Thursday, November 09, 2006

I voted on Tuesday. There's still a bit of a thrill walking through the doors at my polling place, knowing I'm getting to do something that much of the world isn't allowed to do--or at least, the women aren't allowed to do.

I was moderately happy with the results for our state. My choice for governor got elected. The Lt. Gov. who won was the guy who mentioned in his TV campaign ads that he owns four shotguns...yes, friends, I live in Alabama. It would be nice not to have a walking cliche for a lt. gov., but the position has been stripped of much of its power anyway.

And the dems won the house. Honestly, at this point, I'm just interested to see what a changeup in governing forces will do. I'm a moderate republican, but it's easy to get disillusioned with the party sometimes. Especially being a Christian. The crazy right-wing Christians have turned "evangelical" into a dirty word. It lumps all of us into a group of judgmental, hypocritical, crazed agenda-mongers and I don't like it. That's not what it means to be a Christian. We see over and over again that when politics and religion mix, the outcome is rarely good.

I always think of Jesus' words in Matthew 22:15-22. The Pharisees (Jewish leaders) were trying to bait him, asking whether it was right to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus knew exactly what they were trying to do and gave one of his classic perfect answers. He asked them for a coin and asked whose picture and words were on the coin (Caesar's). Then Jesus said, "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. And give to God what belongs to God."

It seems to me, the reason God gave us free will is that He wanted us to choose to love Him and follow Him. If He wanted, He could just wave a pinky finger and make all of us love and obey Him automatically--but He doesn't. In the same way, it's beyond important that our government stays out of religion because it's only under a free system of government that people will have the right and ability to choose to follow Christ--and it will be a true following of Christ because they made the decision themselves. God doesn't want people becoming Christians becuase they were told to do so or because it's sanctioned by the government. That isn't true love or obediance.

I think Christians themselves should get involved in government, but individually, not as a group in order to get political leverage. And politicians speaking in churches or churches sanctioning specific candidates? DON'T GET ME STARTED. That's wrong on so many levels.

Ok, I'm getting off my soapbox now.

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