We’re heading down the homestretch of this election. There are a lot of questions for American Christians. Should we vote? Who should we vote for? Should we place so much trust in a political party? We’ve seen both candidates endure months of grueling campaigning, be ridiculed about gaffes, and we’ve read enough tweets and Facebook posts to fill a book (a really lame book, at that).
I’d like to share with you where I’m at. I’m only one person and I’m not the first or last word on this subject. But I’d like to share just why I’m voting, who I’m voting for and why. I write this to hopefully help my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Why I’m Voting
There are some well-meaning Christians who, not liking any of the candidates, wonder about the efficacy of voting. Why settle for a “lesser of two evils” role when there is not anyone that matches your values. And so they abstain. Here is my thought: I believe voting is a stewardship that both honors the sacrifice of soldiers who died to gives us this freedom and allows believers to shape the culture to which they are called by God. It’s an imperfect system. We have flawed candidates. And we are flawed people. But the sinfulness of all of this is no excuse to not get involved. I’m convicted by the verse in 1 Corinthians 4:2. “It is required of stewards that he be found faithful.” At the end of the age, I will be asked by God, “What did you do with the opportunities and life I gave you?” I think this includes my vote as an American, a privilege few humans in history have ever enjoyed. And so I vote. Plus, voting is a small way of loving our neighbor.
Now, I vote knowing that nobody on the ballot will be my hero. I’ve given up on finding a Messiah-like figure as a national leader. And this is good, because all those hopes and dreams I may project on a President can only be fulfilled in Jesus. The longing for utopia, for the righting of the empty places in our society–this will only be consumated in Heaven. Until then, I’m tasked, as a faithful American citizen, with choosing between two sinful men (or perhaps a woman someday). When I look at it this way, my political disappointments are drastically minimized. And so I pick a President, knowing my guy may win or he may not win and either way, I’ll find some things about which to be disappointed in the man God appoints as President.
Who I’m Voting For and Why
Now to who I am voting for and why I’m voting for him. First, let me share what I believe are the areas of agreement and disagreement with President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney that are important to me.
President Obama – There is much to admire about our President. Though I didn’t cast a vote for him, I was proud and shed a tear or two on election night when I saw the first African-American man ascend to the Presidency. When you consider our long and shameful struggle with first slavery and civil rights, it was a profound achievement for our great country.
I also deeply admire him as a husband and father. Having grown up without a father, he takes his role seriously and has championed fatherhood in our culture. Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, you should read some of what he has said about this crisis in our country.
I also happen to agree with the President on immigration. I wish for a solution to the crisis of undocumented immigrants and I’d like to see a humane solution. I was in favor of his actions to enforce provisions of what is called The DREAM ACT to allow the young undocumented to go to college and find a path to citizenship.
I also like how the President (until the Bengazhi tragedy) has executed the War on Terror, bringing many terrorists to justice, including Osama Bin Laden.
Lastly, I like that the President sought a solution to the many millions who don’t have health care, though I disagreed with the final result of Obamacare (top-down, no cost-control, etc).
Now there are three main areas where I disagree with the President:
I’m troubled by his commitment to the pro-choice position. To be clear, this is a position that says it’s okay for a mother to kill her baby in the womb. I think it’s pretty safe to say that the President has been the most radically pro-choice president we’ve ever had. As a state senator he refused to support a bill that simply provided safety for babies who survived an abortion. And I was deeply, deeply troubled in my soul when I watched the Democratic convention and thousands of people lustily cheering the right to kill innocent young children. I believe this violates Scripture. God alone is the author of life. To be sure, I don’t blame the President for the abortion culture, it existed before he took office and will exist after he leaves. However, as the leader of the nation, he has only encouraged abortion on demand. And his Health and Human Services department has infringed on the rights of religious employers, forcing them to provide abortion-like services against their convictions. This is wrong.
I’m also troubled by the President’s abandonment of traditional marriage. He has reversed his position on this from what he previously held. In my mind, this is not as serious an issue as the abortion issue, but is still very important. Marriage and family are the bedrocks of a civil, functioning, orderly society.
Lastly, the President’s language of “share the wealth” troubles me. I heartily agree with this empathy for the poor, but I feel that class warfare and envy not only divide the country, but lead to solutions that end up hurting the poor.
Governor Mitt Romney – Like the President, there is much to admire in Governor Romney. I admire his family values, his commitment to his wife and his family. He seems to me to be a man of great character and integrity. I also admire his business acumen and his knowledge of economics. He’s been a fine steward of institutions large and small. He’s also proven to be a very generous, giving man. As a Christian, I cannot say Mr. Romney’s Mormon faith is the same as Christianity, but he gives us much to admire.
Where I agree with Governor Romney:
I agree with Romney’s position on the need for serious, long-term entitlement reform. I believe his moderate instincts will help him work out solution with members of the other party. I have found his plans a bit sketchy at times, but I trust his judgement on economic theory.
I agree with Romney’s position on abortion. He has admittedly experienced a change of heart–and for that I’m grateful. I’m glad he now sees life as precious, beginning at conception. I pray he remains a champion of life for the rest of his public life.
I agree with Romney’s conservative, capitalistic approach to the economy that says providing an environment where entrepreneurship can thrive will give the best chance for the poor to have the dignity of a job.
I agree with Romney’s desire to provide a long-term solution to the health care crisis. His track record in Massachusetts tells me he is pragmatic about finding ways to get everyone insured.
Where I disagree with Governor Romney
I’m troubled by Governor Romney’s inconsistencies on immigration. In the primaries he adopted the most radical, “kick them out” policies toward the undocumented that are both inhumane and antithetical to a pro-life position. He has since moderated his position on this, but his willingness to throw immigrants under the bus like this troubled me.
I also would like to see the Governor adopt a solution for a simpler tax code, rather than slice and dice tax cuts, etc.
I also disagree when Governor Romney says that he “won’t apologize for America.” I think much of this is just campaign rhetoric, but while I don’t feel America should apologize for good, core beliefs or be weak in the face of terror, however there are times when we as a nation do wrong and should apologize. The idea that we are never wrong just seems antithetical to the great Christian values we claim to espouse.
Who I’m Voting For:
In the end, I’m going to vote for Governor Romney. There are a few reasons, but for me, the deal-breaker is the issue of life. I believe abortion is injustice, it’s the targeting of the most defenseless in our society.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m necessarily a Romney fanboy, that I’m a defender of all things Republican or that I hate Democrats or despise the President. Ultimately, I make a choice and leave the rest to the Lord, who rules in the hearts of kings and who is the only sovereign worth worshipping.