Friday, October 26, 2012

What?!! Christians shouldn't vote?!!

Wow. Some Christian leaders are suggesting that Christians should vote for neither candidate in the presidential election happening less than two weeks from now, according to a Religion News Service story written by
Jen Pollock Michel, a devotional writer, and Dwight McKissic Sr., an African-American Southern Baptist pastor. Michel is a Republican who dislikes Romney's attitude toward health care but can't bring herself to vote for Obama. McKissic dislikes Obama's attitude toward same-gender marriage but can't bring himself to vote for Romney.

Jana Bennett, a Catholic ethics professor, offers a particularly poignant quote. She says, in part, "I think I’m being asked to rip myself in half, figuratively speaking, by one party or the other, or both..."

Phil Wogaman once told me that when he was pastor here at Foundry from 1992 to 2002 he preached an annual sermon just before election day on the responsibilities of citizenship, the prime example being the responsibility to vote. I wonder if we need to start preaching that sermon again.

So what if neither candidate is perfect? As a social worker friend says: "The perfect is the enemy of the good."  

Thinking about this also reminds me of my old friend, David Gracie, the Episcopalian priest and peacemaker, who died in 2001. Back when we both were active in the peace movement, there used to be long arguments about whether we should allow American flags in our church sanctuaries. Most peaceniks argued against flags in the sanctuary. David argued for them.

David's argument was that it is good to acknowledge that when we worship we worship as citizens of an earthly nation and that the stewardship of our citizenship is one of our Christian responsibilities.

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