They say it's impolite to talk about Religion or Politics. Last night I had a chance to talk about both of them.
A few months ago, I helped to organize a Tea Party group here in our town. There are groups all over the state and I was excited to see the positive turn out we have had here. We meet every other week and are working to be active in the political process. At our first meeting I talked about 3 things I felt needed our attention.
--Education (learning about our Constitutional history and what it is that made our country great),
--Unification (striving to reach out to our friends and neighbors while working to strengthen our families, churches, and neighborhoods)
--and Elections (this is where the rubber meets the road and we need to support candidates that share our values).
I have since had the opportunity to talk and email about lots of issues and we have seen some real results. I was asked to come and speak for a few minutes at the Republican Central Committee here in our county along with a lady named Wendy from the Bayfield 9/12 group. I think those Republicans are wondering what the heck we are up to and they asked if we could come and talk about how we might all be able to work together.
Wendy spoke for a few minutes about her group and some experiences she has had. She had some stories about driving out to DC for a rally and meeting our Senator there. She explained how 9/12 groups are grounded in principles and values and they aren't about one political party. She did a good job and I almost decided not to speak, but I felt like I needed to say a little something to tie it all back to why we were there.
I explained I was a stay-at-home-mom with 5 kids who did a lot of laundry, but felt like I needed to get involved. I held up a copy of "The 5000 Year Leap" and 'The Constitution' and explained these were some of the types of things our group was using to Educate ourselves. Our groups believed that the US did not come to be by mere accident and that it was guided by the hand of God.
I then talked about how important it was for us to Unify. We needed to find other people and especially candidates that shared that ideal about the US. I told them we were willing to work hard in the Elections to support people that we believed would honor our unique way of life. From here I kinda jumped in to something I wasn't really planning to talk about. I said that I believed in American exceptionaliam. I referred to any US coin and the 3 things written on every one.
First- E Pluribus Unum which means 'From Many, One.' Nowhere but American can people come together from all over the world and immediately be a part of that new land. We accept and assimilate anyone that is willing to pursue their American Dream.
Second-Liberty. We believe in personal freedom and liberty. Unlike the French in their revolution, we don't have 'Equality' as one of our slogans because although we believe in equal opportunity, we don't guarantee equal results. Americans have the liberty to take a chance and the liberty to succeed or fail.
Third-and lastly, In God We Trust. Now I have to note here that I had not really planned to talk about these 3 things, but it was all kind of flowing for me. When I got to this final phrase, I had to pause for a moment because when I said 'In God We Trust,' I felt the Spirit really, really strong. I proceeded to explain that this was the idea that motivated me to action. I believed that God's hand was in the forming of our country. America is a light on a hill for the whole world to see. I talked about the idea that America is not prosperous because we are the best at exploiting other country's resources, we are prosperous because we are free. And free people are better people. I am not recapping it very well, but it was one of those times when the words just came. I really felt the way you do whenever you testify of true principles. I felt the Spirit and I think many in the room did too. I knew for certain that God cared very much about His Promised Land.
I wrapped it up by encouraging the Republicans to put us to work because we weren't trying to reinvent the wheel during this election cycle, but we did want to help to steer.
For me, this kind of encapsulates why I am getting involved the way I am. I really do believe the forming of our government was guided by God and it is my responsibility to do what I can to honor that. It has been both humbling and encouraging to see so many in our community that hold those same ideals. I didn't really expect to have such a powerful, personal spiritual experience. Religion and Politics were very close together for me this night and I am glad I had the chance to talk about it.