Final Election Thoughts

(I know this post is crazy long, but it’s because I took the time to say what I really want to say — and sorry it’s so blocky… wordpress keeps removing my line breaks…):
In a few hours, Steph and I are going to the polls to cast our votes… that is, if she doesn’t go into labor first.
I won’t be triumphantly casting my vote for anyone. Rather, I will be doing so solemnly, out of duty, and based on the feeling in my gut from the Holy Spirit that certain people running will not be good for our country.
I have never been more emotionally frustrated about an election. The Democratic party is running on the idea that “things are bad now, so we will brand ourselves as the party of change, and vaguely define what that might mean.” To me, they are the big beautiful turkey in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Do you remember the scene? Everyone is gathered around the table for Christmas dinner, and Chevy Chase carves into this beautiful turkey, but it basically deflates as soon as the knife touches it… it was mostly just hot air.


In our culture, 90% of winning is looking good. Most people are too busy to look under the hood. If it doesn’t fit in a 20-second sound bite on NPR (who forgot somewhere in the past couple weeks that there are actually 2 major candidates running in this race), then we don’t bother with it.
But then the alternative isn’t a whole lot better. The Republican party has campaigned out of desperation. I picture a bunch of pundits gathered around a table saying things like, “People don’t care about the issues. If we run on the issues, we’re gonna lose. People just want to see a cool face in the advertisement on their facebook feed. We’ll never win that way. We have to destroy our opposition.” Guys that’s weak…
And the troubling reality is that most of the Republican party feeds off of such negativity and fear mongering. There’s a huge billboard on the way to my office that simply says, “Barack Hussein Obama – Is America Ready?”
You know what that communicates to me? It communicates, “We’re scared to death that we’re gonna lose, so we’re desperately throwing out anything we can to change your mind.
No wonder so many of my ‘evangelical’ friends are getting behind Obama. By doing so, they are able to distance themselves from being identified with a group of people that who have come across as completely ridiculous and bad for America.
On top of that, the Obama campaign is saying things that sound a lot more in line with the teachings of Jesus. They say they want to make things better for the poor. They say they stand for social justice. It sounds great compared to the Republic campaign who basically seem to be saying that they stand for Obama not getting elected…
So I’ve been praying and thinking about all this, and that’s where all the recent chatter on the blog and on facebook have come from. But based on the dozen-or-so emails I got yesterday, I don’t think my heart is coming through, so let me clarify a couple of things:
My Main Point
The point I was trying to make all along is directed specifically at my ‘evangelical’ (I hate labels) friends, and it is this: Social justice is great, and a fundamental part of the Gospel, and a fundamental part of the teaching of Jesus. But, please keep in mind that this is an election, and just because Obama is good at telling you what you want to hear doesn’t mean he’s going to follow through. I offer the abortion issue as an example: Obama stands for social justice, but his voting record proves that he supports the most heinous social injustice in our country’s history. And he’s not just ‘pro-choice’. He’s pro-partial-birth-abortion. He’s pro-infanticide. And he even has said that he would vote for a bill that would require doctors to perform abortions if asked to. That is the guy you’re getting behind. Just do it with your eyes wide open.
Our Hope

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.”

Mike put words around a feeling I’ve been having lately when he said that so many people are putting their hope in Obama. Having that lense to view things through, I look around and my heart breaks. Friends, never hope in any man. Obama cannot change hearts. He cannot bring repentance. He might be able to change a couple of laws or opinions, but he can’t give new hearts to the millions of people in our country who need them. Only Jesus does that. Just keep that in mind.
On Abortion
One email I got yesterday suggested that I believe that people who are pro-choice worship the devil. I appear to have been pigeon-holed with the folks I don’t won’t to be included with, so let me say a few hard words, especially to my like-minded friends:
You know what abortion is?
It’s sin.
Just like mine, and just like yours.
You know what’s particularly disgusting about people who have abortions?
…nothing
Nothing more than my pride, lust, judgement, and selfishness at least.
That’s why you will never, ever find me at an anti-abortion rally, or picketing an abortion clinic, or with a bumper sticker on my car that says something cheeky about abortion.
Those who were raised up to be extremely fundamentalist will say, “Well are you ashamed that you think abortion is bad?”
Your question betrays a misunderstanding of the Gospel, and of the purpose of the Church.
According to the Bible, people already know that abortion is bad. Nobody ever — not ever saw an anti-abortion bumper sticker and thought, “Huh… You know, I guess they’re right. I’ll have to make sure I don’t support abortion anymore.”
But you know what has probably happened a million times?
Some 20-something girl with a couple of abortions in her past is at a stoplight behind a car that says something very judgmental about abortion, and all her guilt, shame, and pain that it caused wells up, and in tears, she hears the lie, “That’s right. You’re a terrible person, and God will never accept you… and christians certainly will never accept you. They hate you.
I never, never, never want to be that guy. Give me a bumper sticker that says, “I love people who have had abortions.”
As a human being, I believe that abortion is a terrible thing, and that it causes a ton of pain and grief, and my heart goes out to everyone who has ever been affected by it. I don’t judge you if you have brought it into your life, and I want to support you and encourage you as you recover from its effects.
As a christian, abortion is just more evidence that our hearts are wicked… all of our hearts.
As an american citizen, I’m honestly not legally-minded enough to know how abortion should be effected by our laws.
But, if you ask me to support you as my national leader, and your record shows that you want to make abortion easier and more socially acceptable, I cannot get behind you.
No matter how many facebook advertisements I see…

6 comments

  1. Well, regardless of the length of this post or the fact that we disagree on a few issues, a tear came to my eye as I was reading.
    Very well put, with the view, I believe, from God’s side; not democrats or republicans. If you should ever come across a bumper sticker that reads what you wrote, order a bunch, cuz I’ll take a few.
    Thanks for these words!

    Pastor Ts last blog post..Your Vote Does Not Count

  2. Well said Zack. I agree that this election has been a real dousy; I’m not sure I’ve ever seen America so polarized in my brief 28 years–including around the wars overseas. I really appreciate you sharing your heart about not judging pro-choice folks. Along those lines, I believe the “grace and truth” tension–and what I would say–is this: a) grace abounds and no issue should extinguish a flow of grace from my life to yours, but b) if you feel demonized by a subset of the population, that’s not me, and furthermore, that doesn’t legitimize any platform of victimhood, or stance as such. In other words, as responsible adults, we’ve both chosen our stances on this dark issue, and if we disagree, I’m not going to coddle what I believe to be an injustice. It is very possible to do this with grace, but even so, people will be offended. I haven’t read anything you’ve written that has been graceless, so it seems this applies here.

    To (very) briefly touch on another hot topic–“preserving the right to choose” is another lightning rod. “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecc. 1:9 Folks, this isn’t the first time this country has dealt with moral absolutes vs. the right to choose. And the issue at hand was comparably heinous. There were scores of founding fathers and mothers who said, “Slavery is a pervasive evil, and it is my choice to not own them–however, others may feel differently and that is within their sphere of autonomy. Let them choose as they may.” Who would dare stand up and say the same thing today? No, they rightly abolished what was an atrocity. Did legislation supersede and preclude an individual’s choice in the matter? Absolutely it did and praise God for that.

  3. Wow…that ending. Exactly. Oh I wish the church could align itself with this, and not solely on abortion issues. We should be pro-GOD’s KINGDOM. Not that we should welcome sin in our lives, but that would humble ourselves and share GRACE b/c all of us have fallen short. None of us have any way to be with God in eternity apart from Jesus.

    We need to re-access our Kindom sharing processes. Surely there is a more effective way to spread the Message.

  4. well said and congrats on God’s gift to you and your wife. I can tell already – he’s got a great Dad and therefore, a blessed start in life and God’s promises for him!

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