Faithful Politics

Being faithful with our politics, not political with our faith.

Dealing With Voter Disenchantment

Gage Skidmore, Creative CommonsAs the presidential election draws closer, I’ve heard from some Christians that are less than thrilled with either of the two main candidates.  Romney’s recent conversion to conservatism is questioned by many and President Obama’s record with the economy and his stance on some social issues are a bother to many Christians.  Many others are just disenchanted with the two party control of American politics, the abuse of campaign money, the corruption, and just politics in general. Some are choosing not to vote.  Unfortunately not voting does not change anything.

As followers of Christ, we have the knowledge that the ultimate catalyst for cultural change is the gospel, not a politician!  This is of great comfort.  With that being said, we have the ability to vote in people that preserve the great things about America.  Even though Mitt Romney nor President Obama represents perfectly the concerns of Christians, a non-vote is of no effect on the system we currently have.  The primaries are the best shot we have at voting in a person that best reflects our beliefs but most Americans do not even vote in the primary elections.  Of what worth is it to sit back and complain and deride our political process if you don’t have the nerve or conviction to act and change it?  Voting Libertarian is certainly an option, but will end up helping re-elect President Obama.  So as far as your political participation is concerned, Libertarian voters will end up helping elect the candidate that least identifies with their political concerns.

Photo of President Obama by Flickr user lednichenkoolga used under Creative Commons 2.0One important question to answer is if Christians should vote for people that do not support Biblical ideals on moral issues.  Both current presidential candidates have taken stances on issues that do not fit the Biblical worldview.  Does this prevent us from voting for them? Certainly not! First, Christians are not attempting to set up a theocracy (perhaps some foolishly are).  The minute we vote in a Congress that changes our constitutional republic to a theocracy, we’ll regret it and vote everyone out and the new guys to change it back.  Second, we will never get an ideal candidate.  We must face the reality that in a fallen world full of fallen people, any person running for public office will make mistakes, be wrong on occasion, or be less than likable.  The American system was designed knowing that the Fall occurred, which makes what we have superior to every other system on the globe.  Our Founders understood the limits of humans on the political landscape.

So what are we to do if we are disenchanted with both of this year’s candidates?  Vote for the one that best represents the America you want to live in.  Much of politics is compromise and while you may be unable to support either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, there are plenty of issues that they are completely of opposite minds about.  Both have an idea of what America is and what it should be in the next four years.  Vote for the one that is closest.  Not voting and sulking for the next four years just creates more bitterness and resentment.  I’ve been studying and writing about politics for over 10 years and there are times I have to back away and ignore all the hubbub.  But, the opportunity to be able to vote for the leader of the free world is a privilege that only comes around four years and should not be wasted!  As a Christian-American, there are things that infuriate me about both candidates.  But, it’s clear to me that one candidate is a better choice than the other because of his understanding of what makes America great.  I will be happy to cast my vote for that person this November.

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