I had an interesting conversation with my dad tonight about the presidential race. He is a pretty dyed in the wool conservative, but I think he is more a fiscal conservative than a moral conservative, so we can have fairly in-depth conversations without too much disagreement. Even though I believe in social welfare programs and the role of government in making people’s lives better, I can completely respect the ideology of the fiscal conservatives and the goal of small government. I think if we were all slightly better people, individually and collectively, small government would be best because we would also still take care of each other. But since we don’t do that, or at least enough of it, I do believe government has a role to play in helping those in need.

I think that’s why I like Barack Obama so much – because his message of “we’re all in this together” really resonates with me. We have to be in it together, because I think we can really only be as great as the very least among us. If we are neglecting the poor, the sick, the uninsurable, the unemployable, the mentally ill, how can we really call ourselves great? Sure, when you have social welfare programs, there will always be people who take advantage – people who could work, who won’t; people who don’t really need services requesting them anyway. But isn’t that what Jesus taught us? “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me?” I have a hard time understanding the motivation of the so-called religious right, when they are more worried about who is sleeping with whom and not very worried at all about the poor and the weary among us. Where would Jesus really be spending his time and efforts?