non-voting as violence

i don’t do politics on this blog very often (and, whenever i write that, people tell me i should stay away from it more!). but i’ve heard the occasional christian, or read the occasional blog or comment, where someone says they’re not going to vote because (a) they can’t decide, or (b) they can’t support either candidate, or (c) they don’t believe in the whole process. these lines of reasoning really bug me.

now, as is obvious, i’m not a black man. but anthony smith is, and he has a brilliant post over at the emergent village blog about why non-voting is an act of violence. so good. here’s a tease…

I have this habit of being suspicious whenever white Christians tell me what to do. I think it has something to do with history. Not sure. Pray for me. But the history doesn’t look too good, for the most part. Yet I am a part of the emerging church postmodern conversation. Here I am, and I am hearing more and more voices say things that leave me in a state of tension. When I hear them say, “I am not voting because I am a Christian,” I also hear the guttural cry of slaves in the cotton fields of Alabama praying for freedom from oppression. When I hear them say, “Voting is one more means to be about the business of Empire,” I also hear the voice of an assassinated prophet say, “We must have our freedom now. We must have the right to vote. We must have equal protection of the law.”

47 thoughts on “non-voting as violence”

  1. It’s a good article. I like it. I have told you before that I am not voting in this election. Of course I will vote in the local stuff, but just not for a position. See, my argument is not addressed in the above article. For me, the issue is one of violence.
    I am not advocating for people to lose their right to vote. But now, we all have the right to choose. My problem is, if i believe in a consistent ethic of life, how do i choose. I have one candidate who is about the most pro-abortion candidate to run for election. And I have another candidate who is continuing to perpetrate war on other nations. So my vote becomes one of advocating violence.
    The article never really told me how not voting in the 2008 election is an act of violence. I have never said it is wrong for others to vote. But it is not my “christian duty” to vote. For myself, this time around, this is my christian duty. it doesn’t have to be yours. i hope that makes some sense.

  2. i see the legitimacy of what’s being said–and not just on the race issue, but also the gender issue. i’m sure women of all races are also slightly offended when white men say they aren’t going to vote. i plan to vote this election, but i can’t help but wish there that you could also select “with reservations” at the poll. it’s quite a predicament that the american people are in. i suppose that’s why there is no greater kingdom than Christ’s!

  3. I don’t think it would be possible for they to be a candidate that perfectly represents a groups point of view, so we are going to have to have grace in some areas. If there was a perfect candidate, I would probably be more worried because we would most likely be deceived.

    I can’t help but wonder, though, if all the people who are disenchanted by this years election voted for a third party candidate, we could theoretically move back into tripartisan politics or cause some other sort of political revolution of sorts.

  4. I too am troubled about picking too loose with war or too loose with abortion in this race.

    I can’t bring myself not to vote, but find myself in the weird place on consciences as to which issues I’m choosing to vote my consciences on this election and which I’m choosing to save until another election. Mainly, which do I see the bigger chance for change on in the next four years in the positive and the least amount in the negative, and which issues do I have to wait another 4 years for. Which issues do I pin on my president, which do I seek in my senate and congress, governors and local races.

    I agree with Joe that this above article didn’t really address the reasons I’m tempted not to vote, in that no candidate reflects my important values across the board.

    But not voting period bugs me because it is giving up an important freedom and right, and in that I do agree with the article linked. Not voting makes sense when you look at it as two choices, but with the actual range we have it no longer makes sense because even though it is largely only two candidates, you can still vote for whoever you want. Independents, local politicians, Colbert, Ficus, Spider-man (I’m pretty sure I voted for Dr. Strange in some local race I was frustrated with). You have other options that you can vote your consciences on even if deep down you feel that vote won’t count anyway, at least you refused to give up the freedom to do so.

  5. I can really see the reasoning in this, I’ll always remember how great it felt to cast my vote for the first time after I turned 18. It’s important to me. I don’t get to vote here as I’m a British citizen living in the US, it’s my choice to retain my british citizenship and I understand that choice means I have no say in the electoral process of the country in which i live. I do have a vote in Britain, which is another question altogether… but that’s for another day)I understand that. so please remember that my voice here is purely a hypothetical one, but last time around as I followed Bush vs Kerry I was struck with the really unpleasant feeling that even if i was a voter I’m not sure I could have bought myself to vote for either candidate. It was an astonishing revelation to realise that I am disenfranchised; not by race, or colour but simply because no one making a stand in American politics even closely represents the values and ideals that are important to me. this time around I find myself in a similar quandary. How do I reconcile my belief that people in democratic countries have a profound responsibility to exercise their right to vote and participate in the process (even if the process is flawed) with the uncomfortable feeling that supporting either of the candidates would be counter to other, equally strong beliefs?

    For the record I think both candidates this time around are better choices than their counterparts last time. but the quandary remains.

  6. Good points Kevin. I have thought about it. I know I could write in any candidate I want. As a freedom and right to vote, I use that freedom to not. I live in a country where I am dragged to the polls and told who to vote for. My freedom allows that.
    I think we all have different lines in the sand. That is ok. I have chosen mine, for this time. I am not saying that I would never change my mind on voting again. And i would vote in my local elections.
    This is the most conscious and knowledgable choice I have ever made in my life when it comes to voting.

  7. well, not to vote is not a good idea. It doesn’t help nor it helps. But for sure thing I do stand for my morals and principals of life, and to me that is more important because I am following God’s Paradigim, not mine… just to point out. God does allow war to bring judgement, and i am sure that whatever happens will be his will. So i have decided to let my morals and principals take a vote on this one.

  8. who decides what is God’s judgement and how do we know it is god’s judgement? what is the last war god used to bring judgement? these are tough questions for me to answer. they are questions i dont want to get wrong either.

  9. Not voting is a perfectly valid choice. I can’t support either candidate. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil. I tried that with Bush, twice. Not doing it again.

  10. dave (and others) – my struggle with that line of reasoning (and i realize you’re trying to have integrity in your decision-making) is that i think that would lead to a lifetime of non-voting. in other words, in today’s political climate, i don’t think i’ll ever find a candidate with whom i fully agree on everything. for me, there’s always going to be a sense of “which of these candidates will do the best job of making a difference in the area of my values?” (i was going to say “which will do the best for this country?”, but realized that’s really not my value anymore).

    i’m reading all of your responses on why you won’t (or might not) vote; but i’m just not buying them. i can’t get around the notion that non-participation — especially intentional non-participation — is a vote (of a different sort).

    dave, if you are human, you make the choice between the lesser of two evils dozens, if not hundreds of times a day. i wouldn’t use that language here; but if it’s the argument you choose, i think it’s a problematic one to uphold.

  11. You’re 100% correct. I am choose to not participating in a system which I believe breeds war, violence, and corruption. I won’t support it. So yes, I am voting. My vote is one of no confidence.

  12. I guess I wasn’t done pontificating… :)

    Every four years, we have this national election dog and pony show. The candidates tell use they are different, they will put america back on the right track. They lie. They lie about each other, they lie about themselves. Every year the government grows larger. Every year the bureaucrats create more and more government. Every year we keep less of our own money. They tell us we’ll have programs to help the poor, the sick, the needy. They tell us we need to fix the schools. But curiously, none of those things ever happen. Why? Because government is not in the business of fixing problems. Government is in the business of growing government. That’s all. Churches, private charities, individuals. That is what can fix the schools, heal the sick, and feed the poor. Government can’t and won’t do it. More government is never the answer, and every four years, that’s what we get. More government. Another blowhard who promises to make everything all better. It’s never going to happen. What America needs, what we all need, is less government. Fewer bureaucrats, fewer wasteful programs. Then we might have some money left over to give to private charities and churches, the organizations who can do the most good. OK, rant over. I don’t want to steal Marko’s blog. Email me if anyone wants to discuss this further. I will admit right now I don’t have all the answers, but I am convinced beyond doubt of one thing. More government is never the answer. Never.

  13. This is a very interesting conversation. I think those who are in politics should read this.
    But as Marko put it we all should vote, we will never get our “choice” politician. That can go with church leaders (let me tell you), school leaders, city leaders, etc.

    Romans 13:1-2

    Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (read if needed)

    God chose them and I know it is difficult to imagine (Clinton) but he did.

  14. it may just be an agree to disagree issue marko. i honestly do respect your position, i just cant do it. not this time. but if it leads to a lifetime of not voting that is ok with me too. By not voting (or casting my “no” vote) i am voting my values.
    for myself, if i believe the words and teaching of christ are true, i cannot cast a vote to go against that.sure, i dont always get that right. i vote everyday. some days i win and some days i lose.
    my life and faith has been too tied up in nationalism and party allegiances. it has dictated my faith. not making light, but seriously, it is a little like recovering from an addiction. i need my distance.

    dan, if that is the case then why vote? if it is totally up to god anyways, he’ll do it. i am not rebelling by not voting. just like i am not rebelling by not owning a gun. i am just choosing to not use one of the rights given to me. that is why it is a right.
    love you guys, and this discussion is challenging and fun.

  15. i am tired of just talking. i want to live out what i believe. i just want to follow jesus. i want jesus to live out in every area of my life. i still don’t know what that will look like come november 4. but i do know what that looks like today. i need to ask jesus to help me not be selfish in how i live my life: i need to live to build the kingdom of god in his world. i don’t think god cares to make america a great nation. god cares about the world. god so loved the world that he sacrificed his son so that those who follow jesus will live with him forever. we are called to be ambassadors for his kingdom, not for a political party or cause. the answer to the needs of the world is still jesus. satan is just laughing as we allow ourselves distracted by such ridiculous unimportant things while people are dying and go to hell for eternity. instead of voting for obama why not go into the hood and SHOW people that jesus is not racist and loves them by handing them a could cup of water or whatever their need is.
    let’s be honest, we are filthy rich compared to the rest of the world. jesus is asking us to sell all we have, give to the poor and follow him. let’s show we trust jesus by stop making all the sorry excuses for all the possessions and investments we have and start living what we say we believe and obeying what is says all too clearly in his word.
    wonder why it says the way is narrow and few that find it?

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  17. I have to admit, I never post on here b/c I’m often intimidated. But as was pointed out above, it’s interesting the response for a woman versus a man. But as a woman in my mid-20s, I can recall friends telling me throughout college that they weren’t going to vote because their vote didn’t count. I also saw what happened in 2000 and was laughing in their faces. I honestly wonder if the issue is another excuse to avoid a decision of two evils, as Marko points out.

    My concern even goes to what we are telling young people under our mentorship/leadership. Abortion has been legal in this country for years, and yet we have a death penalty I don’t hear fights from Christians over.

    So instead we end up saying to these young people that everyone’s (potential) life matters, but not enough to voice my opinion on behalf of people killed for my right to vote? Let alone an aborted, combated, and electric-chair killed person? Or we say that If the (any) decision is too tough, don’t make it and abstain? My fear is equally telling them that it’s okay to surrender a right countless people did not have because our country was so bigoted and sexist “back then?” because it’s just not fair to have to pick between advocates of murder?

    I screw up every single day – I do things that could, by extension, be considered murder. I don’t recycle every time I drink from a plastic bottle, not stewarding the resources God has provided, not leaving a better land for ancestors. We talk on cell phones while driving, putting people’s lives in harm daily. We speed on freeways, we don’t take care of our health. Eat trans fats. Kill animals to test drugs. Smoke. Drink alcohol. The legalism just continues – down a scary, fine line.

  18. wow, i can’t believe how many people are all about not voting. honestly, i understand the sentiment of feeling like your vote doesn’t count and that you are being taken for a ride by beauracracy. however, like themadlibs, i am a young woman in my 20’s and maybe i am still just excited about my recently endowed ability to participate in the political process, but i truly don’t think any of these non-voting arguments hold water.
    certainly you have a right not to vote, that does not make it the intelligent or best choice.
    people voting has changed this country for the better. even if you hate the results, it is the foundational concept of participatory democracy in which the people are given equal voices that is upheld by voting.
    if you are a part of a church, you care who the pastor is. if you believe in christ, typically, you want to share his love somehow. if you are part of this country, i am truly confused about how doing nothing is better than participating even though you don’t have full control over the results. it seems prideful and egocentric to be frank.
    here’s what i think and i could be way off, but this is my gut reaction: christians want this election to be about them and since it isn’t, they want no part. i worked at a church during the 2004 elections and literally became afraid to say who i was voting for and why because people were so gung-ho about bush. the second time! i can only imagine what it would have been like to work there in 2000.
    conservatives have been primed not to like mcCain because he has an image of not being conservative enough (whether that is true or not). obviously, conservatives don’t heart obama. since most evangelicals are conservative at this point in history, they don’t feel they have someone who represents them and their theology, values, political identity, whatever you want to call it. maybe this is the liberal devil in me, but it seems unchristian to vote only in your own interest and it seems unintelligent to vote only for someone who claims to be an evangelical just like you.
    ok, i am planning to vote for obama although i think these two candidates are the best choices the US has had presented to it in quite awhile, despite the obfuscation some in the media whose business thrives on controversy have cast over it. so, if you are a conservative evangelical and you are not voting because no one running is evangelical enough that theoretically should make me happy because that will help obama. but it doesn’t make me happy because that reveals the shallowness of christian politics.

  19. i find it interesting that we tie this “responsibility” of voting so tightly with our faith. maybe i am not articulate enough to communicate my point. that is definately a possibility.
    as a follower of christ, i feel like i am making a conscious decision. i understand that many people shed blood over the rights this country has. i am not belittling that.
    my point is, as a citizen of the kingdom of god, i feel like i need to live by that very real and hear and now kingdom. it has nothing to do with:

    it is not about not having control over the outcome. one the contrary, i feel like a persons vote counts very much.

    it is not about being a conservative that doesnt get his way. trust me, not a conservative or liberal. i find value in ideas from both parties. i am actually a fan of not having a person everyone labels “god’s man”. because i do believe in a seperation of church and state. so i am not throwing a pity party for myself.

    i feel like i need to live my life by kingdom principles. if my decisions dont line up with that, then i need to repent and move on. not just with voting, with my daily life. but for the sake of this post, we are talking about voting.

    i am not relinquishing my voice. on the contrary, i personally feel like i can speak louder, not about who or what to vote for, but for the way of Jesus. just because i am not voting, it doesnt make me less political. our lives are political.

    trust me, i am not trying to pull the holier than thou card, that is obviously not a good description of me. i am just saying that there is a battle that wages within me to try to be as honest to my faith as possible. i have to keep christ first, and for me, this time, i know jesus doesn’t want me to vote.

    remember, this is my conviction. i am not putting it on anyone else. i have been convicted of my nationalism and unhealthy allegiances, and i am walking that out.

  20. I’m a woman, I’m 30 and as of right now, I am not voting.

    I follow Jesus, not an elephant or a donkey.

    When I first noticed Obama on the campaign trail, over a year ago, I instantly loved him and knew he’d be a success. I told my husband that we were witnessing the first Black President. I was surely voting for him. That was until I looked past his exuberant speeches and focused on the issues. Honestly, I don’t agree with several of his views but the ONLY issue preventing me from casting my vote for him is his stand on abortion. Yes, that “minor” issue to support the life of an unborn baby is my reason. I’ve witnessed way too many women using abortion as a form of birth control that accepting abortion without limits is something I know to be stupid. Voting for abortion is a vote against everything I stand for.

    McCain has always scared me… his eager support of Bush, his fake sincerity, the treatment of his former wife, the comment he made of Chelsea Clinton, his excitement and love of war… He does not seem honest.

    Palin pisses me off. I didn’t get a very good first impression of her and she hasn’t rectified that for me yet. She does seem like a female dog/pit bull. I don’t want to put her that close to the Presidency. Call me old fashioned, I don’t care, I don’t want a woman for President. I know, far too well, how emotional we are and don’t necessarily want her ruling over my husband.

    So there you have it, I am also voting (as David Smith) with a vote of no confidence.

    Mandy, I don’t get offended very easily but you stating my current choice not to vote (which might change come November) makes me prideful, ego-centric or makes it an unintelligent choice, irritates me. I can just as easily judge you for your decision to vote for Obama. However, we, as Americans, have rights. We can choose to join in this election or (BY RIGHT) not join in. My decision is anything BUT looking out for myself… I don’t want this election to only be about me. I’m not “unchristian” because I choose not to vote on behalf of my interests. I AM someone who follows Christ and am not only looking out for my interests but especially the interests of the innocents who will be harmed by my decision.

    Marko, I see your point and I agree that we’ll never find a candidate who supports all of our views. Having said that, I wanted to share with you the number one value of which I choose to vote: Respect of life. Neither candidate, to me, seems to have a respect for life and that is the one reason why I can’t vote for Obama or McCain. That ONE reason.

  21. First off, I still dont get why people won’t vote for someone based on the sole issue of abortion, and to say that Obama is the most pro abortion candidate to be in an election is to say the least misinformed and completely untrue. Besides, did Bush really do anything about abortion in his eight flawed years? Or for that matter national security, the economy, gay marriage, foreign relations etc.. People voted for him on a couple of issues, and what did it get them? Nothing. I mean besides saying he would ban it, do you really know what Bush felt about abortion, and gay marriage back in 2000 before he had James Dobson on his back trying to influence policy during the second election? ( Which was a violation of his tax exempt status) Educate yourself, really educate yourself before deciding to vote or not to vote. Im saying this out of real concern that people are going to vote or not vote based on what their emotions tell them, as opposed to researching and listening to logic and facts. Im really concerned by the attutude of Christians and non Christians alike that voting wont make a difference, and the attitude from Christians that a candidate doesnt support their “Godly” principles and will buy into Conservative think tanks who mislead and deceive us by leading us to believe that a candidate has been ” ordained by God” to be our president. Look how ordained and “Godly” our president and party have been indeed; an illegal war, failed foreign relations, failing economy, a seemingly neverending list of scandals and outright lies. Truly Godly indeed. We can make this country and this world a better place if we really try. But sitting and doing nothing really acheives nothing.

  22. this is all fantastic discussion, and i’m glad it’s taking place here. but please try to keep the discussion to the theme of the post — the morality of non-voting (or the contrary position).

  23. dont miss the point of what i am saying jon. i dont want to get into a political he said she said. there are other reasons as stated above why i am not voting. this is not a conservative/liberal issue. not just a pro-life / pro-war issue. there are other reasons. mainly as it pertains to my faith.i just didnt want to divert into a multitude of issues. just wanted to highlight a big one.

    we really need to get past the idea that not voting means i am doing nothing.i am trying to live out god’s kingdom here on earth. i am trying through my faith to bring change/reform to this world. shane claiborne says we vote everyday by how we live. i am hoping (though failing at times) to live out the gospel. why is that less than punching a chad?

    it’s funny, by my conservative friends i might as well be liberal socialist (been called that). here i am called a conservative. i cant win. lol

  24. I wasn’t sure if i was going to vote this year either. But i’ve changed my mind. As far as the whole i’m pro-abortion but personally i’m against it stand. Here’s what i think. What happens when people are told no? they go out and find a way to do it anyway. If we are talking about our right to choose to vote or not vote, then how can it be different to tell people they can’t abort the baby within them? They are exercising the very same not-voting right because its a personal legal choice. As Christians, we are supposed to do our best not to judge anyone for their personal choices whether we believe them or not. If a anti-abortion candidate is pro-abortion, then perhaps we should consider why and dig deeper. In my opinion, while i am anti abortion because i believe its a baby at all times, i am for abortion clinics being open. If we keep trying to shut them down and picket (which i think its wrong for Christians to do), then we are only forcing people who want an abortion, to seek out the underground clinics or try to abort the baby themselves which is endangering their lives. I want to see abortion clinics open to allowing Christian women to confidentially meet with the women that enter and talk with them about their baby, the pain they will feel after aborting, the possibility of adoption for those who cant have children, etc. And if in the end, they still want to abort, then that is their choice not to be judged for. Just like all of you who are deciding not to vote. hope all that made sense lol :) thanks for listening.

  25. ps: didnt realize i went so much into the abortion topic and not so much on the theme of the blog. forgive me.

  26. this thread – and the thread on Jesus Creed a ~10 days ago when Palin was announced – give me so much hope that people of faith are waking up from the groginess of the last 30 years

    if it were possible, I’d love to grab a meal with many of the folks who posted here – maybe even to discuss what Joe Carter recently posted about (

    , we must recognize that America is not a “Christian nation”, though we should aspire to be a nation where those of us who are Christians are admired as good and noble citizens. America is not a “shining city on a hill”, though we should let our light of freedom be a shining example for the entire world. America is not the “greatest blessing God gave mankind”, though it is a great nation worthy of our conditional adoration. Patriotic sentiment has its place but we mustn’t let it expand beyond its acceptable borders. We are citizens of both the City of God and the City of Man and must always be careful not to confuse the one for the other.

  27. [quote: bob c]We are citizens of both the City of God and the City of Man and must always be careful not to confuse the one for the other.[/quote]

    what do you mean: “careful not to confuse both???”

  28. i think joe t. is heading in the right direction here. if the only reason you can justify not voting is not being able to find a “suitable” candidate, then you really have no excuse.

    if you are choosing not to vote because you are a christian, then making purely political arguments will hold no water. you need to come at it from a purely theological standpoint. you have to deal with issues like ecclesiology and defining the boundaries and purposes of the church.

  29. Amongst all this political banter is this: To vote is to not show you take on the values of a person running, but of what is best for this country. Christian or not, we can vote. People in other countries say they have a democracy but some are not allowed to vote or are pushed to vote against what they want. They are oppressed and made to do things against their wills/beliefs.

    Some churches vote or decide on elders, deacons, and new staff or pastors. I have been a part of that process. If I had refused to vote because some elder teaches evolution in school and one has a marriage crumbling, my voice would have not been heard. I had to decide on the lesser evil, even though I thought both should not be elders.

    I do not like that there are people who run for an office and pull the church card, but the last time they went to church was to plant a campaign sign on the church’s front lawn.
    Voting is choosing what best for this country. Voting is more for than just a president. If you want your voice is to be heard then vote. It’s like a multi e-mail gas boycott, it doesn’t work. You won’t be heard by belly-aching on a blog. Many votes in this country have stemmed on small percentages of votes. We have had bad presidents, senator, governors, mayor, etc. It won’t end either. But we can either complain and not vote or do something. You have one life do something. Complaining or withholding is not doing, by the way.

  30. again, just because i am not voting does not mean i am doing how far aside to we put our faith and convictions while voting? how do we seperate our faith from the polling booth?

    who said it is about being heard? my voice is heard in how i live my life everyday. it may not be heard in the halls of congress, but who’s is? in my life, i try to live out the good news of the kingdom. i don’t know who is belly aching on blogs. i am just saying i am having a hard time actually voting. forget who the candidates are.

    if i am to live my life to glorify God and live out the good news of Jesus, which candidate will do that in the whitehouse? that is who i have to vote for. if you tell me neither, but that isnt the role of government, my answer would be, “exactly”.

    again, someone tell me how me trying to live out the good news is less than voting, or doing nothing? or better yet, how is it doing violence as the original post suggests?

    your voice, dan, would have been heard if you explained to your leaders why you couldnt vote for either candidate. but that is only my opinion. this is good. it is getting harder to remember to come check thispost. i will try.

  31. “again, someone tell me how me trying to live out the good news is less than voting, or doing nothing? or better yet, how is it doing violence as the original post suggests?”

    preach it, brother.

  32. If I vote for someone I don’t agree with and someone that I dislike, then what is the purpose of voting? Am I voting to see the junk that I am assuming will happen come to fruition?

    “Vote for the lesser of two evils”?? I don’t agree, I see that as a sacrifice of morals.

    What am I teaching the children that look up to me? I *should* vote because the majority of America feels I am unintelligent if I don’t? I *should* vote because I am being pressured by the convictions and beliefs of others?

    Janelle, should we legalize all drugs, drunk driving and violence, as well as abortion, because they will “go out and find a way to do it anyway”? That’s absurd. Should all parents have a right to kill their children solely because those children are under their domain? Talk to Susan Smith and Andrea Yates about that mentality.

    I DO have one life and I am standing up for something that I believe in.

    If I choose to refrain from voting, I AM still doing “something”.

  33. The big thing to bear in mind is this – if you vote for anyone but the candidate you think will do the best job, you’re adding to the whole “electability” problem that’s eroding the democratic framework. It’d be justifiable if you were voting strategically to prevent a particularly awful candidate from winning the election, but even then it’s still a necessary evil.

    If you’re disillusioned with all available candidates to the point where you don’t want to vote for any of them, the only viable way to register your discontent is to show up and spoil/write in a ballot. If you don’t show up, you have indicated to the powers that be that you’re too lazy and apathetic to vote at all – therefore, you’re unlikely to matter in future elections and can safely be ignored.

    so I’ve been thinking a lot about this…
    And this is what I came up with to make it understandable to my youth, if I were to explain this to them:

    Ok so we have team #1: the Lakers represent democrats.
    And we have team #2: the Spurs, represent republicans.

    And we are going to hold elections to see who is going to gain the control of the nation.

    I don’t really like any of the teams. Although republicans stand for everything I believe as a Christian or at least the most important moral values such as prolife, ban gay marriage, etc… Etc…But I do not agree entirely with everything they stand for. So I think to myself: Maybe I am not to vote because you know, I don’t agree with any of the teams.

    So elections come up and I find out that the Lakers are winning in other states…hm, not good.

    So I have to think and make a decision if I really want the Lakers winning and ruling the country. So what do I do next?

    I have decided to vote against the Lakers. So I vote for the Spurs. It doesn’t mean that I agree on everything they stand for, but it will definitely prevent the Lakers from winning.

    Because if I don’t vote, by avoiding my vote, the Lakers will win; and I don’t really want that for my nation.

    So I have to choose between the two of the lesser evils.

    So, did I make sense to anyone in here?
    It’s just a thought. I usually think way too much about this subjects.

    My apologies.

  34. i guess it is an agree to disagree. we are all just recycling the same old arguments. because i am yet to have this question answered:

    “again, someone tell me how me trying to live out the good news is less than voting, or doing nothing? or better yet, how is it doing violence as the original post suggests?”

    all i hear is how it is important in the political process. not how it is a matter of faith that i do vote. i am not arguing the fact that politicians may ignore me now. but guess what, they already are.

    i am just responding to the original post.

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  36. If we are idile to certain in life, then what. It should not be on the basis of faith I think Prissy said it well. I have never been much of a politics person but for this discussion it sparked me. We should not let things go by hoping God will work it out or since we have such distain for the values of who is running. It’s like driving. I want to get to point A and B quickly but if I don’t obey the laws and limits, I will get hurt, so will others. I can’t just do whatever because I don’t like how the red light is too long or someone is on the celly in the fast lane going 55. So to vote we take part. To not vote we let things be controlled by others not us. Your voice is heard just not the way you think. We can’t do it all but yes if we let our Christ light shine people will see it. We can do it in everything. If Christians don’t vote, what doe sthat show the U.S.? I know our citzenship is in heaven, but we are here now.
    In California, Gray Davis got booted and now the Terminator is our Governor. It started with people in one district that had a distain for Davis’s ruin of California and he got recalled. Not that Arnold is super better, but the way things were going with Davis it would have been worse. Another thing if people had not voted for Arnold or some other people who looked promising, we would have had a stripper or Gary Coleman. They ran because it was open to anyone to run with a price. What if a bunch of people said I won’t vote cause I don’t want joe schmo getting elected. Then what?

  37. the kingdoom of god is here and now.

    i am not hoping god will just work it out. i am living towards it.

    that’s a good question. what does it show the u.s. if we dont vote? it can be looked at apathetically for sure. if that is all the church does. but if the church is prophetic to the state rather than in bed with it, our voice just may be heard. either way, i am not breaking a law by not voting for a president. i am utilizing my right as a believer and a u.s. citizen.

    this argument has no end. yet, i cant let it go…lol.

  38. something I was thinking yesterday late night:

    we are Justified by faith to God
    ~i want to point here that Jesus was sacrified because rome thought that he might be threat since he said he is the king, but not referring to the huaman kingdome, but the spiritual kingdome

    we are Justified by deeds to men
    ~over here i want to point that what you do, what you teach ia all a testimony of your relationship with God…

    so, to vote or not to vote???

    how about if all believers go on a strike and don’t vote?

  39. “…Your to blame, You give love a bad name”

    Christians or those say they are have given americans a bad name. I once asked a question to someone (not Christian) about Christians. I asked: What is the first word you can think of when you think of Christians? They said: hypocrites. Ouch!
    I think of we don’t vote, no matter how we stand on issues or people running, it might show those who are not Christians a bad view. We can vote and show the love of Christ to people. Or as some would say/think don’t vote and do the same. But what does it show to society if we don’t vote? This world is not our own but we got to live in it?

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