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Aye we can! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Johnston   
Saturday, 01 November 2008 16:37

Scotland for Obama Sign

Today we trekked over to Edinburgh to show our support at the Scotland for Obama rally. As we walked up the Mound from Castle Terrace we got lots of cheers and smiles with our home made banner!

Sadly, the only person in our household who can actually vote in the US elections was at work! Nonetheless, we did our bit on a cold but bright day and it was good to meet with lots of other folks from both Scotland and the USA who are as passionate about this election as we are. (There's more...)

The main speaker was Rev Dr Wally Shaw, who gave a passionate speech for change, which was followed by a number of short speeches by supporters. I was privileged enough to be able to share my thoughts which you can read below. One of the highlights however was a call and response giving Obama's "Yes we can!" refrain a Scottish twist as we shouted, "Aye we can!"

What I said:

I am here with my four children to support Barack Obama. From my accent you can probably tell I am neither American nor did I grow up in Scotland. I grew up in England, now live in Scotland and am married to an American. In Scotland, just as in the USA we live in a multi-cultural country. So while I am British, I am outnumbered by American citizens in our household!

My children will have the opportunity to choose whether to live in the USA or here in Europe when they grow older. I want them to have the best possible choice. I trust Barack Obama and Joe Biden to help mould the USA in a way that protects the future of children like mine, rather than threatening it.

Like many of us, my first introduction to Barack Obama was his speech at the National Convention in 2004. I was empowered, elated and enthused by Obama’s message that night. I knew then that this day would come. I’ve read his books, countless articles and feel I know his background.

I am a minister in the Church of Scotland in Blantyre, near Glasgow. My faith is of primary importance to me. In Barack Obama I see someone whose values are also shaped by faith.

Not the faith of intolerance that seeks to exclude others, not the faith of indifference to those most in need, and not a faith in warmongering or violence to achieve an end. The faith I see shaping Obama in his life and in many of his policies is that compassion for “the least of these my brothers and sisters” that Jesus himself told us was the calling of his followers.

It is why my heart broke to hear Barack Obama mocked for being a community organiser. I know, as Obama knows, as anyone who has worked to support a community knows, that it is there in the local situation that real change starts, where change that is needed begins. I am convinced that the lessons learnt by Obama as a community organiser will stand this world community in good stead as we all work to bring much needed change. Change we can believe in.

Senator Obama, if I could only but vote, you’d have it! But I’m sure you’ll settle for my wife’s vote, especially as it is in the battleground State of Virginia!

On children and politics: it is very easy to brainwash one's own children and Carolyn and I try not to do that as much as possible by talking with them about the issues and trying to help them understand why we support the people we do when they ask. Inevitably though they pick up on the conversations we have with each other about politics. Nonetheless we try also to make sure they know that there are other members of our family who think differently.

Comments (3)add comment

Peter Johnston said:

Peter Johnston
You're welcome
Of course, Kristin, no problems at all. If my thoughts and reflections are helpful to others that would make me very happy.

It's going to be a long day today...
November 04, 2008
Votes: +0

Kristin said:

Aye we can, indeed
This is a beautiful speech. I hope it's okay that I've forwarded this link to some of my undecided friends back in America who are concerned with Obama's religious background. Like you, I see in Obama what Jesus' message is about - acceptance, responsibility, kindness, integrity. Thank you for speaking last Saturday - I am sad I missed it!

Kristin, Obama voter from Inverness
November 03, 2008
Votes: +0

liz said:

Keep the flag flying
Well done y'all. Everything crossed this week.!!!
November 02, 2008 | url
Votes: +0

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