Prayer, Creativity & Faith

For and against

People have often asked me, “How can you be for __ and still be a Christian?” Well, the question itself is based on a faulty premise, just as many of the memes which try to simplify voting positions are misleading. We want the answers to be simple, and in several memes I’ve seen, the stances are boiled down to exaggerations and misrepresentations. Such as “Biden is for abortion and people illegally entering our country.” Sure, you can take the facts of his platform and skew it that way, but I beg to differ. There is more than one way to see any issue.

So this is for any of you who don’t believe the current administration is worthy of your support—but you don’t feel like you can vote against it while remaining true to your faith. Ignore my thoughts if you wish, but please don’t start name calling just because you disagree. I’m putting myself out there because I believe there are many other people of faith like me who can’t toe the party line anymore, who reject the notion that “to be a Christian I must support President Trump.” That’s a faulty premise, and it breaks my heart that I see many truly loving, faithful people leaning in that direction because they can’t see another way. And I hate how society has twisted our perspectives and tied the Republican party to Christianity—when, in fact, I see so many of the Democratic platforms as being much closer to how Jesus taught us to live—by loving the least of these. By operating with compassion and kindness and without judgment.

So just in case you’re having doubts and need to be given “permission” to follow your heart, I’m going to share mine.

When I vote Democrat, I am not voting “for” abortion. I am voting for the woman who finds herself in an impossible spot, knowing for one of a thousand reasons why having a baby will not be good for her or the child. I am putting my confidence in her to be thoughtful and seek wise counsel and making a decision she can live with. I am voting for heart change, not more regulations and laws, because God looks at what’s in the heart. I am believing in God’s compassion for the women who make that decision, and His immediate acceptance of any soul that is aborted. I am trusting in God’s word that says no one sin is any greater than any other, nor is it the only one on which to base one’s right to vote, and that His grace is enough for us all.

I am not “for” illegal immigrants. I am, however, for the person who is desperate for a better life, who is quite literally running to save their family’s lives, or those who found themselves here but were unable to fulfill the requirements (like returning to their country of origin for six months) in order to renew their green cards. I am for loving the alien and the foreigner because the Word of God tells me to. I am for looking at people with compassion and forgiveness and trying to do right by them. I am aware that I have benefited in countless ways from living here, and I don’t believe I deserve it any more than anyone else.

I’m not “for” people who let the government pay their living expenses while they choose not to work. I am, however, for the ones who need help—who can’t afford healthcare or higher education, who can’t get a job that pays a livable wage, or who can’t make it for a number of other reasons. I’d rather help too many people than not enough. I’d rather put confidence in someone who fails me than not believe in someone who genuinely needs the support to overcome the obstacles in their life.

I’m not “for” taking away your guns, but I’m all for a society in which our children (and I) can feel safer. I’m not in favor of taking away any of your constitutional rights, but I’m in support of having stronger safeguards in place. I’m for all the kids who have been traumatized by mass shootings at school, and for all the teachers who have to put their lives on the line and be responsible for protecting them.

I’m not “for” closing down the economy, but I am for following the knowledge of scientists and doctors (even as it evolves) and doing my part to protect the people around me. I am willing to wear an awkward mask and be uncomfortable in order for those around me to feel protected. I am not for living in fear, but I am definitely for respecting those who are vulnerable and for behaving responsibly with the public’s health and safety. (And for the record, I am most definitely against the fact that a public safety issue has been twisted into a political one.)

I’m not “for” eliminating police, but I’m for whatever it takes to allow people of all colors to feel safe and be able to trust law enforcement with their lives. I’m for the countless good law enforcement personnel who risk their lives daily, but I know the system isn’t perfect.

I’m not “for” higher taxes, but I’m willing to sacrifice a little bit for the benefit of someone else.

Political conservatives, and many Christians, see the Democratic stance on many of these issues as too permissive. As thought they’d be endorsing sin if they voted against the current administration. But this attitude leaves no room for grace, and it makes me wonder if, in fact, what these people want is to censure others who don’t live the way they want them to. Punish them—If someone makes a mistake, shame on them, but I want no part of it because I am better than that.

That’s not the kind of Christian I want to be, nor is it the type of voter I want to be.

I vote for love to win. I vote for Christ’s people to love one another with a genuine, charitable love. I vote for compassion and understanding, for hope and for goodness, for the kindness of people to win out. I vote for humility and the awareness that we are more alike than we are different. I vote for people to be true to their consciences. I pray that people, when they see that the current administration is for its self-interests and is not for the least of these, will rise up and vote accordingly.

And if you are one who believes I couldn’t be more wrong, I pray for our ability (and willingness) to love each other anyway. And I know that with God within us, we can get there. We really can.

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