Thoughts on fellowship and friendship

First off, a new addition to the blogroll, David Skorupa. Been reading him for quite some time at his old home, but he has elected to move off to a new spot. He’s a minister and excellent writer and I’ve found him a great source of encouragement and insight since I’ve known him.

I went out to lunch with my father yesterday. It’s been a while since we’ve done that. Rather than the usual Blimpie or Subway stop, we opted for Fuddrucker’s. I haven’t been there in years, probably, and I have no idea why. Good grief, those are some tasty burgers. Just sayin’.

Anyway, one of the subjects that came up as we talked was the subject of friends, specifically, the sort of company we keep. I think everyone can agree that the company you keep has a deep and profound effect on you, even if it is subconscious in nature. If you surround yourself with political conservatives, you might find yourself more conservative. Surround yourself with readers, and you might find yourself reading more books. Everything from the music you listen to, to the food you eat, to the language you use, to the way you think is affected by the company you keep. What my father was asking about was whether or not I kept much Christian company these days.

I got to thinking about it, and realized that it has become a much more scarce thing than it was just a few years ago. As I looked back at my history, something stood out to me: it was mostly my Christian friendships that didn’t last. Reviewing my circle of friends today, I see mostly those who do not identify themselves as Christians. I thought about why this could be. First was the idea that I had switched schedules and moved across town – certainly enough to put a damper on things. But yet my close friends who were not Christians are still in constant contact, and we still hang out – while I only very rarely see any of my Christian friends from then at all.

I don’t know why that is. Is it me? Is it them? Have I changed in ways they find distasteful, or am I not worth the effort? Have we all just gone our separate ways, and no one and nothing is to blame? The analytical part of my brain can’t accept that sort of coincidental answer, but I really don’t know what to think. Perhaps I have changed, in ways I don’t see, as a result of this pseudo-segregation. I certainly can say it doesn’t make me feel any more confident in the general church than I have been, and if it is me then I really wish someone could clue me in.

On an unrelated note, I think I’ve found my candidate. While unorthodox, I love the no-nonsense approach taken to policy.

Lesser of five evils

So I’ve been watching the primaries with increasingly little connection to any given candidate. My ideal choice from the beginning was Fred Thompson – while not perfect, he was certainly the best of the bunch. Conservative, well-carried, well-spoken, intelligent… He seemed like perfect answer to the unimpressive remainder. Now that he’s dropped out, we’re down to five (and no, I won’t even consider either of the Democratic candidates. They’re against nearly everything I stand for):

  • Mitt Romney

Here we have a politician’s politician. Seems to change his mind every chance he gets, fails miserably at appealing to minority groups, and has a general air of untrustworthiness. I’ve said before that I hate the guy and that I like the guy – it seems to change every time he opens his mouth. He has performed well in some debates and miserably in others. On his good days he’s great but on his bad days he’s horrible – and I don’t think I can handle that in (another) president.

  • Rudy Giuliani

Captain 9/11 and the one-note band. He’s got a terrible record on gun control, immigration, and most other big issues, ancd has tons of NY-brand scandal and crime-connection baggage to back it all up. The only positive he’s got going for him is his stance on the war, which isn’t perfect but it’s better than most. Really, to see him elected would be a disaster for all involved.

  • Mike Huckabee

I really don’t know how this man gets taken seriously at all. He’s all for big government, big spending, and calling it all right in the name of the Lord. I’ve been told by several people that I’m morally obliged somehow to vote for Huckabee because he’s a Christian – which I find absurd, and probably explains where his support comes from – but to do so would compromise almost every social and political value I hold. He may be a great preacher, but he’d make a terrible president.

  • John McCain

The hometown hero. I guess I’m supposed to like him because he’s from Arizona, but really I can’t stand the guy. I’ve said before that I think the guy is getting a little nuts with time, and while I have great respect for him as a veteran and POW survivor, and even for remaining mostly harmless as a senator (McCain-Feingold notwithstanding), I don’t think he’s fit for presidency. He can act in a very unprofessional manner, as has been seen in almost every debate, and he has a real thirst for power that scares me. My mom told me when I was younger that anyone who wants to be president probably shouldn’t have the job. I don’t think she was all that far off.

  • Ron Paul

The revolutionary.To be honest, I like so much about him. His stance on handling government is spot-on, although I don’t think he can realistically make all his proposed changes in four years (or even eight). His stance on foreign policy is hard to argue with, but leads to a flawed (in my opinion) understanding of how to handle this war in Iraq. He wants to pull out immediately, but I think it would be disastrous to do so. More on that in another post, perhaps. His views on abortion mirror mine, in that while he thinks it’s wrong he also thinks it should be a state and not federal issue, and that government should neither condemn nor condone it in any fashion. His views on gun control and immigration could have come out of my own mouth.

But I can’t find it in myself to support him, for two reasons. One, his attitude bothers me. He’s too strong-willing and unwilling to bend at all, and I think that can be a problem. While it is not ideal, compromise is often necessary in the field of politics. Two, and this is the big one, he has a very disturbing idea of our government’s involvement in terrorism. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to label him a conspiracy theorist as I once did, but his history of making suspiciously “truthist” statements – particularly about 9/11 and JFK – really bothers me. I think it provides an insight into a deeper problem with the man that disqualifies him for the job.

So, there we go. A nice round up of what’s left on the field, and me wondering what chance we have left at a relatively sane 21st century. I’m open for suggestions, discussion, arguments, whatever in the comments. Maybe one of you can give me a little hope.

Obligatory hello world post

After the results of the poll I took at Livejournal came out with better-than-expected results, I figured I’d give this a shot. WordPress provides me with much more flexibility and control than Livejournal, and allows me to play around with some things I’ve never really done before. I figure the bulk of my writing will come here now, and maybe I’ll update over there when I post here or something so that everyone knows I’m still alive. We might even be in for more regular posting with the new environment. Miracles do happen, you know.

So, let me bid you welcome to my new (web) home. Have a seat, grab a drink, and get comfortable, ’cause here goes nothing!