(Another) Political Post I Thought I’d Never Write

More politics? Yup, it’s a follow up to my first political post I thought I’d never write.

That post ended like this:

“More importantly, if I desire to be a responsible Christian citizen who cares about my neighbor, I had better fill out a ballot.”

I desire those things–to be a responsible citizen who uses my privilege to vote wisely, as well as a Christian who strives to care very much about the people around me.

Considering this, it’s not an illogical jump to conclude that my Christianity will influence how I vote; indeed, it will.

Lately I’ve been considering this: How would I feel if someone else, who believed drastically different things than I do, voted a particular way only because of their religious beliefs?

I probably wouldn’t like it much at all; I’d probably argue that by voting based purely on their religious beliefs, they are forcing their beliefs on others, at least in some loose sense.

Yet truthfully, that is what I will be doing. My beliefs are too ingrained in me to attempt to examine how I might look at the political situation if I believed something different. Although the United States claims separation of church and state on a national level, I don’t think it can be that way on a personal level. My Christianity isn’t a piece of me I can slice off, set to the side, and reattach at will.

More importantly, though I cannot find any specific verse in the Bible telling me I am required to vote, and most definitely not one that tells me who and what I should vote for in this election, there are countless passages reminding me that everything I do matters to God. 

I believe God cares about politics. I believe he cares about being a knowledgeable voter. James Smith, philosopher and author of Desiring the Kingdom, writes:

“What God wants is Christians partnering to make every sphere of the creation look more and more like the Kingdom, and that includes government…So a robust Christian life is not apolitical.”

I haven’t worked out exactly what this will look like on my ballot yet. The political system in the U.S. very evidently bears effects of a sinful world, both in the way that it operates, with mudslinging seeming to be a prominent campaign strategy, and in the way that it’s set up–with two very distinct parties that have very different views on some of the hot topics. There doesn’t seem to be a way to completely “win” with my vote; yet not voting at all doesn’t seem like the right option either.

If Jesus was around in flesh today, I’d just ask him who he was voting for and do the same.

Til next time…

~Brianna!~

P.S. (As before, I acknowledge my political knowledge is not what it could be, and these matters can be fairly controversial. Feel free to leave a thought in the comments.

The quote from James Smith also appears in this article at Relevant Magazine: “What’s the Point of Politics?”. It’s a more in-depth look at Christianity and politics–heads up, you may have to sign up for an account to read the full article.)

The Political Post I Thought I’d Never Write

In less than two months, a U.S. presidential election will take place.

And I’m already sick beyond words of all the talk about it.

I’m not going to attempt to make political statements for or against either candidate–I’m not nearly knowledgeable enough about the issues, parties, and platforms to comment on such things.

Instead, this is a list of a few things I do know:

  • Neither candidate is perfect. Whoever wins will be the leader of a country that has a lot of problems, though I do not think it is a hopeless one.
  • Thanks to Obama’s health care plan, I still have insurance. If his plan hadn’t gone through, at least in part, I would be uninsured right now; instead (as far as I understand things anyway), my dad’s insurance plan is required to cover me until I am 26. With all the uncertainty in my life, not having to worry about health insurance for the time being is a blessing.
  • I have student loans that are owned by the government. I don’t know if laws that may get passed in the future will affect my existing ones, but the possibility that they might makes me a bit nervous.
  • Voting is a privilege, one that was denied to too many people in this country for far too long, and that is still denied to many around the world. On November 6, I will exercise my right to vote.
  • Before then, I will take the time to research the candidates, issues, parties, and proposals that will appear on my ballot. When I go to the polls, I will do so as an informed voter.

But that does not mean I am required to enjoy it.

It’s hard for me to get excited about politics when I feel like I can’t completely win with either side. At the same time, I believe that ignoring the election isn’t the right choice either. Though it often feels like the government’s decisions don’t affect me directly, there are times when they do, and their decisions certainly affect other people around me. It seems that if I desire to be a responsible citizen who cares about my neighbor, I had better fill out a ballot.

More importantly, if I desire to be a responsible Christian citizen who cares about my neighbor, I had better fill out a ballot. But that’s a topic for another day.

Til next time…

~Brianna!~

(I acknowledge my political knowledge is not what it could be, and these matters can be fairly controversial. Feel free to leave a thought in the comments. Also, for a more in-depth article on this topic, read “What’s the Point of Politics?”  on Relevant Magazine–you may have to sign up for an account to read the full article.)