14 April 2008

evansville heating up

oh goodness, i'm feeling the pressures of campaign life for the first time since i began this journey. i haven't slept in a week, the little ole township i've been assigned has 3,000 doors to knock and 10,000 phone calls to make in the next ten days (before we move into getting out the vote), and there aren't near enough of us (YET!) to make it happen. that being said, i'm recruiting like a mad woman to make sure we can get enough people in the door to hit the pavement and get on the horn. and with michelle coming into town this week for a town hall, the madness is astounding...

and on top of that, obama has found himself in the midst of a pickle fest. or maybe even strategized himself into a pickle revolving around religion - an issue that has been the downfall of the democratic party for the past couple of elections...

look, the GOP managed to win the last presidential election on the issue of gay marriage. people tell me that's an oversimplistic explanation for a presidential election mired in war, a dumb president, and a stiff and unrelatable john kerry. but when george bush can win a second term when more than half the country is fed up with his idiocy and not liking the direction of a war (a WAR!), there is clearly something else going on. gay marriage. the GOP is awesome when it comes to pointing out the failures of my own party and in manipulating their base into voting on issues that don't matter. but the thing that does matter that the dems are great at ignoring (for a lot of reasons that i believe revolve mostly around insecurity and fear in alienating an entire group of voters) is religion.

so the dems don't touch the issue. we skirt around it, talk about growing up going to church, pander to the religious leaders as well as we can, and then sit back and ignore the fact that our indifference to religion is what alienates church-going might-be democratic voters.

i'm no different. i'm not religious. i'm certainly spiritual and believe in something greater than me and i think i'm a good person who strives to treat others as i wish to be treated (sometimes i fail, but i am always trying). my biggest issue with organized religion is (and for a very long time has been) that i have found religious people to be some of the most intolerant people i have ever met. i think jesus christ, muhammed, moses, zoroaster, buddha, krishna were incredible leaders whose kindness, warmth, spiritual connection to the universe, and lessons remain inspirational to this day. i also believe that if people of all religions worked as hard to live their lives in the footsteps of their prophets (instead of competing with one another and cutting each other down), this world would be a place without war, poverty, hatred, genocide, orphans, segregation, and all the other things that bring each of us a great deal of strife in our daily lives and the lives of those we love, as well as those we don't even know all around the world. it is the hypocrisy of preaching tolerance while treating those who are different with intolerance that drives me from religion.

that being said, i am aware that religion is the foundation of our great country. i am aware that most people in this country are religious, and i am gaining a new respect and will even go so far as to express admiration for the familial connections within the religious community. even more than that, i appreciate that my party needs to embrace the religious community in this country. we all need to work together AS ONE if we are truly to make the changes in america that we need to make. the religious community is already organized and working toward the betterment of the world in its local, national, and international efforts to end poverty, extend healthcare, and improve the lives of people living in developing countries around the world. our party and, quite frankly, the whole world needs to embrace the good work done by people of faith all around the country and the world. i mean, really, we all have the same ultimate goals, don't we? we all want to live in a better, more inspired, more progressive world, right?

and maybe, just maybe, obama's latest "blunder" was actually a great move because it's really opening up a dialogue about religion, about how the dems have historically failed the religious, how faith helps us all make the world a better place, and ultimately, about how the clinton camp really is all about down and dirty same old politics. further, last night's compassion forum provided some real insight into where each of them stand when it comes to religion, faith, and tolerance. from where i sat, it seemed to me that one of the candidates spoke from their heart and responded to the questions asked while the other candidate politicked their way through the questions without ever really responding. it was a really great way to see which is a person and which is a politician. i know which i prefer...

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