“Why am I Here?” (McCain) vs. “We (I) are the ones we’ve been waiting for” (Obama)


John McCain and Barack Obama will be joining up with evangelical Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church in California this weekend for a summit on religion and faith.  We will hold judgement to see if this turns out to be an episode of real questions about faith or softball questions asked of the candidates. 

There are some, by the way, who believe Rick Warren has sold out to the liberal side of the aisle and this meeting may not be as kind to McCain as it will be to Obama….they may have a point.

(I have attended Saddleback once when Mel Gibson was there to preview “The Passion of The Christ”….it was an interesting Q&A with Mel.  Since then I have read and heard things that do make me believe Rick Warren and his church may pander more to some liberal issues than say, men of the Bible, would…but I am not ready to fully condemn the man or the church yet….)

UPDATE 8/18/08: I watched the entire forum.  I loved it! I was impressed with the questions that Rick Warren put forward during the Presidential Forum. I guess a lot of that chatter we were hearing about who was providing questions either didn’t come to pass or was rumor….In any case, I thought the format was great and refreshing in highlighting the real differences in belief, thought process, experience and more between the two men…..not to mention the fact that McCain mopped the floor with Obama.

Lest I stray from my point….The Chicago Tribune, of all publications, has an interesting story on John McCain’s faith and how it helped him through his ordeal of multiple years of captivity under the guard of Vietnamese captors.

A sample from the article:

In an extended interview, McCain talked about how his faith was tested during his years as a prisoner of war from 1967 to 1973, said God must have had a plan for him to have kept him alive, and reminisced about his appointment as informal chaplain to his cellmates.

There were many times I didn’t pray for another day and I didn’t pray for another hour — I prayed for another minute to keep going,” said McCain, who was brought up Episcopalian but now worships at North Phoenix Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist church. “There’s no doubt that my faith was strengthened and reinforced and tested, because sometimes you have a tendency to say, ‘Why am I here?’ “

This is information we haven’t heard splattered across the reports from the Main Stream Media….maybe partially because McCain is somewhat to himself on this subject, but mostly because Obama and his empty ideas and staged persona are the talking points of the day for most in the MSM…..but I am guilty of digressing again.

But think about….John McCain has the faith to continue asking “Why am I here?”, while Barack “The Second Coming” Obama says he is “What we have been waiting for”! 

Which example of self-knowledge most exemplifies faith and which is an ego-driven attitude devoid of faith?

Read the article…it has great insight into the faith held by McCain and his fellow prisoners during what most people could never imagine enduring.  While you are reading, contrast McCain’s viewpoint on faith and his purpose in life with Obama’s church and the views Obama gained from it.

The contrast is stark and is very well exemplified in these two very different views of a most “beautiful experience”:

McCain from the Chicago Trib article:

McCain also recalls a Christmas service he orchestrated. A week before the holiday, McCain’s guards let him out of his cell and gave him a pencil, a piece of paper and a King James Bible. He copied sections of Matthew, Mark and John describing the birth of Christ so he could read them aloud while other POWs sang “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “Silent Night.”

“I recall it as if it happened an hour ago,” said McCain, sitting in a chair in a suite overlooking the Susquehanna River near the end of a day. “It was cold, the guards were looking through the windows at us, the room was dimly lit because of the light bulbs [that] were in each corner. These guys had beautiful voices, I’m telling you. One was a bass, one was a tenor. It was one of the most beautiful experiences I ever had.”

From Obama,  what seems to be one of Obama’s few sincere moments in life.  I referenced this in an earlier piece.  The original piece is by the liberal and slobbering-over-Obama Kristof at the New York Times:

He once got in trouble for making faces during Koran study classes in his elementary school, but a president is less likely to stereotype Muslims as fanatics — and more likely to be aware of their nationalism — if he once studied the Koran with them.  (What liberal hogwash!)

Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it’ll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

Statement in Italics added by me!

If only each and every voter would think about and study the contrast inherent in these two views….. I think they would come down on the side of the one who lived faith when it was all he had versus the little Jakarta street kid who feigns Christianity while living something 180 degrees from it.

Other great references on Obama’s faith and Islam:

Barack Hussien Obama: “I will stand with [the Muslims] should the political winds shift in an ugly direction

Christians should forgive Obama, a voter shouldn’t

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15 Responses

  1. This ought to be good–can’t wait to see what happens. Also–sorry I’ve been gone a while–hope you are having a tremendous summer. I’m excited to see what happens in the next 2 months in this election–it is scary, but exciting at the same time.

    -Murphy

  2. Murphy-
    Great to have you back blogging…hope the break was because you were having so much fun!

    I have great hope that America will wake up to the inexperience of Obama (among other things) and McCain becomes #44…..it will, indeed, be an interesting few months.

  3. I received this email from Pastor Glen Kreun @ Saddleback CC. Good info on the forum.
    —————————————————

    To keep you informed about this Saturday’s Civil Forum, we’re sending you the FAQ document being given to the media. Over 500 international and national media have applied for credentials to attend. Please continue to pray for Pastor Rick and our staff.

    Pastor Rick will be writing you today to share his heart.

    SADDLEBACK CIVIL FORUM

    ON THE PRESIDENCY

    with Sens.
    John McCain & Barack Obama

    August 16, 2008

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR THE MEDIA

    *What is the Saddleback Civil Forum?

    The Saddleback Civil Forum is a monthly forum for Southern California intended to promote personal responsibility, social civility, and spiritual maturity, held on the 120 acre campus of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. World leaders in science, business, education, the arts, entertainment, government, health, and religion are invited to speak on subjects of community interest. Sometimes speakers are ordinary people with extraordinary stories, such as a recent forum when five Jewish holocaust survivors shared how they survived the World War II death camps.

    *How did the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency come about?

    On July 2nd, after efforts by another organization failed to get the two candidates together, Dr. Rick Warren personally contacted the candidates out of his relationship with both men, and invited them to Saddleback’s Civil Forum for August. Both agreed to participate on two conditions: 1) that Dr. Warren ask all the questions — instead of a panel, or from the audience — and 2) that it be open for all national media to cover as news or carry via live video feed from Saddleback, as opposed to co-sponsorship by any one network or outlet, as was done during the primary campaigns.

    *After so many debates among candidates throughout the primaries, what makes this event unique?

    This will be the first joint appearance of the two presumptive nominees of both parties for President, and one of only four joint appearances of the campaigns, including three debates planned for later this fall. It is also the final general appearance by either candidate before they go into hiatus prior to their respective conventions. And, as far as we know, it is the first time that a church pastor has ever moderated an event, in a local church, featuring the two major candidates for President.

    *What will be the format of the Forum on the Presidency?

    The two-hour format will be held in a non-debate format, from 5 pm to 7 pm PDT. Dr. Warren will have a separate long-form conversation with each candidate for about 50 minutes.

    To avoid bias, and give America a true and fair comparison the questions to both candidates will be identical to provide a fair comparison, although the follow-up questions may differ, based on their response.

    Sen. Barack Obama will be interviewed first, as determined by a flip of a coin. To insure fairness, Sen. McCain will not hear the questions during the first hour. Between the two interviews, the candidates will appear together on stage for photographs.

    *What kind of questions will Dr.
    Warren ask?

    Dr. Warren has been soliciting and considering questions from leaders representing all sectors and sides for over a month. First, he invited the 250,000 American pastors and church leaders who subscribe to his weekly newsletter to email their “heartland” questions. Next, he put together a team of experts in various areas to help him shape the questions on their area of expertise (i.e. religious persecution, AIDS, hiring freedom, abortion, etc.
    )

    Questions from debates and town hall meetings typically deal with hot political topics like the war, the border, the price of oil and reaction to campaign statements. While important questions to ask, these tend to be short-term issues on which the candidates have repeatedly stated their positions.

    The Saddleback Civil Forum will focus on the core convictions of each candidate that would shape how each one would lead and their views on America’s role, direction, and culture.
    Each interview will be segmented into four themes:

    STEWARDSHIP: Questions on the constitution, the role of government, security, education, and energy.

    LEADERSHIP: Questions on personal character, competence, convictions, and experience to be president.

    WORLDVIEW: Questions on life, family, evil, freedom, Christianity, and Islam.

    AMERICA’S ROLE IN THE WORLD: Questions on going to war, on America’s responsibility to bless other nations, poverty and disease, human rights, religious liberty, corruption, and their vision for America.

    *Is this event a violation of church and state?

    When asked this question in media interviews, Dr. Warren has given this response: “Of course not — it has no government sponsorship. I believe in the separation of church and state, but I do not believe in the separation of faith and politics, because faith is simply a worldview and everyone has some type of worldview. Whether you are an atheist, secularist, Buddhist, communist, Christian or any other faith, you have a worldview. Your worldview is your personal database that you reference to make every decision. Any leader who claims that he will “not allow his faith to influence his decisions” is either ignorant or dishonest, as that is impossible to do. Leaders make decisions based on their values, or worldview, so it is entirely appropriate for voters to want to know what a candidate’s worldview is.

    *Does Dr.
    Warren intend to endorse either candidate?

    No. First, the law prohibits non-profit 501(c)3 organizations such as churches from making official endorsements. Second, Dr. Warren believes it is inappropriate for pastors to make personal endorsements of political candidates, since pastors must shepherd all the flock, regardless of their political persuasion.

    Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have both been friends of Dr. Warren before they began their run for President. He knows many leaders from both parties, including six of the candidates who ran for the Presidency, but he has never endorsed any candidate.

    At the 2006 Saddleback Global Summit on AIDS and the Church, Barack Obama participated as one of 60 speakers. At that annual event the following year, Hillary Clinton appeared in person. John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama and John Edwards joined via video to share their plans for addressing HIV/AIDS if elected to national office.

    *Why did Dr.
    Warren invite the candidates to the Saddleback Civil Forum?

    Dr. Warren wanted to provide a different context and climate for the candidates to let the faith community and the entire electorate know who they are and how they will lead — sharing not just what is in their heads, but also in their hearts. He is not a political pundit, but a pastor who deals with the real life, daily life concerns of average Americans, and he wants to ask objective, but tough questions about those issues. Dr. Warren intended for a panel to interview the candidates, but both presumptive nominees asked that he alone ask the questions, expressing their trust in him to provide a fair and civil format.

    *How many people will attend the Forum?

    Each campaign was provided 100 seats, and approximately 5,000 more tickets are being distributed to Saddleback Church members and regular attenders through a drawing in seven categories. For security reasons, only individuals with tickets and accredited, credentialed working media will be allowed on the church campus.

    *Will there be an opportunity to meet the candidates?

    There will be no opportunity for autographs, photographs, shaking hands or meeting with either presumptive nominee.

    *Who is handling the security for the event?

    The Secret Service. No phones, cameras, purses, or recording device will be allowed. The Campus will be closed the day before. This is a church event, not a public event, and only those with tickets will be allowed on campus.

    *Will there be media facilities?

    Yes, though due to Secret Service requirements for background checks, the deadline for media credentials closed on August 8. Media with credentialing questions or requiring additional information are asked to contact A. Larry Ross Communications. Phone: 972-267-1111. Email: media@rickwarrennews.com.

    *Is any other organization involved with the Saddleback Civil Forum?

    No. This is a Saddleback Church event.

    *What else is happening related to the Civil Forum this weekend?

    Dr. Warren had hoped to host an interfaith reception prior to the Forum but scheduling prevented that from happening.

    The morning after the Civil Forum, Sunday, August 17, Dr. Warren will deliver a non-partisan message at Saddleback Church entitled “The Kind of Leadership America Needs.” National news agencies have expressed interest in broadcasting it.

    *What will be the focus of Dr.
    Warren’s Sunday morning message?

    The message will be about the necessity and nature of effective leadership. Dr. Warren has advised many presidents and world leaders. “The Kind of Leadership America Needs,” will be based on what the Bible says about servant leadership, his 35 year personal study of leadership, and his experiences in having trained more than 400,000 leaders in 162 countries over the past 28 years. Dr. Warren has taught on leadership at Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, The University of Judaism, the Davos World Economic Forum, the Aspen Institute, the United Nations, and at many international congresses. He was selected by “U.S. News & World Report” as one of America’s 25 Best Leaders. (See biography below).

    Both candidates have publicly endorsed and supported the Global PEACE plan and the PEACE Coalition started by Dr. Warren.
    What is it?

    The PEACE Plan is a strategy to combat five global problems that affect billions of people: spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic diseases and illiteracy/poor education. P.E.A.C.E. is an acrostic for Promote reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick and Educate the next generation. The PEACE Coalition is a network of networks, creating partnerships between the public, profit, and faith sectors — governments, businesses, and churches.

    Currently, the P.E.A.C.E. Plan is being developed in 68 countries. Over the past four years, Saddleback Church has sent 7,776 members on more than 1,000 PEACE teams to work internationally in 68 countries.
    For additional endorsements and information visit www. thepeaceplan. com

    Endorsement of the PEACE Coalition by Sen.
    John McCain

    “The consistent message of the Gospels calls us to recognize that all life is sacred because all human beings are created in the image of God, and Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. The billions affected by poverty, diseases, illiteracy, and oppressive or corrupt governments are our neighbors and they deserve our compassion, support and comfort. They are living without hope, happiness or good health. This is why we need the PEACE Plan and the PEACE Coalition. Together as individuals, churches, corporations, and countries we must do all we can to cooperate in eradicating these ‘giant problems.’ The mobilization of local churches to aid, educate and empower others through the PEACE Plan has already made an impact on these problems and will only increase. I am so grateful for the PEACE Plan and I thank Rick and Kay Warren for their leadership worldwide.

    Endorsement of the PEACE Coalition by Sen.
    Barack Obama

    “Through the PEACE Plan, thousands of partners are acting on the belief that the challenges we face today are not simply technical problems in search of a ten-point plan. They are moral problems, rooted in both individual callousness and societal indifference, due to the imperfections of man. The PEACE Plan marshals the hard work and good will of churches, placing trust in the limitless power of a living and awesome God. It proclaims with loving witness that the weary and heavy-laden across the globe can find rest and strength in the arms of their brothers and sisters — ordinary people empowered by God to change the world. Michelle and I will be praying fervently for the success of the PEACE Coalition. Moreover, as partners, and as friends we will be working with Rick and Kay Warren and all Americans willing to see that the aims of this great plan are realized. God’s call to be our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper requires of us nothing less.

    SOME COMMENTS FROM THE PRESS

    “It has taken a man of God to do what nobody else has been able to do since the general election season began: Get Barack Obama and John McCain together on the same stage.
    ” The New York Times

    “The most prominent mediator of late is Pastor Rick Warren, who has wrangled John McCain and Barack Obama for their first joint appearance… The bookies of the political game are referring to the matchup as ‘The Rumble Before the Humble.
    ‘ ” The New Yorker

    RICK WARREN BIO FOR THE MEDIA

    Dr. Rick Warren is a pastor, global strategist, theologian, author and philanthropist. Numerous polls have identified him as “America’s most influential spiritual leader.
    ” He has been listed in:

    America’s 25 Best Leaders

    America’s Most Influential Religious Leader

    100 Most Influential People in the World

    15 People Who Make America Great

    One of America’s 2 Best Communicators

    100 Most Powerful (listed most credible)

    100 Most Influential on West Coast

    America’s Pastor

    America’s Most Influential Pastor

    Ten Best Preachers of Past 50 Years

    U.S.
    NEWS & WORLD REPORT

    TIME

    TIME

    NEWSWEEK

    SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

    FORBES

    L.A.
    TIMES MAGAZINE

    USA TODAY

    CHRISTIANITY TODAY

    PREACHING TODAY

    As a pastor, he founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA., with one family in 1980. Today it may be America’s most influential congregation with over 100,000 names on the church roll, a 120 acre campus, and 248 community ministries to prisoners, CEOs, Down Syndrome children, addicts, single parents, those with HIV/AIDS, and many other groups. The church recently fed every homeless person in Orange County, 3 meals a day, for 40 days.

    As a global strategist, he advises leaders in the public, private, and faith sectors on poverty, health, education, corruption, leadership development, and faith and ethics in culture. He has lectured on global issues at World Economic Forum in Davos, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Global Health Summit, the United Nations, the Aspen Ideas Institute, TED, and numerous world congresses. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He is the originator of the global P.E.A.C.E. initiative to Promote reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, and Educate the next generation.

    As an author, he has written seven books. “The Purpose Driven Life” was the bestselling book in the world for 2 years, and is the bestselling hardback in history, according to Publisher’s Weekly. It had sold over 30 million copies in English alone, and been translated into nearly 100 languages. His previous book, “The Purpose Driven Church”, is recognized in “100 Books that Changed the 20th Century.” Forbes called it, “The best book on leadership and innovation in print.

    As a theologian, Dr. Warren has lectured at numerous universities and seminaries including Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, the University of Judaism, and the Evangelical Theological Society. In 2007, he was named Theologian of the Year.

    As an innovator, he has introduced dozens of innovations now commonly used in churches around the world. Saddleback was the first church on the Internet (1992) and hundreds of thousands of pastors use its websites for resources, forums, and sermons. He created the Purpose Driven Network, a global alliance of over 400,000 pastors from 162 countries who have attended Purpose Driven training. Forbes wrote, “If Saddleback’s ministry was a business, its influence would be comparable to Dell, Google and Starbucks.

    The father of modern management, Peter Drucker wrote, “Saddleback Church is the Bell Laboratories of Christianity — the R & D department of the Church. Warren has a genius for synthesizing complex ideas and simplifying them into practical models. He’s done it with organizing volunteers, preaching sermons, mobilizing small groups, creating systems for spiritual growth, and networking churches. He’s the Wesley of the 21st Century. He’s also a reformer in the Wilberforce tradition.

    As philanthropists, Rick and Kay Warren give away 90% of their income through three charities: Acts of Mercy, which serves people with AIDS, Equipping Leaders, which trains leaders in developing countries, and The Global PEACE Fund, which fights poverty, disease, corruption, and illiteracy by networking congregations, businesses, and governments together.

    Warren was born in San Jose, CA. He earned a B.A. degree from California Baptist University, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. He also has been awarded 3 honorary doctorates. Rick and his wife, Kay have three children and a dog.

    MEDIA QUOTES

    Books and Culture “Saddleback Church is America’s most fascinating megachurch.

    TIME “Rick Warren is America’s Pastor. Movie stars and political leaders aren’t the only ones turning to Rick Warren for spiritual guidance. Millions of people – from NFL and LPGA players to corporate executives to high school students to prison inmates – meet regularly to discuss The Purpose Driven Life.

    Fortune “America’s pastor has a plan to mobilize millions to fight poverty, illiteracy, and AIDS in Africa, and he’s got the management genius to do it…. Warren is secular America’s favorite Evangelical.

    Der Spiegel (Germany) “Warren seems like the kind of down-to-earth guy you could approach on the street. Looking at him, you’d never suspect he is the most influential preacher in the United States.

    The Economist (U.K.) “Rick Warren is arguably the most influential pastor in America.

    The Times (London) “Business and political leaders across America are turning to Rick Warren for guidance.

    Business Week “…the most celebrated of the nation’s evangelical leaders. Warren is also an effective entrepreneur who has started three remarkably successful ventures.

    TIME “…unquestionably the U.S.’s most influential and highest profile churchman. He is a natural leader, insatiable curious, and often the smartest person in the room.

    Washington Post “Which of these fellows exercises more influence upon American life: Michael Moore or Rick Warren? If your answer is Michael Moore, you should read Faith in the Halls of Power. It’s an engaging account of how evangelical leaders like Rick Warren influence corporate boardrooms, the White House, the Academy, and even Hollywood.” David Gergen, Advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton.

    USA TODAY “.Warren is a unifier, not a divider… the successor to Billy Graham as America’s minister.

    ABC NEWS “The Purpose Driven Life is the epicenter of a spiritual shockwave taking root across America in unlikely places like offices and college campuses. It is more than a book; it has become a movement.

    Orlando Sentinel “At times it seems Rick Warren is a force of nature. His influence is global.

    The Weekly Standard -“… Warren is clearly among the two or three most influential Americans working from the West coast.

    Publisher’s Weekly “The Purpose Driven Life was the best selling book in the world for both 2003 and 2004, and is the bestselling hardback in history.

    The New Yorker “Warren’s great talent is organizational. Theologically, he is a straight-down-the-middle evangelical. But like Ray Kroc and Sam Walton, he pioneered new delivery systems.

    NEWSWEEK “Some Christians, exhausted by divisive wedge politics, are going back to the Bible and embracing a wider-ranging agenda, one that emphasizes reaching out to the poor and disenfranchised. Almost unanimously, these evangelicals cite as the model Rick Warren. Members of his church sign up for missionary stints in Africa, feed the homeless, and see themselves as part of a global Christian community. While Warren added his name to a public letter condemning abortion and embryonic-stem-cell research, he also signed one demanding an end to atrocities in Darfur and another denouncing torture. ‘Rick Warren … has a lightness of being’ says John DiIulio, a political scientist at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Orange County Register “…one of the 100 People who shaped Orange County in past 100 years.

  4. I certainly would not vote for Barack Obama under any circumstances. I do, however, have issues with McCain as well. I do not intend to take anything away from his military service and his loyalty to our country, but let me raise this question. It seems that McCain has snubbed Christian conservatives at every turn and is now toying with the idea of a pro-choice candidate for VP. How can we be sure he will not continue to snub Christian conservatives if he is elected President? From his previous actions, I am not sure he would invite us to the table.

    The thing that bothers me the most about the man is this. It is common knowledge that he was unfaithful to his wife and left her for the woman he is married to now. If a man can not be faithful to his wife, then how can we trust him to lead our country? I don’t see how we can.

  5. Larry,
    Thanks for writing.

    I also have issues with McCain. At this point, I see him as the lesser of two evils. There is no way on God’s green earth that I will vote for Obama.

    A non-vote for McCain is a vote for Obama in my way of seeing it. So how can you not vote for McCain?

    I do have trust issues with McCain, but even at his worst, I don’t believe he holds the Socialist/Marxist world view that Obama does. McCain may be an opportunist, but Obama is a Socialist down to his soul in my mind.

    As far as divorce, I agree that it says a lot about the man who can’t be faithful to his wife, just as is says alot about the man who is faithful to his wife and family. I suppose Obama deserves credit for that. (However, many of his other relationships in life I have great questions about….Ayers, Wright, Rezko, and others)

    It also says alot about the man who can say he was to blame and ask for forgiveness. That is what McCain did. A quote I found that he made to AZCentral in 2007:

    “Sound marriages can be hard to recover after great time and distance have separated a husband and wife. We are different people when we reunite. But my marriage’s collapse was attributable to my own selfishness and immaturity more than it was to Vietnam, and I cannot escape blame by pointing a finger at the war. The blame was entirely mine.”

    Don’t forget that his first marriage ended 28 years ago offiicially. According to reports, it ended emotionally many years before that and soon after returning from years in captivity. That is not an excuse, but certainly puts perspective on the marital issues he had back then. I can’t justify him leaving his wife, but I can forgive since he confessed and asked for it…..years ago!

    Your points are all well taken, but I’ll take the guy who might agree with me on some issues versus the guy who wants to “hope” and “change” this country into something I can’t recognize.

    And don’t forget, many of us evangelicals voted for Bush, in part, if not mainly for his open Christian values and experience. While I still support Bush and I believe the Iraq and Afghan wars were justified, I have been disappointed on Bush’s stances on some issues like border control, excessive spending, and others.

    I guess my rationale this election season is that bad is better than worst and the “bad” may surprise us in a good way….or maybe that is wishful thinking.! 🙂

  6. Larry,

    A good question. However, there are lots of reasons that marriages fall apart and we don’t know what all the circumstances were between McCain and his ex-wife. We’re also talking about something that happened three decades ago. By all accounts, this marriage seems to be pretty solid.

    In this election, we’re in in the unfortunate situation of deciding which candidate offends us the least. Don’t let the ‘perfect’ become the enemy of the ‘good enough’.

  7. By the way, the comment previous to Larry’s qualifies as the longest continuous comment in SHARPRIGHTTURN blog history.

  8. Randy,
    Thanks for the very long comment. Good Q&A for the congregation and his followers, I suppose.

    However, there are those who have dug a little further in who Rick Warren has sought out for questions for the candidates.

    Read the link at http://reformedpastor.wordpress.com/2008/08/11/about-rick-warrens-forum-playmates/

    While some of the information comes from the New York Times which is questionable in and of itself, there is a lot of information, including from Rick Warren himself that indicates many of the questions are being generated by a group called Faith in Public Life.

    This group was formed by the more liberal group of pastors and advisors in America as an answer to the “Religious Right’s” hold on faith on politics.

    That doesn’t sound very evangelical to me. Read the link for some of the more liberal, Obama and Democrat-supporting names on the list. Those are the people Rick Warren is seeking out to generate questions for the candidates.

    This is one of the reasons I have questions myself on Rick Warren’s approach to his job and the use of his church.

    But like I said I will hold out my final opinion until I have more facts and as time goes by….I am not ready yet to write Warren off fully as just another liberal posing as an evangelical…..or at the least as someone who may have tried to do the right thing in the beginning, but as time, money, and a large church have come to pass, he is corrupted by it all. (ie Oral Roberts-like).

    We’ll see, I suppose over time.

  9. SRT and GBS,

    I have to agree that McCain seems to have taken the blame for his failed marriage and accepted that it was his fault. I had not read that before, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. I can only imagine the great strain that would be put on a marriage when placed into a bad situation such as that.

    I can also agree that McCain certainly seems to be the lesser of two evils, which is unfortunate. If you read my earlier blog posts, you will find that I was and still consider myself to be a strong supporter of Mike Huckabee. I was very disappointed in our party because I felt we had a much better choice in Huckabee and I a lot of people who felt the same way about Mitt Romney. I find it hard to trust McCain because he seems to snub conservatives in general and Christians in particular.

    That being said, I still haven’t made my mind up between voting for him or voting 3rd party. Personally, I see virtually no chance of him winning this election, for reasons that would take too long to go into here.

    Thanks for letting me comment. I really enjoy reading what you have to say, Ma’am.

  10. Larry,

    If enough people do as you might do, then McCain won’t win. Obama looks 10 feet tall right now, but the hardest road is between now and election day. As much as Obama has been fawned over by the media, you’d think he’d be 10 points ahead instead of being in a statistical dead heat. McCain seemed down for the count during the primary, and ended up running away with it. Don’t not vote for him because you (now) think he can’t win.

  11. GBS,
    If I decide to not vote for McCain, it will be because I do not trust him to be concerned about the issues Christians and conservatives care about.

    I realize we may never agree about McCain. As I said, I am still not sure what I am going to do, but I really feel we are fighting an uphill battle and Barack Obama is only part of the problem. I personally like President Bush and believe he has been a decent President, but if we are to believe the media (which is sometimes in doubt), the vast majority of the American people can not stand the man and are very much against continuing the war in Iraq. That issue is what I believe will swing this election in Obama’s favor. I hope and pray to God that I am wrong.

  12. Larry,
    I believe the people who will swing this election consist of two groups of people:

    1) So-called independents and fence-sitters: I think these folks will go with John McCain for the most part. Many of them can see that Obama has been wrong on Iraq, particulary the part about “it can’t be won militarily”. And I think these people will see the inexperience of Obama and the depth of experience that is John McCain whether you fully agree with him or not.

    2) Conservatives who decide to sit out the election or go third party: This group, if they sit out in large numbers because they can’t agree with McCain on every issue, will most certainly swing the election to Obama….that is not hard to see. If you break your choice down to a moral one….I don’t see how in the world, as Christians or conservatives, we can allow Obama to win…… and, worse, play an active (or sedentary) part in getting him elected.

    My logic and my two cents. I can not vote for Obama and I can’t allow my actions to give him a victory…as simple as that.

    (Larry, thanks for all your thoughts and comments. I appreciate it. I also read your blog and listed you on my blog roll….thanks again.)

  13. I believe you are right, SRT. Those two groups of people are going to swing this election, one way or the other.

    When you speak of breaking the choice down to a moral one, I understand what you are saying. On the other hand, I have talked to some people who feel it would be betraying their values and morals to vote for McCain. I can see the merits of both sides.

    Keep in mind, I still haven’t made my mind up about what to do in November. Maybe this kind of discussion is exactly what I need to make the decision correctly.

  14. Randy,
    Just wanted to let you know I was impressed with the questions that Rick Warren put forward during the Presidential Forum.

    I guess a lot of that chatter we were hearing about who was providing questions either didn’t come to pass or was rumor….

    In any case, I thought the format was great and refreshing in highlighting the real differences in belief, thought process, experience and more between the two men.

    Best wishes.

  15. […] sacrifice and humility Posted on November 3, 2008 by sharprightturn I am including below a part of a post I did back in August.  In the interest of election day tomorrow, it can never be said too many […]

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