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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

on politics and religion

I don’t often talk about politics on my blog. It’s just one of those things that I think is private. I enjoy talking about them one-on-one or in small groups of people, but not broadcasting my political beliefs for everyone to see. That’s just how I roll. I think it has more to do with my dislike of confrontation than my need for privacy. So, in other words, I’m a wimp. But that’s okay. It takes all kinds.
I’m not so private about writing about my religion on my blog and I feel like I make it pretty obvious what my religious beliefs are in various places on my blog. Like on my “about me” photo à or my “about me” page.
So, it may come as somewhat of a surprise that I’m not voting “religiously” in this upcoming Presidential Election.
This means I’m not using my faith to determine my vote. I DO believe that my faith influences how I perceive things and what issues I agree or disagree with, for sure. But because of the background of both candidates, I simply can’t vote for the candidate that I feel most closely aligns with my belief in Jesus Christ. Neither candidate specifically claims to be under the authority of Jesus…so where does that leave me?
Not voting? No. I know many Christians who are choosing not to vote because they can’t justify faith and politics in this particular election. I don’t feel this is right. Voting is a right. It’s an expression of freedom. People died to get that right.  If you don’t vote at all, that’s your thing. If you’re just not voting in this election because you can’t decide “which evil is worse” (actual quote I heard someone say) then I DON’T agree with that.
You see, though my faith influences everything I do, say and think, it also has shaped my worldview. It has shaped my views on the economy, on foreign policy, on taxes, on immigration and on capital punishment, to name a few. These are all big issues that both presidential candidates address specifically and often differ on. Where each candidate stands on these issues IS important to me because it is important to the success of this country. My faith "filters" my vote, but doesn't determine it in this election.
And can I just say something? Democrats are not evil. Republicans are not evil. Libertarians are not evil. People are not parties. Parties only include people. President Obama is not evil. Governor Romney is not evil. Both of these candidates, in particular, deserve my prayer more than any other candidate in my particular lifetime because they both have yet to claim The Truth of Jesus Christ.  Also, Jesus is never going to run for President…in case you were holding out for Him to do so. We need to live in the present. There is a real election going on that can determine the fate of our country and we have a say in it. Claiming "Jesus for President" isn't realistic. But that's more of a personal annoyance than anything.
So, despite all of my jumbled thoughts and rambling, I ask that you, my readers do the following:
1. Pray (if you are the praying kind) for both political candidates often. Pray that they would be honest and trustworthy leaders. Pray that the penetrating truth of the Gospel will touch them. Pray for their safety and well-being.
2. Vote.  If you can’t justify your faith and your vote, then don’t vote based on your faith. Vote for the candidate whose views on other issues more closely match your own.
I’m not voting “religiously” this election. I’m voting economically. And that’s why I’m voting for…


Heh. Thought I’d say it, didn’t you? Well, that’s another day and another conversation, friends. I just hope that my random thoughts got you thinking as well.
Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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