seeking to have a conversation with one of my representatives right now. In the past I have asked this representative to vote for some solidly prolife legislation. When he responded he didn't indicate whether he was "fer or agin," rather he said, If we pass this it will be declared unconstitutional and we'll just waste a bunch of money. My reply is, "So?" When something is wrong we cannot merely take a pragmatic approach. "I can't do what is right, so I'll just go along with what is wrong."

Which brings me to another theme of this election cycle. In a way it is the opposite of what I just said. In another way it is the same. Kind of, if I can't choose someone who is 100% right, then rather than chose someone who is 60% right, I'll choose someone who is 90% wrong.
Some people, whom I usually admire, have said that if the candidate they like most doesn't win, then they won't vote for the one who is nearest to their views. Either they will vote the exact opposite or not vote at all. Forgive me, but it sounds like somebody needs to grow up.
My responsibility is to make the best choice I can, not to take my political football home because the choice I want isn't available.
If you want to respond to any of the steam I have blown off, I could probably use the counsel.

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