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Changing My Mind On the Election at the Eleventh Hour

A few weeks ago I posted a couple of links to blog posts from Thabiti Anyabwile regarding not voting in tomorrow’s election. Since that time, I’ve been strongly leaning toward not voting in this year’s presidential election. I’ve been becoming ever more tired of politics in this great country with each passing year. I’ve gone from essentially a straight-ticket Republican to a cynical, reluctant participant in the election process who thinks all politicians are the worst of liars & wouldn’t know what their constituents believe/desire if one was standing in front of them telling them exactly what he/she thinks.

I’ve flirted with voting for a third-party candidate because I feel like the two-party system is a farce & only serves to further polarize our nation. I don’t buy the arguments (generally) that voting third-party (or abstaining from voting) is necessarily wasting your vote as long as you have taken the time to be informed about the candidates, issues, & political climate. I’ve been intrigued by Gary Johnson (I’m pretty sure economically-speaking I’m a libertarian at heart) & have posted some things about & by him on Facebook, but there are a few issues that he supports that make me a bit iffy about him.

I don’t believe a candidate has to line up exactly with me on all issues, but there does need to be some similarities across a broad range of issues.

All of that to say this: I’ve changed my mind for this election. I will be voting for president from the only two choices who have a shot at winning the office.

What made me change my mind, you ask? Well, it occurred after carefully reading through the posts linked to in A Multitude of Counselors | the Cripplegate. (I warn you; one or two of the posts linked to there are quite offensive in tone, & while I don’t condone that tone, the overall arguments are worth considering)

It comes down, essentially, to two things: math & life.

Frank Turk at the Pyromaniacs blog shows mathematically how a third-party vote or a non-vote helps to ensure victory for Obama.

Oh. Did I forget to mention that I wouldn’t be voting for Obama? And it has nothing to do with the color of his skin, where he was born, thinking he’s the Antichrist, or any other craziness like that. I won’t vote for him because I disagree with the majority of his policies not the least of which are his views/policies regarding abortion.

The two most accurate national polls from the 2008 election currently have Obama & Romney between one & three percentage points from each other. For me, after reading Turk’s analysis, this is too close of an election to “make a point” by giving my vote to a third-part candidate–especially since I am one of those red-side voters he mentions.

The reason I now think this is so important is primarily because I believe in the sanctity of life–>from conception to natural death. President Obama & the Democratic Party do not come close to holding my views on this issue:

“On the issue of abortion, the Republican platform states, ‘we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.’ The Democratic platform states: ‘The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.'[…]One party claims that no abortions should be legal and the other claims that all abortions should be legal.”–Albert Mohler

Obama’s record clearly shows full support of abortions at any stage of development. And while you might question Romney’s pro-life stance, here’s what we do know (according to Dan Phillips):

  1. We know that, of all the folks he could have chosen, Romney chose a VP with an outspoken and 100% pro-life record.
  2. We know that Planned Parenthood loves abortion, loves Obama, hates Romney.
  3. We know that he’s convinced activist Gary Bauer.
  4. We know that Romney is supported by The Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee, the Susan B. Anthony list, National Right to Life, Colorado Citizens for Life, and other groups.
You don’t like the exceptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother. I don’t like two of those three, either. So supposing Romney succeeds in preventing abortions except for those cases. You do know that that means preventing more than nine out of ten abortions, don’t you? Whereas your only other alternative, Barack Obama, favors preventing zero abortions?
The other issue in regards to life that I feel I have to consider this time around is the issue of the Supreme Court. The court is currently mostly balanced with 4 left-leaning judges, 4 right-leaning judges, and 1 swing vote. There seems to be a significant potential for the next president to significantly affect the makeup of the Court depending on who might retire or pass away during his term. I feel much more comfortable with a more conservative-leaning court than with a more liberal-leaning court that would potentially be more willing too re-interpret the Constitution.
On these two points alone, I feel I need to vote for Mitt Romney & against Barack Obama. And that doesn’t even include considering Obama’s fiscal irresponsibility, attacks on freedom of religion, etc.
Listen, I’m not thrilled about voting for Romney; if there were a better choice out there, I’d go for it. But, as Kevin DeYoung, points out, the question we should ask ourselves when it comes to the election is “How can I, with my vote, best advance what I believe to be the proper role and goals of government?” I personally believe in this election that I can answer that question with a vote for Romney. There may come an election when I think I can best answer that question with a vote for a third-party candidate in order to try to change the status quo & break up the the two-party monopoly (and, actually, when it comes to the US Senate race in Ohio, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing), but I don’t believe this is the election in which to do that.
Now, keep in mind, I fully believe in Romans 13:1. I believe God is sovereign over all things & will use whichever man wins this election for His good purposes. BUT…God has also placed me in a country whose form of government includes the privilege of the people being allowed to vote, & so I will prayerfully do so.
I will leave you with a prayer from John Piper regarding elections:

Father in heaven, as we approach this election on Tuesday, I pray

1) that your people will vote,

2) and that they will vote with a sense of thankfulness for a democratic system that at least partially holds in check the folly and evil in all our hearts so that power which corrupts so readily is not given to one group or person too easily;

3) that we would know and live the meaning of

  • being in the world, but not of it,
  • doing politics as though not doing them,
  • being on the earth, yet having our lives hidden with Christ in God,
  • rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God’s;

4) that we would discern what truths and values should advance by being made law and which should advance only by the leavening of honest influence;

5) that your people would see what love and justice and far-seeing wisdom demand in regard to the issues of education, business and industry, health care, marriage and family, abortion, welfare, energy, government and taxes, military, terrorism, international relations, and every challenge that we will face in the years to come;

6) and above all, that we will treasure Jesus Christ, and tell everyone of his sovereignty and supremacy over all nations, and that long after America is a footnote to the future world, he will reign with his people from every tribe and tongue and nation.

Keep us faithful to Christ’s all important Word, and may we turn to it every day for light in these dark times.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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Why It May Be a Good Idea Not to Vote This Year…

Two very important posts by Thabiti Anyabwile regarding voting in the upcoming election:

W.E.B DuBois Would Not Vote in This Election

Martin Luther King, Jr. Would Stand for Ideals Rather Than Settle for Evil in This Election

Whether you decide to vote or not in this election, you should take the time to at least consider what Mr. Anyabwile has to say in these two posts.

Political Response

This was an email that I received today from my church that I thought was timely & quite helpful during this political season. I hope it is edifying to the few of you who might read it. 

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As we move closer into this current political season, may we heed to the following words of wisdom as we engage others. Whether it be through conversation, email and/or social media, consider this as a helpful guide.

 

1) Pray for our leaders

“No matter who is in office, whether we voted for them or not, whether they are of the political party we prefer or not, the Bible commands us to respect and honor them (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17). We should also be praying for those placed in authority over us (Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). We do not have to agree with them, or even like them, but we do have to honor and respect them. Politics is always going to be a difficult issue for Christians. We are in this world but are not to be of this world (1 John 2:15). We can be involved in politics, but we should not be obsessed with politics. Ultimately, we are to be heavenly minded, more concerned with the things of God than the things of this world (Colossians 3:1-2). As believers in Jesus Christ, we are all members of the same political party—monarchists who are waiting for their King to return (Revelation 19:11-16).” (gotquestions.org)

 

2) Political engagement often turns the church’s mission field into the enemy

“Political campaigns make this abundantly clear.  Fueled by a righteous cause, each side wages war with the carnal weapons of this age, and each side demonizes the other, employing the sharpest (and sometimes the nastiest) rhetoric.  That’s not the mandate for the church.  Instead, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (ESV).  Those people out there may be the worst of sinners—you know, activist types—but such were some of you.  And yet, God washed you, sanctified you, and justified you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 6:9-11).  The world may be the enemy of God, as you once were (Eph. 2:1-3), but they need to be reconciled to God, as you have been (Eph. 2:4-10).  The world is our mission field.” (gty.org)

 

3) Apathy is not the answer

“My point is not that Christians should remain totally uninvolved in politics or civic activities and causes. They ought to express their political beliefs in the voting booth, and it is appropriate to support legitimate measures designed to correct a glaring social or political wrong. Complete noninvolvement would be contrary to what God’s Word says about doing good in society: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10; cf. Titus 3:1-2). It would also display a lack of gratitude for whatever amount of religious freedom the government allows us to enjoy. Furthermore, such pious apathy toward government and politics would reveal a lack of appreciation for the many appropriate legal remedies believers in democracies have for maintaining or improving the civil order. A certain amount of healthy and balanced concern with current trends in government and the community is acceptable, as long as we realize that that interest is not vital to our spiritual growth, our righteous testimony, or the advancement of the kingdom of Christ. Above all, the believer’s political involvement should never displace the priority of preaching and teaching the gospel.” (John MacArthur)

 

4) Our trust is in Christ, Not in princes or politicians

R.C. Sproul gives a great reminder about where our trust should ultimately be:

“Yes, we must always work for social reform. Yes, we must be “profane’ in Martin Luther’s sense of going out of the temple and into the world. We do not despise the country of our birth. But in what do we invest our hope? The state is not God. The nation is not the Promised Land. The president is not our King. The Congress is not our Savior. Our welfare can never be found in the city of man. The federal government is not sovereign. We live—in every age and in every generation—by the rivers of Babylon. We need to understand that clearly. We must learn how to sing the Lord’s song in a strange and foreign land.

America will fall. The United States will inevitably disintegrate. The Stars and Stripes will bleed. The White House will turn to rubble. That is certain. We stand like Augustine before the sea. We pray that God will spare our nation. If He chooses not to, we ask for the grace to accept its demise. In either case, we look to Him who is our King and to heaven, which is our home. We await the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, whose builder and maker is God.”

 

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”

Philippians 3:20

UPDATED–Contraceptives & the War on Religion

Do not be fooled! The contraceptives controversy is not really a controversy over contraceptives, or women’s rights, or abortion; it is controversy surrounding freedom of religion & whether that freedom should exist in any meaningful way. (Sorry that so many of these links are to Gene Veith’s blog, but he does such a good job of covering these kinds of issues).

Declaring war on religion.–“Obama is claiming the executive authority to determine which missions of believers are religious and which are not — and then to aggressively regulate institutions the government declares to be secular. It is a view of religious liberty so narrow and privatized that it barely covers the space between a believer’s ears.”

How our government thinks of religion.–Here’s what the Obama administration apparently thinks: “Whenever a church or house of worship ceases to be simply inward-looking, when it in any way engages or serves the wider public, it becomes subject to much the same sort of government regulation as any secular entity.”–In other words, if your church decides to obey God’s commands & care for the widow, orphaned, & oppressed, you cease to be a church & rather become a secular institution.

Officially re-defining religion. –“It’s basically the same one [definition] used in the former Soviet Union, which provided for “religious freedom” in its constitution, construed as private interior beliefs, while at the same time forbidding evangelism, worship, education, religious child-raising, and any other external expression of religion in actual life.”

Calls for an American dictator.–I think this fits well with the contraceptives controversy: ” we must take care not to jettison our liberties in a panicked  desire for the government to ‘do something.'”

LCMS President’s statement on HHS mandate.-“Again, this is not just a Catholic issue.  All conservative Christian ministries and pro-life organizations are being put in the position of having to pay for abortion pills.”

Your religion mustn’t affect your life!.–SAY WHAT?!!!

Forcing a company to give away a product for free.–“Where does it say that the president can unilaterally order a private company to provide an allegedly free-standing service at no cost to certain select beneficiaries?”

Compromise on insurance birth control mandate?.–“Does this really solve the problem? Aren’t all of the expenses of an insurance company ultimately and necessarily passed on to the customers?”

The Church of Obama – Mark Steyn – National Review Online.–” In essence President Obama has embarked on the same usurpation of church authority as Henry VIII[…]” Which is exactly the kind of authority our founding fathers were trying to separate from with the inclusion of the Establishment Clause.

Do 98% of Catholic women use contraceptives?.–This is just despicable!

Media shirk debate on religious liberty » GetReligion.–If you listen to most of mainstream media’s accounts of this debate, you would think this is merely a conservative attempt to limit “women’s rights.”–Well, here’s a not-so-subtle hint for you: It’s not about women’s rights; it’s about RELIGIOUS LIBERTY aka FREEDOM OF RELIGION.

UPDATE:

AlbertMohler.com – What Compromise? This Policy Leaves Religious Liberty in Peril and Planned Parenthood Smiling.–“But, just to state the obvious, a policy goal and an ‘inalienable right’ are not to be ‘balanced.'”

 

Sanctity of Life Weekend-Part II (i.e.-the infamous anniversary of Roe v Wade)

A lot of these links are from Desiring God primarily because this is an issue that John Piper speaks on, writes about, etc every year.

John Piper: Jesus didn’t come mainly to stop abortion, but to save abortion-committing sinners. via Desiring God.

What Does Roe v. Wade Actually Say? – Desiring God.

An Actual Pro-Life Conversation – Justin Taylor. Some very wise words from Sam Crabtree on how to discuss contentious issues such as abortion.

John Piper: Abortion is always unsafe. The baby dies and the mother is hurt. Always. via Twitter.

No, Mr. President: John Piper’s Response to President Obama on Abortion – YouTube. Piper’s response to President Obama’s remarks on Roe v Wade from 2009.

President Obama’s Asinine Remarks on the 39th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade | Denny Burk. Obama’s statement hasn’t really changed since 2009 (see video immediately above) & Mr. Burk’s response is accurate & appropriate.

Racial Slavery and Abortion in America: How History Repeats Itself – Desiring God. The historical rationale for slavery in this country is not much different than the rationale for abortion.

The Fourteenth Amendment and the Personhood of the Unborn – Justin Taylor. Why Roe v Wade won’t be overturned in our lifetime.

Attacks on Incremental Pro-Life Legislation: Unfair and Dangerous – Justin Taylor. Why we should support incremental pro-life legislation.

J. C. Ryle, Temperance, and Abortion – Desiring God. Lessons from JC Ryle’s fight against drunkenness that can be used in the fight for the sanctity of life.

Five Things We Can Do For the Unborn – Desiring God.

Burk Parsons: Sanctity of life has not only to do with protecting the lives of the unborn but helping to ensure they’re fed and clothed after they’re born. via Twitter.

The 200 Million “Missing” Girls – Justin Taylor. I wonder if pro-abortionists in this country would agree with the systematic killing of girls in Asia…

Together for Adoption. There ARE alternatives to abortion.

Noel Piper: Being prolife brings adoption into many of our lives. This is a day to thank God for the birth mothers who chose life for our children. via Twitter.

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