Wednesday, November 03, 2004


The election was very disappointing to me. I'm crushed. I don't just live in my neighborhood insulated from the world, getting my $200 child tax credits and spending more on everything else. I travel quite a bit, working in places like Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Egypt. I fully understand how horrible this administration has been towards the planet, and I honestly feel that big business and its oligarchs are the only real winner here. All the talk and hope about youths turning out in droves didn't materialize. The huge voter turnout failed to help Kerry. The left lost seats in the Senate, Daschle lost, the first time that a minority leader didn't win reelection in a very long time. Here in Louisiana to everyone's surprise Vitter became the first Republican Senator ever. The only bright spot was Obama's win in Illinois. The Democrats in the House lost many seats, thanks in part to the illegal redistricting of states such as Texas. It seems the major force driving so many people to vote was not security or the economy, but instead "morality and values." This also materialized in all the ban same sex marriage amendments in 11 states. I'm curious how many people came to the polls based on this issue alone, and if it was put on the ballots mostly to help reelect George W. Bush. So what do I do now?

There is so much misinformation going around. Three out of four Bush supporters believe that stockpiles of WMDs were found in Iraq by inspectors, and that Sadam Hussein planned 9/11. I teach courses related to the Bible and biblical studies. I see this as very valuable in this day and age when the vast majority of the people who voted Republican believe that Jesus would support their agenda. They are obviously not reading the New Testament. I am so amazed that these people could claim to read and embrace the Gospels and come away thinking it means we should engage in preemptive warfare, that all people should not have access to health care, that people making more than $200,000 a year deserve tax breaks. Jesus would never fight for the pharmaceutical companies at the expense of affordible drugs. Jesus used to hang out with the poor, and even prostitutes and tax collectors. Instead of passing amendments of hatred, I feel Jesus would have emphasized love. And Jesus would not have fought for the rights of people to own semi-automatic fire arms. Just a hunch.

It seems Jesus has been hijacked by some biggotted hate mongers like Jerry Falwell. This administration has been unprecidented in its invokation of Jesus. I wish the president would spend less time praying and more time reading a newspaper now and then. So many job losses, a bad economy, an unjust war, people believing that the country is on the wrong track, and still Bush wins the popular vote. The stupid "flip flop" mantra worked, which doesn't speak highly of people's abilities to discern. As a Bible scholar and educator, I believe I do a great job in my classes teaching students how to go to the primary text and read with a critical eye. I've written popular books and websites focussed on examining exactly what the Bible says, especially in context. But it doesn't seem to be enough. I need to start thinking more outside of the box. I need to work harder to help others to see that Jesus was neither a Democrat or a Republican, but a first century Jewish man in Palestine who changed the world with his remarkable message and sacrifice.


Anonymous said...

My condolences for the brutal beating you've received at the hands of the ignorant American people.

But just for the record; it's not Sheiss, it's:


Used to express mild annoyance, surprise, or disgust.

Michael Homan said...

Sheiss is a German word that best expressed how I felt.

Anonymous said...

In the minds of many Democrats this race was largely an attempt to revenge the 2000 outcome. Perhaps “Anyone but Bush” was not seen by most of the electorate as a compelling idea. This Democrat defeat was a self inflicted wound for which there will be no Purple Heart. What was once a proud Party of ideas and the people has become the opposition party to the Republicans which is a completely different construct. The ideas and issues of more liberal candidates are dismissed as “unelectable” resulting in running two white male millionaires against two white male millionaires. Thank God Edwards delivered the South. For the second time we have a Democrat on the ticket who, if only he had won his home state, would have won the election.

Perhaps rather than reacting angrily and blaming a right wing conspiracy or the ignorance of the people, the Democratic Party should take a long look at where they are and how they have arrived at this point. They no longer connect to the people. A review of county by county results show that with the exception of those Southern counties along the Mississippi river the Democrats are a metropolitan party.

Demographics show that they connect with the very ignorant (high school or less education) or the very learned (graduate school or doctorate). If they are once again to be the party of the people they must find ways to connect with the people. They can do so by returning to those broad issues that do not polarize the country.

In the end Clinton killed the left wing of the Party. Let us hope Kerry didn’t just kill the whole thing.


Anonymous said...

“… I need to work harder to help others to see that Jesus was neither a Democrat or a Republican …”

Yeah, pretty neutral site here. I got that neutral, objective tone of the web site right off the bat! Doing a really good job at showing some love. No anger here. Nope! Just the Peace and Hope of Jesus. Showing the love of Jesus to the masses. That’s right!

On the other hand love your BibleDudes. Heavy on love and understanding, light on the hate and anger thing.

Have you ever noticed that the only thing tolerant people are intolerant of are those people who are intolerant. Think about it.