This years Presidential Election is probably the most in-tune I’ve ever been with the political dual. Granted, this is only the second time ever I’ve been eligible to vote, my circumstances during the 2008 election were a far cry from what they are now. Growing up I was a die-hard Republican, I never really knew why, I just was. That’s how I was raised to think. I was raised to think Bill Clinton was bad and George W. Bush was good, and subsequently every red candidate that came along thereafter was good and the blues were bad. I just swallowed this ideology because politics were of mild interest at best to me as a young(er) adult.
This time around feels much different, over the last four years since the 2008 Election, I’ve come to see how politics not only effect us locally and nationally, but also internationally. How the decisions we make at the polls can impact people half the world away.
As a result of being tuned in to this years election (and being enrolled in U.S. Government for my general education has definitely served to boost my interest) I’ve definitely taken notice of the visceral reactions (as my professor refers to them) that people have when discussing the candidates and their ideals. Generally speaking, the social issues take on the most emotional responses, like whether Gay Marriage or Abortion should be legalized. Most of the people, if not all, that I’ve discussed politics (or just heard their reasons for voting for Obama or Romney) are basing their decision mostly, if not completely on these social issues. Domestic and Foreign Policy, the economy, the environment, are all issues that would be lucky if they were on the back burner in some of these people’s cases.
I realized that I resolved a long time ago that I’m not basing my vote on these social issues, not only because of the highly charged emotional atmosphere that surrounds them, but because they’re ultimately such a small slice of the larger pie.
To me, the economy, domestic and foreign policy, the environment—those are “big picture” issues, they have implications for everyone regardless of your sexual orientation or whether you’ve had an abortion or not. Our treatment of those policies, whether we want the government to be firmer with trade regulations on Wall Street, or if should we continue to operate our military as though we were a global police force; those issues truly touch everybody. Our decisions in those areas are public and global.
The social issues, to me, are between the individual and their conscience. If that persons religious convictions compel them to affirm or reject them, that’s up to them. The way I see it, God showed us how to live. First by delivering the law to Moses and then in the person of Jesus Christ he showed us how to live through grace. The point though, and this is important, is that God never forced his will on anybody—and he still doesn’t. He’s showed us the choices we can make, how we can choose to live, but he never made those choices for us. So my question to you the reader, and all Christian voters is: If God didn’t choose for us, if God didn’t force his will on others, what in the world makes us think we have the right to?
You can throw any Scripture you want to justify whether you think Gay Marriage or Abortion should be legal or illegal. Frankly, I don’t care. I refuse to take sides on these issues, I see the merit of both, but demanding that a group of people adhere to our standards of living comes dangerously close to oppression. The Babylonians did it to the Israelites, the Romans did it to the Jews (along with everyone else they conquered) and such has been the case for every country that’s taken over another culture. I believe that the Godly thing to do would be to remain neutral, to love them as they are but neither condemn nor condone the choices. Just love the people, how God feels about them and his plan for them is absolutely, unequivocally up to him and nobody else (thankfully).
I’m voting to re-elect Barack Obama in November because he represents for me the most Christ-like values of the two candidates. His vision for how the government and the economy should operate are closer to the love, compassion, generosity and equality that Christ stood for than the alternatives.
See you at the polls.