Are You Willing to Vote “None of the Above?”

Are You Willing to Vote “None of the Above?” October 13, 2016
(c) John C O'Keefe - use as you desire
(c) John C O’Keefe – use as you desire

I keep seeing memes asking “How Would Jesus Vote?” or those that say, “Jesus Would Vote [Insert Your Pick of Candidate Here],” which I find senseless. The reality is, we’re not asking who Jesus would vote for, we’re asking who Jesus would vote against. Let’s look at it from three perspectives:

The first perspective is this: Think of this one as the pragmatic perspective; Jesus was born, raised, lived, and died, in the Middle East. Given that, Jesus would not be voting in an American election. Jesus was not concerned with who was in charge of the government, he knew the Divine was in control of everything. When I hear Americans ask “How Would Jesus Vote?” what I’m hearing is “How Would MY American Jesus Vote?” That’s a reality, but the jest of the memes doesn’t escape me. So, that’s the second perspective that needs to be addressed.

The second perspective is this: Think of this one as the copout perspective; Deciding your vote by asking, “How Would Jesus Vote?” is a silly exercise of removing the responsibility from ourselves, and placing it on another. If the person you vote for loses, you would claim “evil” won, and the person who won is not the right selection; after all, YOU voted the way Jesus would’ve voted, others didn’t.

But I have seen it go much deeper. What I also her is, “This is what I think the American Jesus would think about the other candidate.” When we ask “How Would Jesus Vote?” are we asking, “How can I justify my vote, and vilify the other” and this never brings about answering the question, “How Would Jesus Vote?”

The third perspective is this: We can call this the justification perspective; Many of us are limited to one, maybe two, issues. If we can justify that one, or two, issues in our faith, we’ll justify our vote. We see those issues as the only issues Jesus would be concerned about. But to truly place our faith into our choice, we need to place all our whole faith into the whole decision; we need to place the holistic teachings of Jesus into our decision. In our limited perspective we would never vote for [insert candidate] because [insert our views, while claiming they are the views Jesus would hold].

You see, if you’re asking “How Would Jesus Vote?” you need to push aside your views of what it means to be an American Christian, and start viewing the world as one who walks in the teachings of Christ. What you need to do is ask yourself:

Does my candidate speak of love, in love?
Does my candidate speak in terms of peace?
Does my candidate speak in terms of forgiveness?
Does my candidate speak in terms of self-sacrifice?
Does my candidate speak in terms of acceptance?

If you are going to vote your faith, you need to be willing to say “all, or nothing” when it comes to your faith. If you’re seeking to use your faith as a guide to your vote [which is a great thing] you have to be willing to vote “none of the above.

 

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