Monday, August 16, 2004

Christians Should Support John Kerry for President

One of my high school classmates (Stony Brook School, Stony Brook, L.I., N.Y., class of '53) has copied to me a straight from the heart argument that true Christians should be supporting John Kerry for President in 2004. Mike has agreed to let me place it in this blog. Dick is another of my Stony Brook classmates. Stuff in [...] is my addition.

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Hi Dick,

Some friendly banter to you on the John Kerry / VietNam issue. It was found out recently (and probably John McCain knew it first) that those contesting the crew of Kerry's river boat were a group of ardent Republicans dead-set on contesting anything positive about Kerry.

Significantly also about them is that, yes, some of them may have served in the same general area there as Kerry, and maybe in his military unit, but NONE of them were in his crew on the boat and there to see his valor under fire. But ALL but one of his crew who are alive today were there by his side at the convention affirming his character and courage.

Let me share something with you, Dick, about our support for Kerry and the Democratic Party. This [the following outline] was the substance, in short form, of a publication here in Pennsylvania recently. And it has everything to do with our transformation and growth in the Christian faith. The article, mainly in outline form is entitled "Why We Are Voting for John Kerry" by Mike and Shirley Winship.

LEADERSHIP - U.S. Senate experience. Honorable, dedicated military officer.

ENVIRONMENT - Environmentalists and Sierra Club support him.

STEM CELL RESEARCH - He supports it for its immense potential for healings and medical possibilities for so many.

VETERANS - Against the sneaky Bush back-door draft and for keeping our VA Centers open and funded.

MILITARY - Decorated combat experience; for strong military and improved homeland defense.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS - Would restore the lost respect and trust of old allies by respecting and working with them.

HEALTH CARE - Access to adequate health care for all.

EDUCATION - Would give priority to elevating student opportunities and teacher excellence and compensation.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS - Make them accessible to all at prices comparable to what people in other countries pay.

PERSONAL HUMILITY & INTEGRITY - contrast with Bush arrogance and lies.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY - this is the party of and by and for the people. We are followers of Christ, and He and the Bible describe the work of the Kingdom of God as helping the poor, the oppressed, weak, sick, hungry, hurting (Isaiah 58, 61; Luke 4), and forgiving and peace-making. We are former Republicans (until year 2000), and our Christian faith finally demanded our rejection of the party of the rich and powerful and arrogant, and our alignment with the party of the hard working people all around us. It was, for us, like coming from darkness into the light. It was a gradual and thoughtful process of change, and George Bush proved us right.

Dick, I know how you have wrestled yourself with issues the Presbyterian church has been contended with, and I would seriously ask you consider some of our positives mentioned above. Compare the conventions this summer and look at the difference you will see in the faces of the people there at each. Think of the OT prophets and the sins of Israel/Judah and how God rebuked them for looking away from those oppressed and for their love of ease and self-enrichment. Look at the real sin of Sodom as mentioned in Ezekiel 16:47-50. Then compare the two major parties of America, and see where your heart is.

See, Dick, they call me retired, but I am still the pastor and counselor. One lesson God has taught me in recent years, for which I am so grateful and liberated, is to listen for His voice in all kinds of people, Christian and non-... For me, since Stony Brook, change and the power to change my mind and direction, is the essence of transformation, which the Apostle Paul said was crucial (Romans 12:1-2). Jesus, a true and pure liberal, said the repentance and move into the "Kingdom of God" was so radical that it required nothing less than being"born again." When one is an active pastor, he is rarely free enough to actually go that far. The "Pharisees", or today's conservative equivalents, will crucify you, or at least kick you out of the church. By the way, Jesus was indeed a liberal (free, liberated a la Galatians 5:1). What conservative would say "You have heard it said ... (i.e. the law), but I say unto you ...."?

Just some thoughts, Dick.

Spoken in Spirit and love. Mike


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