Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Democracy Dilemma (Part 2)

In my last post, I considered the following scenario – if two candidates were running for President of the United States, and both of them supported abortion, what would you do?

The dilemma here is that we can: 1) vote for the least offensive candidate (assuming he/she has a more “agreeable” stance on the topic, like only supporting instances where the life of the mother is threatened) and still be a party to the murder of innocent children, or 2) don’t vote for either candidate, and leave the election to others. My point in the previous post is that there is no call in the Bible for Christians to be politically active in all instances – Jesus seems to be rather ambivalent about politics altogether (Matthew 22:15-22). The failure to cast a vote for either candidate still leaves the issue in the capable hands of God alone. Do we trust that He has a bigger plan?

This very scenario confronts us in our gubernatorial race in Colorado this November. Democrat John Hickenlooper will face the Republican candidate, Dan Maes, in the election. I’ve seen Dan Maes speak at the Christian Family Conference in Denver this summer – he seemed like a standup guy, supportive of so many of the sides of issues that I favor, like homeschooling and smaller government.

Most importantly, Dan Maes is pro-life. While politics covers many issues, I am most insistent on two topics alone – 1) a firm stand against all forms of abortion and a commitment to overturn Roe v. Wade, and 2) a clear statement that the candidate will not support any legislation that legitimizes homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. Any candidate who doesn’t support these two points should not bother to seek my vote. They will never get my support, under any circumstances.

But the state gubernatorial race, like the Presidential race, does not contain just one name in each spot on the ballot – there are two. One is for governor and one is for lieutenant governor. And Dan Maes has chosen his lieutenant governor to be Tambor Williams – a clear, pro-choice candidate. Williams does not support the Colorado Personhood Amendment, she has urged former state governors to send funds to Planned Parenthood, and she has voted to oppose a ban on partial-birth abortions (for more on Williams, visit this Colorado Right-to-Life page).

Is Dan Maes committed to a pro-life stance? Consider his words, spoken recently to a pro-abortion outlet:

“People are overestimating the personhood amendment. It simply defines life as beginning at conception. That’s it. Who knows what the intent of it is? They are simply making a statement. That is all I see it as. Do they have another agenda? I don’t know... Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, and people tend to forget that. I would not try to undo that.”
And then, shortly after making this statement, he claimed that he misspoke and “took it back”. I have to ask – how can you misspeak by so great a margin? Could it be that Dan Maes, like so many other politicians, is simply saying whatever he must in order to get elected? In a recent newspaper article, other “conservatives” make it clear that the end justifies the means, when they say that Republicans may have to make compromises if they want to win back the governor’s office.

As a Christian, I am not in a position to make compromises where God’s Word is concerned. And God’s word is clear on the topic of the sanctity of life – “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb…your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13,16). If Dan Maes does not have the moral character, nor the tenacity to name a pro-life running mate, then he does not get my vote. It appears that Colorado Right-to-Life is withdrawing their earlier support of Maes. In their words, “the only justifiable abortion policy is zero tolerance for child killing.” I agree.

And this brings me back to my earlier point – I believe there are times when we are called upon to vote, and there are times when we are not. Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil. In November, when I reach the gubernatorial part of the ballot, I will leave it blank – and I will, instead, take a moment to pray – and trust that God is bigger than anything I can do with my elective right. Does God need my vote to make things happen? No. Prayer, and God's leading, will trump mere politics. Isn’t that the very definition of faith?

A time of prayer, instead of political involvement? Think about it – what would Jesus have done?

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