.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

What Would People Think?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Dream and a Dream Debate

Last night I dreamed that all my favorite obscure bands that are now broken up had somehow all gotten back together. They were all there - SpencerAcuff, Gone Again, The Robert Barnes Band, Be Your Own Pet, The J. Tomas Band.......and, yes, even Unexpectedly Sober. And they were all performing at some concert festival. And they all had new albums, which I proceeded to buy and get autographs. It was the happiest day of my life since I got married.

Then I woke up.

Oh well, at least I'm still married.


Tonight, I watched an interesting discussion, the Saddleback Civil Forum. Rev. Rick Warren, author of the Purpose-Driven Life and mega-church pastor, interviewed Barack Obama and John McCain back-to-back. He asked them about core issues evangelicals care about (abortion, gay marriage, human trafficking, poverty, international religious freedom), plus issues near and dear to Warren's heart like orphans.

I liked the questions....stuff like "What was your biggest moral failure? And what was America's?" He forced them to give thoughtful answers. The candidates had to give more than the usual stump, canned answers. (Honestly, I think there were better, non-canned answers here than I can expect in the debates.) McCain segued to his stump answers more, but Obama tended to ramble and hedge his answers more carefully.

The way it worked was Warren interviewed Obama for an hour. McCain could not hear the questions or the answers. Then the candidates met for a moment. (Even hugged!) Then he asked (mostly) the same questions to McCain.

My personal favorite moment was when Warren basically tried to get both candidates to commit to taking serious action (the kind Bush took about AIDS in Africa) on the issue of orphans. At least Obama addressed the question. McCain basically talked around it.

I liked Obama's response to the question of "is there evil and what should we do about it?" He agreed that of course there's evil and talked about the need to confront it. But then he discussed the need for humility and the obvious fact that many if history's worst evils have been committed by those who were trying to do good (or were certain that they were doing good). Any person with a knowledge of human nature - especially a Christian - should know that (1) there is great evil in the world, and (2) it must be confronted, but that (3) we must also recognized our own capacity for evil and (4) we're never more likely to commit such evil than when we're dead certain we're the good guys.

McCain's response to this question was more along the lines of "beat the terrorists." Of course that's something that needs to be done, but it didn't give me much insight into his thought processes. Makes me worried if his certainty will make him too willing to commit American troops to yet another war.

Anyways, both candidates gave answers that helped me with insight into the kind of President they would be. At the end of the forum, I had increased respect for both candidates.

Then I woke up.

Just kidding. This one actually happened. If you can find the video and have a couple hours to kill, I'd highly recommend it.


  • I didn't watch the debate, but I've read a bunch about it. I think you said it well, regarding the increased respect for both candidates. I'm a little hesitant about McCain's absolutism, and a little hesitant about Obama's hedging, but overall I'm comfortable with both.

    On a (somewhat) related note, I'm wondering if it doesn't just kill you that Obama (and the majority of the Democrats) are pro-choice, and almost unwaveringly so. I wouldn't mind seeing a post on this. I know we've talked about it before, how other moral issues matter, and I have no problem with the conclusion that overall the Democrats might be more moral. But it still kills me that they're so pro-choice, and I'm wondering if you don't feel similiarly.

    By Blogger Matthew B. Novak, at 8/19/2008 10:45 AM  

  • A much more interesting analysis than I got off... I think it was an LA Times blog post, which essentially said "He only asked oftball questions that overly favored McCain."

    I would like to hear more about it... but I'd probably end up agreeing with their wish that some real tough questions could be addressed.

    In an unrelated not, my now-with-style-again blog has a post set up for the discussion/debate you had suggested, so I'm commenting on your blog to mention it, as you asked.


    By Blogger -Dave, at 8/19/2008 6:30 PM  

  • "I'm a little hesitant about McCain's absolutism, and a little hesitant about Obama's hedging, but overall I'm comfortable with both." I agree with Matt. Also, I agree with Matt that I'd be interested in a post weighing the merits of the candidates' abortion positions against other issues. I know we discussed it before on the phone (and hopefully back then I did a decent job of reigning in my feelings about people who vote based solely on the abortion issue) but I wouldn't mind seeing it fleshed out more in a blog post.

    By Blogger Mike, at 8/20/2008 10:41 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home