Friday, October 26, 2012

Maryland Election 2012

Friday is now normally our guest post day.  But early voting has already started in some places.  And it begins in Maryland on October 27, 2012.  I don’t usually write about political stuff, but there are a few thoughts I wanted to share.  Mostly about some local issues.  There are some things that are worth considering before casting your vote.  Take a look at what I mean:

First of all, there’s the Presidential election.  I really have nothing new to share.  And I’m not here to try to sway anyone with rhetoric.  I know who I intend to vote for and why.  I’ll just reiterate what pretty much everyone has said.  This could be one of the most important Presidential elections in our history.  So, no matter who you consider the best candidate, back that up with your vote.

There are several state questions that are important, too.  And there are things I think we should consider about each.  The final choice is always with the voter.  Which is why we should be fully informed.

One of the questions on this year’s ballot is about the children of illegal aliens who have been here for a long time.  Whether to allow them in-state tuition rates if they meet certain criteria.  One of the arguments for it is that we were founded as a nation of immigrants.  That’s true.  But those early immigrants had a history of ignoring the rights and treaties the resident native Americans already had in place.  Some of those immigrants slaughtered others to gain what they wanted, no matter whether they should have or not.  What was freely offered in peace by the natives wasn’t enough. 

The result of that was that some of the native Americans suddenly became “savages” because they wanted to protect their families, their possessions and their relationships with others or get revenge for any of those taken from them.  So, do we want to saddle the illegal immigrant children with the legacy of greedy killing?  If we stuck to that argument, fairness (a big word in this year’s questions ads) would give in-state tuition rates to native Americans only and everyone else pays full price.  So, let’s skip that one.

One of the possible requirements on a path toward this and possible citizenship is military service.  Unless there’s a huge amount of extensive and expensive background checking, that’s just dumb.  We have troops in Afghanistan being killed by “safe”, “friendly” Afghan soldiers.  Imagine enemy spies posing as safe illegal aliens getting a way to access military secrets.  What about gang bangers being allowed access to weapons?  ‘Nuff said.

There’s also question 7 about financing casinos and allowing table gambling in select locations.  I know what I believe the Bible says about it.  But let’s look at what the ads about it point out.
  1. The state lottery was also supposed to supply funding for education.  That hasn’t done very well, despite the popularity of the lottery.
  2. The casino promised for downtown Baltimore City was contracted before question 7 was ever put before the public.  Is there an issue with the original estimate?  Do they need the help?  If so, why don’t they just say so?  How much less does that mean will go toward education?
  3. The opposing ads suggest that $350, 000,000 was taken out of the state education fund for other purposes.  And that all question 7 would do is replace that.  That concerns me less than there’s been no discussion of how or why the funds were put to other uses.  Or how that would be prevented in the future.

Finally, there’s question 6 – the civil marriage protection act.  It’s sometimes referred to as the marriage equality act, because that places a veneer of civil rights on it.  An interesting idea when we realize that this country was founded by Christians and Deists, all of whom agreed with the Bible that marriage is defined as a union between an unrelated man and woman.  And our laws were written to support that.  Take a look at what’s being said.

One of the arguments being put forth is that the laws of Maryland don’t allow all the privileges and rights to a same sex partner as they do for a marital partner.  Spousal rights for inheritance, rights of a long term partner to make decisions about how a terminal partner can peacefully and comfortably spend their last days.  I’m not sure I’m going to make friends on either side with this one.  Because, although I see marriage as the Bible and our forefathers do, I also understand that any long time partner or friend is likely to have a better idea of what a person would like for their last days than some distant, disconnected relative.  And someone who’s around all the time has memories that ought to be preserved through inheritance.  A person, no matter what the nature of their relationship with another, deserves as a human being the right to have their last wishes carried out by someone most likely to do it properly.  But, does that require redefining marriage?

My belief is that such a union does not require changing how marriage is defined.  It doesn’t have to go against how both the Bible and our forefathers defined marriage.  But does legalizing how such decisions are handled require a marriage or civil union?  I, personally, have no interest in a same sex anything.  But there are men (and women) in my church who I would trust to honor my best interests and my last wishes far better than relatives I haven’t seen in over 30 years.  So, why not give proper legal status to that by allowing greater legal status to contracts, wills, etc. for that?

The one reason I see the big push for redefining marriage is “civil rights”.  I put that in quotes because what it really does is get things closer to taking away the right to call a sin a sin.  It doesn’t so much give rights to those for same sex marriage as it takes away rights of those who are against it.  From past experience, it's only a matter of time before the courts are used to force same sex ceremonies on churches.  Which brings me to another interesting question.  Or two.

Gallaudet college put Angela McCaskill on administrative leave for signing a petition to put question 6 on the ballot instead of  just passing without voter input.  In one of the pro question 6 ads, Mr & Mrs Ivey correctly point out that the layoff didn’t happen in Maryland.  It was in DC, where lots of Marylanders work.  And, unlike Las Vegas, what happens in Maryland doesn’t stay in Maryland.  So, there’s a reverse bias that’s allowed to come into play, as long as it’s outside Maryland?  Does it matter where pressure is put on Marylanders if it’s linked to issues in Maryland?

In an effort to indicate that African American pastors are in favor of same sex marriage, we’ve been barraged by ads from two African American pastors.  Not five.  Not ten.  Not fifteen.  Two!  Maybe we see them so often because they can’t even find a third?  When you see the ads, they sound very sincere, based on fairness (remember that word?).  But, as we noted above, how long will it be before churches are forced to perform same sex marriages?  Now, consider that Pastors are used to speaking to groups of people and being videoed.  It makes you wonder that two pastors, depicted as having large churches, wouldn’t have similar messages in their own words.  Instead, they have not only the same message, but delivered in the exact same words, no variation!  So much for it being their own thoughts.  And, when you look at fairness being more important than the Bible they preach, it makes one wonder if they truly believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.  If not, why are they even pastoring?  Sincerity is a good thing, but you can be sincerely wrong.

Well, I think I’ve given enough food for thought about this election.  I hope I’ve helped to clarify things for you.  But, whether I have or not, go to the polls and vote.  It’s important!

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