Wednesday, July 02, 2008

This just in from North Texas...

I'm dawdling my way to class in Chicago next week, rather than flying cross continent home, spending a few days and flying back to Chicago. It might be a little less un-green than doing so, but I'll admit that my impulse was to avoid long hours in a 737--and to grab the chance to visit friends and relatives I've not gotten to see in years. I'll admit to not having foreseen that each of them would want (well, understandably, I suppose) to explore my choice to go into ministry. I guess I'm practicing the long version of the elevator speech, among other things. But it's all good; these are all folks I've known most of my life and are important. I can understand them wanting to know what I'm doing and why... and wanting to understand something of my religion.

Warning to anyone mulling over the idea of seminary and ministry:
Be prepared. Your decision to do so will mean that people who you've never shared one word about religion with will ask you to say grace (and the answer, uh, my family never said grace and I feel kinda awkward... is not acceptable. Figure it out. Have something that you can offer. It can't be any worse for you than it is for me. I'm just now figuring out that any minute now someone will ask me to pray with them... ack).
But that's not the point of this post. Pardon me for that wild tangent.

This is a political observation... or started out to be... and I'm going to drag it back to that now. My uncle is pretty conservative. I don't think he was when younger, but my grandparents were Nixonian cloth coat Republicans, and maybe that's some of it. Or maybe it's having lived so long in Texas... or something. Probably all of it and then some. But here I am visiting with people who have a panoramic photo of the inauguration of George W. as governor. This morning's coffee cup has the Presidential Seal on it, with "West Whitehouse, Crawford Texas" on it.


But my family's not inclined to mince around issues, so of course we talk politics as well as religion. This guy's seriously thinking about voting for Obama. Not only that, he doesn't think that it's delusional to imagine that Texas is competitive and could vote for Obama. People, he says, are pissed off, unhappy and disgusted.

Pinch me. The other staunch conservative in the family--in Alaska--talked to me last year about his support for a living wage and national health care and his fury at Bush and the GOP.