A Majority of One

This evening, I’m going to…

 

Are you?

I don’t know that I’ve made a single political comment here on the blog before, but it’s not because I don’t have strong convictions about “the issues.”

I do. And if you know me well, I’ll happily discuss them with you if the opportunity arises.

I might even get a bit worked up about some of them.

But I, like so many others, am often reticent to talk about my beliefs in any public forum, not because I’m ashamed of them, but because I’ve let myself become conditioned to worry about stepping on others’ toes who don’t agree or who just don’t want to talk about it at all.

At least, I feel that way with my peers.

Whenever I taught high school (6 years of Spanish, ESL, and English), I had no problem brainwashing helping my students be informed about the issues, even if that meant telling them exactly what I thought about a particular topic (have you noticed that it’s acceptable to “introduce” an issue for debate and then step back, but it’s much less okay to express a specific opinion or attempt to sway someone to your point of view?).

The irony is that a lot of those kids practically were my peers in terms of age (since I started teaching when I was 19, and I had quite a few seniors who were only a year younger than I). But the gap in our authority levels made me comfortable with telling them what I really thought.

Not so much with my friends, neighbors, or colleagues…unless, of course, I know you already agree with me.

But I’ve been reading more and more blog posts and facebook updates from non-voters who just don’t see the point.

Or maybe they think that politics are just a little beyond them.  Especially women.  They haven’t watched that many newscasts or read that many articles about “the issues,” so they feel unqualified to express their opinions with their ballots.

After all, isn’t voting better left to the interested and informed?

Maybe.

I would honestly much rather have people voting who know why they’re supporting their candidates.

But I don’t think that gives anyone an excuse not to know his/her own mind and heart.

In fact, I would argue that you don’t have to have a “political” bone in your body or have watched a single debate to be qualified to vote.

You just have to have convictions that are based in truth. And a basic understanding of which candidate best aligns with them (are you going to find a perfect match or a completely trustworthy option? No. That’s the drawback of having humans for politicians).

Speaking of convictions, since I’m writing this post, I’ll tell you about mine.

First, let’s start with what I’m not.

I am not a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian.

I am not even, first and foremost, a conservative (although I embrace that label more readily than the others).

So, what am I?

I am a Bible-believing Jesus-follower, which means that my convictions about some of the key issues like abortion, gay marriage, the national debt, and the welfare system are informed by God’s word, not CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, or even my family.

And having the Bible as my basis for truth means that:

  • Life (beginning at conception) is sacred (Psalm 139: 13-16)
  • Marriage is a holy, God-ordained joining together of one man and one woman (Mark 10:7-9)
  • Debt weakens an individual’s (and by extension, a country’s) efficacy and strength (Proverbs 22:7)
  • We are to be kind/generous to the poor, but idleness/entitled behavior is wrong (Deuteronomy 15:7-11; 2 Thessalonians 3: 6-12)

You may not agree with my stance, but you can hardly fault me for holding fast to it since to declare myself a Christian one moment and then the next to say that I am ambivalent and/or uninformed about what I should believe would be pretty inexcusable.

And to say that I believe in the infallibility of the Bible and then apologize for its standards would be downright disingenuous, not to mention cowardly.

So, at least for today, I am casting aside my fear of public censorship and scorn and declaring my intention to vote for my convictions, to the best of my ability with the options provided me (because if I wait to vote until the perfect candidates come along, I never will).

And I encourage you to do the same.

Honestly, my encouragement is less about simply being another body in a voting booth (although the very ability to do so is a phenomenal privilege that should never be taken for granted) and more about examining your beliefs—especially if you’re a fellow Christian—and why you hold them (or, if you don’t have any…why not).

Because if we’ve got a stronger opinion about which contestant should win American Idol than who should lead our country, there’s a problem.

And it may not be with “the system” at all. The problem may start with us.

Because if we know what’s right but can’t find the time or motivation to stand for it, there’s no guarantee that someone who shares our knowledge will do it for us.

What can be guaranteed is this: if we don’t vote our convictions, others will vote theirs, and then we will have to live with their decision, not our own.

 

(I’m pretty sure that could read “woman” too : )).

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29 thoughts on “A Majority of One

  1. I agree with you – not necessarily about the conception part though – but I think that this opinion was to be expected from Abby who has always let her readers know about her beliefs.

    However, I’d rather not have known about your exact political standing, Abby, since I think it’s wrong to take the bible too literal. It was written in a different time and not by God himself, but by men who probably slipped in a few of their own beliefs along the way.

    Since I can’t vote in the US (never missed a vote in my own country – Denmark) I have to leave it up to the US citizens to decide. For the last vote in the US I actually stayed up all night waiting for the results, but today I’m too tired and have to get up early tomorrow…

    Best
    Pernille

    P.S.: I didn’t mean to attack you in any way. I hope it didn’t come across that way. I just wanted to throw in my own 2 cents. I still love your blog and will – of course – continue to read it.

  2. I saddened to see someone I have respect for say they agree with denying an entire community of people the basic civil rights everyone else receives. I can’t wait for the day that homosexuality is proven to be determined at conception (because, you can believe it or not, it is).
    That’s what I believe in. And that’s what I will be voting for.

  3. I love this post! Too many times it’s easy to not stand up for what you believe in, especially if it’s not the popular stance of the day. Thank you for sharing your convictions, I completely agree with everything you had to say.

  4. I respect that you are willing to share your perspectives and be able to state the reasons behind them. I

  5. I applaud the fact that you shared this with your readers and for standing up for what you believe in. Unfortunately, too many are afraid to speak up because they are more concerned with seeking man’s approval. Blessings.

  6. While our beliefs may not all line up, I do respect the fact that you are unafraid to state them. I also appreciate that you have done it in an intelligent and non combative way. In so many ways, on all sides, people attack and spread fear and hate instead of respectfully, and intelligently, discussing their beliefs.

  7. I agree with you and praise God for giving you the courage to stand up for what is right instead of what is popular :) He never changes his opinion.

  8. I applaud you for posting your opinions and having great personal reasons to back them up! As a very political person, it warms my heart to see those who have political purpose with reason and determination whether or not I agree on the issues!

  9. It’s so refreshing to see someone have convictions, share her convictions and not apologize for her convictions! I do happen to agree with you on all stances here and rest in the fact that God does determine a man’s steps, the placement of kings and the rise and fall of nations…our vote is our responsibility, but our hope is in God and not man! Love you girl! Great post!!!

  10. My goodness, I thought your blog was pretty cool before but you just took the words straight from my heart that my mind could never put together as eloquently as you just did. A. W. E. S. O. M. E. thank you so much for sharing!

  11. AMEN times a million, Abbie!!! (fist pumps and flag waving commence)

    Seriously THE BEST explanation of why and how to vote that I’ve read…you took the words right out of my mouth(but you said it so much better than i ever could)!

    i wholeheartedly agree that ‘we’ are the problem. we must stand for Truth NO MATTER WHAT!

    love this!

  12. Great Post Abbie. I’ve never missed voting, but I see so many that do. I love how you laid out your convictions. Beautiful.

  13. Great job, Abbie! I love it when people with convictions publicly support them (although yours do happen to align with mine.) Thank you for this post. I hope you don’t get too many negative comments, but you will know you respectfully posted YOUR values on YOUR blog and that should give you peace about it. Great post!

  14. You made so many good points, Abbie! Thanks for speaking up. God cares about the issues, and so as His followers, we must as well. And you did a great job. :)

  15. I have followed/read you for a long time, this is my first comment. Thank you so much for standing up for your beliefs, and being unashamed.

  16. I’ve been following you for a few months now and haven’t commented yet but I guess that’s changed now :-) I’m from Canada and what happens in the States almost always affects us. So I’ve been praying for the election today… I love that God is in control of the end result and that whatever happens will not surprise Him! Standing up for Truth is never wrong…just hard sometimes…so thank you for speaking the truth!!

  17. Thanks so so much for sharing! It was refreshing reading about your beliefs and convictions. I think that our country and government system are imporant to our Heavenly Father. Sometimes we get caught up in arguing about “the issues” and we forget that we’re all here on this earth for each other. It doesn’t really matter who is right or wrong. What matters is that we work together for the greatest good for everyone. I know that’s (A LOT) easier said than done, and I’ll even admit that I’ve let my personal opinions blind me from time to time. But hopefully the next presidential term will be a wonderful one. Hopefully we can all find a way to be there for each other just a little bit more :)

  18. Great post! I’m of the same mind frame. Most people would be surprised to know just how political I am. (It probably doesn’t help that I am more of Republican/conservative and all of my family and friends are Democrat/liberal, haha. My thoughts and convictions are my own, and I keep to myself when the topic of politics come up. :)

  19. Thank you. Well said. I appreciate the Scripture references also.

    Oh and I voted today along with my 18 year old daughter who got to vote for the first time. I am very proud of her!

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