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Yesterday I voted for Obama, and that in itself calmed my soul. I have done my part as a citizen to help make this country more nearly what God intended. And yet I refuse to feel complacent or resigned. This election is too important to do that.

For the first time in US history, we have the chance to elect a black man to the highest office, to give legs to our words. If racism doesn’t exist (as some claim it doesn’t), then let us prove that is so. No, BUTS. Just vote for Obama.

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As poet Collin Kelley has written in “One Week Until Election Day,” we must “stay vigilant until an Obama victory is secured.” Collin will cast his vote in Atlanta “in the shadow of Ebenezer,” the church from which Martin Luther King Jr. led a movement whose aim was equality.

We do not yet have equality in the US. Economic equality. That’s what King was talking about. Not just the right for blacks to eat at a lunch counter, but the money to afford to eat there. If you favor equality, as King did, then give wings to the dream. If racism doesn’t exist (as some claim it doesn’t), then let us prove that is so. No, BUTS. Just vote for Obama.

This is a time to make history. This is the time to vote for Obama.

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I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.” Barck Obama

VOTE OBAMA.

“Why am I so willing to believe that the country will be destroyed? It is certainly possible, and in some sense it may even be likely. But this is a case where, in spite of evidence, one must continue to hope. One must not give in to defeatism and despair, just as one must hope for life in a mortal illness which has been declared incurable.”

Thomas Merton. Turning Toward the World. Victor A. Kramer, editor. San Francisco: HarperSanFranciso, 1996: 62.

Hope! That’s what kept some of our parents and grandparents going when times were tough. What led them to say, “Maybe I can’t go to college, but if I save a little bit each week my child can; maybe I can’t have my own business but if I work really hard my child can open one of her own.” It’s what led immigrants from distant lands to come to these shores against great odds and carve a new life for their families in America; what led those who couldn’t vote to march and organize and stand for freedom; that led them to cry out, “It may look dark tonight, but if I hold on to hope, tomorrow will be brighter.”

That’s what this election is about. That is the choice we face right now.

Don’t believe for a second this election is over. Don’t think for a minute that power concedes. We have to work like our future depends on it in this last week, because it does.

In one week, we can choose an economy that rewards work and creates new jobs and fuels prosperity from the bottom-up.

In one week, we can choose to invest in health care for our families, and education for our kids, and renewable energy for our future.

In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo.

In one week, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history.

That’s what’s at stake. That’s what we’re fighting for. And if in this last week, you will knock on some doors for me, and make some calls for me, and talk to your neighbors, and convince your friends; if you will stand with me, and fight with me, and give me your vote, then I promise you this – we will not just win Ohio, we will not just win this election, but together, we will change this country and we will change the world. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America.”

read entire speech here

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On her excellent blog, The Case for Living: unconventional living and loving by grace, E. Micol has posted a piece entitled “Fearing the End Or Ending the Fear?” in which she examines a Christian approach to the final days of the 2008 Presidential race. As an American living in Germany, she offers a unique perspective.

The Church often wounds us deeply. People with religious authority often wound us by their words, attitudes, and demands. Precisely because our religion brings us in touch with the questions of life and death, our religious sensibilities can get hurt most easily. Ministers and priests seldom fully realize how a critical remark, a gesture of rejection, or an act of impatience can be remembered for life by those to whom it is directed.

There is such an enormous hunger for meaning in life, for comfort and consolation, for forgiveness and reconciliation, for restoration and healing, that anyone who has any authority in the Church should constantly be reminded that the best word to characterize religious authority is compassion. Let’s keep looking at Jesus whose authority was expressed in compassion.

Partnership For a McCain-Free White House

Loving the Church does not require romantic emotions. It requires the will to see the living Christ among his people and to love them as we want to love Christ himself. This is true not only for the “little” people – the poor, the oppressed, the forgotten – but also for the “big” people who exercise authority in the Church.

To love the Church means to be willing to meet Jesus wherever we go in the Church. This love doesn’t mean agreeing with or approving of everyone’s ideas or behavior. On the contrary, it can call us to confront those who hide Christ from us. But whether we confront or affirm, criticize or praise, we can only become fruitful when our words and actions come from hearts that love the Church.

emphasis mine

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Wearing a T-shirt like this one may cause you a problem at the polls in November.

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