Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Purpose-Driven Debate

I don't want to focus much energy on politics unless it affects issues of justice, but I can't pass up an opportunity to comment on an event that brought faith and politics together in a creative forum. Rick Warren strikes again by revealing what the debates have lacked- civil discourse. He not only asked them questions that no other journalists would dare ask, he also used the opportunity to educate people on scripture and some of the justice issues facing all of us. I particularly like the way that he brought to the forefront the plight of the 148 million orphans (although I thought the number was 143 million). If you haven't seen it, I would encourage you to take the time. I have embedded part 1, you'll have to go to for part 2 and beyond.

My quick Miller Time takes-
  • Loved Warren's balance between their faith and their policies relating to issues of faith.
  • I was very surprised at how relaxed Mccain was. And I was also surprised how well he did. He showed that we love stories, and he loves to tell them.
  • I thought that Barack did well but I felt that his answers seemed to highlight his lack of experience. Mccain's one word answers were clear, concise and played to his strength of someone who has experience and is a straight talker.
  • Best moment for Obama- "Matthew tells us whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me." He not only brings scripture into play, but he speaks to the heart of the christian message.
  • Best Mccain moment- He had several and most of them were from stories (surprise). His story about the Christmas Day celebration outside of his cell where a prison guard drew a cross into the dirt was powerful. He said "For a moment, we were just two Christians worshiping there." It reminds us of what he has sacrificed for our country (something that I think will resonate with all generations) and it speaks to how the cross unifies (another core theme).
  • Worst moment for Obama- (when asked about his view of abortion- "Whether you are looking at it from a theological or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade." That seemed slick and not authentic. A president must know where he stands on this issue and to be clear about his or her view. I understand the issue is complex, but you can't dodge it.
  • Worst moment for Mccain- In response to what rich is, he says "$5 million" while Obama said "$250,000". Even if Mccain was being flippant, it was not a good sound bite.
My overall grades-

Warren - A

Mccain - A-

Obama- B+