11/04/2008

Working an Election Site and Waiting for the Returns

Here at Preludium most of the mutterings and writing concerns (i) Anglican-Land and (ii) The War in Iraq. I have of course also been upfront that from the front lines in a small town on the bay, just where it meets the big water, I am supporting Barack Obama for President, both financially, by vote and by working the polls today. Of course all politics is local, just as all church is local. So I have also been working (not as hard as my wife) on other more local elections. Taking part in the work of politics on the ground has been mostly a fine experience, although, as with many, I find that it has not been conducive to sleep.

For the first time in years I voted the complete Democratic slate. Here in Delaware that's not necessarily the rule. We have only one member of the House of Representatives and two Senators. So sometimes it makes sense not to vote the ticket but do some balancing. But not this year.

I was a Challenger for the Democratic Party today, working five hours taking names of all
democrats who voted so that the Party could phone those who had not voted by certain times of the day and encourage them to do so. My counterpart for the Republican Party was a young woman who was very helpful to me, a newbie. She had served as a Challenger in previous elections and knew the ropes. We had no surprises, no glitches in the machines, no polling screw-ups. What we had was lots of voters - a steady stream all morning.

Part of being a Challenger was to be an observer and what I mostly observed was the real pride people had in coming into this lobby of a community college building and lining up and getting it all in order and voting. Voting is a big deal, and people knew it.

BabyBlue recounted her time at the poll and had a somewhat less flat out fine experience. She writes about the recorder calling out her name "loud enough to be heard all the way to Buckingham County" which I gather is not exactly next door. Fortunately we didn't have to do that.

I came back to Lewes from poll watching over in Georgetown and voted here. It w
as easy, at 1:45 there was a steady but low stream of people. I walked in, voted, walked out.

Now the waiting continues. I've three pictures of Senator Barack
Obama that continue in my mind this afternoon. In one he is crying for the death of his grandmother. In the second he is poised in front of the Capital. In the third he is hugging a child with tenderness. I am waiting in hope that this man will be president elect.

But now, after all the months of campaigns, I am also waiting in hope, another hope, which is not just about Senator Obama's being elected. I am waiting in hope that those voters, filled with joy and purpose and pride, will not forget who they are - the people.

It matters a lot who gets elected today. But it matters even more that there be a renewal of the electorate in making their voices heard.





42 comments:

  1. From your mouth to God's ear, Mark.

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  2. Many of us throughout the world hold our breath as you, the people of the United States of America vote for new elected leadership. We are hoping that you elect Hope and that you send to your national Congress, those who will support Hope.

    It truly effects the lives of us all!

    Holding up the nation of the United States of America and her proud citizens in continued prayer this entire day.

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  3. Thank you, Dahveed, your prayers did it - over the top!

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  4. What a great, great relief.

    I also find myself among the converted. Towards the end of the campaign I was more against McCain than for Obama, but I found myself among the converted during Obama's speech. I am hopeful, and proud of our country, in a way I do not recall being in -- well, pretty much for ever. Oh, I was always proud of my country, but seeing us overcome the nastiness of this election, and the accumulation of so many years of racism, was something else. This must be the way that people felt at FDR's election.

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  5. Deacon Charlie Perrin5/11/08 9:30 AM

    This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
    In 40 years United States of America has gone from Dr. King’s martyrdom to fulfilling his dream that the day would come when one would be judged, not by the color of one’s skin but by the content of one’s character.
    Who would have thought it.
    Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

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  6. An HOBD poster noted the following with a "Woo Hoo":

    "Community organizers 1
    Fox News 0"

    I'd add my own "Woo Hoo"

    Voters in CA/FL/AZ: 3
    TEC's "New Thing": 0

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  7. Mark,

    The operative word is "hope". We have it in spades now (apologies for the allusion, but there is no other phrase available).

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  8. One thing I think is very strange is the reaction on the SF site. They seem almost outraged that Obama won. I'm beginning to think that these folks aren't doctrinally conservative - in a very real way, their religion seems to be conservativism itself.

    On the other hand, my doctrinally conservative, Anglo-Catholic rector came out on his blog as voting for Obama. So it's not true that all those on "the other side" of the Present Unpleasantness are right-winged Republicans, but I'm beginning to think that the most vocal (and nastiest) of them are. How odd that they castigate "progressive" Episcopalians for making a religion out of their politics, but can't see the problem with doing it themselves.

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  9. Bob of Fremont6/11/08 10:02 AM

    I find it interesting that the same people who rejoiced with the democratic victory of Gene Robinson's approval as bishop are now planning to fight the democratic vote of people in California who disagree with same-sex marriage.
    As we conservatives in TEC were told after the election, the people of NH voted for the person they wanted, get over it and move on.
    Well, the people of California have twice voted their feelings on same-sex issues and it's time for those who disagree to get over it and just move on.
    Goose, meet Gander.

    Bob of Fremont

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  10. Yawner,

    There were undoubtedly Episcopalians active on both sides of the various constitutional battles across the nation. None of them, however were acting as the church and none of the battles were over church doctrine.

    The difference between churches and politicians is that churches are called to lead, politicians follow.

    I guess the three votes are cause for some gloating somewhere. Ask yourself however what will happen when the courts get the inevitable litigation and President Obama has appointed the judges?

    Happy gloating!


    FWIW
    jimB

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  11. It matters a lot who gets elected today. But it matters even more that there be a renewal of the electorate in making their voices heard.

    Amen. Obama won the election, but may the renewal of the voices demanding to be heard grow and prosper.

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  12. Bob,
    If you had put Mildred Loving's marriage to the popular vote in 1968, that would have been over-turned as well. Mildred Loving, in case you don't know, was a plaintiff in Loving V Virginia, the case that overturned laws against inter-racial marriage. at the time 2/3 of the electorate thought those laws should be maintained and disapproved of interracial marriage.

    Had it been put to the vote, I wonder if interracial Barack Obama would exist today.

    Since when do we let a minority's rights be determined by a majority vote?

    Oh, if they're gay, it's okay.

    Feh.

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  13. BillyD, I have long believed, based on my reading of T19 and SF and other sites, that the so-called "realignment" has a hell of a lot more to do with secular right wing politics than with anything theological.

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  14. A Contrarian Has Been Heard From...Very Loudly and Clearly:

    "But people, the brothers and sisters you fought so hard
    to set free (African Americans) have turned around and spat in your face. Don't turn
    the other cheek! Turn both cheeks and shove them in their
    ungrateful, sanctimonious, stupid faces".


    Fr. Jonathan (Mad Priest),
    Noteworthy Progressive Gay Activist,
    Advocate of The New Thing,
    Commenting on the Passage of Prop. 8 in California.

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  15. Bob of Fremont: you completely MISS the point (per usual).

    We ARE "moving on" . . . to FIGHT this d*mned amendment, with every legal AND political means at our disposal.

    What we are NOT doing, is giving up. Or moving out! (As fun as it would be to occupy some RC, or Mormon---or AMiA?---property, and declare it ours now)

    [Apples, meet Oranges]

    We are STAYING and fighting. It's what we queers have ALWAYS done.

    ['Phobes, au contraire, are dying out. Cold-blooded dinosaurs, meet hot-blooded sexy mammals!]

    We're not going away. Not ever---Alleluia! :-D

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  16. I find it interesting that the people who moaned, protested, backbit, and railed at the democratic election of Gene Robinson, doing everything they could to undo that election, would be offended at people doing the same in a secular election.

    We were told by Reasserters that, regardless of the people of New Hampshire's speaking, their attempts to undo the election were part of the democratic process.

    Goose meet gander.

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  17. It - just an addendum - Barack Obama exists in spite of miscegenation laws - that is, his parents met and married in Hawaii, where there were no such laws, and where Barack was born in 1961; but such laws existed in other states, including Virginia, where it did not end until 1967.

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  18. allen...where is the citation? And if true, it is MP raising a question that comes up off and on...that the same justice ideals that have moved the US from slave holding to being radically segregated to being separate in church and society to having a President who is African American, have not been seen by them as applicable to gay and lesbian people seeking the end of discrimination.

    There is a disjunction and we know it. But the cause I believe lies with our continued inability to make Sunday Morning and Monday Morning (the Church and the Society) part of the same whole.

    We are not talking on Sunday, what makes you think we will be able to talk on Monday?

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  19. Mark,

    http://revjph.blogspot.com/

    Look for MP's posting under the
    "N***ger in the Woodpile".

    There ain't no way to clean this one up or to get such a sorry state off the hook. If any conservative reappraiser had ever used language or concepts like this he/she would have been abominated, jettisoned, lampooned, and excommunicated for all time.

    Why the understanding pass for what is clearly a major character flaw? Oh, I forgot. When in the hands of a liberal, anger, bias, education-idolatry, superiority, and bigotry are tolerable.

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  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  21. Uriel,
    If the electorate had put Brown v. Board of Education or Loving to the popular vote, and enshrined racism, I very much doubt we would have a President-elect Obama. That was my poorly expressed point.

    IT

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  22. Allen, you're always a day late and a dollar short. After much discussion/debate between Mad Priest and regular commenters on his blog, he removed the offending posts. And yes, regular posters and readers of his blog were upset by his use of the word "nigger."

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  23. Allen...thanks. Went there and MP had removed all reference, with the following note:

    "As promised "The N Word Monologues" have been removed from the blog.

    You will notice I have removed none of the offensive posts concerning Roman Catholic Proposition 8 voters. This is because only FranIAm complains about me stereotyping Roman Catholics and I can cope with Fran. She's a sweetie."

    As to the major charactor flaw in MP: yes it is there.

    As to your remark, "There ain't no way to clean this one up or to get such a sorry state off the hook. If any conservative reappraiser had ever used language or concepts like this he/she would have been abominated, jettisoned, lampooned, and excommunicated for all time." That's a crock. David Virtue has on repeated occasions used language and concepts concerning Gay and Lesbian persons, some named individually, that are similarly outrageous and, behold, he lives.

    I will confess that I did not read MP's offending article, having found the title offensive enough to move on.

    As to your final remark: "Why the understanding pass for what is clearly a major character flaw? Oh, I forgot. When in the hands of a liberal, anger, bias, education-idolatry, superiority, and bigotry are tolerable." Rot.

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  24. " If any conservative reappraiser had ever used language or concepts like this he/she would have been abominated, jettisoned, lampooned, and excommunicated for all time."

    Fr Harris mentioned David Virtue (sic). He might well have mentioned your posts, in which you referred to gay people as "Molech's abomination." I don't notice that you've been shunned by the likes of Phil et al.

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  25. Mark,

    I don't concern myself about extremists that I myself don't particularly admire: Virtue, etc. However, you showed admiration for Mad Priest on a regular basis and he certainly went way over the top before his "N.. In the Woodpile" comment. I believe that his "Two Minds Are Better Than None" made quite a few people's day on this blog. That's just the tame stuff.

    You say that it is "rot" that there is a tinge of anger, bias, education-idolatry, superiority, and bigotry that gets a pass? Check out the fact that you still have MP's slap about "Two Minds..." posted with your apparent admiration. Can't just oppose the Republican candidiates...have to lower them and denigrate them as mindless.
    OK. Got it. No further education needed.

    Something of the same tact is happening by bishops Bruno and Mathes in California. They are calling the electorate to become more educated about GLBT issues...and implying that if they had been, then Prop. 8 would not have passed. Elitist vanity at its best: "I wish that those people would get a better education like me...then they'll agree with me". People DID educate themselves. They DID listen. They DIDN'T like what was happening and they changed it.They were right to vote for Mr. Obama...(clearly an educated move), but uneducated to pass Prop. 8? Got it.

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  26. Oh, Alllllennnn! Yoo-hoo! Alllllennn! [Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?] What about your own horrible comments about gay people?

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  27. If the Pro-8 side is so pro "education" about the issues, why did they resort to outright lies, and little else, for their campaign?

    I've asked it before, and I'll ask it again: why is it that "Biblical" Christians (whether of Protestant, Catholic or Mormon flavors) feel like they can ignore "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" with impunity?

    To paraphrase the ol' lawyers saying: Pro-(H)8ters argued NEITHER the facts, NOR the law, they just pounded the table (while telling us their racket was choirs of angels singing!)

    Lord have mercy.

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  28. Has Allen gotten his own blog yet?

    I hear that several websites are giving them away for free.

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  29. billyd,

    Gay people as people and respectful citizens were not the object of my "Molech's abomination" comment. Near-naked and 99% naked demonstrations, lewd simulated sex acts, and insulting signs were. BTW: why aren't you bothered about that?

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  30. Gay people as people and respectful citizens were not the object of my "Molech's abomination" comment.

    Seriously, thank you for clearing that up.

    Near-naked and 99% naked demonstrations, lewd simulated sex acts, and insulting signs were. BTW: why aren't you bothered about that?

    I thought that I had explained my position on that on the other thread. Pride Parades, as I understand it, are not monolithic. Some parts are as uneventful as a small-town Independence Day Parade; others, as you describe. I do find the latter parts problematic. I find them embarrassing. I think they are counter-productive, and even harmful (I can well imagine some gay fifteen year-old struggling with his sexuality out in the sticks, looking at some of the floats on TV or the net and thinking, "If that's what being gay is all about, I want nothing to do with it."). I do not go to Pride Parades. Even if I liked crowds, I would not go.

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  31. Buh bye, MP10/11/08 9:12 AM

    Mark,

    I see you are still linking to MP, who apparently is in danger of losing his job, judging from recent postings. Good riddance, I hope it happens. If you saw Matt Kennedy using the language or writing the way he had, I imagine all of your commenters would be calling for his head. So I recommend you join the Episcopal Cafe and de-link MP. He has proven himself to be racist against blacks, Latinos, and others, and anyone attempting to defend him at this point joins him in the hate-pile.

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  32. He has proven himself to be racist against blacks, Latinos, and others, and anyone attempting to defend him at this point joins him in the hate-pile.

    Along with all the Reasserter heroes like Akinola, Duncan, Iker. You, as well, so you've no moral high-ground to preach from.

    No one is impressed by this sudden and self-serving concern for minorities you show, as you are concerned only for those you like. I understand that you want comfort and security and absolute control - but God doesn't allow that.

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  33. I think I qualify as a Latino, and I have never found MP to be racist against me.

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  34. No one is impressed by this sudden and self-serving concern for minorities you show...

    Mark, that simply is not true. The reasserters themselves think it's quite the cleverest thing they've come up with! :-)

    ... as you are concerned only for those you like.

    Not even that. They are concerned only for those segments of minority groups that further the reasserter agenda, AFAICT.

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  35. Well, David, if he's not racist against you, clearly he's not racist against anyone! That's some logic.

    Here is what MP wrote before he deleted all his nastiness:

    Well not just black people but Latinos and poor people and poorly educated people and all the others who liberals spend so much effort trying to help without selling something like religion with their help. I suppose it’s one of those things. If people are struggling to survive they are hardly going to worry too much about thinking about other people’s ethical and moral questions. And if they don’t have a good education they are not going to have have good reasoning skills.

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  36. Here is what MP wrote before he deleted all his nastiness:

    Well not just black people but Latinos and poor people and poorly educated people and all the others who liberals spend so much effort trying to help without selling something like religion with their help. I suppose it’s one of those things. If people are struggling to survive they are hardly going to worry too much about thinking about other people’s ethical and moral questions. And if they don’t have a good education they are not going to have have good reasoning skills.



    None of which particularly backs your claims, unless you're trying to claim that poor education and poverty are limited to certain races - which makes you the racist. Of course, this isn't surprising given your complaints of his "hate" and your delight in the idea that a man may be stripped of his livelihood and thrown into a position that will ultimately destroy him - unless, of course, you've no knowledge of the background he's been honest about.

    I do have to ask if you are a practicing Christian, or, perhaps, a militant atheist?

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  37. Mark,

    Considering his post was titled "f-word the n-word" (although he did not write it that way, he used the actual words), and that comment was an add-on implying don't just "f-word" the black people but also the Latinos etc....

    I think I am not the one missing something here. It got him in hot water, deservedly. And I'm sure you'd call for Matt Kennedy's job if he wrote anything like that. But no one will be able to dig up Matt writing something like that, because he hasn't.

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  38. What this troll does not understand is that OCICBW.. was not viewed by Father Jonathan as a "public" blog, but a close knit community that was involved in many ongoing discussions. The posts using nigger were a very obvious continuation, to those of us who have been a part of that community, of previous posts regarding Gays as the New Nigger.

    You may choose not to believe it, but Fr. J. does not personally believe anything that he was writing. He is not a racist or prejudiced man. He was being Devil's Advocate and taking to the rediculous extreme the thoughts and logic voiced by some members of our community regarding the outcome of the Calif. polls in other threads of the same time frame.

    But only those of us who are regular members of that community, and read and participate in all of the posts and their threads, would know that.

    And although coarse language is not an everyday part of the community's discussion, it is allowed, and folks do vent their feelings of frustration on a regular basis.

    And at the same time it is a diverse community of many Anglicans, but also other denominational Christians, and a scattering of non-Christians as well, who support and hold one another up in thoughts and prayers when adversity strikes our individual lives.

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  39. I'd think Matt is just more careful, to use the polite term. Rather like the guy who makes sure there are no blacks around before telling a black joke.

    Though I have no use for the man, and consider he is as much a pastor as I am Emperor of Japan, I wouldn't seek his job. Just to let you know, btw, Matt's language is less coarse, but he is no less insulting and degrading toward gays, liberals and basically anyone who isn't just like him. Makes it worse, really.

    It is really very sloppy and wrong to impute your own motivations to others.

    So, I take it then, that you are not, yourself, a Christian? If you are, you are the one missing something. Something dire.

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  40. And at the same time it is a diverse community of many Anglicans, but also other denominational Christians, and a scattering of non-Christians as well, who support and hold one another up in thoughts and prayers when adversity strikes our individual lives.

    And, most importantly, humans, who make sometimes gross mistakes.

    Your own measure will be meted out - which is a little clue for our friend from under the bridge.

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  41. Mark,

    Please show me an example where Matt has been insulting or degrading towards gays etc. Liberals don't count- that's a partisan divide, not a disrepect towards an ethnic group etc.

    David,

    I stop by MP's blog (private, ha- on the Internet?) occasionally. You are deluded in thinking he didn't have personal anger towards blacks, Catholics, and others who voted against Prop 8.

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  42. dah-veed noted:

    "I have never found MP to be racist against me".

    Your Latino experience is obviously not the universal center nor the only valid one. Apparently all of those African Americans and Latino Americans who crossed MP's vision of justice found little to commend him as a person, much more as a priest.

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OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.