Thursday, May 08, 2008

President Clinton Visits Morgantown

I've been on the road for the past few days, so I haven't been able to blog as much lately. Seems like there's been a lot to write about, but plenty of other stuff taking up my time. It's kind of difficult to write too because the ideas aren't always as fresh in one's mind, but anyway . . .

Last Thursday, the 42nd President of the United States, < href="">William Jefferson Clinton, came to visit Morgantown and West Virginia University. He was traveling to campaign for his wife Hillary's bid for the Democratic nomination for President this year.

Initially, I was just going to stop by and snap a few photos, and be on my way, but I stuck around. (He was running late, and I had already waited an hour, so I thought, "what's a few more minutes?) As he stood before a crowd of students and community members, I could see that he was a very charismatic and sanguine individual. He won the crowd almost immediately by commenting on the quality of WVU football, and how much he enjoyed watching them play this year.

Part of the reason I wanted to stop by was simply the thought that it isn't often that one gets to listen directly to one of the most powerful leaders in contemporary history. The President of the United States is perhaps the most powerful leadership position on the planet. And I was standing about 100 feet from a former president--pretty wild stuff.

As he spoke, I couldn't help but analyze what he had to say. It wasn't the policies themselves that I was tuned into, it was the style of speaking he used. After all, anybody who is attempting to vote responsibly should probably take the time to read up on the issues, policies, and perspectives of all candidates beforehand. Seem's like every candidate for public office throughout history offers a similar case. First they remind individuals of how bad things are currently, and prognosticate an even worse future. Then they say that the way to rescue yourself from that terrible future is to take the action step of voting them (or their spouse or their candidate of choice) into office.

As I listened to the former President speak, I found myself thinking about the hope that every candidate attempts to offer, and how there is really only One who can offer us hope, security, prosperity, and peace.

I believe voting is an important privilege and responsibility for American citizens, and particularly for Christians. But as Christians, we can't just vote for a party, we have to examine all of the issues. We understand that there will never be a true savior on capital hill until Jesus comes back (as the Derek Webb song reminds us).

In this season, when so many are attempting to offer us a temporal peace and prosperity, let's take time to remember the One who offers true hope and peace to our whole world.

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