Let me say by way of disclaimer that I didn’t want to get this political this season on this blog. My intention is to present the simple truth of the Gospel to our complex culture, and I’ve justified these types of posts saying that politics is a clear contributor to this complexity. But please know that the main reason I am being so outspoken about this election is that I have legitimate concerns with what I see the political campaigns, specifically of Barack Obama, saying about, and doing to, our culture. So what I am doing here is confessing that I have concerns that are out of my control that I’m giving to the Lord through my expression and trusting Him to do what He will for the ultimate good of all those who love Him. If you disagree, please don't get mad at me, but just understand my agony, which is for your good, and know that I am no perfect man. I hope that not only the act of my expressing such concerns in this way, but also the nature of the concerns itself, will capture your attention and cause you to take them seriously if for nothing else than to understand better the intricate balance between Christ and culture; and when in doubt never compromise Christ. I was humbled to read John Piper’s article Let Christians Vote as Though They Were Not Voting. That’s really what I want to do.
Because at the end of the day, through all the elections, economics, politics, wars, and disasters, my trust, my hope, and my salvation is not found in any president or any government. It is in the God of the Universe and only by the grace, and only because of the Cross, of Jesus Christ. God is Sovereign and his glory will not be mocked and his plans will not be thwarted. His Son Jesus Christ has the supremacy and will reign forever. That is good news. May our elections and our country and our government glorify Him in all we do, and honor the original foundation of our nation, which was in God, not in government.
So, with that said, here are my (hopefully humble and as informed as possible) Top 10 Reasons I’m Voting for John McCain:
10. My name is Joe.
Yes, at some level politicians, legislators, and even Presidents, need to fight to reverse some of the imperfect social structures that inherently lead to injustices, racism, and poverty; this is obvious. We will still fight for that. But a man who talks more about the middle class (who are able to vote) than he does those who are far worse off (who aren’t), and who doesn’t seem all that concerned about the justice of the most defenseless members of our society, is not the answer. I don’t believe it is God’s will for government to get us individually off the hook caring for the poor and loving our neighbor, and in my opinion Obama's message is less about encouraging people to be generous and more about supporting him to make it all better.
One concrete example of a ministry that would flourish with more generosity but could be crippled if the taxes of potential donors are raised is Rebuilding the Wall. This is their vision: 1) Stabilize and empower low-income families by renovating vacant inner city properties and giving the families the opportunity for homeownership. 2) Combat social injustice by building relationships across racial and socio-economic barriers. 3) Stabilize community by the recycling of assets within the neighborhood. This ministry would flourish more from (and be more fruitful for the community with) the generosity and volunteer time of Americans than it would from government funding and federal programs.
5. Tina Fey will make a heckuva Vice President.
4. National Security. John McCain is a seasoned and experienced leader when it comes to foreign affairs. Say what you will about Iraq, but Iraq will not be the dominate foreign policy of the next administration, whether we stay or not. We need a leader who does not haphazardly suggest meetings with our enemies and potential nuclear threats without much of a plan (Iran), or mildly react to the aggression of one of the next biggest nations in the world (Russia). We need a leader who has looked point blank at his enemies and without wavering, putting the interests of the country first, said “Do your worst”. (Count of Monte Cristo fans, anybody?) We need a President who doesn’t need to be tested in his first months in office, but who is ready for challenge on day one from a career and a lifetime of testing.
Allow me to mention two things to those who are prioritizing the economy over foreign policy in this election: First, it is more important to prevent terrorist attacks than recessions. Actually, recessions are quite normal in a system like ours. Second, governments are much less able to control the nature of the economy (unless we scrap the capitalism idea) than they are our national security, even with more regulation. Keep in mind that the present economic crisis should be partly irrelevant to the election, since neither John McCain nor Barack Obama is to blame for the problem, and neither will be able to entirely implement a solution (the crisis did not come only from bad policy, and had nothing to do with taxes). For them it is more about damage control. To prioritize economic policy over national security in a Presidential election is mind-boggling to me when you consider the world we live in and the dangers we face.
Yes, a strong economy contributes significantly to national security. Yes, the current economic crisis is not normal in a system like ours. Yes, economic policies of government do matter, and some regulation is necessary, and it should be an important priority in this election. Yes, struggling Americans should not lose their savings at the hands of greedy millionaires. But all this does not lessen the importance of competent foreign policy in our time or reduce the present danger in our world. If anything, it increases both.
3. His stand-up routine at the Alfred Smith Charity Dinner was priceless. Obama’s was good too, but not good enough for me to vote for him.
1. John McCain is running for President, but Barack Obama seems to be running for more than that. I won’t go as far as to defend the "messiah complex", but as a Christian I have to be concerned about the implications or motives of some of the promises he makes. Even if he unequivocally becomes the best and most popular President in the history of the United States, he will ultimately disappoint those who put their hope in him. And if it weren’t for his promises, his candidacy would be seriously lacking. Leading the most powerful and prosperous country in the free world is not all about promises and change, even if the American people deserve promises and the country is desperate for change. It is about possessing the character, experience, judgment, and integrity necessary to lead a complicated country in a complicated time and to face mostly unpredictable challenges. Voting based on promises will inevitably open up the likely possibility of disappointment (not to mention if those promises are either fundamentally counterproductive or morally questionable – but that was covered in the other reasons). Voting based on virtue makes much more sense.
Everything Obama’s campaign promises about hope and change, about caring for the people who need help, about restoring prosperity and freedom and security and justice to this country and this world, is only completely fulfilled in the Person of Jesus Christ. Hope in anyone else and promises from anyone else will ultimately lead to personal and global devastation. Does God want the main focus of struggling middle-class Americans to be on the American dream? Maybe, but I would rather have a qualified leader as President and then by our proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel, help all Americans main focus be Jesus Christ. Hope in government will lead to dependence on government; hope in Christ will lead to dependence on Christ. We should look to Jesus for hope, and to a President for leadership. We are not voting for a Savior. We are voting for a President. Barack Obama confuses the difference and by his presentation distracts non-Christians from the true Savior they should be seeking. I cannot support that. John McCain is clear, and his lifetime of selfless service, and his experience and courage, more than his promises, confirm to me that he is the better selection.
As a Christian, I rejoice at the excitement for social justice, racial reconciliation, and inspirational leadership that Obama generates. My overall point is that I think his effectiveness in these areas will be marginal compared to his promises (not only because he is lacking in qualifications, but also because his role in these things in the first place shouldn’t be preeminent), and in the meantime, he compromises issues that I (as a Christian) consider non-negotiable, and he shows inexperience and naïveté towards issues that may be negotiable, but deserve more experience. So in the end, my one or two reasons to vote for him do not hold up at all to the 10 (listed here) to vote for John McCain.
There, I said it. I feel better. After the election, no matter the result, I am excited and hopeful to see how God desires to use me and this blog to continue to proclaim simple truth to a complex culture. I hope you’ll vote with me on November 4 (though you don’t have to tell who it will be for), and then entrust the result, and our concerns, into Almighty God’s sovereign and all-sufficient care. He will never leave or forsake us.
Political Cartoons found on Today's Best Cartoons.