Tag Archive for 'politics'

All Saints’ Sunday November 7, 2010

Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18                                                            

Ephesians 1:11-23                                                             

Luke 6:20-31

For the last three weeks or so, I’ve been dragging around with a cold. Nothing serious enough to ground me, but enough to make me feel tired and subpar. I was almost back to health last weekend, but then the runny nose and achy muscles and exhausted feeling returned with a vengeance. The reason: standing out in the cold and wind at the Weare polling place all day Tuesday on behalf of a couple of candidates I cared about.

Why does anyone do this? Well, maybe because the “other side” does it and you don’t want them to be the only ones out there – and, of course, they do it because you do it. There was some talk on “the line” as the day wore on and we got colder and colder that we make a pact and next year no one would stand out there! But we stand because we believe in what we stand for. We’re witnesses to something we believe in – passionately enough to risk our health. Moreover, as I discover anew every time I do this, it’s also fun to see and greet all the people in town you know. You end up feeling a sense of solidarity and community: despite differences of opinion, we’re all out there exercising our responsibility as citizens and when it’s all over and the votes counted, we come together as one country, one people.

Finally, and to me most rewarding, it’s a time to talk with people you disagree with – discover what is motivating them, what their vision is, and at a deeper level who they are. Early in the day at the polls, the Republicans were at one end of the line by the door, the Democrats at the other. The Republicans were talking with one another about their beliefs: there were people who believed that roads and highways should be privatized, that churches should take care of all the welfare needs of society, that Obama was born in Nigeria and was bent on making America socialist.

The Democrats listening to this were rolling their eyes. But of course the Democrats were sharing their vision – an income tax, more aid to education and social services – and talking about how awful Andy Sanborn and John Stephen were, while the Republicans rolled their eyes. But late in the day, when the sun was going down and the cold getting more intense, when most of the line-standers had gone home, those of us who remained began to talk with each other, across party lines. What we discovered, of course, was that we shared many of the same concerns. Moreover, there was much we could agree on about how to approach problems, how to work together. And we learned that the “other side” were really decent human beings, with good hearts and minds, who cared just as intensely as we did about our country, our state and our community. So when the day was finally over, we went home – winners and losers – feeling somehow more deeply connected to one another.

I share all this because today we celebrate the feast of All Saints’, and this annual ritual of “working the polls” is very much a celebration of what it means when we say each week in the Creed that we believe in the communion of saints. Continue reading ‘All Saints’ Sunday November 7, 2010′

Epiphany 3 January 25, 2009

 Jonah 3:1-5, 10                                                              The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

1 Corinthians 7:29-31

Mark 1:14-20

Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.

Two years ago, when Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency, many who had read his books or heard his stirring address in 1994 at the Democratic Convention admired him and wished him well. The pundits doubted that this political newcomer would go very far in the free-for-all of presidential politics. But then something began to happen. Attracted to his message, a grass roots movement began to coalesce, fed especially by young people who dropped whatever they were about in life to campaign, making innovative use of the world of the internet. As we watched the Inauguration last Tuesday, what was singularly apparent across the faces of that enormous crowd was a kind of excitement and enthusiasm we haven’t seen in American politics since the turbulent years of the 1960s. Continue reading ‘Epiphany 3 January 25, 2009’