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The Christian Vote

Posted Monday, October 27, 2008, at 12:27 PM

Thank you Great State of Indiana for early voting. Anyone who knows me very long has learned I don't do lines. Waiting in line to vote this year was not something I was going to be up to, and voting early sure makes it easier.

This is the 10th Presidential election in which I have voted -- and I think 10 out of possible eleven is a good enough score (my apologies to President Bush and Senator Kerry last time around). If you're wondering, my first election was Johnson v. Goldwater. Apparently Goldwater was a conservative, although I hadn't heard of the term at the time. There was no particular issue back then as to whom "courted" the Christian's vote, everybody did. Every candidate for any office at very least made a public demonstration of attending church.

To the best of my recollection the Christian vote was not a particular issue until Jimmy Carter made it one. Now, of course, it's not called the Christian vote, but the "Conservative" vote (if you're being polite). Sometimes, being slightly less polite, it is the "right wing" vote; or, most demonstratively, the "extreme right wing" vote. Whatever you call it, apparently everyone running for office still wants it -- even though making a public proclamation of religions faith is no long a prerequisite for seeking the "Christian" vote.

It seems to me that a Christian, approaching any election as a Christian, has bound themselves by certain considerations.

For one, there is probably no candidate who believes exactly the same as me. What should I do, make a checklist of my personal doctrinal absolutes to which a candidate must adhere to get my vote? Best guess is there aren't three people in my own church who would pass such a litmus test.

And, there really is no absolute way of knowing "God's will." I'll concede God still speaks to man today. However, the written record indicates He speaks only to a few, not very often, and rarely about politics. The very best we can do is judge the candidate by whether we ourselves believe he or she will best do the work of the Lord. President Kennedy summed it up this way: "With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."

Finally, bringing the most difficulty, the Christian voter is obligated to pray for and believe God has brought into office even the "wrong" person. This does not require agreement on all things, nor does it impose limitation on disagreements. It is only that a Christian voter, as a Christian, must continue to seek God that the poor, misguided elected official will come to see the "right."

This is not the place to say for whom I voted this time around. It is not for me to place the Brazil Times in any position which would make it appear to prefer one candidate over the other. More importantly, it is not for me to say -- writing as a Christian -- for whom you should vote. I certainly do not want to seem to speaking for God. But whoever wins will most certainly need our prayers -- especially if God doesn't get to the polls on time and early voters put the other guy in.

David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at kayanddavid@joink.com.


Comments
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LO:

I'm not sure of the date either but if we voted directly for the president and not the delegates, we would have had another president [Al Gore?] a few years ago I believe as he won popular vote but the way the votes were distributed, he didn't get enough delegates...

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Oct 29, 2008, at 3:10 PM

Keep in mind that under the U.S. Constitution we do not vote for the President/Vice-President, but for "electors" whose votes are counted (I believe) on December 20th by the sitting Vice-President. Back in the 1960's the Supreme Court ruled these electors were under no legal obligation to vote for the candidate they were "pledged" to vote for. Thus, it is conceivable that circumstances could cause electors to elect someone other than who we elected (right?).

-- Posted by LifeObserver on Tue, Oct 28, 2008, at 4:18 PM

Kitkat:

Early voting is just to ease congestion at polls on that one day. It's sort of like absentee ballot at short distance. Many from military to college students have been doing it for a while now. Today over at Meadows in Terre Haute there was already a huge line I noticed. Imagine if all those people tried to vote on one day. Some can't take a break from work during the day on that Tuesday and may not get off work on time either.

Not to worry about your candidate as in order for them to run, they would have to be registered by the time early voting started...If it were the presidential candidate, the chain of command I believe goes to the speaker [Currently Nancy Pelosi??]so the VP would be president and the speaker would be VP. There would then probably be a special appointment within congress to appoint a new speaker and a special election for speaker's replacement only. In this case since I believe Pelosi is from California, only those there would have to have a re-election...but let's hope that doesn't happen. Besides the person who wins doesn't become president until inaugurated in January so a good deal of time to take care of details.

Of course there are also possibilities of health issues. Reagan I believe turned duties over temporarilly to his VP when he had some serious surgery.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Tue, Oct 28, 2008, at 2:12 PM

I personally don't understand early voting. I'm just wondering what happens if you vote early and something tragic happens to your candidate before the election. If, God forbid, there was a plane crash and your candidate did not survive, then wouldn't you actually have voted for the VP nominee and whoever they decide to drag in at the last minute? The values and abilities of that team could be completely different than who you voted for at the time of early voting. I guess I'm just a paranoid traditionalist at heart and like the excitement at the polls on election day.

-- Posted by kitkat on Tue, Oct 28, 2008, at 11:50 AM

Well put.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Oct 27, 2008, at 3:37 PM


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