The family, on faith:
We are Progressive Christians, with a Mennonite background, and believe that non-violent conflict resolution should begin at home. We firmly believe that the “rod” verses are grossly misinterpreted by mainstream christians and that Jesus would never advocate hitting a child, no matter what cutesy euphemisms (spanking, tapping, popping) you shroud it in.
We take the bible very seriously, but not literally. We believe that it is critical to understand the culture, historical context, and literary forms the bible was written in if you are going to properly disseminate the truth in the stories. The bible is filled with many literary types/genres, and few of them were ever intended to be taken as literal, factual accounts.
The family, on politics:
We find it hypocritical to spend exorbitant sums of money on business welfare, but then feign “conservative” when asked to help people. We think the government should have more accountability and be more responsible with tax dollars. Social programs should be fully funded with good oversight.
We support marriage between two people who love each other, regardless of gender. We support equal pay for equal work, education funding, support for disabled individuals, and a safety net for people who hit hard times and need some time to regroup. We support the right to choose because, although we are against abortion, we recognize that our society does not yet have an acceptable avenue for supporting all children after they are born.
We do not agree with the theory of global “warming” after seeing Gore’s film, but we do agree with the conclusions that we should take better care of our environment. As a Christian, we are called to be good stewards of the environment. .
We are, above all, followers of Jesus, and that permeates our political beliefs. Jesus was all about persistent non-violence, helping the disenfranchised and “socially unacceptable”, and showing love to everybody. Jesus was a radical liberal of his day and was heavily criticized and eventually killed for those radical beliefs by the social conservatives of his day.
The family, on education:
A huge part of our lives. Both formal and informal education are valued greatly. We have chosen to homeschool our oldest because we feel that he will get a better education with us due to his unique learning style and needs. We are leaning towards homeschooling our daughter, but we will see what comes.
As it stands now, if the Kansas legislature continues to uphold the stupid law that creationism is taught in the schools, we are likely to opt out of the public school system in the later grades as well. Theology has no business in the public school system. The whole concept of a 6,000 year old earth is foolishness at it’s highest level and it angers me to no end that a gross misunderstanding of biblical genres perpetuates this myth. I totally believe that God created and orchestrated the development of all that is, and I think the “how” is explained through science.
The 2008 Elections
Although I don’t dislike McCain as passionately as I do Bush, I lost all respect for him when he chose Palin. I couldn’t disagree with her more. I honestly can’t think of a single thing I like about her, either professional or personal. I find her totally disingenuous and a hate monger.
I totally support Obama. I liked him four years ago when he spoke at the Democratic convention and immediately wished he was running instead of Kerry. One of the things he supports is fully funding IDEA act (the law that requires all children receive an appropriate education) which would have a dramatic impact on improving the lives of all of our children, special needs or not. If IDEA were fully funded, classroom teachers would have the support they need to integrate different needs in the classroom, meaning that neither kids in special ed and regular ed get short changed, like they do now. A good education is the foundation of a prosperous society and our children are not getting that under the current regime. (unless you can afford private schools, but even that isn’t a guarantee)
The main difference between the two candidates, this time around, is not a “conservative” (true conservative, not the neo-conservatives that are now ruling) vs. a “liberal”. They both plan on spending huge amounts of money. The republicans want to spend it on military (but not vets, just the current action) and bailing out businesses. The democrats want to spend it on helping people who are hurt by the businesses and injured by the wars and just trying to make a life. I’d rather vote for the person who wants to help people instead of support the oppressors.