Tag Archives: elections

Why You Should Not Vote in the Presidential Election

Many years ago, my father was driving in the mountains of Colorado. As he rounded a corner, he was confronted with a large truck coming toward him in his lane. Apparently, the truck was trying to pass another vehicle and stayed in the oncoming lane too long. My father reported that he was forced to decide between the lesser of two terrible options. He could smash the oncoming truck head-on, or he could steer off the road and plummet down the side of the mountain. If you have ever driven in the Colorado mountains you are aware it is not like driving into the bar ditch in west Texas.

He chose the lesser of the two, and fortunately his car was halted by the pine trees about a hundred feet down the cliff. He lived to tell the story.

Sometimes life forces us to make a choice between two bad things, and the result is going to be unpleasant no matter what choice we make.

Many people are feeling that way about the upcoming presidential election—there is not a good choice. Approval ratings for both candidates are at historic lows and are destined to get worse after five more months of name calling, mudslinging, and third-grade behavior that is characteristic of this year’s campaign.DontVoteButton

Each candidate has a small hard-core group of voters who wave their flag obnoxiously high, but for the most part, you hear people say, “I could never vote for..,.” and they name one of the candidates. More people are voting against someone this year than the number of people who are voting for someone.

Much of the campaign rhetoric consists of saying, “if this person is elected terrible things will happen to our country.” I get it. We have two bad choices. I feel like my father must have felt as he steered his Buick over the edge of the cliff—he didn’t have a better choice.

But, we do have options. I’m not talking about a miraculous final month by Bernie Sanders or an out-of-nowhere Republican savior. There are some legitimate options that keep us from being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils.

The most obvious option is that when you go to vote you will find other candidate’s names on the ballot. As of the first of June, 1,751 folks had filed the paperwork necessary to be considered a candidate for President. Obviously, you will not have to read through hundreds of names while in the voting booth since most of those people will have long departed the race, but there will be other names for consideration. Continue reading

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Newspapers and Bibles

We should strive to understand the world with the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. These words have been around a long time, at least as far back as my seminary days, and they are not credited to some right-wing Christian politician. It is commonly taught the idea first belonged to Karl Barth, a German theologian. Although the words might have been spoken in the first half of the last century, they have never been more true than they are today.

When I clicked on the website of the local newspaper this morning this was the bold headline that struck my attention – “Baptist free-for-all: Cruz over Huckabee.” Of course I read the story. It seems that a Metroplex mega church held a presidential wanna-be forum last night with six Republican candidates in attendance. More than 6,000 gathered to listen to these politicians proclaim their faith, portray their platform, cast aspersions on their opponents, and plead for votes. It sounds like it was two hours of listening to half-a-dozen men, and one woman, talk about how they are better than anyone else. newspaper-and-bible

Although this event occurred relatively close (at least by Texas’ standards) to our little band of believers known as Bread Fellowship, the two meetings could not have been any more dissimilar. We did not have thousands of people meeting in an enormous auditorium. Instead, we were barely more than a dozen sitting in a circle of stackable chairs in a rented art/dance studio.

The conversation at Bread Fellowship was also about greatness and what it looks like and how it can be achieved. As we are working our way through the lectionary for the year, the passage for the day was Mark 10:35-45. In that passage, Jesus reminded his disciples that the pathway to greatness is through servanthood. After reading the newspaper headline, it is amazing how appropriate Jesus’ words were for this particular day.

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