“The path we choose can determine our future far beyond the next four years.”
I was sitting at our midweek fellowship dinner this past Wednesday evening, about 5:30 pm, when a lady asked, “Who won?” I was surprised. With all the telecommunications these days, how could a person not know? Her schoolchild, seated beside her, told her.
Upon hearing the news, the woman grimaced. “What’s going to happen to us?” She went through a litany of issues, but the biggest issue, she thought, was Israel. “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse” (Genesis 12:3 NIV; cf Numbers 24:9), she quoted. “If this country turns it back on Israel, we are cursed.”
Another lady shared that perhaps we didn’t know the whole story on Netanyahu and Obama. Perhaps Obama was more Zionist than we suspected. Though I was Conservative Evangelical, a registered Republican, I myself couldn’t see how Democrat, ultra-Liberal Obama could be any worse than GOP RINO Romney. Obama at least was predictable; Romney was a mystery, perhaps a Trojan horse. But how could I convince anyone?
Already spontaneous prayer meetings had sprung up at churches and student unions, and believers were shell-shocked that their candidate had lost. After 40 hours of prayer begun two days before the election, how could God allow this to happen!
Well, as someone once told me, “Don’t go to hell over the mysteries. When you don’t understand, walk on.”
Maybe believers needed to have a little more faith in God, that things had turned out according to His will, not theirs. Maybe Obama was the lesser of two evils.
During the weeks leading up to the election, our pastor had preached a series of sermons on issues: eg, Islam, Israel, poverty, abortion, “gay marriage” (oxymoron), government, and civil disobedience. Pastor said that some parishioners were always politically correct on issues rather than biblically correct, and he wanted us to get it right. Some parishioners got up and walked out. When the pastor said, “Vote your values,” he meant, “Vote Republican.”
In my opinion, there is more to issues, candidates, and party platform than biblical correctness. I remember when George Bush Sr (1992) was openly courting gays for the Republican party. “It’s a big party,” he’d say. “There’s room for everyone.” (Not in my opinion. We didn’t need another Liberal party.) Then he would tell gays not to pay any attention to the party platform, that it meant nothing. (It meant something to me.) I didn’t vote for Bush in 1992. Since I disliked Clinton as well, I didn’t vote at all.
But right there is the rub. Just because the party platform says something does not mean the candidate will abide by it. Whatever Newt Gingrich may have told you (1994), an election is not a contract. A candidate can trash the platform as well as he can lie: “Read my lips: no new taxes.” All politicians lie—don’t they? So the most important thing is not studying where candidates stand on issues. (Maybe the most important thing is not issues at all. I have Liberal friends with whom I disagree on issues, but that doesn’t affect our friendship.) The most important thing is the candidate’s character. Does he have integrity? Does he have a conscience? Will he do what he thinks is right? even if there is no precedent for the problem? and even if you later disagree with his decision?
Candidates are more important than platforms. Vote the man, not the platform.
Candidates are forgotten in the melee of an election. Naive—very naive—values voters (some, seminary graduates with doctorate degrees) keep things churning around issues and ignore human beings. Forgotten, or ignored, this year was how Romney stole the nomination, his track record, his instability on issues, his money and where it came from, his cultic faith, and a host of Religious Right brown-nosers. How could Christians forget or ignore those things? Perhaps because they only watched FOX-News and didn’t know what was going on. Perhaps because they myopically zeroed in on issues. Perhaps because they basically just didn’t have good sense.
“We had no message and we gave it to the worst communicator in the world.” ~A top Romney bundler
Copyright © 2012 Alexandra Lee