Dear friends and family,
I went to vote this morning! Many of my friends had reported waiting 2 or 3 hours, but our county has extended the hours, so there was absolutely no line at our local public library when I went at 8:20 AM. With as much as I have to do in life, I’m thankful for that, but I would have voted even if I’d had to wait. It is worth it to me. That is not to say that I’m particularly enthused by the presidential candidates. I’m not, although I do like John McCain well enough. But cynicism doesn’t excuse us from voting. After all, when you refuse to state your choice, you are leaving it up to others to decide. I don’t want to play roulette with my children’s future, so while the candidates might not be perfect, it is my responsibility to choose the one who is most likely to lead well on the issues that are important to me. Our friend Jesse Phillips writes about this in his essay: Christians & Politics: Where Art Thou, Perfect Candidate? You might also find a voter guide helpful in sorting through the issues. Here is one for Florida.
I am not a one issue voter. I care about the economy, world peace, educational choice, and a host of other issues. One of the key issues in our state is Amendment 2 on Marriage Protection, spearheaded by our good friend John Stemberger. There has been much misinformation circulated about this amendment by people claiming it will strip away existing rights, but it doesn’t. You can find out more at http://www.yes2marriage.org/. The other heartbeat issue, as always, is the sanctity of life. If a man can’t stand up for the helpless ones, what can he do? Barack Obama voted four times against a law to protect the lives of babies who have survived late-term abortions, like Gianna Jessen of http://www.bornalivetruth.org/. (You can see some of her videos further down in this blog. Obama has tried to backpedal on this, but he has vowed to sign the Freedom of Choice Act and his voting record has consistently proved that he is no friend of unborn babies. This is completely unacceptable to me. You can find ample factual information on the abortion issue at http://www.abort73.com/.
After I sent out an e-mail with some political satire last weekend, a few folks wanted to let me know why they were voting for Obama. That’s certainly your choice and I respect that! It’s wonderful to live in a country where we can vote according our conscience and where, despite much media bias, we still have access to abundant information on the issues!
Finally, now that I am done with my political rant, I want to share you a favorite poem that I have given out to my English class the two years we have studied American literature. Written by a Russian Jew who came to the USA at age 7, it is sure to stir your patriotism — not just for the past, but for the future. The first stanza speaks for folks like me, whose ancestors (Captains Samuel Ransom and Alexander Quarrier) really did fight in the Revolution. The second is the voice of those who have immigrated from oppressive countries, like my friends Olga, Monica, Ovi, Anna Marie, and Zamfira. (I met Ovi Pauna’s mom Zamfira at our last soccer game. I have put our picture at the bottom of this e-mail. Zamfira told me about her foundation Heart of Romania and how she is organizing a Gala fundraiser to be held at Metro Life Church early next year to raise money for a vehicle for a Romanian orphanage. Which reminds me: the rummage sale at Metro Life this past weekend netted several thousand dollars for the orphans in Haiti! Yippee! You see, the solutions to the world’s problems are not all political ones. It takes ordinary citizens like you and me, faithfully doing little and big things for others, not because we have to, but because we want to, no matter who gets elected.) But I digress. On to the poem, which I do hope you enjoy…
I am An American
by Elias Lieberman
I am an American.
My father belongs to the Sons of the Revolution;
My mother, to the Colonial Dames.
One of my ancestors pitched tea overboard in Boston Harbor;
Another stood his ground with Warren;
Another hungered with Washington at Valley Forge.
My forefathers were America in the making:
They spoke in her council halls;
They died on her battlefields;
They commanded her ships;
They cleared her forests.
Dawns reddened and paled.
Staunch hearts of mine beat fast at each new star
In the nation’s flag.
Keen eyes of mine foresaw her greater glory:
The sweep of her seas,
The plenty of her plains,
The man-hives in her billion-wired cities.
Every drop of blood in me holds a heritage of patriotism.
I am proud of my past.
I am an American.
I am an American.
My father was an atom of dust,
My mother a straw in the wind,
To his serene majesty.
One of my ancestors died in the mines of Siberia;
Another was crippled for life by twenty blows of the knout;
Another was killed defending his home during the massacres.
The history of my ancestors is a trail of blood
To the palace gate of the Great White Czar.
But then the dream came
The dream of America.
In the light of the Liberty torch
The atom of dust became a man
And the straw in the wind became a woman
For the first time.
“See,” said my father, pointing to the flag that fluttered near,
“That flag of stars and stripes is yours;
It is the emblem of the promised land,
It means, my son, the hope of humanity.
Live for it die for it!”
Under the open sky of my new country I swore to do so;
And every drop of blood in me will keep that vow.
I am proud of my future.
I am an American.