Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Voting.

Man, I am so sick of political postings on Facebook. You know, I have never heard of anyone changing their political views because of what you are posting. And some of you are so vitriolic! I'm "hiding" a lot of posts these days.
 
 
 
 
[my beautiful mother. She'll be speaking to this issue later on in this post.]
 
And yet, we claim to be Christians. We make a show of "praying for our President and all of those in Washington," because "the Bible tells us to." But woe unto you if you consider voting for someone not "approved" by the church. (Now, don't get the idea that I'm speaking of myself, I am not disclosing my preferences, but you could probably tell what they are by my blog posts of the last seven or so years...)
 
Our church had a Harvest Party last week. My son-in-law thought it would be fun (and controversial--he likes to "stir up the pot") to put on a President Obama mask and use his pretty-darn-good President Obama voice imitation, and walk around. He thought maybe he'd get a few good-natured comments from the parents.
 
Boy, was I surprised at what happened.
 
One parent, who had brought two children to the party, told them to go over and "find out who is under that mask!" Other children came up to him and said, "you are going DOWN on Election Day!" Others (grownups)came up and said the most vitriolic things you could imagine, including "how could you come to a church party in the costume of such a wicked man?" It wasn't a Hitler mask or even a Bin Laden mask, folks. It was a mask of the President of the United States. Our President. Yeah, that one who we pray for every Sunday.
 
He further stirred up the pot by telling a few adults (no children present for this conversation) that he was thinking of voting for a write-in candidate instead of one of the two main choices. He got an earful of "how can you waste your vote like that? That is so irresponsible!!!"
 
This is where my Mother chimes in.
 
My mother, born in 1921, did not take voting lightly. Throughout her life, she treasured both her "right" and her "responsibility" to vote as part of the privilege of voting. Throughout her life, she told me this story:
 
"When I married your father, I promised to love, honor, and obey him. But there is one place where I do not have to obey him, and that is in the Voting Booth. In the voting booth, it is between me and God."
 
You are not "wasting your vote" if you are voting your conscience. If ninety million people vote for the Democrat, and ninety-one million vote for the Republican, then really, only one million of those votes "count," and one hundred eighty million people have "wasted their vote." In this country that is different from any other that has ever existed on the Earth, we have the privilege and honor of voting our conscience. Of voting for the candidate who best reflects our ideals. Don't you think that people around the world would give their right arms for the chance to "vote their conscience?"
 
In my opinion, you only waste your vote if you don't vote at all. And that, my friend, is irresponsible. I helped my mother vote for the last time, in her room in the nursing home, in 2004. And yes, I know for whom she voted, because I had to fill in the little circles. But I'm not telling you. How she voted is between her and God.

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