When Americans go to the voting booth on November 8, 2016, we are facing a choice like we have never seen before in our history. As people of faith in our country, it is the responsibility of Christians to be a light reflecting the value system Christ brought to earth into our nation.
In order to be that light, we need to know what the Bible teaches about the issues we will be deciding in that voting booth. We also need to know how the American government and political system works. If we do not learn these things for ourselves, then we will never be more than pawns being manipulated by the people who we let tell us what to think.
As Jesus famously taught,
“If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
A Vision for America
When you vote on November 8, 2016, you are voting for what kind of country you want to live in. It is not a choice between the Democratic and Republican vision for America. As we’ve seen in the previous posts in this series, leading Republicans throughout the party have disavowed Donald Trump for standing against the core values and principles of the party. It is a choice between the Democratic vision for America and Donald Trump’s vision for America.
Donald Trump’s Vision for America
People have often said about Trump that “He is just saying the things we are thinking but don’t want to say.” Is that really true? Do you want that to be true? The things Donald Trump says are not the things I grew up being taught Americans believe in.
If we just listen to the actual words he has repeatedly spoken, we can see a picture of the vision Donald Trump has for America. When you go into the voting booth this November, you must ask yourself, what kind of country do you want to live in? Donald Trump has told us over and over again the kind of America he wants to live in. History is watching as we decide if that is the kind of America we will let ourselves become?
We must ask ourselves, “Is this the vision we want for America?”
- Do we want our children to grow up in a country where they learn to degrade women for their looks, make fun of the disabled, paint people of color with the most degrading racial stereotypes, and attack anyone who disagrees with them by making fun of them and calling them insulting names?
- Do we want to live in a country that turns our back on war-torn refugees who need our help and shuts the door to a fifth of the world’s people because they are of a different religion?
- Do we want to live in a country where the president encourages his supporters to beat up people who protest at his rallies?
- Do we want to live in a country where waterboarding isn’t strong enough, we need to use even worse forms of torture?
- Do we want to live in a country that does not only arrest our enemies but we go into their countries and kill their families?
- Do we want to live in a country where the president controls the press so it only reports things that are flattering to him?
- Do we want to live in a country where the president can ignore the Congress and the Courts if they disagree with him?
- Do we want to live in a country where we admire dictators like Saddam Hussein for committing genocide against thousands of his own people and call it being “strong on terrorism?”
- Do we want to live in a country where we admire an ex-KGB Director like Vladimir Putin for being “a strong leader” while he is in the process of invading a neighboring country?
- The list goes on and on….
There are countries like this in the world. The United States has never been one of them. Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he wants to turn the United States into one of these countries. We really should believe him.
A Christian Vision for America
As Christians, we should want to live in a country that reflects the biblical values we cherish. As Americans, we should want to live in a country that embodies the best of what we have set out to be in this Great American Experiment.
My hope in writing this series is that you will be equipped to craft your own vision for America, based on Christian values and American ideals. Then take that vision with you into the voting booth.
Here are a few of my personal hopes and dreams that I will take with me into the voting booth:
- I want to live in a country that shines as a beacon to the world and lives up to the creed we have enshrined at the base of the Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
- I want to live in a country that lives up to the promise of our Declaration of Independence, where all have their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness equally protected under our laws, courts and criminal justice system
- I want to live in a country with a strong constitutional government that both defends the individual liberties of the people and stands as an umpire on behalf of those people who are too weak, poor or vulnerable to defend themselves
- I want to live in a country where we take care of the poor, single mothers and their children and show kindness to immigrants
- I want to live in a country where if someone spends a lifetime working hard for 40 or 50 hours a week, they are able to feed their family, have healthcare and look forward to a secure old age
- I want to live in a country where nobody lives in fear of the police or their neighbors just because of the color of their skin or their religion
- I want to live in a country where we are one people united with a vision to be a light to the world, even though we are diverse in our backgrounds and beliefs
- I want to live in a country where we are all happy to chip in and help each other and not divide into enemy camps who are suspicious of the “others” and afraid they are going to “take what is mine”
These are some of the hopes and dreams I have as an American and a Christian going to the voting booth in November. I encourage you to study scripture and study our history as a nation and make your own list.
When you go into that voting booth, vote with a vision for our future.
Day 10: America is Great Because America is Good
Day 9: Nine Biblical Principles in Public Policy
Day 8: Two Things Americans Should Never Do
Day 7: Ten Key Issues in American Politics
Day 6: Which Side Should Christians Take?
Day 5: Of the People, By the People, For the People
Day 4: Which Policies are Most Biblical?
Day 3: Clinton vs. Trump in 2016
Day 2: A Vision for America
Day 1: My American Story
Election Day: VOTE!