Well, OK. Fine. A lot of people died on American soil as well as abroad for our citizens to have the right to vote or, I suppose, to squander that vote. But here is the conclusion I've come to.
I'm voting. No matter what is on the ballot, Election Day is not about a religious institution. I can't sit home and pout because no candidate shares my belief system...or even because he or she doesn't agree with my obviously honed political intuition on every single point. Refusing to vote for anyone is ridiculous--it's making a "point" to a gnat. No one will get it.
Would I prefer to vote for a born-again Christian, someone who loves and follows Jesus? You bet I would. But I'll also be the first to admit that I voted for George W. Bush, and as much as I love the guy as a person, I'm not impressed with some of his political decisions. Still, he was the man God allowed for such a time as that and all.
So in 2012 we have two candidates. I personally believe the two-party system is ridiculously narrow considering the diversity we have in our country. But it's what we're stuck with for now, and I for one don't feel called to take up That Cross and follow anyone anywhere. If the winds of change blow in, hooray! But I'm working with what I've got in front of me.
Obama or Romney?
Both claim to be Christian. Both have a definition of "Christian" that is absolutely, completely NOT what I believe Jesus says is Christ-like. Therefore, guess what? Both are evil...in the same sense that we ALL are evil, depraved sinners in desperate need of a Savior.
But you know what? Neither one is candidating to be the next pastor at any of the churches I've attended. Neither is trying to oust the Pope and take over. Neither is gearing up to make the presidency a religious instead of executive branch. So really, their personal statements of faith should not be a huge factor when I weigh which one is best suited to the office of President of the United States of America.*
With that said...it is my OWN faith that dictates whom I deem to be the better candidate.
Some say the economy is the biggest issue in Election 2012. I say my financial status is not going to matter when I am living in eternity with my Savior. (Believe me, though, I have some pretty strong opinions as to what is and is not working with the economy!)
As a follower of Jesus, my own faith and commitment lead me to the realization that I must vote for the things that weigh heaviest on Jesus' heart. And when that becomes my voting perspective, things shift. A lot.
(Before proceeding, remember: both candidates are evil! Don't forget that! :-D)
- One candidate describes himself as pro-choice. One candidate describes himself as pro-life.
- One candidate believes abortion is a perfectly valid option in all circumstances. One candidate does not...though he does allow for some exceptions.
- One candidate believes government funding of abortion is a good thing. One candidate does not.
- One candidate opposes legislation banning partial-birth abortions. One candidate does not.
- One candidate touts his support for gay marriage. One candidate does not.
- One candidate wants to skirt the Defense of Marriage Act. One candidate pledges to defend it.
I've read the Bible cover-to-cover at least 15 times and have studied it since I was small. This much I know: Jesus is unashamedly pro-life. Jesus is also unashamedly pro-marriage, as in ONE man and ONE woman.
You know what else? Jesus loves everyone. Every doctor who performs abortions. Every gay man who has a different lover every month. Every lesbian who is true to her partner for life. Every married person shaken to the core by an affair. Every child abandoned on the street.
Every candidate seeking office.
For me, the choice is clear. Vote your heart, vote your morals, vote your conscience, vote whatever.
But please? Just vote.
*I should note here that I am aware of the argument that if a person is deceived so greatly in the things in which he places his faith, shouldn't we be concerned about his judgment and discernment in other arenas? Personally, I'm not entirely convinced of the validity of this argument as a basis for rejecting the candidate outright. If a candidate were encouraging people to drink Kool-aid in a foreign country, I might be worried...seriously, though, I am trying to keep my argument fairly simple: we are not voting for a religious office. Therefore I will exercise God-given discernment and choose accordingly.