June 29, 2010

Better Than Sports

Exciting news! We got our (primary) absentee ballots in the mail yesterday. The Oklahoma primaries are at the end of July, unlike apparently the rest of the country who had them last month.
BTW, if you haven't yet registered absentee for your home state of residence - DO IT! Yes, you can live wherever around the world and vote absentee. It's allowed for servicemembers and their spouses. Your vote is needed in local elections. A simple online search for your county's election board will get you to instructions on how to do it.

Anyway, it made me excited. I miss campaign season. I grew up in it. Every summer, there was someone to work for. It's exciting. I love, love, love politics. The thrill rivals sports, and actually has an effect on the world. It's easy to get burnt out or jaded, but if you are willing to stick it out and fight, it's always worth the effort put in.

And, frankly, I don't consider voting a right. I consider it to be a responsibility. As an American citizen, we enjoy more freedoms than anyone else in the world. Think about it - we have the right to say or write whatever we want (other than lies) without fear of the government sending the black vans in. That's already one-up on most of the largest civilized countries in the world, like Iran, Russia, Cuba and China. We have the right to own private property - and not just the property under our house, but the minerals within that property. That rules out every European country I can think of. And, of course, we have the right to own the most effective means of self-defense, reaffirmed by Monday's Supreme Court ruling. That is unique to nearly every other country in the world.

Not to mention the right to due process and a fair trial for which you are assumed innocent until proven guilty, the right to freely and peaceably assemble....add all those up, and our Constitution makes America a unique and essential establishment and example of freedom and individual liberty in the world.

In return, we bear the responsibility to make sure that those rights are not infringed, by electing legislators, governors and presidents, by voting on local ballot initiatives, and even by running for office - and that those freedoms are extended to all of humanity, because we understand that these are inalienable rights endowed by our Creator upon all mankind, all created equal, not just Americans.

Seems like a pretty small trade-off, doesn't it?

Hence, my excitement. Although, I'm not too thrilled about the fact that we're supposed to mark the ballot in pencil, not in pen. That just seems...odd.

Anyway, today's quote, short and sweet:

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.
~ George Washington

And today's freedom chapter:

Galatians Chapter 3 - You foolish Galatians! Who has hypnotized you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified? I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh? Did you suffer so much for nothing - if in fact it was for nothing? So then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, so understand that those who have faith are Abraham's sons. Now the Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, All the nations will be blessed in you. So those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith.

For all who [rely on] the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written: Cursed is everyone who does not continue doing everything written in the book of the law. Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith. But the law is not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live by them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brothers, I'm using a human illustration. No one sets aside even a human covenant that has been ratified, or makes additions to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say "and to seeds," as though referring to many, but and to your seed, referring to one, who is Christ. And I say this: the law, which came 430 years later, does not revoke a covenant that was previously ratified by God, so as to cancel the promise. For if the inheritance is from the law, it is no longer from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.

Why the law then? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise was made would come. [The law] was ordered through angels by means of a mediator. Now a mediator is not for just one person, but God is one. Is the law therefore contrary to God's promises? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly be by the law. But the Scripture has imprisoned everything under sin's power, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. The law, then, was our guardian described such a slave. This slave was not a teacher. until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, described such a slave. This slave was not a teacher, for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to the promise.

4 comments:

  1. I can't remember when Oregon made the switch, but our state is one that mail ballot only. We don't have polls, or whatever the place you go to cast your ballot in person and get the "I voted" sticker. So it's like everyone is absentee.

    I'd be interesting to actually go to the courthouse/whereever they have that stuff done to cast my vote.

    But then again, I'm totally lazy and filling in the bubble with a No. 2 person is just fine in my book.

    But yay for voting!

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  2. Anyone in the military can now get their absentee application via PDF too! Federal law requires it and technically they can vote for Federal office without even needing a ballot! I loooove elections! Oh and don't feel like Oklahoma is late, Michigan's primary isn't until August 3. I just started getting ballots out. So exciting!

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  3. Voting is DEFINITELY a responsibility!!! Oh, I wish people took it more seriously!! Love the quote, so true!! I wonder what it would be like to be back in the days of our founding fathers...

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  4. I completely agree!! I feel that if you are going to hold residency in a state then it is your responsbility to shape that government. :)

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