As a Christian, I’m struggling with politics right now. Understatement of the year, and for 2020, that’s saying something. The longstanding message from the Evangelical right is that “good Christians” vote Republican, not because they get it all right, but because Dems get it all wrong.
As I’m considering the 2020 election, the “good Christians” are still saying we should vote Republican because the alternative is worse, which begs the question- worse for who? I’m expected to vote for the same man who has led us the last three and a half years in a way that is completely antithetical to practically everything that I believe in. He’s proven himself to be racist, sexist, misogynistic, egotistical, self-serving, hateful and unkind. If my child said and did practically any of the things our president has done, he’d be grounded for years.
It sounds like my choice should be easy then, huh? Break with tradition and vote for the other guy. But do you know what Christians like me are working against? Years and years of being told that if we vote for a Democrat, we’re endorsing the murder of babies. I’m not being hyperbolic; I’ve been told exactly this. So we’re handed the golden ticket at every election. Vote GOP if you don’t want abortion blood on your hands. This paradigm is deeply rooted and continues to be cultivated.
Gratefully, as a Christ follower, I have a trump card. (Absolutely ZERO pun intended.) I’ve got Jesus. I get to look for myself at what he said and did. I get to see what justice looked like when he did it. And you know what… it doesn’t look like any political party.
It looks like community and belonging. Carrying each other’s burdens. Elevating the oppressed. Hanging out with those on the fringes. Opposing the corruption among the powerful. And when he knew it was his last day on earth, he washed feet in an act of ultimate humility.
I’ll admit it would be easier if I opened up the Bible and it said something like “In the United States 2020 election, thou shalt vote for…” It doesn’t. (And the centrist view of Christianity in the US is probably a conversation we should have another time.) It may not be that specifically explicit, but the Word of God shows me the heart of God. It gives me freedom to break free of political rhetoric. And it gives me hope. I know I’m not the only one who has felt stuck here. There’s freedom to be found when we remove politics from the place only Jesus should hold in our life.
Voting is important. And I’ll do so prayerfully, with the knowledge that life is precious and every person on this planet is a bearer of the image of God. But I’m done with the message that my vote should already be cast if I call myself a Christian. It’s partisan and divisive and untrue. If I’m going to be criticized, let it be because I’m standing firm in faith.
“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT
Thanks to Burst for sharing their work on Unsplash.