Oct. 14, 2008 – Vote because, um, God says so
Every election season, it’s not uncommon to hear scripted professions of piety designed to convince the masses that Proposition X or Candidate Y is a religious champion of morality and all that is good and shiny on the planet. This is where we, as Christian voters, put on our philosophical thinking caps. We have a very real duty to see through politicized propaganda and to vote Gods values, not the worlds.
Newsflash: opinions on what is ‘morally good’ differ drastically from person to person. While one person – who may genuinely want to produce positive change and hope in this nation – is capable of viewing the brutal dismemberment of a tiny human as a ‘good thing’, I think it’s safe to say that God would think otherwise. And I don’t mean to sound ominous but, uh, God is watching you vote.
But I’m jumping ahead of myself. Before I launch into the importance of voting against anti-God propositions and morally deficient candidates, I should stress the importance of voting in general. If you’re not in the habit of voting regularly, or worse, aren’t even registered to vote, this is where you hang your head in shame.
In a recent study, Dr. James Dobson found that, “Half the Christians in America aren’t even registered to vote, and of those who are, only half go to the polls.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as many as 25-35% of the voting age population is not even registered to vote. That translates to between 45 and 65 million Americans! It would be safe to say that less than half of all professing Christians vote in a given election.
Here’s more sobering news: Many believers fail to consider their biblical values when voting, often choosing candidates whose positions are at odds with their own beliefs, convictions, and values. A recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans say their faith has little or nothing to do with their voting decisions. That’s like saying my children have nothing to do with my family. My fingers have nothing to do with my hand. My God has nothing to do with my religion. Anyone who calls themselves by the name of Christ, yet does not live out their Christian faith in the crucial realm of politics is going beyond lukewarm. That’s being contradictory and lame as a member of the body of Christ.
Throughout the history of the world, the Bible’s solutions to the problems of the world have always resulted in positive change. Christian involvement in politics has given us hospitals, civil liberties, abolition of slavery, the elevation of women, regard for human life, a workable system of justice, education for common people, the free-enterprise system and much more. In Matthew 28:18-20, in the Great Commission, we are told to go out and make disciples and teach people to obey the principles of Scripture in every area of life. This includes government and politics! We must disciple to make godly decisions about government, and promote the efforts of those who are already doing so. We can do that through voting! We must vote in order to fulfill the Great Commission and exercise our spiritual authority.
God ordained the government, and in a country like ours where we have the privilege of determining that we’re going to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people, it is a flat-out sin not to vote and take a stand against evil. You need to be registered to vote. You need to be an informed voter. And when you vote, you need to vote your values. As Christians, our loyalty doesn’t belong to any party, it belongs to God Almighty.
Now that we have that established, I’m going to address you excuses voters. You know who you are. You’re the ones who fall into the ‘little old me’ mindset, where you think your vote “doesn’t really matter”, so why bother? Think about this my friends:
In 1916 ONE VOTE won Woodrow Wilson the Presidency by carrying California by less than one vote per precinct.
In 1948 ONE VOTE gave Harry Truman the Presidency by carrying California by less than one vote per precinct.
In 1960 ONE VOTE per precinct in Illinois would have given Richard Nixon the Presidency over John Kennedy.
There really is no way around it. We, as individuals, really do have an enormous sway on our society in the voting process. And if we are to daily take up our cross and live a life, not for ourselves, but for our Savior, then there is no reason why we should not hit the polls as soon as they open and vote our Christian values. And if we are aligning our lives with the basic understandings of God as revealed in the Bible, then this must affect the way in which we Christians approach some of the major issues of the day, particularly abortion and homosexual marriage. In California we have two very important propositions on the ballot this year that specifically concern those two issues – Propositions 4 and 8. For those residing in other states, I urge you to research the Propositions in your area and how you can honor God with your vote. In the meantime, let’s view the national party platforms as listed on NationalPlatforms.com:
“The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”
“The Republican Party, faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it.”
ON HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE
“The Democratic Party supports the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections. We will enact a comprehensive bipartisan employment non-discrimination act. We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us.”
“The Republican Party states that because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives.”
Okay class, it’s time for a pop quiz. I’ll let you use your book for this test. Question: Which platform would Jesus most agree with? (Hint: Leviticus 20:13, Deuteronomy 19:10, Jeremiah 1:5… you know what, just read the whole book.)
It doesn’t matter how captivating a speaker is, (Hitler gave great speeches too), or how much a candidate spews sunshine and rainbows (rainbows: see Yes on 8), we need to keep in mind that not all that glitters is gold. Let’s take a closer look at our presidential candidate’s positions on abortion. From the official campaign website for Republicans McCain-Palin, JohnMcCain.com:
“John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench. Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat. Once the question is returned to the states, the fight for life will be one of courage and compassion – the courage of a pregnant mother to bring her child into the world and the compassion of civil society to meet her needs and those of her newborn baby.”
And from the official campaign website for Democrats Obama-Biden, barackobama.com:
“Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in that case.”
We have two drastically different views on the sanctity of human life. Your vote matters, not just in the outcome of who becomes the next leader of the free world, but in how that individual will treat the lives of millions of unborn. If things continue as they have, an estimated 5.2 million children will be aborted in the next four years. We need to think long and hard as to what kind of change we want for our nation.
I cannot stress this enough, and forgive my being redundant, but Christians who have not registered to vote should do so. Every single believer – everyone who claims the name of Jesus – needs to be involved in the political process. You can register to vote and view state guidelines at sba-list.org, and you can view Christian voting guides at electionforum.org. Don’t wait! California voter registration cut off is October 24th.
To quote one of my favorite columnists, “off the top of my head I can think of 53 million unborn reasons why it’s important to vote in this upcoming election”.
– Gingi Edmonds