Saturday, July 5, 2008
praying for oil and selling votes
Rocky Twyman is a Seventh-day Adventist, who realizes that high gas prices are a bad thing. So he has been holding prayer services at various gas stations around the country in order to bring them down. Apparently that wasn't effective, so he decided to move his prayer vigils to the Saudi-Arabian embassy in Washington D.C., in the hopes that God would move the oil country to release more oil barrells.
Interestingly, Twyman has also decided to do more than just pray, now - he is asking passersby to sign a petition. When he was asked about this, he replied,
"I think we have just entered a new phase. We were in the prayerful phase, but now we're going into a more activist phase, because we feel that whole faith without works is dead," Twyman told reporters.
Hmm. I can just see these groups of people gathered around gas pumps, praying, probably like our ancestors did when they prayed for rain. It's also interesting that as prayer alone doesn't seem to be working, they do more active work. But of course, it won't be their actions that bring success, it'll be the prayer.
I'm not sure how I feel about this one:
19-year-old Max Sanders lives in Minnesota. Like many young people (unfortunately), he doesn't really care much about politics or the presidency. So he decided to put his vote up for bid on eBay.
He set the beginning price at $10, and offered to take a picture of his vote as proof he voted as the winner wanted.
Here's the problem: his auction was halted right away because he broke a state law prohibiting selling your vote.
The law had good origins, I think, as it was designed to combat the practice during Prohibition when people would go into bars and give drunks $20 to convince them to vote. We do need to make sure things like that don't happen.
But is this that kind of case? It seems more of a joke or a sarcastic comment on society than a serious problem. The county prosecutor even admits that he isn't aware of people really trying to buy votes in modern times. Is this a "slippery slope" case? If this were allowed to happen once, would it happen more and more until it became a real problem?
While the charge technically carries up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine, nobody expects the student to get more than community service. The prosecutor says the charge is is more of a statement to respect such an important process.
But who is making the better statement, the apathetic college student or the patriotic prosecutor?