Part one of “Hopes, Expectations, a New Direction” was written on Inauguration Day. That day is probably the most non-partisan day of the year. It’s a day when everyone celebrates our republic and celebrates our political process. Now we have come to the second day of a Presidency. The non-partisan talk has been put aside.

For those who have known me for a long time you know that I have always been interested in politics and you have known where I have stood on many issues. For those who know me, you know that my faith is a big part of my life.

Every four years we come to a wonderful tradition in America called the General Election. For the past decade I come to a point in the voting booth where I find myself pausing and rethinking my vote. The reason is very complicated. Mainly because of social issues. For those who believe in God the same issue should probably face you too.

There is a conflict that stirs every four years in me. A lot of that has to do with the attitude of the church as I was growing up. As a kid, you learn that the only way to vote is a certain way. If you do not vote a certain way then people question your faith. This weekend at church, our pastor said that he had heard a statistic that 40% of America wants President Obama to fail and he went on to say that he hopes that that statistic is not true. Why would we want the leader of our nation to fail? I disagree with some of his policies, I agree with others. I disagreed with some of Bush’s policies, and agreed with some. We should never wish our President to be a failure.

A man said on the radio the other day that people had sold out their faith and their country by voting for President Obama. That comment nearly made me sick at my stomach. I am sick an tired of people using their faith as a political tool. I am sick and tired of politicians using faith to get elected. You believe in God, then show us by the way you lead not your rhetoric. I’m tired of people leading us that are not authentic. “Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith. . . some politicians come and clap -- off rhythm -- to the choir. We don't need that.” (President Obama).

“So we all have some work to do here. But I a  m hopeful that we can bridge the gaps that exist and overcome the prejudices each of us bring to this debate. And I have faith that millions of believing Americans want that to happen. No matter how religious they may or may not be, people are tired of seeing faith used as a tool of attack. They don't want faith used to belittle or to divide. They're tired of hearing folks deliver more screed than sermon. Because in the end, that's not how they think about faith in their own lives.” (President Obama).