Sunday, November 06, 2016

Election 2016-How I'm Voting and Why

Tuesday, November 8 will be the 10th time I will enter the voting booth to cast my vote for President of the United States.  I have done so each time with the knowledge of what a privilege it is to be able to vote for my country's leader. Few other countries allow their citizens this freedom.

As a Christian, I believe my freedom to vote is a God-given gift; one more place where I can shed salt and light and exercise my faith - and with so little risk!

About ten or twelve years ago I was in a Small Group meeting and we wound up discussing that year's upcoming election. The Pastor leading the group mentioned he was not going to vote. The group members were collectively dumbfounded and asked why.  His answer was something like "Why should I?" I blurted out "Because its irresponsible to not vote!?"

My vote is like one of those talents entrusted to the servants in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). I'm expected to use it, invest it; not just hide it in a hole in the ground.

With this in mind, it is then very difficult for me to say I plan on leaving the President portion of my ballot blank in this year's election. This is a decision with which I've struggled, agonized over for months.

I've know all along I could not vote for Hillary Clinton. I disagree with most (but not all) of the Democratic party's platform and Clinton's own policies and the values they reveal about her are reprehensible, even evil.  Add in that she's a liar and a cheat - well, there is nothing about her I can stomach.

For many month's I've been trying to find something about Donald Trump that could help me find reason to vote for him.  It seems he's worked overtime to give me reason to not vote for him. The hot mic tape came  as no surprise to me.  Though it was taped in 2005, Trump's attitudes and actions in the 11 years following have been no different. And Trump is not so much a Republican as he is a Trump-ite. His support of conservative values only goes as far as they serve his own interests.

People I love and respect will be voting for both candidates. Many of those voting for Clinton are doing so because they in good conscience cannot vote for Trump.  Those voting for Trump are doing so because they cannot vote for Clinton.

Trump supporters have explained to me their's is not a vote for POTUS as much as it's a vote for SCOTUS, their logic being Trump will nominate conservative justices. I don't see that as a good enough reason to vote for such a dishonorable candidate.

Proverbs 20:1 says "The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases." God can change the hearts and rulings of Supreme Court Justices current and future. The President who nominates them is immaterial to the Sovereign God.

Recently, I mentioned this reasoning to a few friends of mine. I (sincerely) told one woman if Clinton becomes president maybe she'll have a "road to Damacus" experience like Paul and have a change of heart! She laughed at (not with) me and said I was naive. Here I thought I was showing faith (but maybe this is naive).

Trump supporters also justify their position by saying we are not voting for a Pastor in Chief so the qualifications for Elder listed in Titus 1 don't apply. This is true. What I'm looking for in a leader are the qualities listed in Exodus 18:21.  Moses father-in-law, Jethro, a Midianite priest gave him some sound advice on what to look for when choosing leaders to assist him.  "Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe..." As hard as I've tried, I can't see where Donald Trump fits this description in any way.

So, about 36 hours from now, I will make my way to the polls.  I will be casting votes for various offices and ballot measures, but I will be leaving the ballot for President of the United States empty. This is not a protest vote nor is it a default vote for Clinton, though she may very well be the next President.  My blank ballot is in fact an affirmative vote for the Sovereign God and in His ultimate authority over the USA.


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