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PLAN ON VOTING, EVEN IF YOU ARE FRUSTRATED

Think Christianly: PLAN ON VOTING, EVEN IF YOU ARE FRUSTRATED

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PLAN ON VOTING, EVEN IF YOU ARE FRUSTRATED

...That is the advice of evangelical Dr. Ben Witherington....

"The percentage of Christians who could vote but don’t is high, much too high, and the end result of such bad behavior is that we often get exactly what we’ve voted for--- Nothing! Or at least, nothing good. Do not let the fact that at this juncture there may seem to be no obvious candidate for a truly conservative Christian to vote for, for this office or that, deter you. There is better and there is worse, and you’d better figure out which is which, or what we will get is worse. This is particularly an urgent matter since in the last eight years things have certainly gotten worse economically and it terms of our relationships both with our allies and enemies. The politics of fear is trumping the politics of faith and sound reasoning repeatedly, and this leads to disastrous results in the long run for our country-- both economically and militarily."

He has other insights worth taking a gander at A VOTERS GUIDE FOR THINKING EVANGELICALS

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6 Comments:

OpenID hamletsherrod said...

I can't disagree enough with his logic. I mean, if a scenario arose in which it were clear that every candidate running were evil, would he still advocate voting? Doesn't voting give your endorsement on some level? And what of his implication that there are only two choices: bad and worse? He implies that we should vote for bad, or we shall surely get worse! So let me get this straight - if Hitler is running against Stalin, am I to vote for Hitler because he only killed six million versus Stalin's thirty million? I realize that this is an extreme example, but it's taking his argument to its logical conclusion.

I also disagree with his implication that there are only two choices. Forgive me if I'm reading too much into what he's saying, but he seems to be saying, "Well, McCain's pretty bad, but Obama's worse, so you'd better vote for McCain." This is a false dichotomy as there are more than two candidates running for president this year. In my opinion the obvious candidate for Christians to support is Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. At any rate, not voting is no sin, and in fact can be the best course of action in some cases.

September 24, 2008 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Morrow said...

Thanks for weighing in. To be fair to Ben, I don’t think he would vote for Hitler or Stalin. ;) And I doubt you are saying that McCain or Obama are that bad. So perhaps the reductio ad absurdum works; but pragmatically (and politics is far more about compromise than idealism) I think it is a moot point. For there are no perfect candidates and I don’t think either Obama or McCain are evil—bad policies or moral views perhaps.

Regarding, Baldwin, do you think he will garner more votes than Nader did? For better or worse it seems that this is still a two party race—I wish there were three legitimate parties because that would be better for America.

I think what Ben and many others are saying is, a good number of evangelicals tend to complain a lot about the state of things in Washington and so stay home in elections. So if one is not going to engage the system, on what basis does one have to complain? A vote for Incremental and minute good is still good.

September 24, 2008 at 10:58 PM  
Blogger Barry said...

Chuck Baldwin? I've never heard of him but I'll look him up.
I too am frustrated. I did support Obama but now I'm not sure who I support. I like things about both candidates. McCain intrigues me in some ways and Obama in others. I have found that neither represent what I would truly vote for, however.
Puts me in a weird position to even like Obama. Most Christians I talk to about Obama are completely surprised that I would consider voting for him. Some even get personally disgusted with me, which is discouraging. Usually they try to convert me to the Republican party. I understand where they are coming from though.

September 25, 2008 at 10:34 AM  
OpenID HamletSherrod said...

Jonathan, admittedly I was judging Ben by the comments you posted, not his whole piece, which I have not read. Neither McCain or Obama are as bad as Hitler or Stalin, but I believe that was a relevant example as to me it shows the absurdity of voting for a bad candidate out of fear you'll get someone worse. I've done that before, and refuse to do so ever again. I am admittedly very idealistic, after all, I'm closer to the libertarian end of the spectrum than any other, but I do believe I'm being practical as well. I don't know if Baldwin will get more votes than Nader or not, but I know that my vote for Baldwin, besides being a vote for a Godly man who is Constitutionally literate, will also be a step away from the two party system, or as we libertarians see it, two wings of the same bird of prey. What I'm hoping is that the total of the votes for third party candidates will be the highest it's ever been. The two-party system is destroying our country. That doesn't mean I won't vote for a Republican or Democrat (after all, I proudly campaigned for and vote for Ron Paul in the primaries), but I also won't hesitate to vote for a qualified third-party candidate. The monopoly of the Repubs and Dems will only last as long as we allow it to.

September 25, 2008 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Morrow said...

I appreciate your considered convictions. Our country would be much better off if people engaged and critically thought about why they hold the positions they do.
So I commend you for taking the time to articualte a reasoned position.

Civility and reasoned engagement is desperatley needed. and a thrid party would help a lot as well!!

September 25, 2008 at 11:52 PM  
OpenID HamletSherrod said...

Amen!

September 26, 2008 at 10:42 AM  

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