October 30, 2008
As I am sure it will come as no surprise to many who know me, I will be voting for Barack Obama this year. I am doing so as a born-again Christian who believes in the bible as the inerrant word of God. I am doing so because I feel morally compelled to do so. It is my Christianity that compels me to vote for Obama. Allow me to explain.
The organized church has long held the notion and belief that we should be voting for the candidate that most closely represents our values or beliefs. This has been a sham. You must understand that while we believe what we believe in the church, the world is entirely different. The world of politics is inherently corrupt. There is simply no escaping it. The desire for power and money take precedent over values and beliefs. It is a fairy tale to assume that we will elect a Christian who will not be inherently corrupt. In 2000 we elected someone who claimed the mantle of Christianity and eight years later we see the destruction left from the presidency of George W. Bush. If anything, we should learn that merely saying you are for Christ does not mean anything. The bible warns us:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' – Matthew 7:21-23
The bible implores us to look at the fruit, not the words. The country has been impoverished, the educational system and infrastructure are in ruins, there are over 200,000 people dead in wars that have been proven to be based upon pre-meditated lies, our civil liberties have been eroded and torture is now the official policy of this land. I have heard the cries of “it can’t all be his fault.” Yes it can and yes it is. It is time we stopped enabling and avoiding the truth.
Thankfully, Bush cannot run again but we need to take lessons from his presidency. I have heard the cries of the pro-life and anti-gay marriage platform. It is time to be honest about them though. The GOP has no intention of ever overturning Roe versus Wade and even if they did, that would not outlaw abortion. It would only return the issue to the states. They cannot afford to overturn it because it is their greatest weapon every four years. If there was no abortion issue, the only thing they would have left to run on is endless war and tax breaks for the rich – not exactly a winning combination. So, I know it is unsettling for Christians but the reality is what it is. On gay marriage, both candidates have the same position.
More importantly though is you have to understand that Christians are being used. Christians are being co-opted. The people that send you the pro-life emails and anti-Obama emails are the same folks. They are not Christian and do not care about the cause of Christ. They only care about you voting for their person.
I am voting for Obama because I know when someone tries so hard to lie about someone, they must not have any substantive reason for me to vote for them. The McCain campaign and its operatives have spent 90% of their efforts trying to make me afraid of Barack Obama. The Obama lies that have been spread have been varied and insidious. The bible speaks directly against this. God hates lying lips. I know that Obama is not a secret Muslim, refuses to wear a flag pin, wont say the pledge, wants to take God off of the currency, knew someone 10 years ago who was a domestic terrorist 40 years ago, or supports infanticide and partial birth abortions. These are lies. I will not be used by people who wrap Christ around lies while they try to convince me to vote my Christian conscience.
I do not pretend that either candidate represents true Christian values. I have heard some of the theology of Obama and it is wrong. But I also know that McCain is an admitted adulterer, liar and thief (Keating Five). The bottom line is that I have not heard John McCain tell me one good reason, Christian or otherwise, why I should vote for him. The economic policies of the last eight years have been a disaster and have seen the middle class squeezed into the working poor. McCain unashamedly admits to wanting to continue the same failed policies. The number one topic in the bible is taking care of the least in society but we have lost our way. With so many living in poverty and 50 million without healthcare, how can we say that we are a nation of Christian values? The foreign policy of arrogance and unprovoked war over the past eight years has decimated our military and damaged our credibility in the world. McCain could be even worse. He has mocked about dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran. The 200,000 people dead in the Middle East may not mean anything to some folks, but they mattered to God. I am tired of the church turning the Prince of Peace into a war monger. The truth is there is not one pro-war verse in the New Testament; not one.
I am also voting for Obama because John McCain carelessly put political expediency first, not his country when he selected the most unqualified vice presidential candidate in the history of this country. The fact that she is a Christian is absolutely irrelevant. Once again, what is the fruit? She was on video asking a congregation to pray for the 30 billion dollar pipeline deal in Alaska, referring to it as “God’s will.” She has been exposed now as having abused her power to try and ruin the career of someone who had the temerity to divorce her sister. Her answers on everything from the simple to the difficult display her utter emptiness. I also do not need the “shucks” and winks. We have had eight years of a president who couldn’t put a coherent sentence together with two hands and a thesaurus. I do not want another. The days of wanting to have a beer with our president are graciously over. Can you honestly see Sarah Palin negotiating nuclear proliferation treaties? ‘Aww shucks Putin, I can see you from my kitchen window.” Wink wink. No thanks. And enough with the ridiculous notion that she has more experience than Obama. Barack was the first black President of the Harvard Law Review. He spent over a decade as a constitutional law professor (you remember the constitution don’t you?). He then spent over another decade as a State Senator where he represented 750,000 people, which is 100,000 more than Sarah represents as Governor. So save the canned GOP talking points please. She is horribly unqualified and dangerous to this country, period.
So as a Christian I cannot morally vote for someone who will continue the status quo. Someone who will continue to punish the poor for the sake of the rich. My bible tells me I cannot support that. I cannot vote for someone who cares so little for life that he can casually joke and sing a song about nuking another country just because they look different than us. My bible tells me I cannot support that. I just can’t.
I can hear the cries already from the far right. They have been sold the wedge issues for so long now that everything always comes down to abortion and gay marriage. It is as if there is nothing else going on in the world that matters to God. Genocide and famine? Nope, we got to stop abortion and gay marriage. Jesus Christ charged us with bringing the Gospel to a lost world. That was the Great Commission. That does not mean we are to bring our morality to the world but the love of Jesus Christ. Remember what we believe is at stake. We believe in heaven and hell. Eternal life with God and eternal separation from God. I ended a recent debate with a well intended Christian who felt morally compelled to vote McCain this way. Even if you were able to succeed in your plans to stop all abortions in the world and stop all gays from marrying; you have accomplished nothing. Based upon what we believe, they all would still be going to hell because of their separation from God. The Great Commission replaced by what man feels is more of a moral imperative. We need to stop trying to bring the morality of Christianity to people and get back to the red letters in the bible. Get back to bringing the world the love of Jesus Christ.