Monday, January 21, 2008

A Man and a Woman

Today is the observance of the birth anniversary of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968). It is a federal holiday, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and first observed in 1986 (though it was not until 2000 that all 50 states observed the holiday). I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, a very diverse community, and commemoration of King's work and legacy were a regular part of the curriculum every January. When I was in high school, I attended the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation, typically on the last Friday of classes preceding the holiday. The event usually involved various performance ensembles (the gospel choir and jazz ensemble, as I remember), and then the winner of the MLK Oratorical Competition would read his or her winning essay. The speech was usually a call to remember that King's work was not yet finished.

When I got to Wheaton College, which, needless to say, is quite a different environment than Oak Park and River Forest High School, I was curious to see what official events the school sponsored for MLK Day. I was pleased to find that a chapel session had been reserved for the occasion; this past Friday's chapel was titled "The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembered." Tonight, the College is hosting the DuPage County MLK Day ceremony, with a performance by our own gospel choir.

All that is well and good, but I think, in reality, my generation, as a whole, can do more than quote King saying, "I have a dream." That's a bit of an exaggeration, of course; I am sure that most people my age know who King was and for what he's famous. But the Associated Press reports that scholars believe the breadth of King's story is largely ignored. For example, the article I read (both on and WORLD Magazine's website) state that King's activism also included issues such as poverty and war. Additionally, people today forget that King was not popular at the time he made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech - quite the opposite.

Sadly, though, that is the fate of many historical figures. As the article states, many are simply "frozen in time" at an iconic moment, and the depth of their work and their lives forgotten. Fortunately, King is not likely to cease to be a well-known historical figure, so there is hope that that depth will eventually become general knowledge.

To change the subject completely, I am no longer a single man.

I first met my girlfriend, Naomi Attaway, well, actually, I can't remember an exact date. She is a fellow first-year music major here at Wheaton College. We saw a lot of each other through the fall semester, first by virtue of having five classes together, and then we started spending time together outside of classes, in social contexts. Eventually, there came a point when we were definitely acquaintances, and then a point when we were definitely friends, though both of those points are rather ambiguous. Last night, I asked her to be my girlfriend, and she said yes.

Pardon me for stating the obvious, but I am really excited about this relationship, and really thankful that God has given me (us) the opportunity to have this relationship.

This is Rubio, over and out.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Huckabee for President

Happy New Year!

At present, I am in the middle of my Christmas break. In addition to getting a respectable amount of sleep, I have kept myself busy getting prepared for a major upcoming event.

2008 is a leap year, and like all other leap years (as well as century years not divisible by four hundred), the United States will hold a presidential election in November. That means from now until Election Day (November 4), we will be in the midst of a presidential campaign.

The Iowa Caucus, the famous first primary, is tomorrow, and the event has led the news all year. At this point (i.e., for the primaries), I have decided to support former Baptist minister, former Arkansas governor, and candidate for the Republican Party nomination, Mike Huckabee.

Mike Huckabee ( officially announced his candidacy last January, but it is only in the last few months that his campaign has gained equal footing with his party's front runners. Several polls put Huckabee in the lead for tomorrow's Iowa Caucus, and he is regarded as a serious contender across the board.

A few highlights of Huckabee's stand on the issues most important to me, as listed on his website:

EDUCATION: "I believe that every child should have the opportunity for a quality education that teaches the fundamental skills needed to compete in a global economy. As I traveled the country and the world over the last decade bringing jobs to Arkansas, the business leaders I met weren't worried about creating jobs, they were worried about finding skilled and professional workers to fill those jobs."

SANCTITY OF LIFE: "I support and have always supported passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. My convictions regarding the sanctity of life have always been clear and consistent, without equivocation or wavering. I believe that Roe v. Wade should be over-turned."

MARRIAGE: "I support and have always supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. As President, I will fight for passage of this amendment. My personal belief is that marriage is between one man and one woman, for life."

FAITH AND POLITICS: "My faith is my life - it defines me. My faith doesn't influence my decisions, it drives them. For example, when it comes to the environment, I believe in being a good steward of the earth. I don't separate my faith from my personal and professional lives."

"Quality education" ... "right to life" ... "one man and one woman" ... "I don't separate my faith from my personal and professional lives." These four samplings alone make Huckabee a man I admire, and further investigation into his stand on other issues such as foreign policy, health care, and energy make him a candidate I am proud to support. This is the first presidential election I in which I will be eligible to vote, and for the primary round, my vote goes to Mike Huckabee.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with my choice of candidate, let me encourage all who are eligible to get out and vote! If you are not registered to vote, it's free and easy, so get that done right away. Get informed about the candidates, watch the news, and VOTE!

This is Rubio, over and out.