Right out of the gate, I want to say that I’m thankful I get to live in a country with the freedoms we have. I’m thankful for those who gave their lives to make this a reality for me. If I were one of the Founding Fathers I would have definitely voted for voting.
Saying all that, I HATE voting. It might have been kinda cool when I voted the first time back in 2004, but since then, I’ve not enjoyed it.
First of all, I’m busy. If I could do it on my phone, I’d like it more. I could also Google the candidates other than the President to figure-out who the heck these people are. But who am I kidding, do I even know the Presidential candidates? I can listen to those who hate ’em and I can listen to those that love ’em, but where does the truth lie in any of that? I honestly don’t like anyone running for President. The hubris it takes to say that YOU should be the Leader of the Free World automatically eliminates any claim that you are humble in any way. I’d love to have a truly humble President, but that’s a definitional impossibility at this point. (I think George Washington was humble, but he might have been it.) I’d love to have a non-corrupt President, but I think that might be unattainable as well.
So what is a Christian to do? I hear Christian’s say things like “vote your values.” I think that means vote for the candidate that doesn’t support abortion, but it might mean different things to different people. My values are pretty simple. 1) Equal treatment under the law (that’s my anti-killing unborn babies sentiment as well as my anti-mass incarceration.) 2) Don’t make me do anything I don’t want to do (or not let me do something I want to do.) 3) Take care of Americans first, and then take care of the rest of the world when there’s a surplus (Ha! Surplus.)
So what is a Christian to do? I hear a lot of Christians bring up the Supreme Court as an important voting factor in this election. I agree the Supreme Court is important. I wish Congress would actually pass laws that corrected crazy court decisions but if you upset the apple cart too much you might get voted out of office. And nothing could be worse for America than one of our Congressman to be voted out of office! NOTHING!!! (But I sarcastically digress.)
So what is a Christian to do? I hear more and more Christians getting involved in social justice issues. I like that. Christians should be concerned with the poor, the needy, and the oppressed. I’m not sure what role the President has in this area. I think the government should make sure it doesn’t hinder job growth (and let’s put that in the category of “Needs Improvement.”) I think good paying jobs help several social justice issues. I think we over-do bureaucracy, over criminalize, over police, and over penalize many things in this country. I know for a fact that this disproportionally hurts the poor, needy, and oppressed. Maybe the President can work some magic in this area? Maybe they can inspire the other 10,000 bureaucratic agencies to begin to see things differently?
So What Is A Christian To Do? Who are we to vote for? Well, in my estimate, we have 3 Biblical (and the key word is Biblical) options. However, in this election, they all seem like horrible options.
Horrible Option #1 – Vote for the Republican or Democratic Candidate
The question you might have is does God want us to be involved in the political system at all? As Christians we view ourselves as Strangers and Aliens in this foreign world. Well the evidence is clear that He made it so that Joseph, Daniel, Nehemiah, and the like were very high up politically in their “foreign” nations. The Prophet Jeremiah (hitherto referred to as P.J.) told the Israelites to seek the welfare of their new country (i.e. the one that is just about to enslave them.) Why would P.J. say that if God does not want his people involved in politics at all? P.J. was simply claiming that God wants His Followers to be about making the country they reside in better – whether that’s planting schools or hospitals, whether that’s feeding the poor or taking care of the homeless, or even whether that means getting involved in the political process to make sure all people get the best outcome. God’s not going to punish you for voting for an immoral candidate (praise the Lord for that.) So, as a Christian, your first option is simply to vote for who you think will do the most good between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (or if you prefer, who you think will do the least bad.)
Horrible Option #2 – Vote 3rd Party
This is where about 2/3 of the people start screaming that it’s a wasted vote! Yet secretly they tell you that they’d love to vote 3rd Party so it’s unfortunate that they have no hope of winning. Then people get upset because they realize that if everyone that wanted to vote 3rd Party actually did vote 3rd Party then an outsider could actually win! Here’s why it doesn’t matter. Don’t think of voting 3rd Party as trying to help that person win, but rather to help that person be heard. There is no doubt that the Democrat Party has gotten more environmentally focused because of the Green Party, and there is no doubt that the Republican Party has gotten more libertarian because of the Libertarian Party. You have to pick your spots on when it’s better to vote for the mainstream candidate or when you should vote for the person farther out in the spectrum. But if the Elephants and Donkeys see 10% of their voters going 3rd Party, you better believe they’ll listen. Our vote is the loudest we can be. They don’t care if we tweet our displeasure or march in protest. All the hate for Clinton and Trump won’t matter to them if you end up voting for them anyway. Don’t let demagoguery and fear deter you from voting for whoever the heck you want to vote for. Voting for someone is a whole lot more fun than voting against someone (even if it’s a wasted vote.) I live in the great dimpled-chad, swing state of Florida and I can hardly think of any political ad that wasn’t just telling me how evil the “other” candidate is. Tell me why I should vote for you, not the reason why America will blow up if I vote for your opponent. I think there are so many hidden, powerful entities in the U.S. Government that it doesn’t really matter who we vote for as President. “They” will do whatever they want to anyway. (uh oh, I just lost a third of my readership.)
Horrible Option #3 – Don’t Vote
Why do you have to vote? The Bible doesn’t tell you to vote. Romans 13 spells out that we should obey our governments because they were put over us to do good and punish evil, but fortunately there is no law in good ‘ole Merica that requires us to vote. In fact, we have one of the lowest voting turnouts in the world. That’s a good thing. We honestly don’t fear that we will vote in a tyrant that will eliminate the Constitution. Many other countries have that exact fear because it’s happened to them over and over again. Our lack of voting actually attests to the stability of our Democratic Representative Republic. So don’t vote if you don’t want to. It is not going to make baby Jesus cry. Jesus wants us focused on building His Kingdom anyway. Don’t get distracted by your temporary home’s political squabblings. But please, don’t not vote (that was a purposeful double-negative) because you fear social media backlash. Man, there’s a lot of hate on the InterWeb, but that dies down after the election. Democrats and Republicans don’t have a lot in common in Washington (except corruption), but Democrats and Republicans have a lot in common in Realsville. More importantly, don’t believe everything you read. Over the next month, as you are going potty, read up on all that you can about Clinton, Trump, Johnson, Stein, and Castle (I threw him in there because in a vacuum, I think he’s my favorite.) Make an informed decision. Pray if the Lord is leading you one way or another, then vote or don’t vote without regret. (I’d still recommend voting for the other elected positions even if you won’t cast a vote for El Presidenté.)
I promise, the morning after the election and the morning after inauguration day, the following things will still be true:
1) Jesus will still be on the throne.
2) There will be a Liar and Megalomaniac in the Oval Office (the ratio of those 2 is up to America. Yea voting!)
3) There will still be people who need to be ministered to.
4) Christ’s Kingdom will still be growing.
5) And, you will still have to pay a ton of taxes.
I Guarantee it.
Feel free to comment, but not about which candidate you think will destroy the country more. Comment about what you think Christians should consider when voting this election.