In the United States, we are blessed with the responsibility to vote and make this country better. But sometimes, as Christians, we confuse our religious agenda with what’s actually best for the USA. During an election, our political party can overshadow our identity as children of God, whether we lean to the left or to the right. Hot topics like gun control, abortion, gay marriage, rights for minorities and women, rape, the death penalty, and religious freedom stir the pot quicker than any other topic. If you want to ruin a party, bring up politics. So I guess I’m going to ruin this party.
We as believers need to begin to look at politics through a different lens. We need to take a different posture and bring a new approach to the political conversation. In sweeping generalities, the Christian community is made up of selfish voters. We view politics as our way to create a heaven on earth to preserve the image of the white picket fence. But this is only the preservation of a lie.
Often, we vote the way we do to avoid staring down the barrel of reality, as if making something illegal will wipe the ugly truth from the face of the earth. But this world has been turned upside down and there are horrors to be faced, sins that need cleansing, and people that need loving. Yet rather than facing these truths, we sweep them under the rug and walk away. We slap a law on abortion, make it illegal for once and for all, dust off our hands and think, job well done, a horrible abortion will never happen again!
But here’s the thing, making abortion illegal isn’t going to stop abortions. It’s only going to make them less safe, more expensive, and absolutely terrifying to have done. You know what will drive down abortion rates? Better education, support for people in lower income communities, free contraception, because the stinking reality is people like sex and they are going to continue to have sex regardless if we take away their right to receive those benefits through work, school, or nonprofit organizations, ahem like Planned Parenthood. And you know what happens when contraception is illegal, difficult to come by, or expensive? People make babies, and when you don’t want a baby, abortions happen. So, logically to prevent the latter from occurring, stopping abortions isn’t the solution to preventing unwanted babies from being conceived and then being aborted.
So what does prevent unwanted babies from being conceived? Condoms! The pill! Sex education! Actually understanding and talking about a woman’s cycle!
Side note: Did you know that women are only fertile 3 days out of their cycle? That means that during a woman’s cycle, she is only capable of conceiving 3 days out of the entire duration. Men on the other hand are fertile 100% of the time, yet women are the one’s being punished, but that’s another topic entirely.
What I’m getting at here is our language and discourse needs to change. The idea is we should be discussing abortion prevention and we should be voting with this new approach in mind. Yet abortion is just one example.
When social politics rears its ugly head, we often retaliate in an effort to protect ourselves. If the LGBTQ community is given the right to marry, is that actually going to threaten traditional marriage? When LGBTQ guys and gals and everywhere in between are already in relationships with one another, living together and doing life a lot like the traditional man and wife, have traditional marriages even noticed? They don’t care how we’re living our married lives, why should we? Are we afraid that they’re going to spring up everywhere and make a scene? And what if we allow people to use whichever bathroom they identify with? Do we really think a trans gal is going to get chummy with us in the same stall? That there’s already some magical barrier keeping perverts from preying on young children in the bathroom? Men from following women into the bathroom and raping them?
All of this is rooted in insecurity and fear. Neither of which are from the Lord.
My husband told me a story about the lead singer/bass player of Slayer. I know, a lead singer that plays bass. But if you don’t know the band Slayer, perhaps their song titles like The Antichrist and Angel of Death, will give you a little insight into their music. Now the lead singer, Tom Araya, he’s actually a devout catholic, who just so happens to be in a thrash metal band that sings about satan and very antichrist themes. Seems contradictory, right? Makes you pause and wonder how legitimate his faith really is. It may even make you a little mad. You might even label him as an antichrist.
But the short and skinny of it: he’s so confident in his faith, in Jesus, that there’s no room for him to fear what kind of impact it would make on his life. He manages to strike a balance between his catholic faith and the music he performs, which allows Slayer to be the band it’s meant to be. There’s no conflict for him. He is capable of not judging through the lens of his personal faith. The music is just music, and it’s damn good music.
Maybe we should be taking a play out of Tom Araya’s play book and apply it to politics, and every aspect of our very Christian lives. If we were to be so confident in our faith in Christ, then voting yes on Prop 64 wouldn’t really impact us. We’d be able to move past ourselves, to set our faith aside, and do what’s actually best for the country. We’d enter into a new frame of mind that isn’t abashed by the outcome. Which, in the case of Prop 64, could be billions in tax dollars.
The United States is NOT God’s Kingdom. Pushing our Christian vision onto a political agenda is a waste of effort. When Jesus returns to earth, I’m not so certain He’s going to dash to the voting booth. We need to understand that this country we live in and tout as being so great is temporary. It’s man made and it will fall, whether we like it or not.
Even more so, we are not the moral police, so why do we vote like we are? Our duty as believers is not to tell people how to live. Only Jesus can tell people how to live and He does that after entering into relationship with them. Our duty is to shine Christ’s light into people’s lives by loving them despite their circumstances and beliefs.
And while voting is important and it can have great socio-economic impacts on our country, Christians, don’t mistake politics for the transforming love of Christ. Don’t for one second think that ticking a box at a voting booth is going to help somebody else spiritually. Laws don’t change attitudes. Laws don’t change hearts. God changes attitudes. God changes hearts. And He does that through His people interacting and loving on all His children.
Thoughts, questions, concerns? Tell me what you think! Let’s discuss! Leave a comment below. Get a little heated. Agree. Disagree. Throw your opinion out there. Hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m right. It doesn’t really matter, it’s my opinion anyway. I’m just glad you decided to join the conversation.