Several years ago, “political zealot” severely understated my fanaticism for a certain presidential candidate. I posted personal blogs about his inherent virtues. I started polite dinner conversation with, “So, who are you guys voting for?” And I donated a healthy amount of dead presidents to his active presidential marketing campaign. I was “that guy.” You know, “that guy” who goes to a political rally, “that guy” who somehow coerces multiple friends into joining him at the rally, “that guy” who wears homemade political swag and gives one man standing ovations to every other sentence of the candidate’s stump speech.
Yup. That was me.
In some ways, that’s still me, but don’t worry. For this blog post, I promise not to side with elephants, donkeys, or other lesser known political animals. Instead, I want to encourage you by destroying 3 myths that keep Christians from voting.
Myth #1- My vote doesn’t matter.
Truth: You’re really saying, “My voice doesn’t matter.” The truth is your voice matters. Everybody’s voice matters. It can positively or negatively change the lives of individuals around you every single day.
About four years ago, I bought some supplies at an Office Max in Jackson, MI. The cashier was an African American man with a cleanly shaved head, glasses, and an amazing attitude. He made eye contact with every customer, joked around with me, and smiled the whole time. I was so moved by his attitude that I vowed to always go to Office Max instead of other office stores.
Think about this. His voice became so important to me in the matter of a two-minute conversation that I now give the place he worked all of my office supply business. If you choose to love and add value to the people around you, your voice can matter.
Lately, I’ve heard and used the statement “Do for one what you would like to do for many.” I approach the political process in the same way. I vote as if my vote will sway the entire election. Voting for “the lesser of two evils” is a losing game. I vote for the candidate who best represents my beliefs regardless of the party or how likely he or she is to win. Many people call it “voting your conscience.” In doing this, my voice matters, and I have had family members and friends tell me that I helped sway the way they vote.
If Fox News or CNN tells you that your favorite candidate “can’t win,” vote for that candidate anyway. If enough people decide to vote their conscience, instead of voting for the candidate that can win, some of our elections would turn out differently. Every tv channel, newspaper, or political blog has an agenda or a bias. Full disclosure: The only agenda of this blog is to get you to vote, because your voice matters.
Myth #2- Jesus for President.
Truth: The sentiment of “Jesus for President” shines with nobility on the surface, but it quickly breaks down into a lazy cop out on a number of levels. Let me explain.
Do I want Jesus to come back and rule the world as King? Yes. Do I want him to come back and be President of the United States of America? No. Jesus can’t be our President. If he were elected President, he would have to promise to uphold our Constitution. If He upheld our Constitution, He would have to share power with Congress, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. If He shared power with different branches of government who “We the People” elect, it means that he could be voted out of office after four years and could never run again after eight years. Also, who would Jesus’ Vice President be?
Ten years ago, I thought “Jesus for President” was a stellar idea. I even bought my dad a book with that title for Christmas. But a few years back, as I studied the Constitution, I realized that my perspective on the Presidency had become distorted. Constitutionally, the President is not our King. He or she is a servant of the people. The race for presidency is not a race to become king for the next four years. It’s a race to serve our nation by upholding the Constitution. The President should have no power to make laws or even wage wars without Congress.
Also, Jesus was born in a manger 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem, Israel. That means He is not a natural born citizen of the United States, and by law, He can’t be elected President unless someone forges his birth certificate… and Jesus wouldn’t do that. Jesus will never be President. He will always be King.
Myth #3- “God Sets Up Kings. Therefore, I can’t affect the outcome of the election.”
Truth: The President isn’t our King. Congress isn’t our King. And the U.S. Supreme Court isn’t our king. We are the kings. We choose our servants at the ballot box.
If you believe that God sets up and tears down kings, that can definitely be supported Biblically. But guess what, you can’t use it as an excuse to stay home when it’s time to vote!
In a democratic republic like ours, “we the people” are constitutionally set up to be the kings! So, if you believe God sets up kings and tears down kings, then you have a huge responsibility. If you are a citizen of the United States of America, God has put you in the political ruling class. You are the aristocracy. You are not a servant who’s voting for a king. In the U.S.A., we are the kings. We choose our servants at the ballot box.