Religion and Politics: Survey Results

*I want to dedicate this post to every single person who completed my survey.  Your responses helped me test my hypotheses, and understand the relationship between religion and politics.  I am forever grateful to every single one of you.  Thank you.*

I started this study with the aim to analyze the connection between religious beliefs and political beliefs.  I was interested to see if the strength of one set of beliefs influenced the strength of the other.  This was my main hypothesis.  However, as I began compiling my survey, I became curious of other variables, and their effects.  Did age play a role?  What about gender?  If someone isn’t religious, does that impact which political party they most agree with?  Does different religious beliefs affect politics?  Does religious beliefs influence more conservative or more liberal beliefs?  And finally, does the amount of time one set of beliefs was held, impact the other?

I believed these variables would be statistically significant (important, statistically unique, different than normal).  I thought the stronger someone believed one set of beliefs, the stronger the other set of beliefs would be.  For example, I thought that if a Christian held very strong beliefs, they would also be a very strong, conservative Republican.  (This was based on prior observations and patterns.).  I thought age and gender played a role in each set of beliefs, but I was unsure to that role.  I thought the type of religious belief, be it religious or non-religious, would have an impact, but I was unsure what that was.  And I thought people that had beliefs from their family for one belief, would hold the other for the same reason.

Several prior studies influenced my knowledge prior to analyzing the results.  For example, a study conducted by Driskell, Embry, and Lyon (2008) suggested that religious beliefs about an involved God and many world issues are significantly related to political participation on a national scale (Driskell, Embry & Lyon).  Another study conducted by Evans (2014) concluded that religious people tend to disagree in terms of political policies, but they have the tendency to agree with the process of reaching those policies (Evans).  Friesen and Ksiazkiewicz (2015) concluded that society functions the best when people follow traditional values, and also was able to conclude that individuals tend to interpret religion as an important guide for one’s life (Friesen and Ksiazkiewicz).  Fitzgerald and Wickwire (2012) were able to conclude that people of specific religious and political groups tend to favor, or express more trust towards others of the same groups (Fitzgerald and Wickwire).  Finally, Meyer, Tope, and Price (2008) concluded that nations of people who tend to be strongly religious are less favorable towards democracy (Meyer, Top & Price).

A total of 193 people responded to my survey.  However, of the responses, 20 responses were discarded.  These responses did not meet all the criteria, such as being 18 or older, or not providing all information.  (All the surveys were completed.  However, 18 of the 20 responses chose not to specify their religious affiliation.  This was an optional spot, but was a factor I was interested in examining.). I chose 18 as the minimal age, because in America, that is the age when teenagers are allowed to vote.  The vast majority of participants were female and between the ages of 18-30.

Of the participants who identified as religious, the vast majority specified their beliefs as “Christian” (non-denominational/ denominational).  However, I also received responses such as “Catholic”, “Spiritual”, “Norse”, “Methodist”, “Mennonite”, “Christo-pagan”, “Baptist”, “Lutheran”, “Jewish”, “Former Mormon”, and even “Catholic with Celtic beliefs”.  Of those that identified as non-religious, the most common responses were “Agnostic” and “Atheist”.

Politically, I asked participants which political party they most aligned with, and then asked them to place themselves on a conservative/liberal scale.  I was interested to see if religious beliefs affected that ranking.

When gathering the responses, I was really focused on not getting a biased sample, such as too many millennials, or too many Christians, or too many Republicans, etc.  (Given where I live, those would have been the most likely biases.). So, I placed my survey on my Facebook page, and thus it was shared by many of my friends.  I also linked it in several of my blog posts.  Finally, I asked one of my previous professors to pass it out to his students.  The responses were kept completely anonymous, apart from asking for age and gender.

I was expecting my sample to slightly biased, with more Republican Christians.  However, I was surprised to find that the split between Republican and Democrat beliefs to be rather equal.

When I had finished analyzing my results, I was disappointed to find my hypotheses were generally not statistically significant. *I’ll apologize here: I seem to have deleted the file with all my graphs and whatnot.  So, unfortunately, I am unable to share with you any of the visual data.*. The strength between religious beliefs and political beliefs was not statistically significant. (For those of you interested, r=-.087.). This was fascinating to me, as I could see participants of similar religious beliefs rating the strength of that belief very high, but then ranking their political beliefs differently and opposite ends of the spectrum.  Also, I saw many responses where on set of beliefs was ranked high, and the other was ranked low.

The effects between “religious and political beliefs” and “gender” were not statistically significant, and neither was the interaction between them.  This was interesting, because based on previous patterns and observations, I expected females to be more religious, but also slightly more liberal.

When I analyzed the interaction between “religious beliefs”, “political beliefs”, and “age”, the interaction was not statistically significant.  However, when I analyzed the main effect of “religious beliefs” on “age”, this was statistically significant.  (For those interested, F (4, 170)= 2.76, p = .03, and h2 = 0.024.).

Finally, I analyzed the relationship between “religious beliefs” and “political beliefs”.  This correlation was mildly statistically significant (r = .19 at p = .013).  This was interesting, because it demonstrated there is indeed a relationship between “religious beliefs” and “political beliefs”.

*Unfortunately, I did not quite get the chance to analyze all the varied variables I wanted to, such as the different types of beliefs against political beliefs, or how long those beliefs were held against the strength of the beliefs.  If I have the chance to re-do this study, I would fine tune the variables I want to explore.  I made the mistake of adding more and more “variables” as my study went on.  I didn’t start with a strict set of things to investigate, and I think that is why so many of potentially interesting insights were ignored.  I ran out of time, and to a degree, resources, thus negatively effecting the validity of my results.*

I think, overall, this study brings some really interesting things to light.  For example, I began to understand that the interpretation of religious texts is often more impactful than just the religious beliefs.  There were participants who were nearly identical in religious beliefs and in their belief strength (sometimes even in age and gender), but completely opposite in terms of political beliefs and conservative/liberal ranking.  (I may even be so bold as to say that it is this split in interpretation that is leading to the split in Christians today …… corresponding blog post to come …..)

Also, it is also possible that race, economic status, and living environment (rural, city, urban, etc.) further impact the relationship between religious and political beliefs.

———————

I had quite a lot of fun organizing this study, analyzing the results, and understanding real life applications.  It has opened the door to many other questions I would like to pursue, and may at some point.

I’d love to know your thoughts about these results.  Do you think there is a bigger connection between religious beliefs and political beliefs?  Or do you think it’s smaller?


 

religion-in-politics

Ciao for now,

Julia

P.S. I am interested in do a post on modesty, but from guys’ perspectives.  If you are a single, or yet unmarried Christian guy, I’d be honored if you’d fill out this short questionnaire.  Please pass it around to your friends! I will be giving credit where credit is due! Thank you!

The Morality Problem

It seems that there is a massive contradiction in modern pop culture and society.  On one hand, there is an adamant cry against sexism, misogyny, and derogatory comments.  But on the other hand, there is obvious and widespread acceptance of such behaviors.

Modern society is a bit of a hypocrite.

During America’s recent Presidential election, a tape was released of now-President Donald Trump saying, in a private conversation ten years prior, some rather inappropriate things about women (regardless of his conversation partner’s encouraging behaviors).  When it was released, America went into immediate uproar.  However, when we take a step back, and look at the whole of society, we notice that these remarks are not truly out of place.  Yes, we can admit that these comments feel out of place in a politician’s mouth, especially one that would go on to be America’s 45th President.  However, they are not out of place in society and pop culture as a whole.

Let’s examine one of pop cultures biggest contributors: the music industry.  Now, my brothers and I can not tolerate pop music in any capacity.  (If you were to ask us our favorite bands and singers, we would probably tell you artists you’ve never heard of.) But we have friends and cousins who listen to pop music regularly.  When my brothers and I are forced to listen to it, we are overwhelmed by the themes and the lyrics.

Because I don’t know pop music, I spent the day looking at, and listening to, the songs on Billboard’s Top 100 Songs for the week of April 1st, 2017.  To make it easier, I looked at the top 50, and of those 50 songs, 68% are listed as explicit.  These songs include the “f” word and it’s variations, the “n” word and other racist names and labels, and the “b” word, and other derogatory names and comments about women- including the word Mr. Trump used in the released video.  Multiple songs detail graphic sex, and/or reference sexual actions.  And a great multitude of songs present women as sexual and physical objects.  If the average teenager listens to modern radio, they are exposed to these themes.  For example, the current #3 song is Bad and Boujee, and that’s just a small sample.

I also looked at Billboard’s Top 100 Artists for the week of April 1st, 2017.  I again looked at the top 50, and then looked for these performers’ most recent albums.  Of these albums, 80% were explicit, or included a “Parental Advisory” tag.  For example, one of the biggest albums of 2016 was Beyoncé’s Lemonade, and it includes an advisory warning.  If we average the amount of explicit songs together, we can conclude that roughly 70% of all released music is explicit, or offers explicit themes and lyrics.  Let me ask you, given the music in modern pop culture, do Mr. Trump’s comments seem so out of place?

It is also worth noting that there were several movies during 2016 that included similar language and themes.  For example, Sausage Party and Deadpool received R ratings due to the crude sexual contact and language.  These movies were seen all around the world.  Also, many prominent celebrities use derogatory language in their everyday language.  For example: the Kardashians.  Though currently absent from tabloids, their show offers a showcase of their language.  This family of celebrities is known around the world, and their behaviors are a representation of America.  Also, any reality TV show presents an image just as similar.  And need I mention how many musicians dance or act on stage while performing their songs?  Other celebrities, such as comedians and touring musicians, repeat this language in their public personas, and are also an extension of America.  Let me ask you this, is it too far of a stretch to conclude that celebrities and their behaviors are a bigger representation of a country, than any politician?

Finally, let’s address porn.  I have already made my stance clear on this, but most adolescents view porn by the time they are sixteen. (A simple Google search will prove this.). And unfortunately, watching porn is not publicly discouraged.  In fact, some celebrities even admit to being former porn stars.  Now, without diving into the nitty gritty, we need to acknowledge the titles of porn “films”.  Most, if not all, of the titles put the most explicit pop song and R rated movie to shame.  They include, at the absolute least, the words uttered by Mr. Trump.  And if there were roughly 64 million people viewing porn a day in 2016, those people are all being exposed to words at least as bad as the things Mr. Trump has said.  Let me ask you this, if porn is viewed in private and not widely condemned, what makes Donald Trump’s words so out of place?

Let me end how I began.  Modern culture is a hypocrite.  Pop music includes lyrics and themes that are dubbed “explicit”, and the lyrics depict women in terms worse than the words in the released tape.  Popular movies and celebrities are seen around the world, and they perpetuate this “immoral” culture.  And the secret addiction of thousands, if not millions of people, around the world further encourage the use of this word and further perpetuate the degradation of women through the titles, let alone the actual films.

I am not trying to condemn one and praise the other.  I am simply trying to analyze a culture which is quick to deem a man as “sexist”, “misogynistic”, and “awful to women”, when much of the culture celebrates these labels in other areas.  Turn on any porn website or pop song, and you will be hit with these very labels.  Observe any celebrity and you will see how they impact the world, and how they represent nation of origin.

Let me ask you this, in a nation that celebrates music with a 70% explicit rate, massively popular sexually crude R rated movies, and an unashamed mindset towards porn, is it so out of place for a politician’s private conversation to contain a word or theme that is mirrored by the culture?  Let me ask you think, can we expect a politician to be blameless to the world, when the country he is representing is not?  Let me as you this, what needs to change; our pop culture or our politicians?  Let me ask you this, are you willing to face this morality problem head on?  Or are you more content to fight against the world without first addressing yourself?

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Ciao for now,

Julia

(P.S. For one of my classes this semester, I am required to conduct a research experiment/study.  I am designing my study in the form of a survey.  I think it would be really cool to have you guys be a part of my research (but please do not feel obligated!).  If you are interested, the only stipulation is that you be an American citizen (sorry, but my topic is relevant to Americans).  So, if this is something you are interested in, please shoot me an email at fidelisdiem@gmail.com and I will send you the info. Thanks!! 🙂 )

Things I’m Learning….

This was not the post I had planned for today.  I have another one all but written, which I wanted to publish today.  But this afternoon, I got sucked into Facebook.   I’ve been trying very hard to stay off, with the intention of preserving my sanity.  But somehow, today,  I managed to immerse myself in all the political and opinionated corners of my Facebook feed.  I was getting angry and disheartened.  I was feeling (indirectly) offended and ridiculed.  I was ending up on profiles of people who have very opposite beliefs and ideologies than I do, and I was beginning to feel like my own beliefs were being attacked and belittled.  I was beginning to feel hopeless, and simply overwhelmed.

I’ve decided to place myself on a momentary Facebook ban.  Not because I don’t like my friends. Not because I want to hurt my friends. Not because I don’t respect their opinions.   But because it takes a very strong person to stay above the political disagreements and societal upheaval.  And right now, I can’t be that person.  I have to separate myself.  Though I will never be someone to engage with people over Facebook about politics, my mind and heart just can’t handle this fighting and protesting and name-calling and belittling.  I just can’t.

I’ve been learning several things through this political season, besides just the facts.  I’m learning how to live in a world that doesn’t agree with what I believe, and sometimes even violently disagrees with me.  I’m learning what it means to keep my head high, when names and abuses are thrown at me.  I’m learning what it truly means to trust God when everything seems like it’s falling apart.

I’m learning, that no matter how much I learn, there will always be people trying to prove me wrong.

I’m learning that truth, and the pursuit of, is dependent on perspective.  I’m learning that truth is as fleeting as snowflakes in my hand.  And I’m learning, that though truth is so important, there will always be people who try to hide it.

I’m learning, that unless my conversation partner is willing to (try to) understand where I’m coming from and why I believe the things I do, there’s no reason to have a conversation with that person.

I’m learning that tolerance goes two ways, and in order for someone to be tolerant towards me, I must first be tolerant towards them.  I’m also learning how cruel it is for people to only be tolerant when it agrees with them.

I’m learning that nothing is helped by only listening to one perspective, or one news outlet all the time.  I’m learning that truth (and facts) are covered in many outlets, and in many ways.  I’m learning that the whole story is never in one place.

I’m learning that, more than ever, my worth as a person is not dependent on my religious or political beliefs, gender, or race.  I’m learning with each passing day that particular agendas will only confine me to what they want me to be, based on those things.

I’m learning that open-mindedness can be seen as close-mindedness by people who don’t agree with me.

I’m learning that name calling is a defense mechanism, and many people cling to it like a safety blanket.

I’m learning that if I can’t be bold about something that is important to me when the time comes, then it must not have been that important to me in the first place.

I’m learning, like there are “seasons” in my life where God wants me to learn something, there are also “seasons” in my country’s life.  And these seasons, no matter in what caliber than occur, they are always in God’s control.  I’m learning that there is a time and a place for everything, even if it’s something other people don’t agree with.  It’s all for a purpose, and whether or not the outcome is something we like, it’s something God is taking care of.

I’m learning ignorance is a deadly and infectious virus, which is only curable when pride and arrogance is placed to the side.

I’m learning that celebrities are often a given platforms to speak, simply because they are a celebrity.  But I’m learning that when celebrities speak, they often aren’t qualified to speak on the things they insist on speaking about.

I’m learning that pushing political (and religious) agendas on people puts a sour taste in their mouths about that subject.

I’m learning blind compassion hurts more than it heals, and people will often take advantage of such compassion.

I’m learning there is nothing wrong with disagreeing, as long as you love and respect each other during and after the conversation.

I’m learning how lucky I am to be a woman, and how blessed I am to have the rights I do, when there are so many women around the world who have nowhere near the rights I do.

I’m learning that, yes, words can be bad.  But worse still are actions.

My parents have always told me this, but I’m learning how important it is to respond and not react.  There is a powerful difference between the two.  One makes you think through the situation, and choose your words and actions carefully.  The other is fueled by emotions and gut reactions.  One hurts while the other inspires meaningful conversations.

I’m learning that in order to strongly dislike a person, more must be disliked than just the appearance and surface-level superficial reasons.

I’m learning that if you are constantly up in arms over something, you will see it everywhere.

I’m learning it’s important to have what I believe challenged sometimes.  Like religious beliefs, my beliefs on life and politics are not supposed to be stagnate my whole life.

I’m learning that being a Christian is about being passionately in love, and worshipping God with all I am.  It’s not about just loving others, it isn’t just about Jesus, and it isn’t about my own glory and fame.  It is about God.  And I’m learning that being a Christian means that you will be ridiculed by others who cannot believe you’d put priority of an unseen being over your fellow man.

I’m learning people can be cruel when they’re disappointed, and let down, and when life doesn’t turn out their way.

I’m learning it doesn’t help any situation by celebrating the victory of one side, and using it as a smack in the face towards the other side.

I’m learning hypocrisy and assumptions are just as disastrous as ignorance.

I’m learning to feel strong and be great, one must first feel weak and overwhelmed.  For it is through the fire that diamonds are made.

I’m learning that it is foolish to place our lofty and unattainable expectations on people and governments who are completely incapable of attaining those expectations.

I’m learning it is okay to be hopeful and have faith, even if everyone tells you there is nothing to be positive about.

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Ciao for now,

Julia

 

About This Wall.

*I know I had said I wasn’t going to write a political post.  But I think I failed to mention that I wasn’t going to write about the presidential candidates, and biasedly write based on my own opinion and of-the-moment feelings.  However, I think it is my duty as an American citizen, to understand what goes on in my nation’s government, and be able to separate manufactured false news from pure, undisputed fact. Any political posts from here on out, are not designed to be opinionated, or written to stir up problems.  My aim is to write posts that present the facts of a situation from reputable sources, which then inspire intelligent conversations.*

Mixed into the first twelve executive orders from President Trump, was an order that immediately calls for funding and planning to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.  In the first paragraph, many previous acts and laws were cited, including The Secure Fence Act of 2006.  The unfortunate thing about this particular piece of legislature, is the simple fact that very few people know it exists.

sfamapThe Secure Fence Act was introduced September 13, 2006 in the House of Representatives and was signed by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2006.  This Act’s intention is “to establish operational control over the international land and maritime borders of the United States”.  It defines “operational control” as “the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband”.  Under Section 2, the plan for securing the border is outlined: “physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful entry by aliens into the United States and facilitate access to the international land and maritime borders by United States Customs and Border Protection, such as additional checkpoints, all weather access roads, and vehicle barriers”.  This Act called for 700 miles of a double-layer border fence, in order to protect America’s southern most border.  However, by 2011, only 5% of the borders put in place were double-layer (roughly 36.6 miles). Mixed into that, 649 out of 652 miles were complete; 299 were vehicle barriers and 350 were pedestrian borders. At this time, there was no continuous, solid wall covering the length of the southern border.

It is surprising to note that Hillary Clinton (D, NY, 2001-2009) voted “yea” to pass The Secure Border Act on September 29 2006, when the Act was in the Senate.  Her vote was considered a “statistically notable vote”, because it was a very surprising, and least predictable vote. She was not anticipated to vote in support of this Act.  Also, it should be remembered that former-President Obama commented on this Act.  On May 10, 2011 at a speech in El Paso, Obama said “The fence is basically complete”.  Both of these key people knew about this Act, and were aware of a physical border being placed around the southern most section of the United States.

President Trump’s idea for a physical wall is not an new idea.  His executive order is building upon laws and acts previously approved by the House and the Senate, and signed by a former President.  Section 2 of the executive order states: “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism”.  The order then goes on to define a “wall” as “a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier”.  Simply put, President Trump is aiming to make the fence created by The Secure Fence Act of 2006 more sturdy and impassable.

Whether you agree with the motives behind building the wall or not, these facts still stand as researchable, historical, and credible facts.  They are also facts that have not been mentioned much by the media throughout the election, creating the illusion that “building a wall” was a brand new, terrifying idea.

Ciao for now,

Julia

Sources

The Electoral College

This is my only political post.  I decided a while ago that I wouldn’t post anything about who I voted for, or where I stood.  That being said, I’ve noticed there is a lot of confusion about what the Electoral College is, and why it is important.  I’ve even seen some links on Facebook for petitions to abolish the College.

Personally, I don’t know much about politics other than what is presented by the media.  Even that, sometimes, is like weeding through fact and fiction.  However, I’ve always been someone who tries to educate herself on the things I don’t know, so I can have a better understanding of what is going on in the world.  And so, I’ve been doing some research, with the intention of presenting the importance of the College to those who may not understand why it is part of the election process.

*All of my sources will be listed below, and I encourage you, reader, to do your own further research.*

The Electoral College was originally drafted at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, after many other ideas had been thrown around.  (This was just two years before George Washington became the first President of the United States, by the way.). The College was intended to “reconcile differing state and federal interests, provide a degree of popular participation in the election, give the less populous states some additional leverage in the process by providing “senatorial” electors, preserve the presidency as independent of Congress, and generally insulate the election process from political manipulation” (History).  This was, and is, important because it allows the American people the ability to vote for President by creating a somewhat even playing field.

Who are the Electors? We can’t answer this question until we understand how the House and Senate are designed.  The House of Representatives is comprised of representatives based on population, and are voted on by people in specific districts in each state.  This is why California has 53 Representatives, and Wyoming only has 1.  The Senate, on the other hand, has only two Senators per state, and are voted on by every person in the state, regardless of district.  Now, the amount of Electors per state is dependent on each state’s representation in the federal government:

electoral-college-map

As you can see California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York have the greatest amount Electors.  It should be no surprise, then, that these six states also have the highest population in the country.  And because of their population, these states have a larger representation in the federal government.

According to the US Constitution, Electors are elected by each party, in each state, “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct “ (U.S. Constitution, Article II, section 1).  Electing the Electors is basically a two part process; first, “the political parties in each state choose slates of potential Electors sometime before the general election” (National Archives), and second, the general population votes for each candidate’s Electors during the general election.

The first part: This comes straight from the National Archives– “Generally, the parties either nominate slates of potential Electors at their state party conventions or they chose them by a vote of the party’s central committee. This happens in each state for each party by whatever rules the state party and (sometimes) the national party have for the process. This first part of the process results in each Presidential candidate having their own unique slate of potential Electors.”. So, to put this into terms for this past election: each state had two equal sets of Electors for both Trump and Clinton, decided by both political parties.   Someone can be placed on their party’s slate if they are a state elected official, state party leader, or someone in the state who has a personal or political affiliation with the Presidential candidate for that party.  It’s important to note that the Constitution clearly states that Electors may not be a Senator, a member of the House of Representatives, or someone holding an office of trust or profit under the United States (U.S. Constitution, Article II, section 1).

The second part: It’s a misconception that when we vote in the general election, we are voting directly for the President.  In fact, we are voting for each candidate’s slate of Electors.  The Electors are expected to then cast their vote for the candidate that is representing their political party.  One of the major oppositions people have against the Electoral College is the possibility of a “faithless elector”.  This is an Elector who doesn’t vote for the person from their party, instead voting for the other candidate.  However, according to US Election Atlas:

Faithless Electors have never changed the outcome of an election, though, simply because most often their purpose is to make a statement rather than make a difference. That is to say, when the electoral vote outcome is so obviously going to be for one candidate or the other, an occasional Elector casts a vote for some personal favorite knowing full well that it will not make a difference in the result.

In the whole twentieth century, there have only been eight “faithless electors”.  After the general election, on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December, all of the Electors convene at their state’s capitol building to cast their votes, according to how the state voted.  For example, the Republican Electors in Texas will convene at the Texas Capitol Building on December 19th to cast their votes for President and Vice President. The winning candidate must win at least 270 votes, as that is half the total amount of Electoral votes.  An important stipulation from the Constitution states that the voters must for at least one candidate from another state.

After the results are calculated and endorsed, copies are sent to the President of the Senate, who is also the Vice President, along with other important state officials (History).  Currently, the President of the Senate is Joe Biden.

Final step: The House of Representatives and the Senate will meet in a joint session on January 6, at 1:00 in the afternoon.  There, the President of the Senate will read the results of the Electoral voting aloud, in alphabetical order.  After the each result is read aloud, they are passed to four vote counters, with two picked from both the House and the Senate.  After all of the Electoral results are counted, the President of the Senate announces the new President of the United States.

But what is the point? America is not a pure democracy.  In fact, it is a constitutional federal republic.  It is guided by the Constitution, has one central national government, and officials are voted for by the people.  We are not a direct democracy, because we do not vote directly for the President.  However, in other areas of government, such as state officials, Senators, and Representatives, we vote directly the person we want elected.  No current country has a pure democracy, and those nations that did in history were complete and utter chaos.  For example, if the US was to be completely democratic, the heavier populated states would outweigh the lesser populated states.  This means the interest and beliefs of states like New York, would completely outweigh the interests and beliefs of states like Montana.  The Electoral College is important because it forces candidates to campaign to the entire nation, instead of just to the heavily populated states.

There have been four elections in the past where the elected President won the Electoral vote, but not the popular vote.  Also, looking forward to the December election, it is constitutionally possible for Hillary Clinton to win the Electoral vote.  However, it should be noted that wanting to abolish the Electoral College is not a new idea in any means.


 

 

I wrote, and researched, this post because I myself didn’t know what the Electoral College truly was.  I’ve learned a lot in writing this, and I’ve developed a better understanding of how our government works, and why the Electoral College is in place.  This, however, is not meant to be a statement for or against the College.  It is simply meant to be the facts.  I hope you’re able to learn something from this, and that you have a better understanding of why our government works the way that it does.

*I found this video from Prager University interesting and easy to understand.  It actually inspired me to do my own research.*

Ciao for now,

Julia

 

~SOURCES

Hope.

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything.  It’s that point in the semester where I’m holding on for dear life.  Time is not something I have much of, and stress and I are best friends.  However, in this short bit of time before my next responsibility, I wanted to post something.

Regardless of who you voted for in this election, I think everyone is feeling a little hopeless.  Hopeless because of the labels being thrown around based on assumptions and stereotypes, or because of the outcome.  Hopeless because of fear, or because of change.  The protestors are angry, and violence is breaking out.  Bullying and discrimination seems to be spreading like a wildfire.  Sometimes, it feels like America is falling apart.

The past few days, I have been doing all I can to remind myself Who is in control.  There have been mornings were I feel overwhelmed by the hatred and anger on Facebook, and it clamps around my heart like an iron fist.  We as a nation are in The Storm.  But I know my God is at the helm of this ship, and He will guide us through.  My soul is comforted in that fact, as it never has been before.

So, with that being said, I want to share with some of the songs I have been clinging to this past week.  Each morning, I listen to them on my way to school and to work, letting them wash over me.  They center my heart and mind, helping me face anger and opposition and frustration and hopelessness with peace and kindness and love and hope.

My prayer for these songs isn’t that they’ll change minds.  Or that they’ll quell anger.  Or that they’ll stop hate or fear.  My prayer is simply that they’ll bring hope.

Everyone person, regardless of political party or religious affiliation, needs hope right now.  I hope, and pray, these songs provide some hope, even if it just the smallest glimmer.

It is Well by Kristene Dimarco and Bethel Music

Jesus, We Love You by Paul McClure and Bethel Music

No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David, Melissa Heller, and Bethel Music

Joy of the Lord by Rend Collective

How He Loves by David Crowder

Great are You Lord by All Sons and Daughters

Build Your Kingdom Here by Rend Collective

King of the World by Natalie Grant

Every Giant Will Fall by Rend Collective

More Than Conquerors by Rend Collective

Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) by Hillsong

Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin

Holy Spirit by Francesca Battistelli

You Make Me Brave by Amanda Cook and Bethel Music

Sinking Deep by Hillsong Young and Free

Trust in You by Lauren Diangle

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Collection of Beautiful Things (III)

I made myself rather worked up this morning.  On Facebook, I read a woman’s response to the comments made by Mr. Trump.  I totally agreed with her, and I wanted to write my own response to those comments.  I was really to the point of sitting down and writing an open letter to Mr. Trump.  It was going to be an emotional, insulting, and an incredibly bold post.  Then I remembered, not a day after those comments were released, I wrote More than.  I wasn’t even thinking about Mr. Trump’s comments about women when I wrote it.  And I think, that post itself is a big enough statement against any degrading comments.

I thought, instead of writing a post about how angry and upset I am, why not focus on the beautiful things still around me, and be happy?  This election and political season is a freaking mess, and I need some pretty things to remind me of the goodness of the world.

Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride (I could talk about how wonderful this movie for a very long time)

-This incredible magician:screenshot_2015-11-19-13-36-49

My Father’s Favorite from Sense and Sensibility

Amazing Grace performed with bagpipes

-This incredible moment:Screenshot_2016-07-26-12-48-26.png

-Sleeping with the windows open, and waking in a chilly room and warm sheets

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Ashokan Farewell (such a beautiful song to remember the Civil War)

-This example of appreciation of beauty: (America, why don’t we do this to see the stars?)screenshot_2016-10-01-08-59-29

-Petrichor, which is the smell of earth after is rains

-This vase I made with tissue paper on a glass bottle:

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Lingus by Sparky Puppy

These are just a few things that help to keep me sane is all of the nastiness going on.  I hope some of them reminded you of the goodness in this world.

Ciao for now,

Julia