My faith influences nearly every aspect of my life. It creates my moral compass, influence how I interact with others, and is my guide for the major decisions in my life. This should not be surprising. For others who have a strong faith — whether Protestant, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, or any other religion — I would assume this is the norm. After all, can a religion really be practiced if it does not impact one’s life?
However, there is more than one singular way to practice a religion. The way we view the world, the experiences we have had, our peers and those that surround us all influence how we practice our faith and our interpretation of a religious texts. That’s why we have to be careful declaring with all certainty what is and is not right as if it applies to all people and every situation.
That is why I am so bothered by so many blog posts, conversations, and social media posts in this election season about one candidate or another being tied to religion. The reality is every politician…..just like every human being….. has positive and negative attributes. Every candidate…..just like every human being….. has times when they are kind, honorable, and compassionate as well as times when they are greedy, power hungry, and narcissistic.
One could argue that the Christian choice is Republican because it’s the party that is anti-abortion, it’s the party that wants to support businesses so people have jobs and can support their families, and it’s the party that encourages faith-based organizations. However, one could also argue that the Christian choice is Democrats because it’s the party that supports civil rights and equal pay, it’s the party to fight corporate greed, it’s the party to stand against the death penalty.
One could easily argue based on those ideas that voting for one party over the other is the Christian thing to do. However, you could easily find three other things to argue that each party is evil. Every Catholic, Agnostic, Hindu, (insert your favorite religion here) votes his/her principles and conscious. However, that does not mean everyone practicing that religion votes the same way. The candidates and political parties don’t change, the religions don’t change, and God certainly doesn’t change. What can explain the differences in votes, then, if the belief system is the same? It’s our interpretations and perspectives. It’s our individual prioritizing of the issues. However, there is no right or wrong. There is no “right” way or “wrong”way to vote. There is no singular ballot choice that is more Christian or more ethical than another.
So please, keep my Christianity out of this. Let’s refrain from sharing or reposting blogs, statuses, and memes that decry a vote as the clear Christian choice. If Jesus had a Facebook or Snapchat my guess is he would be posting a lot more about feeding hungry children, taking care of your neighbor, and demonstrating grace to each other than providing an endorsement of a party platform.