Saturday, November 06, 2004

Can a thoughtful Christian vote?

The election is over, and at least a few people's predictions were correct. People on both sides of the debate seemed to be of the opinion that a good and thoughtful Christian could not vote for the other candidate. Bushies say that voting for Kerry is wrong because he is pro-choice, or he is not trustworthy or something else. Kerryites say voting for bush is wrong because Bush is pro war, or pro execution, or greedy or what have you. So the obvious solution is that Christians should not vote, and for that matter should not be involved in politics whatsoever! (this is satire in case you are dense)

The problem is that I know too many people who did not vote for one reason or the other; a few of them for the reason mentioned above. It is not the thoughtful Christian, but the unthoughtful Christian, who has no problem choosing a candidate. However, it is likely that they are bringing more to their political table than just their Bibles and contemplative prayer. They are bringing their upbringing, their social status, and likely, some misinformation that they want to believe because it strenthens the case for their guy or against the other guy.

Sometimes the choices are clear. When the choice is clear for two different Christians for opposing candidates, perhaps the choice is not so clear. The thoughtful Christian, however, votes because though they find the choice difficult it is one they must make. Not voting is what allows abortion to remain legal, executions to remain legal, unjust wars to be fought, unjust oppression to remain unfought, the needy to be neglected, the unsrcupulous to take advantage...and so on.