GOD KNOWS how Jesus would handle this presidential election cycle.
Jesus might take the opportunity to spend 40 days in the wilderness. It’s tempting, I know.
Or he might call the candidates by animal names that would describe them. He called King Herod Antipas a “fox” (Luke 13:32 Casual English Bible).
Maybe Jesus would not-so-peacefully protest what’s going on. He flipped the tables of business folks who had set up booths in Jerusalem’s temple courtyard. Then “He drove them out” (Luke 19:45 Casual English Bible).
I’ll tell you what I haven’t been doing.
I haven’t been watching political ads. It doesn’t matter where they come from, they tell only part of the truth, if any. And they program the brain to believe what isn’t true. So far this year, I haven’t listened to any of those ads. (You have to keep the TV remote control handy to pull this off.)
I educate myself by watching the debates, wrenchingly painful as they are this year. As a Christian, I’m embarrassed by what I heard. As an American, I’m ashamed.
Some political pundits say we got to this point because so many of us are stupid.
Perhaps “ignorant” would be a kinder word. But I suspect that “misinformed” would be most accurate. “Brainwashed” would work, too. That’s what a barrage of misinformation does to us.
In an effort to bypass misinformation, I highly recommend the objective news reporting that we can find with the Associated Press app, Reuters, and the BBC.
I’ve read some articles in Christian journals about how we Christians should vote.
The articles ask questions such as “Should we vote for the lesser of two evils?” The closest I’ve come to finding an answer is that we can’t vote for evil at all.
What in the world does that mean?
There are only sinners on the ballot. Is there a point at which a sinner becomes evil?
In previous articles I’ve compared the quotes of Candidate Trump to Jesus Christ, and made the observation that in his quotes, at least, Mr. Trump is often anti-Christ. Though not the AntiChrist.
I’ve also heard him called a sociopath.
I didn’t know what that was, so I looked it up.
MDhealth.com calls it
“a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others.”
This online medical resource, like several others I cross-checked, lists the following traits of a sociopath.
- Callous unconcern for the feelings of others
- Disregard for social norms
- Very low tolerance to frustration, a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence.
- Incapacity to experience guilt
- Markedly prone to blame others or to offer plausible rationalization for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society
The idea of giving this planet’s ultimate power to a person who may have this mental health disorder seems terrifying to me.
Then there’s the other candidate. Mrs. Clinton.
To which many of us would say, “Can’t we come up with something in this country that isn’t another Bush or Clinton? Been there, done that.”
Mrs. Clinton doesn’t come across as the most transparent, authentic, honest person we’d ever want to meet. She might seem more like the rich aunt who moved to Florida because nobody in the family liked her.
Here’s my sad conclusion, based only on the Christians I know. Christianity doesn’t seem to matter much in the voting booth.
Christians afraid of refugees, illegal immigrants, and Muslims will vote for one candidate.
Christians who prefer something closer to life as we know it and the right for women to abort a fetus will vote for the other candidate.
Should Christians vote for the lesser of two evils?
I’m pretty sure God prefers Good to Bad. And when it comes to flawed humans, he might generally prefer Mild to Wild, Defensive to Offensive, and Reserved to Groping.
But I’ve been wrong before.
There’s a song in the Bible that I think might work as a wonderful prayer during these upcoming weeks. It’s a promise from God:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).
God does that all the time.
This time, may we keep our eyes on him and cast our informed votes for the people in cities, counties, states, and the federal government who live the traits we Christians hold dear:
“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:23-24).