Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Democracy Dilemma (Part 1)

The world of politics grows steadily more frustrating to me. Increasingly, it seems to be a circus, not a legitimate authority. With headlines ranging from Rod Blagojevich’s hung jury to the finger-pointing about the Ground-Zero mosque, I have to ask - is there a good politician left out there? Is there a politician that actually cares to govern for the right reasons, apart from the constant desire to posture and accuse in order to get re-elected? So, I recently pondered these questions: As a Christian, am I under obligation to support and vote for the least offensive candidate, in order to do my part to “turn the tide”? Do I have to be politically active with my vote in every circumstance?

Put another way, if we are told to choose between the lesser of two evils, should we choose at all?

My strong answer to this is “No”, and I’ll tell you why. The argument is often made that Christians cannot withdraw from their political duty – voting – unless they are willing to abandon our nation to the worst possible leaders. Common sense says that if Candidate “A” is more godly than Candidate “B”, then a vote for the lesser of two evils – for Candidate “A” – at least tempers the outcome in favor of Christian principles. Failing to vote at all removes one vote from the “good” candidate and swings one more vote in favor of the “bad” candidate. More often than not, this results in Christians simply voting straight Republican on the ticket, sometimes for candidates of which we have absolutely no knowledge. I know, because I’ve done this very thing in past elections.

But I believe there is a third alternative – leave it to God.

This choice may seem uninvolved and escapist. But I ask – does God really need my vote to see His will done? Obviously, he does not. Romans 13:1b says, “for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” This verse specifically refers to our political and governmental leaders – this chapter even tells us to pay our taxes. So, if I believe that God is ultimately in charge, then I also believe that He is in control of the elections and leaders in our nation. One could make the argument, “Doesn’t God then use my vote for the lesser of two evils to do His will?” Perhaps, but can’t a similar argument be made that God is in control, even if I choose to abstain from voting for a candidate? The verse tells us that it is God who puts authorities in place – not my vote.

I believe that we need to trust in God – not in democracy. Does that seem un-American? Perhaps it does. But is such a view un-Christian? I don’t think so. Do we have faith in democracy and God...or in God alone? And think on this – isn’t a vote for the lesser of two evils still a vote for evil?

Here is a true dilemma – if two candidates were running for President of the United States, and both of them supported abortion, what would you do? See my answer in the next installment – using a real-life, current example in our upcoming Colorado election.

To Part 2 of The Democracy Dilemma

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