Thank You Jim Wallis

Jim Wallis’ blog, is one that I frequently visit. If you’ve never visited the site, you should.  It’s pretty good.  Although I don’t always agree with everything that is written on the blog, it gives me balance in all the other stuff that I read and listen to.  Anyways, this particular post (see below) is excellent.  I read the James Dobson letter that is the subject of the post and immediately was enraged.  A couple weeks ago, there was a Palin interview with Dobson that was aired on the radio.  I was going to post something then, but didn’t want to rock the boat too much for my friends that are huge Dobson fans…  But… I don’t care anymore.  James Dobson is ridiculous.  Just read the post.

James Dobson’s ‘Letter From 2012 in Obama’s America’

by Jim Wallis 10-29-2008

James Dobson, you owe America an apology. The fictional letter released through your Focus on the Family Action organization, titled “Letter From 2012 in Obama’s America”, crosses all lines of decent public discourse. In a time of utter political incivility, it shows the kind of negative Christian leadership that has become so embarrassing to so many of your fellow Christians in America. We are weary of this kind of Christian leadership, and that is why so many are forsaking the Religious Right in this election.

This letter offers nothing but fear. It apocalyptically depicts terrorist attacks in American cities, churches losing their tax exempt status for not allowing gay marriages, pornography pushed in front of our children, doctors and nurses forced to perform abortions, euthanasia as commonplace, inner-city crime gone wild because of lack of gun ownership, home schooling banned, restricted religious speech, liberal censorship shutting down conservative talk shows, Christian publishers forced out of business, Israel nuked, power blackouts because of environmental restrictions, brave Christian resisters jailed by a liberal Supreme court, and finally, good Christian families emigrating to Australia and New Zealand.

It is shocking how thoroughly biblical teachings against slander—misrepresentations that damage another’s reputation—are ignored (Ephesians 4:29-31, Colossians 3:8, Titus 3:2). Such outrageous predictions not only damage your credibility, they slander Barack Obama who, you should remember, is a brother in Christ, and they insult any Christian who might choose to vote for him.

Let me make this clear: Christians will be voting both ways in this election, informed by their good faith, and based on their views of what are the best public policies and direction for America. But in utter disrespect for the prayerful discernment of your fellow Christians, this letter stirs their ugliest fears, appealing to their worst impulses instead of their best.

Fear is the clear motivator in the letter; especially fear that evangelical Christians might vote for Barack Obama. The letter was very revealing when it suggested that “younger Evangelicals” became the “swing vote” that elected Obama and the results were catastrophic.

You make a mistake when you assume that younger Christians don’t care as much as you about the sanctity of life. They do care—very much—but they have a more consistent ethic of life. Both broader and deeper, it is inclusive of abortion, but also of the many other assaults on human life and dignity. For the new generation, poverty, hunger, and disease are also life issues; creation care is a life issue; genocide, torture, the death penalty, and human rights are life issues; war is a life issue. What happens to poor children after they are born is also a life issue.

The America you helped vote into power has lost its moral standing in the world, and even here at home. The America you told Christians to vote for in past elections is now an embarrassment to Christians around the globe, and to the children of your generation of evangelicals. And the vision of America that you still tell Christians to vote for is not the one that many in a new generation of Christians believes expresses their best values and convictions.

Christians should be committed to the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of America, and the church is to live an alternative existence of love and justice, offering a prophetic witness to politics. Elections are full of imperfect choices where we all seek to what is best for the “common good” by applying the values of our faith as best we can.

Dr. Dobson, you of course have the same right as every Christian and every American to vote your own convictions on the issues you most care about, but you have chosen to insult the convictions of millions of other Christians, whose own deeply held faith convictions might motivate them to vote differently than you.  This epistle of fear is perhaps the dying gasp of a discredited heterodoxy of conservative religion and conservative politics. But out of that death, a resurrection of biblical politics more faithful to the whole gospel—one that is truly good news—might indeed be coming to life.

Original Post at: God’s Politics Blog by Jim Wallis

I FINISHED!!!

Where do I even start… this past weekend was amazing. It kind of all happened in a whirl wind and it’s a little depressing that it’s over…

I have been meaning to write about the run, the weekend in general, but every time I have sat down to do it… no words come out.  Which, you all know, is rare. I always have words; too many words (Sean would say).  But it has been really hard for me.  In part, it has been because it was the most amazing run of my life and I’m a bit selfish and don’t want to share it with everyone (weird huh?), another part is, just thinking about how much time, nerves, emotions, pain I put into this…and in one day, it came and then it went…

The day started out beautiful. 6:30am we arrived in Charity Village, there was a great spread of food for us at the Team World Vision tent to help fuel our bodies.  Unfortunately, the nerves had the better part of me and I visited the nasty port-o-potties more than I did the food table. (I’m sure you all wanted to know that.)  I met another Big Al who has run 42 freaking marathons in his life and this was his 43rd.  I had written “Alice” on the front of my shirt and “BIG AL” on the back so he called himself “Little Al” when he saw that I already was Big AL.  He was super nice and told me not to worry, that I would finish… pretty sure he could feel my nervous vibes.

Around 7:30am we headed to the start line.  The feeling of being surrounded by thousands and thousands of people who were out to accomplish running a marathon was incredible.  From where I was standing, I couldn’t even see the start line!  About 20 minutes after the starting gun was shot, I finally crossed the start line.  From there it was an amazing journey through the best city in North America.  I cannot tell you what it was like having SO many nameless people cheering for you, this sounds stupid but it made me believe in the goodness of people.  I’m pretty sure I had the BEST cheering crew out there!  They saw me a total of 5 times throughout the whole race and every time I saw them I was refreshed and encouraged to keep going.  There were a total of 15 points along the race that I had a friend cheer me on.  That was AMAZING.


The best part of it all was knowing that I was running for something more than myself, more than my own selfish goals, more than participating in such an incredible event.  I was running for Zambia, I was running for children, families, clean water, health, I was running for Mersi (my sponsored child through WV).

It took me well over 5 hours to complete this marathon; to be honest, I am a bit disappointed with my time, but that wasn’t the point of my run.  The point of my run was to run “26.2 for Africa”.  And I did just that.

Last week I sent out my final “ask” email and in two days I raised over $800.  WOW.  I was SO overwhelmed by your generosity; I had only needed $500 more to meet my goal of raising $2,000… but the $$ kept rolling in.  So a HUGE THANK YOU to all of my supporters. As of today, I have raised $2,335 for Team World Vision.  As a team we have raised over $800,000.  (They are still hoping to make it to $1 million before the end of the month.)  Often times I get discouraged and frustrated by what we as rich North Americans could be doing for others but your generosity showed me that people do care.  People want to make a difference when they’re given a chance.

So… I am committing right now to do just that.  I’m going to give you another chance.  I am committing to another year of fundraising, training, and pain.  I am pledging to run the 2009 Chicago Marathon for Team World Vision.  So, start saving that change, start thinking about how much good you will be able to do 2 years in a row for broken families and communities around this world.  You have not heard the last of it from me yet!  In the mean time, I’ll give you a break from my begging emails and give my knees a break from the constant pounding…

Thank you ALL so much again.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

…THANK YOU…

Things…

First of all, I want to thank all of you for the support you have been to me and my family during this trying week and a half. Your prayers and well wishes have been very appreciated. I urge you to continue to pray for my cousin Danny and my aunt Amy… After spending the weekend with them, reality is beginning to settle in and it’s just going to get harder.

(I realize this is an awkward transition, but it has to be made…)

4 days to go and $500 to raise

With the big day just around the corner, I find myself denying the fact that in just 4 days I will be (hopefully) accomplishing one of my life goals. The more I think about it; the more people ask me about it; the more nervous I am getting. I calculated the amount of miles I have done for my training for this marathon. With all the knee problems, my short hiatus, and having to re-adjust to running only 3 days a week instead of 5/6, I am ending my training 267 miles behind. Scary. But, I’m not going to worry myself with that. I just want to finish.

I feel ready. I’m ready to rest my knees; to stop taking 6-8 Ibuprofen pills a day, to stop having to drink 10 gazillion ounces of water a day; to wake up after the sun comes up on Saturday mornings; to make plans for Friday nights; to drink coffee; to eat chips; to stop having random days of limping around; to drink; to have my week nights back; to sleep; to stop eating nasty gel packs; to stop taking ice baths; to stop spending all of my money on running stuff…

So, you ask, if it has been so painful to do this marathon, then why do it? My answer? Because all of these things are SO small in comparison to all that is happening all around this world. Because if by running I can help save one life, why not? My knee problems are nothing in comparison to starvation; my lack of sleep in nothing in comparison to homelessness; the amount of time I have spent running is nothing in comparison to being orphaned.

So please, please, please join with me in this fight. Help me reach my goal of raising $2000 for Team World Vision. Help me run for life! All donations made from now is going to be matched…that’s doubling the amount of your gift. So please visit my fundraising site: www.firstgiving.com/alicewightman and make a donation in any amount.  Every dollar goes a long way…

Thank you to all who have already supported me through this journey.  It has been such a blessing to see my fund-raised $$ grow through these past several months.  Thank you for your continued support through prayer for my knee.  Please know that when I cross that finish line, I will know that you were a part of getting me there.  So, thank you, thank you, thank you.

With much love,
Alice (Hwang) Wightman
aka: Big AL

PS: If you haven’t emailed me your address yet, please do so… 😉