“Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s” -Matthew 22:21 (NRSV)
Many years ago, religious leaders confronted Jesus about paying taxes. The group wanted to push Jesus into a corner and make him respond to their political provocations. Should they pay taxes? Jesus responded with a shrug. Picking up a coin and showing them the picture of the emperor, Jesus suggests that if it belongs to the emperor then give it back to the emperor.
Throughout this election season, religious leaders paraded candidates for various positions of emperor before their congregations. I suggest that people of faith respond to these manifestations of the political process and others in the same way that Jesus did…with a shrug. Give to the government that which is the government’s, and to God the things that are God’s.
Contrary to the statements of the political prognosticators, this is not the most important election in your lifetime nor will any election held by our government ever be. Whether you vote or not in a government election is a secondary issue, to whether you cast the vote that is your life with the marginalized and oppressed. The danger of voting is forgetting that your life and efforts are required of you all the time. This election cannot change the lives of people for the better. Only you can do that. In the election that is life, I pray that you will cast your ballot with those who need you the most.