Voter Registration or Manipulation @ Walmart? (Repost, 10/08)

The following is a re-post from the early days of blogging (October 4, 2008).  This truly was an interesting experience and one that shaped my view of politics in many ways.  Keep in mind that this is prior to the last presidential primary election in 2008…


The other day my wife and I went to Wal-Mart to fill a prescription. We have recently moved to a new apartment. When we saw the booth at the front of the store to register to vote, we knew we better take care of it soon so we didn’t miss out on the election.

When we registered prior to the primaries, we both felt that as followers of Jesus we didn’t fit under the hub of either ‘republican‘ or ‘democrat;’ so we both felt that it was right to become registered ‘independents.’ We respect people, who for their own reasons choose to identify themselves with a party, but for us, we wanted to make sure that we had a voice that would not be categorized by the ‘box’ of either major label.

So, we went the booth where we were greeted by two kind men. Each of them took us as their project to make sure that we would fill out the paper work correctly (side note: we had done this about four months prior so we basically knew how to breeze through). As we were filling stuff out, we learned from the more vocal of the two (the man who was ‘helping’ my wife) that he was a church going man. We obviously have great respect for this as we are both followers of Jesus.

When it came time to identify a political party I immediately made clear that I wanted to be an ‘independent.’ My wife said that she would like to do the same thing, but was a bit less direct than myself (I didn’t want to get into another wasted political conversation about two issues…). On the table my wife noticed that there was an informative sheet of paper that gave the “FACTS” about Republicans in the first column and the Democrats in the second. She asked the man if it would be ok for her to take one, and that is when it got a bit ridiculous…

“Sure you can” he said. “But I can walk you though it really quick. Let me start out by asking you this… How do you feel about killing babies?!!!!!!!

“I am not a big fan of it…” my wife answered.

“Well, the democrats sure are. How about gay marriage. Do you like that?”

“I’m fairly traditional.”

“How about guns, do you think the government should tell us that we can’t have guns. The democrats don’t allow people to own guns even though the constitution clearly gives us this right.”

“I am not a big fan of guns”

It was at this point I was really offended at how ignorantly he was treating my wife and about how he was using his post to manipulate her into being a republican (I know that this would have been to no avail because my wife is not going to be so easily persuaded).

So, I finally turned over to her to show her the line where she needed to write in “independent.” It was at this time that the man got upset and said…

“I am a trained professional! Sir, let me do my job and stay out of this!”

At this point my blood is boiling…

“And I am just trying to look out for my wife!”

“Ok… Ok.”

With this, she finished the form and we left.

It got me to thinking… How pathetic is it that many Christians will resort to utter manipulation to ‘win.’ If someone that is not part of a faith-community were to be in the same situation as my wife and I, how sad would it be if that put them over the edge about whether or not they would give Church a chance? I guess I am just sick of Christians acting like greasy car salesmen with toupee’s and polyester suits!

What are your thoughts?…

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  • It doesn’t surprise me. Most religious people are hypocrites.

    • Ben, I am sorry that this has been your experience. I personally am frustrated at the religious culture in many ways myself. Nevertheless, I am hopefully that Christians will continue to move away from being perceived as hypocrites and rather being know for their love…

  • Richard Wendt

    Unfortunately Kurt far to many are over vocal and undereducated on most issues and like our brother at the registration booth resort to talking points and not debate. I have found that far to often instead of being informed or becoming informed on the issues they would rather resort, as our friend did, to either ad hock or ad hominy attacks. It is also unfortunate that this same behavior is exhibited by many leaders in mainstream Christianity.

  • John

    I wonder if the “church going guy” had ever considered whether or not the Republican Party really gives a crap about the causes of Christ. I’m tired of the church being held hostage by the Republican Party based on 2 issues. Evangelism by legislation does NOT work. In fact, it’s counter productive to what the Kingdom of God really is. The church is at it’s best when it is COUNTER-CULTURE as opposed to when it becomes “the system.”

  • Richard Wendt

    Amen John.

  • mrcrosby

    just vote Republican and be good Americans. If you want to vote Democrat, just move to China and do us all a favor