I Was Once Excited to be in a Contested State

I was once excited to be living in a state that is play during this next Presidential election. I was thinking it would be fun to read about the candidates giving attention to us, about their visits and speeches.

No more. You mean we will have to be watching these TV commercials full of half-truths, lies and misleading information for the next three and a half months??!!

I enjoyed Barton Hinkle’s description of such ads and campaign messages, in his column yesterday in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

“In politics, this is known as drawing distinctions. The speaker’s side — whichever one that happens to be — wants a healthy, prosperous America where happy people lead successful and fulfilling lives. This is why it must defeat the other side, which wants only to smash America behind the ear with a tire iron, drag her into a dark alley, rob her blind, stab her with a rusty knife, and leave her for dead. You just can’t entrust a great country like this to people like that.”

Of course, Americans have always heard such messages during a national campaign. I only wish the two parties would change their behavior of the past couple of decades and stop talking this way after the election — when they would do us some good by actually governing our nation by working together.

(Hinkle’s column gets very, very interesting as he demonstrates that, when you get beyond the slash-and-burn campaign rhetoric, Obama and Romney are different only by small degrees. You can find the column on the Times-Dispatch website.)

About Pastor Andy Ballentine

Pastor Andy Ballentine loves being a parish pastor! Pastor Ballentine took his BA degree from the University of Virginia (with a major in sociology) and earned the Master of Divinity degree at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He earned the Master of Sacred Theology degree at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, with the thesis topic of: "How Benedictine Monastic Spirituality Nourishes Parish Ministry." He has completed the program of Spiritual Direction from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. In the Virginia Synod, Pastor Ballentine has served as Dean of the Peninsula Conference and as chaplain to the candidates in the Virginia Synod’s Candidacy process (those on the way to being approved for ordained and professional ministries in the church). He has staffed many, many Virginia Synod youth events!