Tomorrow is election day. America goes to the polls and picks it’s leaders for the next few years. I think this election cycle we have forgotten there are other people on the ballot because of the presidential election coverage. I plan on doing my part for my country and go to my local polling place to cast my vote. I will cast my vote for every seat and issue on the ballot except for one. I have decided to abstain from voting for a presidential candidate.
It’s been a struggle for me to come to this decision. For the past few months I’ve wrestled with whether or not I would pull the lever for one particular major candidate. The thought never crossed my mind to vote for the other major candidate. Both are equally unqualified to run this country.
I’ve wrestled with all of the arguments.
Hold your nose and pick one.
What about the supreme court?
Just vote for the party platform not the candidate.
A non-vote for one is a vote for the other.
You’re not voting for one but against the other.
Evil happens when good people do nothing.
God uses flawed people so vote for the flawed candidate I like.
I understand that people aren’t perfect. Sometimes you have to look beyond their flaws and vote on their issues. I can’t do that this time. Both of the major candidates lack character and principle. Why should I betray my character and principles for them? One candidate epitomizes everything that is wrong with our system of government. The other candidate epitomizes everything that is wrong with our culture. They are a reflection of who and what we are as a nation. That bothers me.
I am a patriot. I am afraid for my country and where it is heading. But first and foremost I am a Christian. I belong to a kingdom not of this world. It is my first allegiance and what drives the choices I make. I am well aware that the freedoms in this country that I and many Christians before me have enjoyed are slowly being eroded away. It’s only a matter of time before this country adopts the same policies implemented in other countries that have put members of my church family in jail. This frightens me but I will not make a deal with the devil so I can live a comfortable lifestyle.
I also find it hypocritical to lambast one presidential candidate for their moral failings yet overlook and make excuses for the other candidate’s moral failings. I almost fell into this trap. I’ll leave that there.
My decision did not come from some sense of moral superiority or self-righteousness. My decision comes from my care for others. Many of my friends know that I used to be politically involved. I have a degree in Political Science. Over time my social media posts and comments on politics have grown less and less. I’ve done this because as my life has become more devoted to ministry and serving others, I find politics to be a tool of division. As a brother in Christ I can do urban ministry with some of the staunchest liberals. Yet as soon as politics comes up it drives a wedge. The current options for president cause the same division. It’s hard to share Christ when supporting the most unChristlike candidates.
My hope is that any Christian who is reading this would reconsider their vote and abstain from voting for a presidential candidate. At worst vote for one of the third party candidates. As Christians we belong to the kingdom of God. Our job should not be to make America great again, but to exalt God’s greatness! Our job is not to restore this country but to bring peace and reconciliation through Christ. Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for the kingdom of God.
I will end with this quote from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address. He wrote this to a country divided by a terrible civil war. They are words of healing. Tomorrow will come and go and one of the two major candidates will be president. My prayer is that we heed these words as we move forward.
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”