I want to begin a series of short posts today in which I reflect on the topic of NOT voting. I want to be up front from the beginning, just in case it is not absolutely clear, that I am writing from a Christian perspective. Just as well, I am not suggesting that my perspective speaks for all Christians everywhere at all times. Neither am I suggesting that if you think differently than me, you are apostate. I am keenly aware that my evangelical perspective is not shared with many others who self-identify as Christians. This, I am willing to live with; I do not necessarily see it as something that fellowship needs to be broken over. Having said these things, let me say a word about how this series will proceed. As I have already alluded to, I am going to try to keep the majority of these posts brief. Thus, I intend on having one focal point in each post. Of course, there will likely be related points and tangents that need to be addressed on occasion, but for now this is the plan.
Point #1: Choosing between the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.
I have heard numerous Christians make the comment that participating in elections, especially the one set to take place in 2012, often feels like a vote for the lesser of two evils. For Christians, participation in any kind of evil should be avoided. I do not say this from a place of moral arrogance or false piety, but rather from the standpoint of one who, in trying to submit my life to the Prince of Peace, is called to participate and think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent, admirable, and praiseworthy (Php 4:8). When the apostle Paul made this comment to the Philippians he was not, of course, calling Christians to be inactive from the world or to flee from it. By the same token, he was not condemning wholesale the cultures in which they might find themselves. Instead, Paul was urging Christians to sift their cultures and to adopt those things that align with the nature and character of God himself, particularly as manifest in the person of Jesus. This does not mean that everything must be baptized with Christianity, however; it might also suggest that cultures in and of themselves can have embedded in them things that are in fact true, noble, good, etc. Either way, the important matter is that whatever these things are, they should align with the nature and character of God and also have the potential to glorify God. Any step away from such things may be called into question as they do not conform to or align with the perfect nature and character of God. In my view, then, voting for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil and Christians should not be willing to place a vote for evil. As long as we continue doing so, the politicians will continue believing that they have us in the palms of their hands. Perhaps if enough of us chose not to vote that would send a "wake up call" of sorts to politicians, a call that would say something akin to "The political machine is not our savior, and because we serve a perfectly good God, we refuse to settle for any of your evils." As Paul says at the end of Php 4:8, "think on these things."
(Please NOTE: I am currently taking a break from Facebook and will NOT be commenting on responses to this post made there.)