Thursday, October 28, 2004

pride and persistance...

first off, if my posts about politics tend to piss you off, please do not read on... i am not looking for a fight or to prove that my point is Truth... i am also not trying to oversimplify the situation in iraq; i am just expressing my opinion... with that said...

i have been thinking a great deal about the elections upcoming, the san diego county propositions, my local mayor and townspeople to elect here in o-side, and of course, the presidency...

now, a brief history... i have always voted for a republican president... it was a capital sin from where i came from to do anything else... so, in 96, i voted for dole (right?) and in 2000, for bush jr... i really felt like gore was too clueless to know what the american people wanted... i have tended to side with those in the conservative camp, disliking 'big government' for the little i know about it... i also was caught up in morality-legislation, a concept i still struggle with...

when we invaded afghanistan, i was in support of the war... even when we turned toward iraq, i was part of the group-think that is america (sometimes), and with emotion, i supported that effort as well...

am i a flip-flopper?... sure seems so... because now, after numerous conversations with conservatives, liberals, and the rest, i am convinced that the us's war in iraq has been a bad decision... not because it wasnt 'successful', but because i disagree with forcing democracy onto other people just because we hold it to be the most 'liberating form of government'...

a friend i was talking with in new mexico this last week (who had spent a month or so in iraq with a peace movement, caring for the iraqi civilians who had been affected by this mess) and he quoted one of the iraqi people's thoughts regarding this war: "we [the iraqi people] have two enemies-saddam hussein and the united states; please do not confuse our excitement about the de-throning of saddam as an excitement about the us being in our country... they are both enemies..."

now perhaps that doesnt strike you as it does me, but it strikes me...

okay, but onto what i really wanted to talk about in this post... pride and the way of a human...

my greatest qualm with mr. bush is his inability to admit that he was wrong, or that this is a mess... i know that in politics, its hard to 'back down' and i do not necessarily think that mr. kerry would do what i am asking either... it is a problem in humanity: to confuse pride and persistance... do you know that most of the great philosphophers and theologians throughout history have called pride the gravest sin?... the arrogance that says, "i am right, you are wrong, i do not need your viewpoint, i have my own"...

cs lewis writes... “According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea-bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

and what is sad is that this is not only a profound virtue now in the presidency; it is also a profoud virtue in the church of america... i remember reading john ortberg's book, the life you always wanted, and he spoke about how a pastor of a church he had been a part of was an incredibly prideful man... but the church would never address it... he said, 'you know, had my pastor stepped out between services to smoke a cigarrette, he probably wouldnt have made it to the second service with his job still intact, but pride? no one ever addresses pride. in fact, it is honored...'

so, i dunno where to go with this... i think it is a challenge for all humanity to wrestle with pride... i also think that all great wars have had to do with pride: "we deserve this land", "i know god better than you", "our way of life will be better for you", etc...

again, apologies if this is any sort of gross over-simplification... it is simply my thoughts as they are right now...

2 comments:

Jeffrey said...

Ryan,
I'm generally pissed off by your posts on politics, not cause you are completely off, but you are usually pretty close to right on.
A problem I have with your oversimplification. When America pushes democracy on someone it is usually an attempt to rid them of the evil throne in power. Not to say democracy is holy. But, how do we deal with someone like Sadaam? Honestly? Without force, this guy would NEVER back down.

About pride... i agree.

uriah said...

sponsor a child