An Open Letter To Christians Who Don’t Know Why Their Vote Matters
In the last presidential election the winner received over 3 million fewer popular votes than did the loser! That may stun you. Read that again in case you missed it. Not only was the margin between the winner and loser of the election extremely small, the popular vote favored the loser.
In that election 25 million Christians, who had registered to vote, chose, instead, to leave their vote un-cast. Why do you think that would be the case? What does that say about what we profess to believe?￼
Like many of you I struggle to know how to vote. Voting is painful. It’s intimidating enough to go to the polling place and try to work my way through the ‘simple’ voting instructions. Often it is even more difficult to understand the issues and why my vote matters.
The matter becomes even more complicated when you move down the ballot past the names that make the news every night and into the greater obscurity of unknown names, reputations, and issues. The referendums and propositions seem endless and irrelevant.
That is not so.
Hidden inside the list of candidates and propositions is your future. Your future is complicated, isn’t it? Everything in your daily routine is governed by the outcome of the votes cast on election days.
Here is an abbreviated itinerary and how it is impacted by your staying home, or voting as an informed or uninformed citizen.
The first thing I did this morning was brush my teeth. The toothpaste has several components touted as having health benefits for me. The revelation of ingredients and the presentation of health benefit claims are governed by your voting practices in the past.
The water I rinsed with is governed from the time it falls from the sky until it returns there in vapor or to the treatment facility where it is refurbished. The amount of fluoride in your water is mandated by agencies whose existence and actions are dictated by how you vote.
The car I drive, the gas in it, the rules by which I drive it and the roads on which I travel are all impacted by my vote or lack of it. The taxes that provide the roads and regulation are also ruled by my vote.
Here I have described a typical start to a day’s routine. Even though the description has barely gotten me out of my driveway, every moment has been impacted by a vote I did or didn’t cast at some time or another.
The schools your children attend, the number of days they spend in those schools and what is permitted or not permitted to be taught in those schools is a direct result of your voting habit and preparation. Whether a child has the right to exist, let alone attend a good school is determined by how and if you vote.
Are you good with that? Are you confident that you are being properly represented?
In light of this typical scenario of the impact of government on your and my life may I suggest 7 reasons why you may join the 25 million Christians who did not vote?
You don’t know why your vote matters and you don’t care. It’s more work than it’s worth to you to figure out how to vote.
Fear is always complicated. There is fear of failure to vote for the right thing. There is also the fear of the conflict that comes from being decisive. Once you are for someone you are against someone. Those that are not for the someone you are are against you. Rather than risk relationships or discomfort you avoid. In fear you withdraw to a safer place and label your withdrawal with terms that make you feel more noble. You may say something like, “I don’t want to be divisive.” “I don’t want to offend anyone.” “I don’t want to be dogmatic.” If this type of fear describes you, you may have decided that getting along is more important than truth or you may not really believe there is such a thing as truth worth defending.
You don’t know for whom, for what, or how to best cast your vote. Unless your full time job is in the public sector it seems almost impossible to know and understand the issues and how they impact your life and how they thread themselves back to Biblical principles. Truly, for many, there is an ignorance that Biblical principles should even have a bearing on how government and legal issues are handled. Not knowing or understanding what is at stake you withdraw to an, “I’m not going to get my hands dirty with this.”
You are simply disinterested. You realize the sacred right you have but your personal comfort and ease is more important than your citizenship responsibilities.
Your life is so full, you don’t have any more room in your brain to figure all this out. Not only do you not have any personal space in the calendar of your life you don’t even have a way to make sense out of everything. If you did have room to figure it out, you don’t even have a reference point from which to evaluate people and issues. You certainly don’t have time to read books, newspapers, articles or listen to debates and discussions. How can you even tell whose point of view is valid or trustworthy? So, reversion to Apathy seems a solution.
You have voted before and things didn’t go your way. You may have even gotten excited about an issue or candidate and experienced a great deal of disappointment when your treasure was defeated.
With all the attacks on candidates and issues, how do you sort out the truth? You don’t know for whom or what to vote. The issues are complicated and your time is already spent trying to survive the necessities of life. You may feel that if so many ‘qualified’ people can’t agree, how do you discern what really matters?
Pretty harsh, huh?
Don’t be disheartened by these 7 reasons 25 Million Christians did not vote. In the next article I will begin providing resources and responses to these reasons that may help you think yourself into positive and appropriate action in this and future election cycles.
Q? It’s your turn: Which of these best describes you? Please scroll down and leave your answer.