Why I Vote

There's been a lot of discussion lately on why to or not to vote over at the God's Politics blog. Shane Claiborne is highly skeptical of the practice. Jim Wallis thinks Christians should vote. Bart Campolo sees voting as a responsibility. Marcia Ford thinks voters should seriously consider third parties. An Iraq veteran weighs in with good questions.

And all of this discussion got me thinking- why do I care about voting?  

I vote because I love my neighbor. I listen to all sides of the election, then I try to discern which leader, which vision would benefit my neighbor, the "least of these". There's many, many types of people who fall into that category, so balancing their situations and priorities isn't straightforward- but I am convinced that God shows preference for the poor, marginalized, and downtrodden; the orphan, the widow, and the alien, and I am called to do the same.

I vote as a loving act toward my neighbor.

Why do you vote? (or why don't you?)

Here's part of an election-day prayer Jim Wallis offered up yesterday in his post:
Today we also pray for those who will vote differently than we do, for their own reasons also deeply rooted in faith. And we pray, despite the outcome of the election tomorrow, that we will find the ways to build bridges and work together for the common good of the country we all dwell in. And may our votes tomorrow be guided less by a fear of our neighbor and more by a hope for the future.
I believe other people can vote with their heart, be convicted differently than I am, and still be genuine Christians. I celebrate their right to vote as well. I'll even babysit their kids and give them directions to the polling place, if it means that they can do what they see as a loving, patriotic act. I'm that convinced that God is in control. Even living in this swing state, in such a heated election. What will happen, will happen, God's still in control, all will work together for good, and I will know I've done my part.

What's your prayer today?


Matt said...

I voted mostly to get the sticker.

Okay, that's half true. I voted for the sticker, and to do something to help out my neighbor.

But I'm keeping the sticker. My neighbor can get his own.

Joanna said...

Matt- Glad you brought up voting for the sticker.. There are other free treats you can get for voting today!

Matt said...

I wish I'd known about the free Ben & Jerry's thing before I ate my sticker. Oh well, there's always next year.

James Kubecki said...

I might actually post on the actual post topic later, but Matt, you might be able to get that ice cream, without your sticker, if B&J realizes (as Starbucks did) that their "reward for voting" thing is illegal:


Daniel & Teresa said...

I have a confession to make. I didn't request an overseas ballot. :( I kept meaning to, and when I looked into it I just decided it wasn't worth it. I'd have to fill out an application, mail it (and the mail only goes out once every two weeks), wait for them to look at my application and then mail a ballot back to me (once again, 2 week delay), and then I'd vote and mail it back (another 2 week delay). I didn't know if it'd get in on time, and since I'm from Illinois (no one's even campaigning there), I figured there wasn't much point. However, if I was there right now I would vote anyway. And I am disappointed I can't be there for the elections. But, I will be following the election via internet and praying for peace and unity for our country (though I'm glad to know there's less worry about violence there than the elections here)!


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