Monday, November 06, 2006

American Election Day 2006

Aren’t elections wonderful! Don’t they stimulate us! Don’t they make us think! We have the privilege of helping to choose those who govern us. Democracy, government by the people.

And how interesting! Elections are polls of opinion. We get to see some broad opinions. Yes it is difficult to see the individual opinions, and individual reasoning but the broad sweeps are interesting and instructive.

I hope you’ll excuse me for sounding so wide eyed, but I purposely chose to recapture a sense of awe of what is going on.

This American election seems to have been a multiple referenda:

On the many issues of the war in Iraq
On the content and style of the President Bush
On the American economy
On the environment

It seems that abortion and gay marriage, where there are strong majorities against each, have not been the issues people where most concerned about.

But what about the weightier issues of
fairness of economy for all peoples of the world
social injustice all around the world
helping the poor and dealing with poverty and hunger
drug addiction and the horrors it creates for user and producer countries
and the list goes on. How do we know what is priority?

As Christians we are to be in submission to the laws and rulers of a land. But we are also to live and promote righteousness, that is, we are to promote the values of God. So when we live in democratic countries, we need to promote the values of God. God wants us to act in a loving way toward everyone. He want justice for everyone, helping the down trodden. He wants people have the opportunity to seek him. God’s priorities are found all through the preaching of the prophets, the teaching the Jesus and the writings of his followers.

When we have elections, these must be the guiding lights to be our priorities. Fortunately, we can do much of that in the public arena. But the issues of righteous that involve personal and corporate faith must be lived in communities. Faith is a matter of the heart and not something we can legislate. But the values that come from faith, which are the values of God, can be.

At election times, we need to work hard to help people realize that we are voting our conscience and not forcing faith on people. Faith cannot be forced. Moral values however can be agreed upon and enforced. Elections need to continue to be referenda on values. For it is the values that we put in place that will guide us, and our elected officials, in how to govern a country and a world

And thanks be to God, that we have him to guide us as we sort through the difficult issues of picking elected leaders and the values that govern us.

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