I don't normally get into politics. It's not my thing and I often don't feel informed enough to discuss a lot of issues with others. However, like a lot of people, this election season has sucked me like never before. This was the first year I voted in the primaries and it will be the first time since high school I've voted in a presidential election.
I've watched the debates, I watch CNN's political coverage regularly and I've read a variety of blog entries about the candidates and various propositions that are on the ballot this November. All of this has really forced me to take a look at myself and what I believe in. To try and reconcile religious beliefs with the founding principles of this great nation. I've been struggling with these issues for weeks now, but I think that in that, I've grown. A lot.
I was raised in a Christian household and I'd say the principles of Christianity really shaped my childhood. Things were taught as being right or wrong, according to the Bible, with very little middle ground. I still hold onto a lot of this value system, but as I've gotten older, I've come to realize that the world often exists in shades grey. In addition, I've also come to understand the reasons for the separation of church and state and why this is so important.
Living in this country means I'm able to practice the religion I choose to and have the value system I have without fear of religious persecution. That also means that my neighbor gets to do the same, even if it's the polar opposite of what I believe. I respect that and am grateful for it. But, that also means we can't use one religion or one set of beliefs for the basis of all our laws. Let's take, for example, the issue of abortion. Personally, do I believe that it is right? No. My value system tells me otherwise. But, do I think it should be illegal? No. Besides the public health ramifications of such a move, there are also those pesky shades of grey again. What about rape victims? Incest victims? When the mother's health is at stake? Yeah, it gets sticky pretty quickly.
If we were ever to have kids, it would be up to us to teach them our value systems, not to rely on the country to have laws in effect that would prohibit behavior with which we don't agree. But, keeping abortion as the example, it'd start with topics that came waaay before that one. It'd start with sex, what that means, and everything that goes along with it. You know, that whole personal responsibility thing. It seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird in this country, but it's something we need to get back to and soon.
So, I guess this was a rambling way of saying that I've come to a place where I seem to have found a good balance between my religous beliefs and my political ones. It wasn't easy to get to, but I think I've learned a lot about myself in the process. And I'm hopeful for this country come November 4th. Let's hope it's a day that we turn a corner and start heading in the right direction again.