I remember the last time we had a Presidential election I was asked about voting for values. I do not think, four years ago, that I entirely grasped what this was all about.
The issue of voting for values seemed to boil down that people ought to vote for the person who inspired the best values. The two major values that were 'key' were abortion and gay marriage. My slowness at this was based on the premise that I thought that there were other values as well.
I guess that these two issues are not what motivate me a great deal. For one, many of the people who are adamantly anti-abortion and pretend that they are pro-life. Pretend. Strong word. If they are pro-capital punishment I don't want to hear about their 'pro-life' stand. It's insulting to anyone who is serious about ethics. What I also found ironic was that many of these people were also 'pro-torture.' I will respect that they are anti-abortion and that's fine. To say that they are pro-life, however. Please.
Secondly, the more I deliberate on the issue of gay marriage the more I keep coming to the realization that this is more and more a civil rights issue. I read arguments concerning inter-racial marriage written years ago and the arguments were chillingly similar. Race and sexual orientation are not life styles and not choices. I think that churches have actually been on the wrong side of this debate.
There are values that I do hold dear.
First, is the issue of poverty. The poverty rate in this country is growing exponentially. Instead of waging a war on poverty, we seem to be waging a war on the impoverished. This needs to be reversed.
Secondly, is health care. I read of a young boy who died from an abscessed tooth. He had a tooth-ache and no insurance and no money, so no dental care took place. An infection set in and since they had no insurance they avoided doctor. The boy ultimately die. In the United States of America. When such things happen and we don't fundamentally make changes, I have no idea where are values are.
Thirdly, there is the issue of justice. One of the greatest things the United States has given the world is our way of doing justice. A jury of one's peers. A right to face one's accuser. A need to be clearly charged. A right to counsel. As much as we often make folly of the legal profession, many of these hard-working professionals are helping to maintain a sense of justice for all that so many people have died for. The fact that we are holding people, off our shores so that we do not have to follow our own rules, is appalling.
Funny thing about values. The priorities often end up being what ever we choose them to be as opposed to what we are told that they are.