My one and only post about the election

03 October 2008

There's been a lot of consternation in our household lately. Surprisingly, it has less to do with the value of the dollar (yay!) and more to do with the upcoming presidential election (nay!). Here's the dealio-yo: I just cannot fathom voting for either candidate. I can't do it. I just can't. I'm not going to get into all the details, but if you are investigating the who's who in this election, you know what they are, and most likely you are struggling too.

It's not that I dislike them. In fact, all four people with their names on the ticket seem likable enough. I can see myself talking to them about life, gardening, school schedules, Dwight's latest antics on The Office. But I just cannot seem to make my convictions compromise - either way - with their policies. I'm really trying to figure this one out folks. In fact, sadly, I think this is the first time I have actually prayed about voting beforehand. I'm wanting God to take charge of this like I want Him to take charge of all things in my life. But He's not leading me in any particular direction this time...

I feel about voting for a democrat the way I feel about joining an Emergent church: I'm just not cool enough. I am not too cool for school. They are not my people. Or, rather, I think they don't want me to be their people. The Republicans, I feel, want me to be their people too much. I have the right label (Christian) and I love the not-yet-born babies. They want me and my Christian conviction (shame). 

I don't like what the election process turns my elected officials - and my family and friends - into: stark, raving, mad lunatics! I don't like what it turns my pastors back home into: convenient sound bytes. I don't like what it turns voting into: if you don't vote, you don't care, and you will never, ever again get to ever speak about anything at all in the public square, EVER! I don't like the fact that we can ignore issues for 3 years, sit on our bums not doing a thing about the world around us, and then for 1 year only get all nutso about biblical principals in government. 

So here's what I think I'm going to do: I'm not going to vote in the booth, but I'm going to vote with my life. I'm not going to choose a side, because I don't think God has. I believe He's on everyone's side. And if I'm on everyone's side, I should choose to be by their side every day of the year. 

Don't get me wrong - I'm just beginning this "journey". Voting with one's life takes A LOT of effort! Arguably, a lot more effort than ticking a box on a form. I don't think I'll ever adequately vote with my life the way God intends for me to... but let's just call this an experiment: a daily vote. Ticking the box that says "walking along this road with you, following after Christ." We can see what the results are in the next four years, or 40 years, or maybe in heaven... I'm not sure.

Sometimes voting your conscience is impossible... sometimes it means simply not voting at all. Perhaps there is no biblical mandate on voting. Perhaps, God is in control either way. 

Kudos for this blog go to: 
Relevant Magazine and their "How to vote without losing your soul" cover story / All of my friends who are different political persuasions than I am (at this time) and who I love anyway - I would rather serve along with them in life than vote against them in the booth / Anne Lamott who has proven to me, through her books, that I am definitely NOT cool enough to be a democrat, but she's trying very hard to love people like me anyway...

1 comment:

  1. That's a good post, Karen.

    Your daily vote concept reminded me of a quote from our Moody days in reference to Romans 12:1. It's more difficult to be a living sacrifice, because we want to crawl off the altar when it gets hot.

    My own convictions have been challenged by candidates who sound promising even though "we" don't vote for those kind of people.

    Here are two consolations that I find in this year's choice:

    It is God who establishes kings, prime ministers, and presidents. In our case, we get the opportunity to work along with God in this process.

    Second, I've come to think that I can't make a wrong choice? (Especially in light of the above) I think of other choices or circumstances in daily life where I'm faced with no obviously moral vs immoral decision.

    It seems the same here. Maybe our participation in the process is what matters more than the "result?" And I've found greater empathy for the other side.