The worst thing anyone in ministry could do is actually say who they will vote for. You are supposed to always remain politically correct and neutral so as not to offend or alienate anyone.
That's always been easy for me because I'm honestly not on a side... usually. I'm neither conservative or liberal. I'm neither Republican or Democrat. And I have (gasp!) voted on both sides of the ballot. I have strong political opinions, none of which directly align with either party, making each election tricky.
I'm not typically the one to pull someone to a certain side. I am, however, typically the one to challenge someone else who is strongly in one camp... especially when they say that the camp they are in is the most Christian camp.
When I became a Christian at 16, I had two solid years of (well meaning) brainwashing at the church I went toto learn that all Christians should be Republican. I loved this church, they loved me well, and I still love this church with so much affection. However, two decades ago it was the norm to bring only republican candidates up onto the stage and endorse them. I know this is hardly the norm now, even though many pastors still choose to work it into their messages. And, in many ways I get it. The main reasons for them doing this is because they care so much about abortion, wanting desperately to encourage their people to vote pro-life. In doing so, they inferred or, some would even blatantly say, that to choose a pro-choice candidate would be to choose a murderer. Close seconds include that our world would fall apart with all the gays that could marry. Our money would be taken away in taxes and given to lazy people who take advantage of welfare. Our guns, our only way to protect ourselves, will be taken away (a serious issue in Texas). And most important of all, we must, we must vote Republican because we need conservative judges in the Supreme Court.
I'm about to say something that will offend some, and shock others. Ready?
Not all Christians are Republican.
I get you. I've been you. I'm not even discrediting your reasons for wanting to be Republican. You have your reasons. But here are a couple of reasons I want you to reconsider your stance in that camp... at least for this year.
Yes, I just wrote that on my overtly Christian blog. I hope it shocked you. I hope it offended you.
Because I'm offended by the words Donald Trump, an actual Presidential nominee, used when talking about a woman.
I have to mute the TV when there is any news report now about our potential future President of the United States. My 3 daughters could have this as the President they grow up under.
And some of you are OK voting for him.
Can you look my daughters in the eye and say:
"Karis (my 6-year-old), I have to vote for a man who boasts about grabbing women by the 'pussy' and talks in sexually degrading ways about many women because we need a conservative Supreme Court Justice. He apologized for the pussy word. It's just how guys talk in locker rooms. I don't like it but boys will be boys."
"Moriah (my 3-year-old), I know you'll understand that I had to vote for a man who argues, interrupts, mocks, and insults anyone who challenges him, because I can't have two men getting married. Sweet girl, you should respect people because we need to be kind, I know you'll go to time out for interrupting and name calling, but this future President is going to keep women from marrying other women. That's more important."
"Chandler (my 15-month-old), surely you understand that I have to vote for a man who attacks so many who are unlike Him (refugees, overweight people, mentally challenged, minorities, muslims,... we could go on for a very long time) even though I teach you about love in Sunday School, because we can't have Obama Care. ObamaCare is Satan Care. We are going to bankrupt everyone if we don't get a republican, a conservative in office. Do you know how much my deductibles went up this year, Chandler? Yes, we are going to read about the Good Samaritan and loving your neighbor, and you should. But if it makes you lose money to love a neighbor, well, it's OK not to love them. Money is more important. Security is literally Trump."
Or what about your daughter, sister, or wife? Can you say this to them:
"I have to vote for a man who hasn't paid taxes in, likely 20 years, because He knows how to correct the corrupt of the world. He's taken advantage of things, as any smart businessman would, so I really believe he will fix them. Even though he has only ever done what's best for his business and his family's profitability, I believe this time he wants what's best for everyone else. So I'm going to support a man who wants to bring back extreme forms of torture."
THIS IS NOT OK. It's not. It's just not.
(I know, you think Hillary is just as evil. You cheered when Trump promised to put her in jail. She's such a crook that Hillary. Bill has said far worse things. Good thing he isn't running for President again. I know, you think she is weak because her husband was a pervert and couldn't keep it in his pants. Let's stop judging her for staying in a marriage that we know very little about. His indiscretions don't speak less of her. Regardless, this is not a Hillary endorsement, so we will move on.)
So now look into the eyes of women who have been sexually abused, that would be 1 in 5 women. Think how many women today you might have encountered that have been sexually abused. 1 in 5.
As someone very tender to this topic, I wanted to vomit when Trump paraded those past accusers of President Clinton into the room. It was irrelevant. It was horrible. Trump will do ANYTHING to shame others. Anything. He brings victims into this space. Using their pain for his gain.
Tell ANY woman that has been sexually abused and told that the deplorable words they've been told are just the way men talk, simply "locker room banter." Tell them why you must vote Trump. Boys will just be boys after all .
I tell you what, my MAN would never, never say anything like that. Never.
Did you watch last night's debate? If not, go watch it.
I don't care if you like Hillary. I don't care if you vote for her. (Like I've said, this isn't a Hillary endorsement.)
Christian, please do not vote for Trump. Please.
It's not OK.
I can't remember the question exactly, but it was essentially asking, "How could you be a president for all people." Trump was asked this question by a black man, and for the first time in the night he actually tried to answer the question asked. You know how he responded? He started talking about inner city issues. I'm sorry, but when did all black people move to the inner city?
It's not OK. Our potential future President is not in touch with reality.
Racisim isn't OK, Christian. We cannot think less of one culture just because it's different than ours.
Small town white people, "those Mexicans" aren't causing trouble in your town and making everything trashy. You've thought it. You avoid the stores you know you'll run into them at. You think you are better. You wouldn't say it, but you think it.
Uppity white people, every black person isn't in a gang. They aren't going to hurt you. Relax. Let go of that death grip you have on your purse as that black man passes you on the street.
On-the-go traveler, just because that man wears a turban or that woman has a head covering, doesn't mean there is a bomb under their clothes. You don't have to stare at them with fear as they board the same plane as you. They see it in your eyes. Your thoughts are not hidden from them. Their satchel has papers and a laptop in it. That's all.
It's not OK. Christian, this is racisim.
As a former communications and public relations girl, I totally dig debates. They are my favorite. I also feel like we should all know they aren't real. Not one part of them is real. Not a single interview you see on TV is real. None of it is real. From the color of their tie, to the way they move their hands, to the very specific words they say have been carefully researched and planned. None of it is real. I've spent hours coaching clients for a 2-minute TV interview, so I can only imagine what has gone on behind the scenes here.
So please don't make a decision because they've said something you like during a debate or promised on their website they will do something. It's not real. Nothing is really promised. They aren't actually held to follow through on any of it. You know that right? If they have a half decent team, they are doing and saying whatever they can to get your vote.
So Trump knows right now that he can keep all the Christians by sharing about his very conservative options he has for the Supreme Court. So you'll vote for him because you don't want to consider that abortion laws could get more flexible, or gays could marry, or your money could be taken from you.
When did we start living out of fear?
Christian, when did we become such cowards?
Trump is not your Savior, Jesus is.
I wish I had an answer or a recommendation for you. I don't. I still don't know what I'm going to do just yet.
There aren't just 2 names on that ballot next month. Don't vote straight ticket. It's lazy. There are some truly excellent people that affect our world further down that ballot list. Research every single person.
Your vote does matter. Do you realize that people have died for you to vote? Today, there are people who have died so you can vote. They believe so much in this country that they gave their life today for you and the right to vote that you are seriously planning to neglect. You have time. You need to make time. This matters.
Our vote needs to say something about who we are.
Not just our fear of babies being aborted or gays getting married or liberal supreme court justices happening or giving too many hand outs to the poor or Obamacare or border security or our right to bear arms.
Christian, Donald Trump is not an acceptable choice. He cannot be President.
I'm pro every single life.
I'm pro-fetus life.
I'm pro-corporate scum-life.
I'm pro life.
I love people. I believe we are called to love people.
I also believe a non-Republican candidate, this time, is the most pro-life choice.
(If you are interested in exploring this idea, I highly recommend this post by Rachel Held Evans, even though I don't agree with all her beliefs, this post is fantastic.)
We must not fear, fellow believer. I know it all seems scary. I know you want to move to Canada or Australia. I know you want to just hide under the covers until it's all over. I know you want to get through the next four years until we have better options.
I've been reading through the prophets lately and I've been knocked over today by the number of time the Lord says that to his people. Such a good Father we have! I heard today "Do not fear" is actually the most used command by God or Jesus in the entire Bible.
Fear has no place here.
I'd quote verses, but I don't need to. You've read the Bible, you know it's true. If you don't, go to biblegateway and type in the word fear and just let those verses soak over you. If you feel anxious about this, take it to Jesus. Not in fear, but in surrender.
Our security isn't in man. Our security isn't in this nation.
As I'm writing this I was just told that 11 Christians were just crucified in Syria for not renouncing Jesus. Faith. Detestable situation. Bold faith.
What could happen in our world if we, people who say we follow Jesus, actually started living like Him? If we showed the same bold faith?
What if we broke bread with the "sinners"? What if your table was filled less with your Bible study friends for the tenth time that week and instead had more people who looked less like you. Do you think maybe these "sinners" we like to judge, who feel judged, would maybe listen? Would maybe want to know more about our Jesus. If they didn't see our fear of the future played out on Facebook. If they didn't see our insults fly back and forth on Twitter.
So you are pro-life? Good. Show it by supporting an adoption fundraiser your friends are having. Show it by volunteering and giving to the crisis pregnancy center. Show it by finding ways to provide health care to those with low incomes. We don't like babies being aborted, but we aren't doing ANYTHING to stop the problem. We just don't want them to be able to legally kill babies. Guess what? Then they will do it illegally.
We, Christian, must provide an alternative not just with our laws but with our love!
So you are against same sex marriage? How does it pose a real threat to you for two men to marry? Or what are your thoughts about divorce, because I'm pretty sure there are as many things in the bible about divorce as there are gay marriage. Why has one become accepted and the other ostracized? I'm not saying accept both, I'm saying if you believe marriage should be between a man and a woman and that is the best way, then show it! Have the best marriage. Show the love you have for one another! Show the better way with your love.
There are ways we can support our issues without trying to depend on laws to uphold our beliefs.
Laws don't matter. Not ultimately.
Love matters. Live love. Show love.
We must get past ourselves. We must stop wanting to build walls to protect ourselves and go and find those who we can help.
Yes, you may get taxed more. Who cares?! Really. It's money. Not our treasure. You will be fine. You may have to eat out a little less or not get a new car every 5 years, but you'll be fine. It's just money. We are talking about real lives. Real people.
Let this be our anthem: that we still believe.
Why don't you take some time and play this song. Just pray. With no agenda. Ask God to show you where YOU have fallen away from the things that matter to Him. Ask Him to guide you in this. Surrender the fear. He knows you have it. There is grace. He can handle your concerns. He can handle your questions. Just talk to Him. Press play and then talk to Him. Then listen. Wait. Just listen. Reflect on Him and who He was and is. Ask Him how you can be more like Him.