Voices: Not voting is voting

(Photo: Erik Hersman / CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)

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I am writing in response to Peggy Wehmeyer’s article, “Voting my conscience in this election may mean staying home.” Wehmeyer’s article suggests to me she is uninformed about the issues at stake in this election. If she were informed, I believe her conscience as a Christian would not allow her to waste her vote by sitting out this election.

Not voting is voting, because by not voting, a vote is given to the other side.

I became involved in politics 28 years ago because of my Christianity. I served as a Republican county chairman in Tarrant County and was a volunteer lobbyist on conservative issues for Texas Eagle Forum during Texas’ legislative sessions from 1995–2017. I still serve as a precinct chair.

Wehmeyer needs to put aside her obvious dislike of our president—calling him a liar and a narcissist—and stick to examining the issues.

Every U.S. citizen should know what they believe and then vote for the candidate who reflects those values most. It is much easier trying to influence the vote of an elected official with similar values than to influence someone with totally different values.

The two most important issues when voting

We as Christians should have a firm grasp on what we believe, because our beliefs are based on the Bible and what it teaches. Christians can disagree on some issues, but other issues are so black and white they should be obvious.

I believe the two most important issues when voting are belief in the God of the Bible and the sanctity of human life.

Believe in the God of the Bible

Christians should look for candidates who are believers or who, at least, are open to the things of the God of the Bible.

Any candidate who loves God will love this country and understand its unique history. Our forefathers came to this land looking for religious freedom. Ultimately, our constitution and Bill of Rights were written based on their belief in one sovereign Creator.

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Our forefathers realized an individual’s rights come from God, not from government. They created a constitutional republic—a government of elected individuals who represent every citizen and who exercise the rule of law with a constitution.

Elected officials who understand the things of God almost always will be on the right side of other issues—no lobbying necessary.

Yet there are some candidates who base their beliefs on false gods or just the supposed goodness of humanity. They don’t have the firm foundation of the Bible underpinning their belief system. It follows, then, that many of these candidates are self-proclaimed socialists and would completely change our form of government by rewriting our Constitution.

Also, many of these same candidates and elected officials turn a blind eye to the violent rioting, looting and murder now going on in some U.S. cities. They are ignoring the rule of law by ignoring these acts.

Sanctity of human life

Christians should be looking for candidates who are pro-life, who abhor abortion because the Bible tells us life begins at conception.

“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. …
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:13, 15-16 ESV).

Yet many candidates in today’s culture would keep abortion legal through the ninth month and even allow a baby to die who might have survived an abortion. I believe this to be the most divisive issue in our country today.

Turn out to vote

If Christians would turn out to vote and select candidates just based on the two criteria above, this nation could return to the country our founding fathers envisioned. But so many Christians think politics is dirty; so, they choose to hide their heads in the sand.

The Bible tells us: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior …” (1 Timothy 2:1-3 ESV).

Also: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1 ESV).

President Reagan once wisely said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Not voting is voting, many times for the ungodly.

Pat Carlson is a member of Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth. The views expressed are those solely of the author.

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