I can say, without a doubt, that this has been the most interesting presidential campaign that I can recall. The almost unlimited stream of data on the candidates that is available has certainly made it possible for voters to make informed decisions. The minute details of the candidates lives are exposed for all the world to see. It would not surprise me in the least to see Wolf Blitzer report that John McCain fell asleep with his dentures still in, or for Sean Hannity to bring breaking news that Barack Obama switched brands of deodorant.
Another thing that has made this an enjoyable campaign is blogging. I had not yet discovered the world of online, self-published punditry in the previous presidential race, so it has been provocative, to say the least, to read the thoughts of so many others and interact with them in the discussion.
In many of the discussions in which I have participated, invariably theological questions and concerns are raised. This is probably due to the fact that most of the blogs that I frequent are operated by Christians and we understand the dynamic of our faith touching every part of our lives. I have seen many of these conversations escalate to the point of name-calling, questioning ones salvation, slurs, twisting of words, etc. Come to think of it, it really hasn’t been all that different from a lot of theological conversations after all. 😉
I wanted to share just a few thoughts that I am using to help keep my perspective on track (I think).
1. We are electing a president, not a pastor.
There is a difference between leading the country and leading a church. To confuse the two may be an indication that either ones church is over-politicized (gasp, that could never happen), or that we are assuming that God’s kingdom may somehow be hamstrung if we don’t elect the right candidate.
I find it ironic that many of the extreme right consider themselves to be adherents of Ronald Reagan and yet turn up their nose at John McCain. Now, I am not dissing the Gipper, I admired the man greatly (I came within a whisker of naming my oldest son after him), but many of the same theological objections I have heard some raise about McCain would also apply to Reagan. Ronny was known to imbibe, he was divorced from his first wife and while he professed to be a Christian, his church affiliation could hardly be called evangelical.
In our nation’s history, we have never had a president who would make a good pastor. Why is this election suddenly different?
The Bible gives a list of requirements for the office of bishop/elder/pastor, it does not do so for the leader of a country. It does tell us about the consequences of having ungodly leaders, but if there is an inventory of qualifications I have not seen it.
2. Change does not begin at the White House.
I know I am leading with the trump card of both candidates, here. I honestly believe both men are sincere in wanting to bring change to this country. However, if we as voters are naiive enough to believe that even the Apostle Paul could change the course of this country we are dreaming.
No, change begins at my house and your house. In four years, we will be doing this whole process again (won’t THAT be fun?) and it is highly unlikely that the political landscape will be changed significantly by that time. What brings lasting change is what happens in the homes of the American people. We each have the opportunity to bring change.
Someone wisely stated it this way, “If the Ten Commandments were on the walls of more homes, it wouldn’t be as big an issue about putting them on the walls of the courthouses.”
3. We will always be voting for the lesser of two evils.
By its very definition, an election means that I am choosing a candidate that I believe is better suited for the job at hand than is his/her opponent. For me to think otherwise is to distort the intent of the process. There has never been a perfect candidate and there never will be. Mankind is inherently sinful and everyone who has their hat in the ring is in that category.
I do not intend for this to be offensive, although some may find it to be so. Those who abstain from voting, simply because they cannot find a candidate who agrees with them on everything deserve to live in a dictatorship.
I owe it to our forefathers, our veterans, our troops, my family, myself, you and the generations that will follow to vote.
4. The sun will come out tomorrow.