Sunday, October 16, 2016

2016.10.16 None Of The Above?—NOT!

Many people, including some news personnel, like Jim Braude of Greater Boston, whom I admire, are advocating that we the people check or write into our ballot: NONE OF THE ABOVE. 

It sounds good, maybe even true. It also sounds snarky. It sounds like a wasted vote. It sounds whiny. It sounds cowardly. It sounds individualized. It sounds like a way to contribute to the fracturing of our society, already anxious and scared.

If we Americans, whose country is founded on principles of freedom of the best kind, cannot get up the guts or the grit to vote, because we just don’t like either person on the ballot for president, or because we just don’t care about “the facts”, then we deserve what we get: a failed presidential election and a mockery of our freedom. In addition, a vote for a minor third party candidate is a cowardly cop out, contributing nothing.  So VOTE!

I am solidly for Hillary. She is not my best friend. I’m not even sure I like her personality. I don’t care. I do think she is the most qualified person we have ever had run for president. Hillary is a woman, and she therefore represents a step towards our founding idea that all men are created equal and should have equal opportunity, when qualified. "Men" includes "women". The wave of vile misogyny sweeping much of our nation, and accelerated by the media, is a sign that we have lost sight of democracy itself, not to mention decent civilized, yes, Christian behavior.

First Lady Michelle Obama has broken the confines of her traditional role to speak out in horror and pain about this kind of politics, particularly the outrage of  a presidential candidate making public braggadocio of sexually predatory behavior. She asks: Is this a model for our young boys and girls who look up to the leader of their country?  She does what prophets do. She is notable, because frankly there aren’t many honest and courageous prophets speaking out anywhere in any halls of power, including the church, right now. Are we drowning in fear? 

Be brave. Be a citizen. Be an American. Be a good Christian. It’s your duty and privilege as a Christian to exercise your right to vote. We pray weekly for our nation and all nations to work for justice and peace. That means a commitment to our political processes. The kingdom of heaven, founded by Jesus the Christ, is no less political than it is holy. Jesus himself felt the anxiety of hard choices and unpopular politics. But he did not wimp out. He did what he thought was right, in accord with the desires of a loving and just God, and the best for his nation.

What is best for the good of this nation and our neighbors whom we influence and serve?
Vote your conscience based on this spiritual discernment. Think beyond your own disgruntlement. Before you vote, pray for guidance as you would for a beloved who is ill, for our nation is ill right now. And you have an opportunity to make a healing difference. 

NONE OF THE ABOVE is not a vote, it’s a trick. NO VOTE AT ALL is passive cowardice.

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