by JR Daeschner
And not for nothing.
As a Christian who happens to be American, you could be forgiven for thinking the choice is between a party bent on killing the unborn or a party bent on making the poor wish they'd never been born.
Who would Jesus vote for?
To make it more difficult, we've been conditioned to believe that not voting is a patriotic sin: we'll be 'wasting our vote,' throwing away the right for which so many people have fought and died.
We rarely hear the Christian counter-argument, though: over the centuries, myriad men and women have sacrificed themselves so that we could be free to pray and read the Bible—enabling us to know God and be known by Him—yet few Americans exercise these far more essential freedoms.
Adding insult to irony, the same political system we're meant to be voting for is now eroding the religious freedom that made it possible in the first place.
Nearly two centuries before the Enlightenment elite congratulated themselves on the Constitution, grassroots Nonconformists were actually building democracy from the ground up in their own congregational church communities in New England.
Today, whether or not you endorse a presidential frontrunner probably falls under the freedom we have in Christ—a question for each of us to ask God.
But far more important than ticking a ballot every couple of years is how we comport ourselves in our daily lives, the external actions that reflect our internal beliefs: how we spend our time and money, behave at work, and treat the poor… what TV, movies, music and books we subject our minds to… and whether we eat to live or live to eat.
In short, the million little votes we cast from day to day.
Living in New England, one of the more bemusing aspects of the campaign is the shock that self-styled progressives in New York profess at the billionaire they helped create.
Had they 'voted' decades ago not to give him the oxygen of publicity, not to patronize his hotels (much less his casinos), and not to promote him as the star of a reality TV show that beamed him into the homes of millions of Americans, well, they might not be faced with the prospect of him being president.
In other words, with their time and money and indulgence, more than a few of his political opponents collaborated in creating their own worst nightmare.
On a more local note, the Connecticut Post traced the corruption of the mayor of Bridgeport back to a night out on the town with that same billionaire in 1994, when he was angling to exploit the poor in Park City with a new casino.
As a Christian, it's not for us to judge the behavior of non-believers, or of those who claim to love the Bible but show no real knowledge of it (say, by calling II Corinthians 'Two Corinthians').
But we are called to be accountable for our own behavior and to be obedient to our Lord.
To get an idea of the impact when Christians try to practice what Christ preached, consider the current pope.
It's astonishing (and more than a little revealing) that in nearly 800 years, no other pontiff has taken as his namesake St. Francis of Assisi, the humble preacher who famously devoted himself to imitating Christ: particularly in his fellowship with the poor and stewardship of God's creation.
And the reaction from the secular world to Francis the First has been remarkable (and even a little shame-inducing if you're a Protestant).
Headline after incredulous headline has documented his departures from the kingly status quo: Here's a pope who lives in the Vatican guesthouse! Who eats with common workers! Who visits a refugee camp and takes some home to live in Rome!
It's like the world. Has never seen. A practicing Christian!
Of course, this isn't to venerate the pope or argue that we should seek the approval of men.
But the headlines do highlight that deep down, the world wants to see Christ.
And we have the chance to show Him to them.
So when it comes to the movies you watch, the magazines you read, the music you listen to—all the different ways you spend the time and money God has given you—who will you vote for?