Monday, October 18, 2010

The Importance and Privilege of Voting

If you know me very well, then you would know how strongly I feel about voting.  Ironically, when my husband and I first moved to FL in August 2001 and I had to claim a political affiliation to a party, either Republican or Democrat, when I was getting my FL driver's license.  At the time, I wasn't sure which one I was (or wanted to be).  I've come a long way since 2001.

I've always voted in all elections, ever since I turned 18.  I was pretty excited to vote in a presidential election a mere 7 months after turning 18 and a brand-new college freshman.  I grew up in a small town in East Central Illinois and voted there, in Chicago, in Phoenix, AZ and in FL.  All of the different places that I've lived.  I truly believe that our chance to vote is a privilege and should NOT be taken lightly.  I believe that MY VOTE COUNTS and that my voice WILL BE HEARD.  

I don't think it was until I became a parent in Feb 2003, that I really started heavily researching the candidates.  I think becoming a parent REALLY makes you grow up (at least it did for me!)  I really (I really say really a lot, maybe I should break out my thesaurus?) wanted to make sure that MY elected officials were representing me (a conservative Christian) and not some liberal leftist. 

I learned from my mother (as a teenager and early twenty-something) the importance of standing up for your beliefs.  When I was 13, my mom became pregnant with my youngest brother, David.  Unbeknownst to me, her OB/Gyn had suggested she get an abortion because she was 39 years old.  That was the only reason.  My mom was offended and that day decided besides keeping her baby, my littlest brother, she was going to use her voice to tell others about the truth about abortion.  I remember her writing editorials to the local newspapers, and eventually becoming a counselor at the nearest Crisis Pregnancy Center (which was about 30 miles away).  The importance of her activism did not affect me until I became a mother and witnessed firsthand the miracle of life.

Which brings me to the inspiration of tonight's post.  When reading over my emails tonight (before bed) I happened to check out one from one of the conservative christian groups that sends me daily emails keeping me informed of what's going on in the news.  This story was in the middle of some other current events and I was drawn to it by the photo of the tender-looking woman (and the title of the story).  I included the link to the website (click on her name below in purple, then scroll down, it's the third story of the day) so that you could see the photo of Dr. Jefferson and you could see what else the Family Research Council is reporting.  Here is the blurb from my email...

This Jefferson Founded a Nation of Pro-Lifers
Dr. Mildred Jefferson may have been the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, but it was her leadership in the pro-life movement that may have been her greatest accomplishment. A founding member of the National Right to Life Committee, Dr. Jefferson served as its President three times. "I became a physician in order to help save lives," she once said. "I am at once a physician, a citizen, and a woman, and I am not willing to stand aside and allow the concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged, and the planned have the right to live." 
A trailblazer until the end, Dr. Jefferson fought for life until hers ended last Friday at the age of 84. She will be remembered not only for her contributions to our movement--but also for inspiring it. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family. May they take comfort in the tremendous legacy Dr. Jefferson left behind.

There was a link in the story that takes you to a two-page online article in the Boston Globe newspaper.  You can read the full article by clicking here.

The quote that is highlighted in lavender above is so eloquent.  I am in awe of this woman.  I had never heard of Dr. Jefferson before this evening, but I am SO inspired by her story.  She had many odds stacked against her being a black woman growing up during The Great Depression at a time where minorities did NOT have a VOICE.  She is truly an inspiration to me, because even though I did not know of her before tonight, I want my life to be a testimony to our Lord and Savior.  I don't know in what way, but only that I want to inspire others to want to know Him.  If this unsuspecting woman could do it, why can't I?

Which leads me back to the importance of voting.  In Florida we have about 2 weeks until our general election.  We will be choosing a new governor to make decisions for our state, and new U.S. Senator (to represent us in Congress).  I hope that you will take some time before now and election day (Tuesday, November 2nd) to do your homework.  Make an informed decision, and ultimately, cast your vote.  

If you'd like links to voter guides that have information on how the candidates feel or how they've voted in the past on sensitive issues, please post a comment for me and I'll include them in an upcoming post.  They also show concise information on each of the amendments on the ballot to make that part of voting easier.  Early voting started today and continues until Oct. 30.  

Please get out there and vote!  We are SO blessed to live in a country where we have the privilege to do so.  God bless America!

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