Here we are in another election year, with the National Elections just around the corner. So, of course, we ought to talk about the “right to vote,” because it’s a big issue today.
Not everything in life can be voted on. Recently, I lost my 95 year-old mother. She went home to be with Jesus on her birthday. If I had been given the privilege of casting my vote upon whether or not she should go, I think I would have agreed, in light of her age and health, with the decision God made! But actually, I didn’t have anything to say about it at all.
But I do live in a nation that gives its citizens the right to vote in elections, without fear or intimidation. And I consider it serious business. I must regretfully add, however, that not everyone exercises such a privilege.
Those who conduct polls regarding voter turn-out are prone to divide the populace according to age, sex, marital status, education, economic conditions and geographical areas. They believe more voters are 30-50 years of age than those in older groups; that the public employees have a higher voter turn-out than among the disadvantaged, the poor, the uneducated, or racial minorities. And they state that our nation is experiencing a time of change in voting habits.
There has been a decline in partisanship. Through the 1960’s, one tended to vote the way their parents voted. Their party loyalty tended to be an inherited one. Today, that is no longer the norm.
The knowledge concerning a candidate’s vote on state or national levels is public property. Many groups freely provide this information. One can learn how a candidate feels about abortion or school prayer; whether or not they are radical on the issue of separation of Church and State, or reads into the constitution the lack of freedom for believers in God.
One can discover a candidate’s feeling on the celebration of the birth of Jesus, our Savior. Do they vote against a manger scene in the town square, or for the omission of Christmas carols in public gatherings and school programs? Would they remove the symbol of a cross from the hill overlooking a town? How does the candidate feel about school-based clinics, or the dispensing of contraceptives as a means of birth control among our youth, or do they think parents hold the responsibility to educate and inform their own children about such things?
If the issues are important, one will make it a point to know the platform of a candidate in this forthcoming election.
Political writer Anthony Downs has said, “Every rational man decides to vote just as he makes all other decisions; if the returns outweigh the costs, he votes; if not, he abstains.” Today, when our freedoms are in jeopardy, there is a great need for everyone who is on the Lord’s side to stand up and be counted. We can do this by exercising the right to vote. Moreover, you must discover how your candidate feels about vital issues and how, in a moment of pressure, he or she would vote.
In our society, there are those who seek to remove any sign of Biblical truth from public life and who are taking steps to secularize our society. The type of society we live in, AND WILL LEAVE TO OUR CHILDREN is at stake. By our lack of interest, or by electing lawmakers who do not value the sanctity of human life and the home, or the biblical mandates for law and order, will we leave them with a society that has no moral standards?
The 1988 local and national elections are critical in the fight for moral integrity in our great land May God help each of us to do what we can. If we fulfill our responsibility, it will be enough. God has raised up many Christian groups who are faithful in keeping us informed, but they cannot win the battle for righteousness without the ballot of every Christian voter.
I’m going to vote! Are you?
(This article originally appeared in the “Letters from Gladys” column in Foursquare Advance magazine, Summer 1988.)