I received the latest issue of World Magazine today. Joel Belz has written a thoughtful article titled Doubts about “W”. He interviewed 50 people who have doubts about Bush to see what areas they were concerned about. The article is very good about pointing out a lot of the economic concerns that a lot of conservatives have and does not ignore the “frustrations” that many have with Bush over social and Biblical issues.
I’m not convinced that voting for a third party is the only Biblical thing to do (I’m open to exegetically based reasons), but at times I’m not to sure that Bush is any better than a Democrat on many issues. Belz says that, “Newspaper publisher Warren Smith from Charlotte, N.C., is more optimistic. He thinks George Bush might yet out-Reagan the Reagan revolution, waiting until a second term to show his true conservative colors. ‘Bush wants to go more conservative than he has–that’s his gut and his impulse. But he’s also disciplined and pragmatic–that’s his training and the result of the infrastructure around him.'” I’m not totally sure whether this is true or not. I’m also not sure whether if true if it is actually a good or bad thing.
I ask my friends who lean more toward the vote your conscience position (see Faithful Voting) whether it is ok to strategize when you vote. If a good third party candidate doesn’t have much chance of winning (even if everyone who would be interested in voting for him really did vote for him) then is it necessary to vote for him when the candidate who totally supports abortion and activist judges will likely win?
I have an idea who the right candidate in a ideal world would be. I also believe that we are heading toward that ideal world and will basically arrive there at some point in the future because of the spread of the gospel. Is it necessary to try to get there tomorrow through our vote when there would probably be a popular revolt in four years? I’m not totally convinced one way or the other at the moment, but I am open to Biblically based arguments.
Don’t know how far to go with this, it certainly needs more thought. But, at this point I am willing to make a couple of assertions. First, that Christians who have the providencial blessing of voting ought to stand behind a King who “serves the Lord with godly fear.” How could you do otherwise?
Second, if a Christian believes that Bush is that man and votes for him, the crux of the debate is political: does Bush serve the Lord and rule according to His Word? I am not convinced that he does, so I don’t vote for him. But, the debate is a political one.
Third, to take the most evil candidate that might get elected and vote for the more conservative one who has a chance is pitiful and cowardly. Another way, “I think Bush is a bad leader. Abortion, expansionism, alliances with wicked nations, bowing the the idols of Allah and Buddha, etc. But can you imaging where we would be with Gore? So we better vote for the Republican who has a chance, because a vote for the Constitution Party is like voting for a democrat, throwing away your vote.” Now this is no longer a political debate but a religious one. I cannot see any biblical warrant at all to reason in this way.
So there are my $.03 points. Still pondering…good topic.
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