The commentators and pundits are still trying to explain what happened Tuesday (I’ve yet to listen to any of them!). About half of Americans are celebrating while the other half are discouraged. Some feel like things are hopeless for America and that we are doomed, while others feel that President Obama will lead America to new heights.
I fall somewhere in between. I had a very definite opinion of who I thought should be elected president based on how I weighed the issues informed by Scripture. Some of my thoughts on that can be found in my other posts like “Is murder OK as long as my taxes are lower?” and “What about the 3rd-party candidates” so I won’t go much into that here. I would like to share what I think I see in the results of the balloting on Tuesday and the Exit Polls.
It was interesting to note from the Exit Polls from Tuesday that the more often one attended worship services, the more likely they were to vote for Governor Romney. This suggests that perhaps because they attended church more often they heard from their pastor, Religious Education teacher or some other leader about the issues and what the Bible says about them so they knew how to vote. Maybe though, the fact that they attended worship services more often is indicative of their deeper commitment to their faith which caused them to vote according to the Biblical teaching on the issues and therefore the candidate who best support them.
This result was true for Roman Catholics, as well. I believe that they had more of an incentive, and likely had more specific instructions from their priests, because of the current threat to religious liberty in how “Obamacare” is attempting to force them to provide contraception and abortifacients when acting as an employer, contrary to their religious beliefs.
Another interesting note from the Exit Polls was the high percentage of women who voted for President Obama. 55% of all women voted for President Obama compared to 44% for Governor Romney. This increases to 75% for Latino women and 96% for black women while he still received 43% of the vote from white women. I know that a lot of the campaign advertising late in the campaign portrayed Governor Romney as “dangerous for woman’s health” so I’m interpreting much of the women’s vote as a vote for abortion-rights, though I realize that there are many other issues that concern women and abortion-rights is just one of them. Of all of these women, do none of them believe in the sanctity of life or are all of them more concerned about being able to kill their unborn babies if they get pregnant?
Something else that the Exit Polls revealed is that 93% of blacks voted for President Obama. I think this is the highest percentage of any of the results of the Exit Poll. This is regardless of their age (though it drops to 91% for black males between 18-29), gender, religion, income level, family status, education level, anything! I don’t want to be accused of being racist–because I’m certainly not, but how could this 93% be, except that it is because President Obama is black. I find it hard to believe that 93% of the blacks in America are in agreement with all of President Obama’s philosophies. Do none of these 93% believe that abortion is wrong? Don’t any of them believe that homosexuality is immoral and dangerous for society? Are none of them concerned about their religious freedoms?
I think another of the statistics from the Exit Polls reveals more in relation to the “black” vote. The candidate quality that matters most to those who selected the President, at 82%, is “cares about people like me.” I believe that since President Obama shares skin color with the 93% of the black Americans who voted for him, there is an identification, the “like me” that brings a feeling of, “he knows what I go through, he knows where I’m at, he cares about me.”
I’m not necessarily saying that this is bad, I’m just saying that to vote for someone because you identify with his skin color and feel a commonality that may bring an understanding of shared experience to bear on policy to the exclusion of Biblical values on things like the sanctity of life or immoral marriage relationships should be called into question.
Now, I realize that many of the 93% of blacks who voted for President Obama may very well have agreed with all of his policies and stands on the issues, or at least enough that they felt that a vote for President Obama was their best option. I get that. My question is more about those black voters who have strong Christian convictions on such things as abortion and homosexual behavior, who instead voted for President Obama.
The flip side of my argument is also true, however. It would be wrong for someone who is white to have voted for Governor Romney just because he is white or to have not voted for President Obama just because he is black, which doesn’t seem to have been the case since 40% of whites voted for President Obama compared to just 58% for Governor Romney. Whether black or white, it is important that the issues, the priorities, the philosophies of the candidates and their parties are seriously considered and weighed against the Bible and God’s will and placed above any concern for, or even serious recognition of, one’s skin color or ethnicity.
In other election results from Tuesday, same-sex marriage became legal in Washington, Maine and Maryland. This is the first time that this has been done by a vote by the people instead of by the legislature forcing it on its population or the court declaring it to be so. And it appears that a measure in Minnesota to amend their constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman has been defeated, though gay marriage is still illegal under Minnesota law. What’s more, in Colorado and Washington, marijuana use for any reason became legal, and Wisconsin elected the United States’ first openly homosexual Senator.
The big question that I have about all of this is, “where were the Christians?”
According to recent research by the Pew Research Center, 73% of Americans identify themselves as “Christian.” The same research reveals that only 48% say that they are “Protestant” with only 19% being “White Evangelical” (can’t find a column for “Black Evangelical,” it seems like there should be some) and 22% identified themselves as Roman Catholic. Throw in the “White Mainline” (15%), “Mormons” (2%), “Orthodox” (1%), “Black Protestant” (8%) and “Other Minority Protestant” (6%) and we have our 73% Christian. This doesn’t even take into account the 6% “Other Faiths” and the 19.6% “Unaffiliated” which includes atheists, agnostics and “nothing in particular” who at least some of which would be sympathetic to some of the same issues that Christians are concerned about. I point out these numbers to suggest that the elections should have looked differently on Tuesday if biblical teachings held any place of prominence in the lives of American Christians.
So where were these 73% (+/-) on election day? I know that many of that number can be eliminated since they are part of mainline or other denominations who have a more accepting view of many of these issues. But are there not enough Christians who believe what the Bible says, to defeat or at least slow, the forward stride of these issues that are at variance with the Bible?
Perhaps not. Perhaps the number of Christians who believe and accept the Bible as God’s Word for our life today is diminishing, as is reflected in the above mentioned research (this is the 1st time Protestants have dipped below 50% in U.S. history!). Perhaps Bible-believing Christians are becoming a very clear minority. Perhaps they will soon not even be a sizable enough voting block to be recognized by the parties or candidates.
If this is the case, the future of America is very dire, indeed. If there are not enough Christians to prevent the spread of abortion, perverted marriages, illicit drug use and other evils that are proven to destroy families and societies, then the United States is destined to become merely a footnote in history. Christian Americans are likely to live as a minority in an increasingly hostile culture with open persecution of Christians not far behind.
I don’t know if things are hopeless yet, or not. I do believe however, that more education of Christians as to the importance of their vote as well as the direction of their vote is essential. I believe that “strategic alliances” may need to be engaged in to move toward the defeat of commonly opposed issues. More than anything, though, I believe that Christians need to pray more than they ever have. They need to pray for their leaders and decision makers. They need to pray for their communities and their country. They need to pray that God will change hearts and minds.
But in addition to praying, we need to get out there, we need to “go.” I believe that more effective than legislation on moral behavior is evangelism. If we win our communities for Christ they won’t want to engage in immorality or sin. If we enable God’s movement in our communities and allow Him to work in us and through us to bring about revival in our land, the issues will become less of an issue.
Richard Stearns, President of World Vision, in an opinion blog on The Huffington Post website put it this way:
. . . we need to go back to the basics of living as disciples of Christ, living missionally for Christ and demonstrating the Gospel in tangible ways within our schools, workplaces and communities. . . the fight over symbolic issues is backfiring, alienating people from the truths of the gospel rather than attracting them to it. The kind of Christianity the world responds to is the authentic “love your neighbor” kind. Its appeal can’t be legislated through court battles and neither can courts stop its spread.
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that we need to work through our government and legislators to limit immoral behavior like abortions, homosexual marriage, drug use, neglect of the oppressed, and the like. But as we engage the government, we need to engage our communities empowered by the Holy Spirit and moved by the needs we find around us. We need to work from the ground up and from the inside, out to change our country. We need to start with ourselves, yield ourselves to God and His use. Then we need to change our communities through engagement, evangelism and compassion. As our communities are won, our counties will follow, then our states, then our country!
As Winston Churchill said when England was embroiled in World War Two, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.” He went on to urge:
Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days–the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race (29 Oct 1941 at Harrow School).
Let me now borrow Churchill’s words: never give in, never, never, never, never! God is able to work in our country in greater ways than we can imagine. He is able to use us, as we are willing and allow Him, to change our communities into God-fearing communities! He is able to use this growing army of Christians, young and old, to continue the flow of salvation and compassion until one day, we will be able to tell our grandchildren, “yes, I do remember those days when it seemed all was lost; those days before the great revival swept our land!”
Perhaps I’m being too hard on Christians. The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) president, Mark Tooley recently said:
“Despite hopes for liberal inroads among church groups, especially evangelicals, it appears that evangelicals and traditional Catholics voted strongly along conservative lines. Undoubtedly they were motivated at least partly by issues such as marriage, abortion and religious freedom, especially the HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate on religious groups.
“Whatever the reasons for the election’s final result, it seemingly is not due to lack of active concern from tens of millions of evangelicals and traditional Catholics.”
So to these “tens of millions of evangelicals and traditional Catholics” I am very grateful for the way you voted. Thank you!
(The press release this quote came from can be found at: http://www.theird.org/media-center/press-releases/press-12-11-07-evangelicals-and-church-going-catholic-voters-favor-romney-by-wide-margins )
I’d like to share a letter by Russell D. Moore which I shared on FaceBook. Our response to President Obama, as Christians, is critical!
Read it here: http://www.russellmoore.com/2012/11/07/christians-lets-honor-the-president/
(Dr. Moore is Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also serves as Professor of Christian Theology and Ethics)
I encourage you to read the entire blog by World Vision president Richard Stearns. It goes along with what I say above. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-stearns/goodbye-christian-america-hello-true-christianity_b_2082649.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false
Daryl, this is very good. This is Russ. I need to go back and read it again.
This is awesome nephew…….I could not be prouder of you!!!!!!~ Cheryl
In the last paragraph you are giving hope to the United States of America to change things and become what the current president says we are not….a Christian nation….I am so worried the united states will not have a chance since HE has decided not to back Isreal like we should……..I could be wrong……
To help answer your question: “where were the Christians?” check out the article here http://sojo.net/magazine/2008/11/meaning-life
I am an evangelical white republican. I just feel there are more than one or two issues involved in my choice of candidate. While abortion.is important to me, I must also consider the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, local and global poverty and human rights.
From the article: For instance, a self-described anti-abortion evangelical commenting on “Jesus Creed,” a leading blog of the emergent church, wrote that policies that fight poverty, work for health-care justice, and generally improve economic conditions for poor and working-class people will likely result in the number of abortions decreasing much more than under an administration that simply declares itself opposed to Roe vs. Wade—and thus supporting the former initiatives should arguably be considered more “pro-life” than the latter.
“God is always on the side of the marginalized, the people who are the weakest and poorest. That includes the unborn and their mothers, but it also includes people who lack health insurance and folks who can’t find jobs in a global economy. It includes children and women who are being trafficked into sex slavery, and it includes the people of Darfur”
You also ask “…are there not enough Christians who believe what the Bible says…?” I sincerely try to follow what the Bible says. I can’t ignore the 2000+ versus where God demands justice for the widows and the orphans, the poor and the disadvantaged. The versus where God condemns greed and power-oriented oppression and marginalization and institutional hypocrisy that remains arrogantly insensitive to the real needs of real people. Yes, where are the Christians?
Romney was not an option.
You are absolutely right! We must be concerned about all of those other things-and do something about them. As Christians, we need to be concerned about what God is concerned about (see my post “The Mission of God for the People of God).
But my point here is primarily that we need to “weigh” the priorities and issues and while all of the issues are important, the number of lives lost to abortion is greater than those actually lost to the other issues, so abortion should rank higher than the others–while still being important (see my post “Is murder OK as long as my taxes are lower”). Working toward the other issues you mentioned which will help reduce the number of abortions makes sense. Though I would contend that more abortions are for convenience rather than necessity.
You make many good points, however. Thank you for your comments!
If you think Romney was planning to do anything about abortion, you have been deceived. Do you know that Romneycare cover abortion with taypayer money? Do you know he was all for gay agenda and even wrote a letter to the gay communities expressing his support? During every election abortion is on the plateform, after they forget about it. Are you going to be fool year after year with the same lies?
Here is something to read:
The president can not repeal abortion which became a law through the Supreme Court when Obama was 10 :(… Nixion (R) was the president, Republican ruled the SC, House and Senator. Even if he repeal it and made abortion illegal, it will not reduce abortion, it will just become unsafe and produce more death to confused women. The best way to figth abortion is to reduce unwanted pregnancies and that can be done through free and available contraceptions. President’s policies reduces abortion…
Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it!
I don’t see the history that supports your contention that Republicans forget about their platform once elected, it just takes time and a majority of votes in House & Senate which slows things way down!
I realize that Governor Romney has had to compromise (in the political sense) to accomplish the bigger picture in government. Still, this was as governor. As a national candidate, with the national platform, it would be less likely that he would stray from the platform. Even if you see it otherwise, there is still a greater chance of abortions being limited by a Republican who has a platform opposing abortion than a Democrat whose platform clearly supports abortion.
Actually, previous laws (such as those pertaining to abortion) could be repealed, though admittedly that would be difficult and unlikely. A candidate/party who opposes abortion, however, could limit funding and access to abortion (both domestically & internationally) which would, in fact, reduce the number of abortions and lives lost.
I agree to a point that there are other (I would say, additional) ways to reduce abortions, including the contraception you mention, as well as additional help to the poor and oppressed. But I think that it is a both-and proposition and not an either-or one. With over 57 million abortions since Roe v Wade, legally limiting abortion is also necessary.
Good article, well written. Show me a conservative republican candidate who cares about those who are poor, down and out, unable to help themselves, elderly, in trouble and so on; show me a conservative republican candidate who is willing to care about immigrants who have worked to establish a life in the greatest country in the world and have children who were born in this country; show me a conservative republican candidate who cares about the working man as much as the CEO’s whom the working man has made rich; show me one who respects women. That is the conservative republican candidate I can and will vote for. I believe in my Lord Jesus Christ, who is my Lord and Savior. I respect your beliefs Daryl, and you do well to stand up for them. However, I do not agree 100%. Love you, Aunt Donna.
Thanks for your comment!
I wish there was such a candidate! One of my current struggles is what you describe. There are so many issues that we, as Christians, need to be concerned about, unfortunately, one candidate or one party does not espouse them all. So I think that we have to “weigh” the issues (which I’ve wrote about ad nauseam!).
While I’m still considering the options (I’m sure the world is waiting for my conclusions!), my preliminary thoughts (and these aren’t new) are that there are some things that the government is responsible for and some things that the Church is responsible for, many of which the Church has forfeited in years past. There needs to be a balance between the Church and the government in response to the issues. I think that this was what President Bush (W.) was seeking to arrive at with his “Faith-based Initiatives.” While I don’t think that worked out well, I believe he was on the right track.
Bottom line, though, the Church has got to do more. I (underlined, italicized, bold print), I have got to do more!
There is another issue I forgot to mention previously. The conservative republican I can vote for will support Israel, but will not allow Israel to lead us into war with Iran. I will never believe that war is God’s will, unless we are being attacked.
I hear you again. Support of Israel is important. Patience in waging war is important. Though I do believe there are times when a preemptive attack would save more lives than waiting for them to attack us or our allies. But even then, the evidence has to be clear and abundant. I also believe there are times for “just war” in the defense of the oppressed, as our neighbor in need. But I’ll save that for another post! 🙂
Who are we to decide which is the weightier issue, and should we concern ourselves with only one? Abortion has become a political tool, for a party that does not usually care about helping the lower levels of society, or the problems of struggling humanity. I just cannot look upon abortion as a political issue. It is a women’s issue of morality, one that a woman must decide within her heart and soul (do I want to destroy the beginnings of a human life). I cringe to think of politicians trying to get elected to office over this issue. IMHO
I understand what you are saying and it may be that some use it as a political tool but I do believe that for some it is a deeply held belief. However, it shouldn’t be the only issue they’re concerned with.
I would argue that they don’t “usually care about helping the lower levels of society, or the problems of struggling humanity.” I think that personally, many do care but differ in the best way to address it in addition to having a different order of priority.
Who are we to decide? You’re right, making that decision does seem presumptuous, but I believe that we can be guided by Scripture, though, and have a great deal of understanding about what God values as the weightier issues.
I realize, though, that good people, good Christians, will understand and apply Scripture differently, coming up with a different order of priority. I choose to view the actual taking of life (abortion) as weightier than other issues that primarily concern the quality of life–though still extremely important (see my post “The Mission of God for the People of God).
I think that if I was a legislator, I would probably leave Roe v Wade alone, let women choose to do what they want with the life within them, but not allow any federal funding of abortion or of agencies who perform abortion both nationally and internationally including not allowing coverage by medicaid or allowing abortions at federal medical facilities or by federally employed doctors (since that would be funding). But, I’m not a legislator!
Thanks again for your comments, I appreciate the feedback and opinion!
I am a Canadian and am presently teaching Old Testament theology in a university setting. I confess I do not fully unerstand the passion behind partisan American politics what stood out to me in the post exit results was the sober reflection that while those who attended church more frequently voted the same way as those who were in the hightest income earning bracket. In other words, it would appear the more one attended church the least likely they were to identify with the poor. This is not meant as a criticism of the party in question, it is more an indictment about the state of the church in affluent North America of which I include myself.
It is also the very issue which fuels the prophets in the Old Testament.
That is an interesting correlation you make. The question is: if, in fact, the “church goers” are also the ones in the highest income bracket. Certainly there would be some overlap and certainly your suggestion of the Church’s neglect of the poor is accurate (sadly!).
We need to be more broadly focused, but as noted in a comment above, one candidate or one party does not address all the issues. The Church needs to be more active in many of the issues.
Thanks for your comment!
Dear Nephew Daryl, I am very impressed at your knowledge and finesse as you write…. I so believe that the government of our forefathers was based on their belief in a Christian nation…..They came here for that …..Where’d that go?….and aren’t we christians supposed to vote and stand up for what It so far says on our money…? IN GOD WE TRUST!!!!!
Yes, if not our forefathers, at least their forefathers came to the American continent with the intent of a Christian community & eventually country.
Where has that gone? Being tolerant of other religions and no religions at all (which is a good thing) has caused our population to grow to the point that Christians have become a minority; no longer able to sustain the “Christian Nation” status.
Yet, we Christians are certainly supposed to vote and stand up for God and what He values!
Thanks for our comments.
Grandma Weiterschan/Newkirk….Mom’s parents ( germans) did come over on the boat that recently….And I do not see an answer for our country except for the rapture .I know I can be wrong but ..I do believe GOD can and will do what he has planned!!..And I can be wrong….But….I’m sorry. I do not see this country ever getting any better….If people and governments should have learned any thing from history, it should have been this…Isn’t that why we had to learn history in school? .I think it is our job to give our testimony to all. No, I do not believe in a date cuz not even our Savior is knowing when……but our country is now headed by a man who does not have a clue about the Bible, saying we are no longer a Christian nation, with the country practicing beliefs which the bible has written for thousands of years was sinful nor the fact that we should back Isreal and this is a first..I believe. I hope I’m wrong. I have a friend from church camp…..yeah we had ’em back then,.. long time ago we had them even then…..Randall Eigsti, who has written a couple book s….One is FROM NOW TO ETERNITY. he also has an internet site…Sixthdayministry, and a blog…..Truthfrom the Book….and stuff on youtube if you look up his name….He has helped and challenged me in my faith…check him out….I have sent him some of your stuff also. I’m still praying for our nation, and you and him in my journey to Please Our Master….to prepare me for the mansion he might be working on for me in heaven……I pray In the name of the LORD JESUS CHRIST! God Bless you and yours. Daryl, please pray for me because I am struggling also as I’m aware a number of God fearing people are.
African American did not vote for President Obama because he is Black, we have been voting Democrat since the Civil Right Movement. Republican policies don’t include us… We because President Obama is the best man for the job.. Romney don’t care about the poor and 47% of American..
You talk about voting Biblically, is it ok to vote for a Mormom high priest? Romney isn’t a layperson in the LDS church, he have been ordained as a priest.
Do you know anything about the Whit Horse Prophecy?
Again, thank you for your comment!
As for the black vote, I’m just looking at the numbers and speculating. I acknowledged that the black vote could be because of their agreement with President Obama’s policies. But, while blacks generally vote Democrat, as you say, it has never been as high as for President Obama since at least before 1972. The closest years were 1984 & 2000, which were 90% each. The other years were in the 80’s %. Not significant but still a bump when a black candidate ran.
While Democrats have different ways of accomplishing things, that doesn’t mean they don’t care about “the 47%.”
As for Governor Romney being Mormon, even a high priest, I don’t believe that would have an impact on public policy. As just one branch of the government, it’s not like the President could make the U.S. a Mormon Country, seat of the Anti-Christ or any other religious or spiritual evil. The fact remains that Mormons, for the most part, are very moral people with high standards and would normally support those issues that Christians view as “biblical issues.”
Thanks again for sharing!
(If you get down this far in the comments!) I encourage you to also read the article, “Post-Election Duties for Christians and Americans” by Mark Tooley, President of Institute on Religion and Democracy. You can find it at: http://www.patheos.com/Evangelical/Post-Election-Duties-Mark-Tooley-11-15-2012
Please make this brief edit. Tammy Baldwin is the first “openly gay” Senator or “openly lesbian” US Senator.
There’s no need to make this change. “Homosexual” describes what she is the same as gay and lesbian.
Please make this brief edit. “marriage equality” or “marriage for gay/lesbian couples”
Again, no need to make this change. “Same-sex marriage” is the best description. It is not about “equality” and to use the word “couples” in a same-sex marriage context taints the word and adds meaning to it that it shouldn’t posses.
Its marriage. I don’t get same-sex groceries, or go to same-sex church.
You can call homosexual activity what you like on your blog. On my blog it’s sin, plain and simple.
I too agree….as the Holy Bible says, it is sin!—-Cheryl