Monday, March 31, 2008

Representative Government

With all of my talk about controversial politics it was about time I actually broke down and talked to a politician:

Hello Representative McKillip, My name is Jonathan Davis, and I am one of your constituents in Athens. I am writing to ask you to support HR 536 “The Human Life Amendment.” This is not a liberal or conservative issue as much as supporting basic human rights and dignity. As a physician who has taken care of preborn children as well as the elderly and infirm I can assure you that they are deserving of protection under our laws. I believe firmly in this amendment and hope that Georgia will be able to lead the country in assuring all Americans are recognized and protected. I will be watching how you vote on HR 536, and it will influence my own voting when elections come up. -Jonathan Davis


Hi Jonathan! I appreciate your thoughts and do have certain reservations about the Resolution and its rather far reaching implications. I will review it if it makes it to the House floor. Please feel fee to send any thoughts on other matters that are important to you! -Doug McKillip (House District 115, Athens)

While I understand the "far reaching" aspect of this bill in terms of political power (challenging a Supreme Court statue and quite a few special interests) the idea of giving the most basic legal protection to every human being in Georgia could not be more simple. It is not far reaching to protect the basic human rights of every individual, it is one of the most basic ideas that this country is about. I do hope that you will reconsider your reservations about this bill. I believe the basic respect we afford to other human beings is one of the most important issues in this country today. If you end up opposing this bill I must respectfully say that I would be required by my conscience to most vigorously oppose your reelection. Thanks again for listening to me. I really appreciate the letter back. This is the first time I have ever been significantly involved with my local representative, and it is so good to hear back from you personally (something that never happens with my representatives in Washington). Democracy in action! Thank you very much, and if you do change your mind on HR 536 please do let me know. -Jonathan Davis

Hi Jonathan! I really make an effort to return all emails - especially when we disagree - I do believe it is crucial to communicate because it is the only way to hear different ideas. Maybe we will agree on the next one. Take care. -Doug

Unfortunately the representative is not supporting the resolution, therefore I will have to oppose his reelection. It is sad that I must oppose him since it is quite refreshing to have some two-sided communication with my elected representative. A wise friend and I recently had a long discussion on the whole idea of representative government by the citizens. His analysis of the flaws of democracy was brilliant and eye-opening (an excellent argument I could not do justice here). I still believe that representative government is the best way to run a society, but sadly the results of this exchange are not encouraging. Perhaps it is just the nature of human beings that we oppress others even in the best government system?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Good News and Bad Christians

Yesterday was Easter, the day that we celebrate the miracle of new life and resurrection. This year I couldn't help but reflect on how the actions of Christians are such pitiful reflections of this ultimate spiritual truth we claim to believe.

I have a next door neighbor whose only contact with us since we have moved in has been to come by and invite us to a church function. Last week I spoke to him again. It was a situation in which neighborly cooperation would have been expected (a falling tree right on the property line endangering his home). Rather than offering any help he rather rudely insisted I could expect no help from him and that it was my responsibility to fix the problem. He didn't even offer the basic neighborly respect that one might expect of any self-interested person sharing a property line. I would think that someone who tried to evangelize the neighborhood for Christ, might be a bit more interested in acting Christ-like towards his neighbor.

Of course, in my own life I find myself espousing Christian values with my actions leaving much to be desired.

This is the truly amazing thing about the Grace of God: it isn't only for the good but for the bad—for those of us that least deserve it. I can stand in church on Easter and praise Him despite all the foolishness of His children. In the end Christ's grace is so powerful that He is redeeming the us in spite of ourselves.