Well, its that time of year again: election season. And this being a presidential election year it seems that everyone has their eyes glued to the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Liberals and Conservatives are arguing worse than ever about which candidate can save the United States. The debate is fierce and neither side is holding punches. From the ferocity of some of the voters, it would seem that we were getting ready to vote in the next god.
Before I get too far into this discussion, allow me to present a little disclaimer: this message is primarily addressed to those who are a part of the Christian Church. The nature of the conversation deals with Christianity and politics rather than politics in general.
This is the third presidential election that I can really remember following very closely and the second in which I am eligible to vote. The first presidential race I followed was between George Busch and John Kerry. I was rooting and cheering for Busch like I cheer for one of my favorite pro-sports teams. With the last election, I felt very much the same. I was rooting all the way for John McCain. I feared, for some reason, that if Obama was elected that our country would surely go to Hell in a hand basket. After all, how could our nation possible survive with a president that was that liberal!?
Since that last election I’ve become very disenfranchised with politics. Now, there are a lot of reasons for this and the fact that Obama took office was not one. Sure, I’m not overly impressed with what I’ve seen from his time in office and I think there are a lot of people who could have done a better job. But in all honesty, I don’t know if we’d be in that much better shape if McCain had won the election. Yet, the whole political realm has just left me with a sick taste in my mouth.
Now, its time to vote for the president again. Obama’s challenger: Mitt Romney. I’ll be honest, I haven’t followed the election as much as I probably should. But there has been something about this presidential run that has disturbed me — and it has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Obama or Mr. Romeny. It has to do with those who are planning on voting for them and those whom are practically campaigning for them.
Here is what has been disturbing me about this election: I have heard or read way too many comments such as, “If Obama is re-elected then the United States will not survive the next four years”. Granted, this sounds very similar to my thoughts four years ago. But if there is one thing I’ve learned in the past four years it is that God is God regardless of who is sitting in the Oval Office. Are there better candidates than others? Sure, of course there are. But is our hope and faith so much in politics that the attitude we have about life depends on who is elected next month? Is that what we’re putting our hope in? If so, then there is something seriously wrong because whoever wins in November is going to be a human. Regardless of how people are talking, we are not electing God.
I think the whole problem we’re seeing in this debate is a lot deeper rooted than politics. Its the fact that many American Christians are just that — they are American before they are Christian. Where does our primary allegiance lie? We get so caught up about pledging our allegiance to the flag but we should first and foremost pledge our allegiance to God! We, as Christians, should belong to the Church before our country. Jesus Christ should be the one we are allied with. The United States is an empire of man and is not the Kingdom of God — regardless of how many people seem to think otherwise.
Further, our allegiance is to the body of Christ! I am sick and tired of hearing people say “Well I don’t know how so and so can be a Christian and be so liberal!” Really!? One can only be Christian if they are on one side of the political spectrum? Something tell me you’re not going to find that in scripture, tradition, experience, or reason. It doesn’t make sense. We should have more allegiance to our Christian sisters and brothers on the other side of the political spectrum than we should to those who happen to belong to the same political party but reject Christ. How dare we put our allegiance more in a political party than in Christ!
Now, I love my country; I am not saying that I don’t. But I love my God more and my faith in Him is not going to change with whoever is elected in a few weeks. My outlook on life will not change because of an election of a human being into a political office. If that is where our hope lies then I believe we have a long way to go in our faith in God.
So does this mean that we should not vote? Of course not! There is nothing wrong or evil about voting in an election. The problem is when we get so caught up in it that we act as if we are voting in a new god. Neither candidate is going to “save” our country. Regardless of how the next election goes, I can promise you this: If Obama is re-elected, then God is still God. Amen.
*PS: I do not want to discourage anyone from voting, I think that is a great thing. Probably to my shame I will admit that I personally do not plan on voting in this election. There are a few reasons for this: 1) My disgust with the attitudes behind this election. 2) I am officially registered in California but am attending school in Idaho. I’m not passionate enough about a candidate to go through the process of an absentee ballot. 3) Being in the state of California, something tells me that Obama is getting our electoral vote no matter what. I’m not going to help or hurt the vote by voting one way or the other.