Friday, October 29, 2004

WHEN VOTING, "TRUST GOD AND SIN BOLDLY." Reading my "Seven Considerations I Make When Voting," someone asked me: "Should not a candidate's sense of morality as well as justice be a factor?" Here's my response:

YES...BUT. Yes...but if I withhold my vote or participation in civic engagement until what I define or describe or think of as a Biblically "moral" politician comes along, I will be waiting a long, long, long, long time.

POLITICIANS ARE...POLITICIANS. All candidates are first and foremost politicians. And politicians are what they are: politicians. They are not the best people. They are not the moral compasses of the nation. They are not the best leaders. They are not likely to be deeply spiritual. They are flawed. They are materialistic. They are savvy. They are compromisers. They are people pleasers...and the people they like to please most are themselves, their cronies and those who support them. They are ambitious for themselves and their ideological assertions. They are addicted to power. They will likely say anything to get elected and do anything to stay in power. This is true even of and particularly for those who cloak themselves in robes of righteousness; they only blind themselves to the plank in their own eye.

THE LAST MORAL CHOICE. Who is moral or who has a "more" moral platform is a relative factor in civic leadership and elections. There has never been a time in American history in which voters have had a purely "moral" or Christian choice. A Biblically moral person and platform is unelectable (they rejected and crucified the last one).

THE WILL AND POWER TO DO JUSTICE. Personal morality and moral sensitivities in candidate or party platforms are but one of many factors that should be considered when voting. For me, the will and power to do justice for the dispossessed ranks higher as a voting factor than a candidate being able to pass my list of Christian sensitivities.

WHY I WILL VOTE. Here's why I will vote, in spite of limited choices: We participate in a democracy that strives for the best possible at the time, not the perfect person or answer forever. That I have the privilege of a vote at all is historically incredible. And our particular democracy is blessed to at least have some orientation to Biblical principles. And, at the same time, our founders had the wisdom to separate church and state. My hope for humanity's future, for the transformation of society and redemption of all cultures lies not in the state but in the confession "Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ is coming again," and in living the Kingdom of God as we are given grace to glimpse and embody it.

I DARE TO VOTE. As feeble as I may think the voting options are, I dare to put what I have learned and know about Christian ethics and decision-making in the face of many bad choice options to work. I will, in the words attributed to Martin Luther, "trust God and sin boldly."

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