I may not live in the United States, but I believe that voting matters.
But I’ve been asking myself, does one vote really make a difference? Is it really worth registering online, downloading and printing out my ballot, signing it and then mailing it back to my home state of California before Tuesday November 7th?
I believe voting is a privilege, not a right. And it’s a privilege that women in our country didn’t have until 1920! If it means a little extra “work” for me to honor and respect what women in the 1900s fought for then I’ll do it.
If you don’t take the time to be informed and vote, then you have absolutely no right to complain. I don’t think you ever like every politician in leadership, that’s a given. But in my opinion, if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain.
Eugene Cho said it best in a recent tweet:
“Politics is important to me because it involves policies and policies impact people. Last time I checked people are really important to God.”
You know I won’t tell you how to vote. But I do know that the policies that our government makes affect people– both locally and abroad. It’s easy to get lost behind ridiculously expensive campaign budgets and snarky comments. But the truth is how we vote and who we vote for ultimately affects people. And I agree with Eugene, people are really important to God.
And maybe, most importantly voting gives us a chance to voice an opinion and disagree with people in power and each other. Considering certain governments in our world, I think this is a gift. We will always have two sides (and maybe more) to every political campaign. And maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe we need leaders who can be fiscally and socially conservative to help provide for the next generation, and we also need more liberal leaders who protect equality, the immigrant and the environment. Maybe what we really need are leaders who can learn to work together. And maybe that starts with us- the voters. If we can’t be civil, supportive or work together how can we expect out top politicians to do the same?
My family is a good example. I’m sure between the 6 of us we probably “cancel “out each others votes. We’re right down the middle: 3 of us lean toward the liberal side and another 3 of us vote republican through and through. But for the most part we all still get along. We come together for Holidays and sit at the table together. There may be some political banter and jokes, but for the most part we are civil even though our political perspectives differ greatly.
What would it look like if our nation did the same?
I’ve been following this group on twitter: ElectionDayCommunion. The idea is Christians from BOTH sides of the political spectrum come together and meet at the same table, the Lord’s table on Election Day. We acknowledge that we may cast a vote for the future leader of our country, but God wants us to remember that he is the leader of our lives.
I echo this prayer for tomorrow:
Prayer for the election
By Joanna Harader, author of the “Spacious Faith” blog
God of justice and compassion,
God of Republicans and Democrats and Independents, God of the poor and the 1% and the middle class,
in the heat of this election year
we pray for our nation, our churches, and ourselves.
In the midst of meanness and deception, may our words be kind and true.
In the midst of loud speeches and harsh accusations,
may we listen well and try to understand.
May those who follow Jesus do the work of Jesus– breaking down the dividing walls
speaking the truth in love
meeting together in the face of disagreements.
Holy, loving God, have mercy on your children.
(photo and prayer source: http://electiondaycommunion.org/)