This morning, at 8:15 central standard time I cast the 52nd ballot in precinct 4 in Metamora, IL. I am currently wearing my “I Voted” sticker.
I’m what you might call a “biblical values” voter. By that I mean that my commitments as a Christian and a follower of Jesus, as informed by the values I’ve gleaned from the sacred scriptures – individually and in community – had the single greatest impact on how I voted.
The Rorshach Ballot
Based upon what I just said, some of you will conclude that I voted for Mitt Romney.
Also based upon what I just said, others of you will conclude that I voted for Barack Obama.
Who you think I voted for, based upon that little phrase, “biblical values”, will tell you a lot about…you and, perhaps, your faith community.
The problem is…
In case you have never read the Bible, the problem is, it is full of values. Some of them even contradict others at various points.
That means that, no matter what some may say, neither Romney/Ryan nor Obama/Biden have a monopoly on “biblical values”. They both do some stuff that is square in line with Biblical values. And they both do some stuff that is out of line with Biblical values.
In order to conclude that one of these guys is more “biblical” than the other, you have to decide which “biblical values” you want to give more weight. And once you do that, you are more of a “biblical values I like better” voter. Which is what I am. I don’t want to be. I’d rather be a true “biblical values” voter, but it’s…
It’s a little more work
That means that being a “biblical values” voter is actually a little more work than reading an ad by Billy Graham, which identifies abortion, gay rights and support for Israel as the “biblical values” that are important in this election (despite the ironic reality that Israel, as a nation, could give a rip about biblical values).
It’s easy to take short cuts and let other people tell you which “biblical values” should guide your vote. Don’t do it. (if you did it this time, then don’t do it the next time).
Take some time to read the Bible. Listen to the kinds of things Jesus talks about. Read what Jesus’ says about what makes a great leader. Pay attention to the stuff Jesus payed attention to. Pay less attention to the stuff Jesus paid less attention to. Realize that sanctity of life, which is a huge issue, is bigger than abortion and might include things like caring for children after they are born, healthcare, education, and so on. If you find yourself caring more about the least of these, then you are likely on the right track.
I’ll give you a hint
This Bible verse sums up which of the Bible’s values played the biggest role in my decision making process
Jeremiah 22:16 (NIV)
16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?”
declares the Lord.
That’s an interesting way to look at things isn’t it? What does it mean to know God? To defend the cause of the poor and needy.
I’m a “biblical values that I like better” voter who is striving to become a “biblical values” voter. Who did I vote for?