A few days ago, I posted on Facebook an item about voting. I listed several candidates and why the ads say I shouldn’t vote for them, and then stated that I hope I will vote based on what I know from the actual candidates themselves. There were a few comments, but one caught my attention that had me thinking.
A friend, after a few unspecific comments, said he’d be basing his vote on the values in the Bible.
I didn’t know how to take this. Was he taking a shot at me, saying my ponderings wouldn’t or couldn’t be based on the Bible because I didn’t say so? After all, we have had arguments before about politics and how our thoughts on Christianity affected our opinions. Should I consider him arrogant for flying the flag of his beliefs like that?
And so, no. I decided to not worry about the answers to those questions at all . . . and to perhaps reflect on how my faith journey affects my opinions – voting and otherwise.
I was raised under the Lutheran traditions of Christianity. I was baptized, attended Sunday School, and was confirmed (as were my sisters) in the same church where my parents were married and buried. In my high school years, I was active in the church youth group, as well as active in a non-denominational Christian group. Then off to a Lutheran college of good standing, and then into a career where I joined a Lutheran church in the community.
In those years, I have learned the Lutheran faith, and have learned and accepted that whole “Jesus is my personal lord” concept. All of it has had its share of influence on my life.
I also have to let it be known that I believe God made me with a good body and brain, both of which are amazing in so many ways. If that is true, then should this also be true?
I believe God created us to learn – to apply that learning, to grow in our thoughts. Being around the word of God all my life, it is logical to say that my life has been influenced. In much the same way I live as my parents taught me (you can bet my wife sees my parents in some of the things I do around our house – just ask her), my Christian experiences are deep within my being. My parents taught me certain ways to act, certain ways to do things, a certain set of values … I find myself following their influence pretty much automatically.
The same, therefore, can be said about my experience in the Christian way of thoughts and beliefs. These thoughts and beliefs come automatically, just like my parents’ influences.
So when I vote, do I need to get on my knees and pray about how to vote?
My answer to that: I can trust that God has taught me quite well. I do need to keep in touch, and I do need to recognize that I still blow decisions more than I care to admit, but I can also trust that God has done a pretty good job on me – for which I am as thankful as I am that my parents did a good job – and with what HE and they have taught me and have given me, I can make my own personal decision in the voting booth.
And there’s a key word… its personal. What I do works for me, what you do works for you – Whether you believe in a divine being or not, you have your own set of experiences that have built you into who you are.
See you at the voting booth on Tuesday.