I’M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU who to vote for.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d do if I thought you’d do it. But you won’t do it.
And you shouldn’t. You need to think for yourself.
I would, however, encourage you to mute the propaganda:
- the ever-present, one-sided ads, which usually broadcast half the truth or less. Honest, I do mute them.
- “news” stations that clearly favor one party over the other. “News” is objective, or it’s not “news.”
- talking heads. They’re too often not reporting anything but their own opinions, fact-free. Where have all the reporters gone; gone to blogging every one?
This coming Sunday, my Bible study class is going to talk about how the Bible affects our vote. Or doesn’t.
Fortunately, I don’t have to teach this session. I taught it during the last election cycle, and it wasn’t pretty. That’s because by the end of the session I made the uncomfortable observation that it didn’t look like the Bible or the Christian faith had much of an effect on the way Christians voted.
In many cases, if not most, the reasons people gave for voting the way they did had to do with money and political philosophy.
Some wanted us to back off the taxes and amp up the military. A great strategy if you’re conservative because you have a lot to conserve.
Others wanted to expand the role of government to better protect people at risk, and the environment. A great way to vote if you’re not one of the rich elite, and if you believe our system of laws and taxes was written mainly by the rich, for the rich.
There are plenty of Christians who vote a single issue, which they say they get from the Bible:
- Thumbs down on abortion. “You created my body from a tiny drop” (Job 10:10 CEV). “Do not murder” (Deuteronomy 5:17 CEV).
- Thumbs down on the gay lifestyle. “Do not have sex with a man as you would have sex with a woman. I hate that” (Leviticus 18:22 NIrV).
Those are a couple of hot topics that draw Christians to one particular party.
There are other Christians who wonder why their pew buddies are so narrow-minded. Narrow in the sense of tunnel vision; can’t see the big picture.
These other Christians may actually agree that the Bible takes a stance against abortion and homosexuality, or they may disagree; there’s a lot of that going on.
But either way, they lobby for what they say are broader, bigger, more important concerns:
- Thumbs up on higher taxes to help the helpless. “You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24 NLT).
- Thumbs up on those who don’t have health care. “You who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world….I was sick, and you cared for me” (Matthew 25:34, 36 NLT).
- Thumbs up on the poor. “Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless” (Isaiah 1:17 The Message).
- Thumbs up on immigrants. “You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:21 NLT).
- Thumbs up on education. “Wisdom is more precious than rubies” (Proverbs 3:15 NLT).
- Thumbs up on the environment. “God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it” (Genesis 2:15 CEV).
Those are some of the broader topics—in the sense that they affect more people—drawing Christian voters to an opposing party.
Here’s my question to Christians. Do you think any of these ideas from the Bible make any difference at all in the way we vote?
The reason I wonder is because I don’t usually hear Christians talking about them at election time.
I hear them talking about jobs, China, Libya, a Black president, a Mormon president, and Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.
But I don’t hear many Christians quoting Jesus.