I took a course in socialism once in which we learned about the four original political parties: reformative, conservative, liberal, and people my dad would never get along with*. I recall thinking I would have been categorized as a reformative, reminiscing on the good ol’ times- desiring things to return to their original state. Less government, more owner responsibility, more gun sanctioned retribution. Which is really just this shy of anarchy.
And now here I am some five or so years later in the midst of another presidential election, and by that of course I mean the midst of one opinionated Facebook post after another. And that’s cool, by all means share your opinion, that’s what I’m doing. But here’s nothing new- every vote is an issue vote. I mean, considering the likelihood that you and any candidate agree on every issue, you get one, maybe two issues that you will see eye-to-eye with any given candidate and that’s what you vote for. You aren’t voting for a person, or likely for even their character, you are voting for an issue.
And this is the part where I bring in religion. As if religion and politics have anything to do with each other. I can say that with ease because I’ve read the bible and I know Jesus didn’t win any popular vote nor did he try to. For a long time I was under the impression that being a Christian meant I believed in republican values. Those values being a couple of hot button issues. Those were the issues that mattered. Everything else fell into the category of it’s all gonna burn or God’s got that. But not these issues, God needs our vote for these issues. And then I realized Jesus wasn’t a republican or a democrat. He was a lover of people. He was compassionate and honest and full of grace.
A friend asked me recently, after hearing some of my political convictions, if Jesus came back today would I in good conscience be able to look at Jesus and tell Him how I voted? And despite the fact that Jesus wasn’t a politician, nor did he give any commandments on how to vote, my answer is yes. Because as much as God isn’t a politician, I vote based on the values His compassion dawned. I don’t believe there are issues God doesn’t hold in His hand. I don’t believe there are issues God needs my help with. But I do believe there are people God has given me a heart for and it’s because of those people I care about the issues that affect them.
I don’t believe there is a right or a wrong way to vote. I believe an educated vote is best, and a passionate vote even better. God doesn’t favor political camps, and the bible isn’t a manual on which one you should fall into. Hell, don’t fall into any of them! Figure out what matters to you- really matters to you, not just what you’re told should matter, and find out more about the people affected by it. God loves those people. God wants you to love those people. Vote for them.
* this was actually a really terrible class so I can’t attest to the accuracy of the information, just that this was the information I was given.