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election thoughts

I don't talk about my voting preferences much during the election campaign. I have finally put my finger on the reasons why--and there are more than one. For one thing, we cast secret ballots on election day--unless, of course, you have a disability that requires you to have assistance and you don't get an accessible voting machine. I'd like to be able to cast a truly secret ballot... My ballot isn't secret if I've announced to the world my voting preference.

Having said that, I understand the value of hashing out matters in familiar circles, and I did find it useful to talk about things that influenced my voting preferences with people I trust. The problem, of course, occurred when I revealed my preference for a particular candidate and got an extremely negative reaction from my friend or family member and then found it necessary to fight off the feeling that I'm supposed to vote as they do. The point of democracy is that we don't all agree and that is ok. If we were all supposed to vote the same, we may as well have a dictator.

It is fascinating to me to watch the numbers in Indiana. It is fascinating because I am aware that Indiana has been very conservative for quite a while. I have watched some of those conservative people begin to change their minds, and I understand the reasons why. It is not enough to "be a Christian." Christians have disagreements. But more importantly, the candidate platform is loaded with issues that conflict for some Christians. What is more important: saving unborn babies via legislation or caring for the many, many people who don't have their basic needs met? (And some of those unborn babies would be born into those situations. So what becomes of them at that point?) It is a very complex question (and really only one example of such a question) that local churchgoers are wrestling with.

So I am intrigued by the historic change in Indiana's voting pattern. It indicates something about the concerns facing people here.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 5th, 2008 06:06 am (UTC)
I don't think anyone should have to explain or defend why they have voted a certain way. Nor do I think that just because we don't agree that the other person - in this case the loser - should just sit down and shut up.

I may not agree with someone or their politics, but those are someone's beliefs and I will respect them. And much more so if they take advantage of their right to vote. I'm interested to see what the turnout was for this election.
Nov. 5th, 2008 06:23 am (UTC)
Do you have any idea at all how brilliant this post is? And how much it means to me to hear someone express what I tried to express to my friend Tony today, that there are a lot of issues for Christians to consider, and that it's not as simple as one issue, or even a couple. I am a devout Christian, and I feel so insulted when some imply that if I vote the other candidate who seemingly doesn't hold to Christian issues, how could I possibly be a Christian?
For the first time, I feel like someone else sees where I'm coming from. NO I don't want to see babies aborted, but it's harder than that, it's bigger than that, but some won't listen.
So thank you, thank you for saying this. It means a lot, to this particular Christian anyway.
Nov. 5th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
You are very much not alone. [hugs]
Nov. 5th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
Re: [hugs]
Thank you, because I was really beginning to feel that there was something wrong with me.
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
Re: [hugs]
Isn't that the truth. I think that the American church is just as much to blame as our government for many of the things that certain candidates were espousing and just because I am a Christian doesn't mean I have to vote like the church or Christians tell me I have to .
Nov. 5th, 2008 09:33 am (UTC)
Very well put and helps put into words what Christians go through during an election. ETC. Awsome post.
Nov. 5th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
I think if the church were being what we are called to be there wouldn't be any worry about the conditions a child is born into nor would it be necessary to depend on the government for assistance. If we as the church lived out what is illistrated in Acts chapter 2 imagine what could be accomplished.... Also, you're right... this is a democracy, so you shouldn't feel like you have to vote like everyone else... Even if you were the only one who voted the way you chose to vote...
Nov. 5th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
the church, etc.
I think you are absolutely right. And many churches can't even pay their pastors--their pastors are working day jobs and still supposed to function like a pastor (on call at any spiritual need). I've seen people balk when a homeless person goes into a church, most often just needing help getting food but occasionally wanting a Bible! The church people (who are generally well dressed) react to the homeless person as if he/she is out to rob the church. I realize this has happened at times; but I think that stigma begets stigmatized behavior. I wonder what would happen if we actually helped people and held them accountable for their growth... The real changes in this country will come about regardless of who is in power; but unless and until we make those changes, we really need some programs in place or else we will fall apart. Here in the Midwest, that is becoming obvious. It used to be possible for an uneducated person to go to work in a factory and make $20/hr--when the economy was better! Now that person can go to work at Walmart or McDonald's and make $7/hr or less--in a crummy economy. We have a lot more hard-working poor people than we did in the past.
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
Re: the church, etc.
What I am noticing here in South Carolina is that the black church is growing by leaps and bounds because they are meeting their pople right where they are not meeting them wehre they want to be. I have seen several black churches in this area just explode because of what they are doing to try and help their people and the white church in this country definitely needs to act more like the real church and come down from its high horse and show people the love and concern of Christ, who by the way met most people's physical needs before he met their spiritual needs with love and compassiona dn that was why so many were flocking to him. I just wonder what wouold happen if all of our churches in this country would act like that.
Nov. 5th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
Re: the church, etc.
It's true.. Last year when I was interning at the Wesley I lead outreaches to several small country churches where the pastor led the congrigationn but had to have a day job also. It's true that there are small churches, but the ones that come to mind are the big churches who certainly could afford to pitch in or have members who could. My campus pastor told a story of a girl who called The Wesley looking for money to buy a bus ticket to get to Arkansas to a home for unwed mothers so that she could have her baby. Somehow she ended up in Ruston from Maryland... I think she came down to be with her boy-friend and it didn't work out. Anyway... In the course of the conversation Scott found out that she had called eight other churches in Ruston none of which would help her. I'm not 100% certain which ones she called, but I know without a doubt that most of them could have come up with $70 to help her. I agree we do need to have progrms in place... It just makes me sad that the church won't rise up and be what we're called to be remembering that Jesus said what ever you do to the least of these you've done for me...

I'm going to step down off my soap box now!
Nov. 5th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
Great post. I helped my mother in law and her live-in companion (I just hate to call an 84 year old man a "boyfriend," you know? LOL) vote for the first time in their lives. Where I live it's all vote by mail, so I did it at their home. It was never a question that I would do anything other than explain the issues as impartially as I could (my state had myriad ballot measures to vote on, as usual, because it's ridiculously easy to get them on the ballot here) and help her make her own choices, not mine. But in practice, it was so hard! And when she voted against funding for the local community colleges because it would raise her property taxes by about fifteen dollars a year, I almost choked! I was proud of myself, though; I conducted myself fairly,and did not, as my nineteen year old daughter said I would, commit voter fraud in any way, shape, or form. Whew!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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