Hello. My name is Joe and I’m a former ditto-head (hello Joe). I’ve been politically sober now for almost two years. (Applause, yada, yada). I was a proud follower of all things Rush Limbaugh but I have since given away my personal copies of The Way Things Ought to Be and See, I Told You So. However I still enjoy a good Arturo Fuente cigar, which Rush turned me on to.
It is that time again, you know the one, when many of the faith for whatever reason put aside all thy have learned, or should have learned about their eternal status in Christ and take up arms and soap boxes in support of their favorite candidate and make claims based on social media memes and the usual talking heads of the propaganda machine that is the American political system. Yes, thank God for every brave man and woman who fought for or died that we might live in a country where we can openly campaign for and support the candidates of our choice-this is in no way a knock on our freedom to cast ballots and select leaders. We are much more fortunate in that respect than most countries around the globe. But I can’t help but feel that many of us play right into the hands of those running for office who have little real concern for our religious affiliation or core beliefs, and why should they, when we leave them at the doors of our local balloting locations.
Yes, not long ago I was a devout ditto-head (that’s a supporter of Rush Limbaugh for those in Yorba Linda). I couldn’t understand how my Christian brother or sister could call themselves Christian but vote for this person or that person. I dreaded what would happen to me if this person was elected or how my relationship with those of the other side of the aisle would be impacted once the elections were over. But then an amazing thing happened at about age 52-I Grew Up! I realized that I had lived through several Presidents that I didn’t support, but I was still the same-my personal situation had not been affected in any great means at all-amazing. But I was so sure that the country would go to hell in a hand basket if this guy won office-what happened? I didn’t have to move to Canada, change churches or renounce my political views, and I was still here and not in a bread line-wow!
Here’s what I finally came to understand-I am a proud citizen of the USA, born in the State of Indiana. However, my REAL citizenship as a follower of Christ is not of this world. While I need to understand and choose to take part in the political process, my fate is not held in the hands of a Republican or a Democrat, a socialist or a conservative, the red side or the blue side. I am constantly reminded through the Word that God is my protector and provider and He directs my path and dictates my future, not the Senate Majority. Here are a few verses that we all quote but somehow disregard during campaign season:
“And My God (not the POTUS) will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”…Philippians 4:19
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying “what shall we eat?” or “what shall we drink?” or “what shall we wear?”. (or what if so and so wins office) . our Heavenly Father knows what you need” Matthew 6:31
“If you then who are (Dems or Repubs) know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask him”…Matthew 7:11
“Consider the ravens; they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!…Like 12:24
“I am Lord-Open your mouth wide and I will fill it”..Psalm 81:10
And I could fill pages with such promises. And yet there seems to be nothing that so greatly divides the church as a good political campaign during an election year. I sit back now and read (without jumping in) the posts and heated debates that go back and forth on social media. I hear stories about clergy surrendering their pulpits to candidates turning a worship service into a political town hall meeting. I read with my own eyes the names and sometimes visceral that comes from the posts between Christian siblings who share differing views and the worst of all, groups of clergy rallying behind the efforts and campaign of a chosen candidate and laying hands in agreement but demanding separation of church and state whenever the church tax-free status is questioned.
This I my newly enlightened approach-not saying it’s the only approach, just the process that I am comfortable with in making my ballot choice. My number one criteria above all else-can I justify my vote before God? I know exactly through His Word what He desires from my life, how I should live and the precepts I should espouse and support in voting. My new motto, and unfortunately more true each election-a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil. I can’t in good conscious cast a vote for anyone who believes anything contrary to God’s laws and desires-period! If that means I have to write in a name not on the ballot, I will do so and not worry that it’s a “wasted” vote. Second, I don’t put much stock in what is said during a campaign-I follow the money and the voting records. Who supports them-why-how did they vote on this issue-what bills have they sponsored on another issue? And the big one for me, perhaps the hardest of all-I rarely comment on political posts and refrain from sharing baseless memes, unless they are too funny to ignore!! I don’t even pray that God puts the “right” person (pun intended) in office. Instead I ask God to help me cast the right vote for me. I finally get it-I will be just fine if the other guy or gal wins. My provisions, my security, my future don’t lie within the hands or policies of the current administration-I am a child of the eternal President, the supreme ruler and he is the one I need to please and rely on for my welfare, not whether the country remains red or blue for the next four-year term. Sure I will vote and encourage others to exercise the freedom to do so, a right bought with a high price. But I will no longer fret over who controls the House or Senate because neither control me, only my God. It may not be popular, but I think I’ll stick with my new strategery!
I perceive your stance to be ethically consistent, which would be true whether you were religious or not. In the context of Christianity, politics is entirely in the realm of “render unto Caesar that which is his”. Even more so now that under current law money = speech.
Just for the sake of keeping my mind agile enough, I’ll take the opposite view on the “lesser of two evils” choice. It isn’t a vote for evil so much as a vote for LESS. Since none are sinless, you don’t get a “no evil” option. Evil is a given. We only get to choose how much sin to accommodate.
Thanks for your comment. I always welcome and encourage feedback. I like to think my stance is more morally correct for my belief system which I strive to line up to God’s. I must however, question your assessment that we must somehow accommodate sin. Again, my perspective is that of a follower of Christ and his teachings. For example, Candidate A represents all things I stand for, in fact maybe 90% or so. But he/she does not recognize the existence of life in the womb and is therefore prochoice. In my view a vote for him is a vote for the termination of unborn fetuses. I personally would abstain from voting if that were my only choice. And I’m starting a debate of abortion, but using that as an example. We can’t eradicate sin or legislate it out of existence anymore than an administration can legislate morality into society. I fell however I am personally accountable to God for my vote, my choice and my participation in the continued proliferation. I don’t expect all to agree, it just works for me. Peace.
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Quite right, you don’t have to accommodate sin. You don’t have to vote at all. My point was that since all candidates, as with all people, are sinners, voting at all is an acceptance that the person you vote for WILL sin. Therefore, a vote acknowledges the inability of a total avoidance of evil. What you can do is choose to vote for LESS of it, by whatever standard you employ for estimation.
I can sympathize. I’ve actually been disgusted with politics for awhile. Very few candidates satisfy my Christian soul. And many candidates, who are the supposedly evangelical candidates, I shake my head at in wonder. When society strays from God, so does its politics.