This old party ain’t grand
Political parties offer no clear moral choice for believers
I grew up in a Christian household, and ever since I was old enough to grasp the complexities of the U.S. government, I considered myself a Republican.
Notice the past tense. The 2016 election cycle has been eye-opening to me and most of my generation.
Us lazy millennials seem to have stopped taking selfies long enough to realize that we’re not happy with the direction of our society.
The very core of what I’ve always thought to be true has been rattled by the dialogue surrounding one of our most cherished civic duties.
In short, voting in 2016 is stressful. If you would’ve asked me my political affiliation four years ago, I wouldn’t have even hesitated to claim the GOP.
Now … not so much. Actually, not at all.
Maybe it’s resentment over how this season has played out, or maybe it’s a better historical understanding.
Maybe it’s because my 17-year-old self had the tendancy to blindly follow my parents beliefs. Maybe it’s all of that.
Whatever the case may be, I currently have no political identity, as I realize that my understanding of God, what it means to be an American, and how the two go together has been shaken.
Being a Christian should mean more than being pro-life — well really just anti-abortion — and anti-same sex marriage at the polls. If it is, I think we’ve done a terrible job of showing it.
It’s not that these issues aren’t important.
It’s just that they aren’t the only issues of importance to God. God doesn’t play favorites.
That means he loves the refugee and unborn child all the same. In our short-sighted human nature, we place the limits of man on God.
It’s difficult for us to understand how someone could possibly make it all work together.
I still don’t fully grasp it and probably never will this side of heaven.
God cares about systemic racism and oppression, which is not a Democratic or Republican issue, considering both parties have played a big part in establishing the problem.
But as a person of color, I see less support from the GOP, which has seemingly embraced nationalism and damaging, ignorant racial rhetoric.
If you haven’t struggled through making a decision at the polls, then you are probably bringing preconceived notions and tradition with you to the booth.
There’s no one political party that perfectly represents Christian principles.
There isn’t now, nor will there ever be a candidate that completely exemplifies biblical principles.
So what do we do?
Voting, while very important, is not the end-all-be-all influence on society.
In fact, I strongly believe the church could be that influence if we were willing to step outside of our comforts, do the more difficult ground work and be present, reliable refuges in our communities.
With time running out before casting my first presidential ballot, I believe I’ve gained a greater understanding of my responsibility and privilege as a citizen.
I’ve done my research and will have to make a decision that doesn’t go against my conscience.
Come Nov. 8, I will vote, it won’t be for a Republican, and I won’t feel any less saved because of it.
Carter is the opinion editor.
Excellent opinion piece. Well reasoned and well written. My praise for the opinion is based upon the fact that it broadly considers a broad range of Christian values before arriving at an opinion, rather than being the common form of an opinion that (A) merely states the conclusion of the person rendering the opinion, (B) then supports that opinion by selecting and reciting only the arguments that support the opinion, and (C) then ignoring a broader consideration and evaluation of competing alternative conflicting Christian values and arguments.
It appears to me that your broad open-minded analytical consideration of all Christian values in searching for the best candidate and solution under the circumstances that exists is not as popular among Christian evangelicals as what I perceived to be a more common and popular alternative narrower approach of selecting and prioritizing only certain Christian values over other Christian values, which narrower approach appears to me to be to be advocated and championed by many high profile politically active Christian evangelical leaders.
I believe that the long run broader best interest of the Christian evangelical community would best be served by your broader comprehensive and more inclusive analytical approach to arriving at decisions than the present narrower approach that appears to me to be the most popular among those high profile politically active evangelical leaders.