Chris­tian­ity & pol­i­tics

The Covington News - - Religion -

As I type the words for this ar­ti­cle, my mind is on the fu­ture of this na­tion in gen­eral and the demo­cratic process in gen­eral, specif­i­cally the up­com­ing elec­tions.

There are many who feel that Chris­tians in gen­eral should keep their noses out of the po­lit­i­cal process or at the very least should be care­ful not to let our be­liefs in­flu­ence our vote. That of course is a ridicu­lous de­mand since ev­ery­one votes ac­cord­ing to what they be­lieve. Those who ad­vance such a lu­di­crous phi­los­o­phy ar­gue that peo­ple of faith should not be al­lowed to force their morals on the gen­eral pub­lic. The re­al­ity of the mat­ter is ev­ery time some law is en­acted some­one per­son or group has in fact im­posed their morals on the gen­eral pub­lic.

Two quick ex­am­ples. Those who are fight­ing to re­move any and all ref­er­ences to God from our cur­rency or Pledge of Al­le­giance are work­ing to force their de­sires upon all Amer­i­cans. And when the Supreme Court of this na­tion en­acted the mur­der­ous laws of Roe v. Wade decades ago, a moral (or more cor­rectly a great im­moral) stan­dard was forced upon ev­ery­one. Stand up against that to­day, and you are told that re­li­gious be­liefs should not af­fect pub­lic opin­ion. But those who be­lieve in the ten­ants of abor­tion on de­mand are lauded for stand­ing firm in their be­liefs. This dou­ble stan­dard must be ex­posed for what it is.

Let evan­gel­i­cals stand up and be counted for sup­port­ing a cer­tain can­di­date and with that arises a hue and cry of foul and threats to re­move our tax-ex­empt sta­tus for mak­ing a po­lit­i­cal en­dorse­ment. On the other hand, you can’t turn on the television dur­ing an elec­tion year and not see many of our more lib­eral can­di­dates be­ing lauded by more lib­eral lean­ing pas­tors or churches, and that seems to be ac­cept­able. It is a dou­ble stan­dard and must be ex­posed for what it is.

Should Chris­tians be in­volved in the demo­cratic process? Ab­so­lutely. It is both our right and our own moral obli­ga­tion. I have no hes­i­tancy of adding my voice to that of the hon­or­able John Jay, a framer of the Con­sti­tu­tion and the first chief Jus­tice of the United States Supreme Court, who stated, “Prov­i­dence has given to our peo­ple the choice of their rulers and it is the duty as well as the priv­i­lege and in­ter­est of a Chris­tian na­tion to se­lect and pre­fer Chris­tians for their rulers.” Am I sug­gest­ing that as Chris­tians we should all vote a cer­tain way? Ab­so­lutely. If you are a Chris­tian, there is only one re­spon­si­ble way to vote. And, yes, I am go­ing to tell you what that way to vote is if your anger has not yet caused you to throw down the pa­per in dis­gust.

As a Chris­tian the right way to vote as a Chris­tian is to know the is­sues, to know where each can­di­date stands on those is­sues, (and I think the Chris­tian should pray about those is­sues) and then the Chris­tian should vote his or her con­science. That is the right way to vote.

Too many of us (my­self in­cluded at times) are lazy when it comes to this im­por­tant po­lit­i­cal process. We tend to vote only ac­cord­ing to party lines or we tend to vote on how a per­son looks or pre­sented him­self rather then on whether or not we agree with his stance on the is­sues.

Years ago, in my first elec­tion, I re­ceived one of those “here’s where they stand brochures” that to­day some de­cry. The way I’ve got it fig­ured is any politi­cian who doesn’t want me to know where he stands is hid­ing some­thing and he or she will not re­ceive my vote.

But that aside, that first “here’s where they stand” piece was unique in that it didn’t iden­tify by name the can­di­dates. It sim­ply gave their re­sponses to the is­sues of the day (iden­ti­fy­ing them as can­di­date X-Y & Z), asked me to check agree/dis­agree boxes, and then, only at the end, af­ter those is­sues were tal­lied up, did it fi­nally iden­tify each of the can­di­dates. That was a great approach and re­ally opened my eyes as a first time voter.

Here’s a news flash: not ev­ery can­di­date of the party of your choice is a Chris­tian and not ev­ery per­son of the other party is of the evil em­pire. Know your can­di­dates, know where they stand on the is­sues (and watch the mis­in­for­ma­tion be­ing dis­sem­i­nated on the in­ter­net) and vote your con­science.

John Pear­rell

Colum­nist

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