You could call this an addendum to yesterday’s Catch, so if you missed yesterday’s Catch, you will definitely want to go to catchjohnfischer.com and read “Paranoia at the polls” first. But there’s one other thing to mention about voting in November that I meant to include, but left off, and that is the fact that we vote for a lot more things than the next President. The next President of the United States gets so much attention that it’s easy to think that’s the only thing that matters, but, in many ways, it’s the least thing that matters, especially if you’re not in a swing state. Hillary is going to take California regardless of which way I vote, so why bother? Well, there are a lot of other things we will be voting for in this state, just like there are for you.
For instance, California voters will decide on 17 different ballot measures, including legalizing marijuana for recreational use, and the future of the death penalty. Those are pretty important, I would say. And then there are the local initiatives. In our town, among other things, we are voting for two council members. One council member who stays on for another two years is my neighbor, and he has told me who not to vote for and why. I wouldn’t miss that opportunity. And this is where one vote can actually make a difference.
As Christians we should be informed and consider how we vote based on our consciences and our understanding of Jesus and His priorities. For instance, I will be voting against the death penalty because of my understanding of the grace of God and my desire to give someone the maximum amount of time to respond to the gospel and God’s offer of forgiveness and eternal life in Christ. But that isn’t to say that’s the only Christian point of view. I’m sure there are Christians who disagree with me, and that’s fine. There is not a “Christian vote.” There are Christians who vote and we will probably be all over the map, politically, because these issues are complex and each issue depends a lot on one’s personal experience, priorities, knowledge and personal interpretation and understanding of Scripture.
I will be voting against the legalization of marijuana because I have had a personal experience with how easy it is for adolescents to get ahold of it already, and I don’t want to make it any easier. Having said that, I’m sure there are Christians who would vote for it for some of the same reasons that prohibition was a bad idea. And I understand that, too.
Let me say it again: There is not a Christian vote, and anyone who tells you there is should not be trusted. No one understands the political will of God; in fact, I don’t think there is such a thing. God, and the kingdom of God, stand outside of politics. So do your homework, pray about it, discuss it with people whose opinion you respect and make up your mind, but don’t let anyone tell you that if you’re a born-again Christian there’s only one way you can vote, or one party you can be for.