Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dad, Why Are You Not Voting for Barack Obama?

"Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,'
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?" (Proverbs 24:11-12)

Among the virtues Janet and I are attempting to instill within Christopher are concern for vulnerable people and the courage needed to protect them. He knows a little boy about a year younger than himself who has developmental disabilities. The little guy is physically weak and mentally slow, but he loves Christopher. The problem is: he can't keep up with our son. He cannot wrestle, and he cannot even defend himself verbally when playing with the other boys. So Christopher knows that it's his job to protect the weaker little boy.

Last week, Christopher asked, "Dad, why are you not voting for Barack Obama?" I would have loved to have told him that I was voting for Mr. Obama. I would have loved to have been able to point to Senator Obama as another positive black male role model for my son to emulate, but I could not. I explained to Christopher that some people kill little babies before they are born, while they are still in their mothers' tummies. Barack Obama will not try to protect those babies. Instead, he defends the people who kill them.

Immediately, Christopher understood. He knew that something is wrong with a man who will not try to protect innocent and vulnerable people. He comprehended why his mother and father could not vote for Senator Obama, despite the man's personal charisma. Our son has already started to internalize our values.

Of course, Christopher's next question was: "What about John McCain?" I could not answer his question yet. His choice of a vice presidential running mate will give us a hint about how seriously he takes his responsibility to protect innocent people from those who would harm them. Perhaps we will know in a week or two, but for now, I'm pleased with our son's developing sense of moral responsibility.

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