Election Day

Most of this site’s readership lives in the United States. As our country heads to the polls today, we recall the failings for which so many of our elected leaders must give account. Yet may we be even more mindful of the fact that, for our votes as well as our other actions, we must one day give account before a higher tribunal, a supreme Judge. So as we exercise our right as a citizen, let us do it while mindful of our responsibilities as a Christian.


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62 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. You are trying to tell people which way to vote by saying a vote one way is not Christian. I don’t believe you should do this as it is a persons on responsibility on who to vote for in any election. Please don’t try to imply guilt!

    I do enjoy reading your column most of the time but when you are trying to sway votes, it is wrong!

    • Gary,

      I am actually amused by your comment. I believe it is crucial to vote for people who will uphold the values the Bible says that we are to uphold, but I didn’t say that. I said that we will give account to God for our votes, as indeed we will for our other actions.

      I will stand on this ground: This is a Christian site, and encouraging people to act in accordance with Biblical values on a Christian site is entirely appropriate here. If you would rather read about Southern Gospel from a site that is not a Christian site, you are welcome to look for one, and perhaps you will find one. 😉

      Now note that I did not say “vote Republican” at any point. If a Republican does not support Biblical values, I will not vote for that Republican. In point of fact, I do not believe in voting for the lesser of two evils, if both are evil. So I am certainly not turning this into a “vote GOP” site, by any stretch of the imagination. All I’m saying is that, if you are a Christian, keep in mind to Whom you will be giving account of your election decisions.

      • Hear, hear. For my part, I have a strong disliking for rhinos, especially when they’re growing suspiciously long ears…

      • Or noses. 😛

        (You’re probably shocked to know I have heard of that story, right?))

      • Which story? 😉

      • Pinnochio.

      • Ah yes… that story. 🙂 🙂

        I was imagining a rhino transformation into something more resembling a donkey… “Bray, bray, bray…”

    • Say what? Daniel did not tell anyone to vote for any one person. But, to say that as Christians we can live a life of duality is wrong.

      • Amen Don! I was blown away when I read that initial response.

  2. Wow, that was a quick response to your post Daniel. I did not read that you were telling anyone how to vote. Whenever I read this post, what jumped out at me was the simple fact that no matter what we do whether it is voting or daily actions…..we will give an account to God for it. Whether it be Republican or Democrat, we should vote for the candidate that we will not be ashamed to answer to our Savior for. Thanks Daniel for your stance!

    • I can’t imagine any vote I could cast for a Democrat that I would not be ashamed to answer to God for.

      • Not to go political here, but Daniel started it.

        I think that the Republican/Democrat thing is more relevant the higher you go in the national scale. To explain that – When you have a national convention to choose presidential nominees, you’re looking for someone who represents his or her party’s values and policies on every level, and who also will have a big influence on them.

        On the other hand, we had a Republican run for county commissioner out here a while back, and he had every appearance of being a crook. He called himself a businessman, but he’d had more failures than successes (just what we need for a position with economic responsibilities). He called for eliminating the property tax – that might or might not be a good thing, but it was obviously because he owed about $900,000 in back property taxes.

        I didn’t even know who the other guy was, but I voted for him! (Postscript – my boyfriend was recommended a maintenance job off Craigslist this summer which I thought sounded too good to be true. In searching for excuses not to fall for it, I noticed that the email address happened to have this same guy’s name.)

      • Oh! I was wondering who this “Amy Herrera” was! Now I see!

        My county had one worse – a GOP County Commissioner convicted and jailed for child molestation (of his grandchildren, no less). And, astonishingly, he still got around 20% of the vote . . . from jail. So there’s no way I vote a straight ticket, either!

      • I guess that’s what comes of voting a straight ticket. Yeah, your story beats mine!

      • …not that I’d wish that mess on any county, of course!

    • JC, You’re welcome!

      I have voted for Democrats before, many times in fact, when they adhere strongly to moral issues (generally Roman Catholic candidates) more so than a RINO opponent.

      • I think I cross-posted with you. I took a little while to write my comment.

      • Oh believe me, the number of Republicans for whom I could vote in good conscience is fast dwindling too. I’m just saying that a Democrat candidate whom a Christian could support in good conscience is a rare bird indeed.

        All of which adds up to a simple message: When in doubt, STAY HOME! If there really isn’t anybody who fills the bill, then just don’t vote.

      • …or vote third party. I’ve done it before (including, gasp, shall I admit it, in 2008.)

      • You’re not alone there. 🙂

  3. Daniel, I agree with your post 100%. In no way was it implied to vote Republican or Democrat. If one party’s values hold more closely to Godly truths and morals than another party does, then so be it. But you are right. We are held accountable for our actions and that includes our voting actions. And I plan to vote today for the people who I feel best represent my values in accordance with what God’s word says.

    • Thanks! Yes – my entire point was to vote while keeping in mind that you’re accountable to God for your actions.

      • Thanks, Daniel. I couldn’t agree more!

  4. hEY GUYS!

    I’m looking in from the outside, so i have no horse in this race!

    Be careful. Daniel didn’t say what Gary seemed to think he said – but now you are all getting close to saying what you said you weren’t saying!!

    “The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever He wills” (OT Daniel). That transcends party politics by a long stretch.

    Hi Amy! recognised the pony anyway!!

    • All I was saying was that I don’t vote a straight ticket, so there’s no way I could be advocating that anyone else does! 🙂

  5. I have found it difficult to really have confidence in anybody on the ballot from a Christian perspective. But I am going to do the best I can.

  6. I figured the pony would give me away!

    I guess Daniel needed to recognize my style, or maybe he’s reading through his email or something else.

    This is actually the first place I’ve seen the name staring back at me in print, and it seems kind of weird.

    • Yes, I read everything via email – I only come online when I’m replying. So I didn’t see the pony at first. 🙂

  7. Daniel, you made a statement about not adhering to the “lesser of two evils” philosophy. I actual have a friend that brings up that same argument from time to time.

    My question to you is, what do you do? Not vote? Vote for a write in?

    Also, how can you then say, you would vote for a Roman Catholic, which has doctrines that are complete opposite of most conservative Christians and are deemed hereasy by many as well. (And I believe can be proven in Scripture.)Wouldn’t that be the very definition of evil from a Protestant stand point? Yet you vote for them…?

    I am not asking to cause a stir and if you feel it will, feel free to remove or not post my comment. I’m simply looking for your answers because from reading this blog I sense that your convictions are well-thought out. (Especially since we agree a lot :-))

    • Well I’m not Daniel, but I am a co-contributor here… and besides, I like to talk. So I’ll jump in here, if you don’t mind… 😉

      I would not vote, or vote third-party. I don’t think there’s anything morally wrong with that. We don’t have some kind of civic duty to vote for somebody mediocre just because the other guy is worse, and nobody else “has a chance to win.” Some people might argue that NOT voting for the mediocre candidate is equivalent to a vote FOR the horrible candidate, but if you do that math, that’s actually not true.

      As for the Protestant/Catholic thing, that’s a totally separate issue altogether, and (in my opinion), not as important. I’m a Protestant, but I personally know many people who are Roman Catholic, and I respect them, just like I respect Catholicism even though I obviously disagree with aspects of the doctrine. I certainly don’t think that Catholics are “unsaved” or not going to heaven. Although the Virgin Mary will doubtless have to break it to them that all the mail she got was really supposed to go to God’s mailbox instead. (Yes, that is a joke. 😉 )

      • NSF, Bad joke, bad taste, bad everything!!

        If you understood the basis of Roman Catholic Doctrine, it is impossible for any born again Christian to “respect”. It contains major blasphemy. Period.

        Mariolitry or the veneration of Mary totally supplants the place and person of Christ.

        Love the people, certainly – the system, not at all! I am quite surprised to read the argument running here to vote for the “lesser of two evils” candidates etc., to the point of “voting for a Catholic candidate”.

        “If in doubt abstain” was postulated earlier up the thread and is by far the best choice. IMHO.

        I must confess to being a little shocked at some of the comment here on a serious Christian blog. It probably goes to prove that Christianity and politics don’t make easy bed fellows!

      • But, David, I don’t happen to believe that, Biblically speaking, elected officials must be Christians at all. If I would vote for someone who is not a Christian but is otherwise qualified / morally sound, I see no reason not to also vote for a qualified / morally sound Catholic.

      • Daniel, I accept your argument, and “to vote or not to vote” I feel is a conscience issue, best left to the prayerful consideration of the individual – which takes us back to your original premise, and heavenly accountability for earthly actions [and motives].

        My prime concern would be – in light of common ground on the “prolife” issue, which I would assume most believers would uphold – is that we through this commonality begin to see Catholicism as benign and “christian” and a “safe-haven” from paganism, or Islam!

        Where I have seen a little of the excesses of all of the above [spiritism, Islam & Catholicism] the similarities within and the opposition to true Christianity, and the person of Christ, are scarily evident.

      • I likewise understand your concerns with Catholic doctrine, at least some of which I share. My point isn’t that we share common core faith values, but that it can be acceptable to vote for one.

      • But Catholics are Christians. 😉

        Let me put it this way: I certainly agree with Daniel that if it’s a choice between a Catholic and a Muslim, the choice is easy. 😀

    • 2miles,

      All legitimate questions, no worries there.

      Sometimes I do not vote, and sometimes I cast a protest vote for a third party candidate with zero chance of winning.

      To avoid overly politicizing this blog, I won’t share my list here, but I have a list of three or four absolute basic qualifications that a candidate must have before I can vote for them for office. That they be a born-again Christian is not on that list – it is a huge plus, but I do not believe there is Biblical precedent that all of our civil authorities must be Christians.

      I am, of course, a Protestant Christian myself, in serious disagreement with some of the teachings of the Catholic church, but at the same time I’d vote for a Catholic before I voted for a Mormon, Muslim, or atheist.

      Daniel

  8. For a change of subject a little… Legacy Five has posted a great christian patriotic song on their website. This is the one that Belinda Smith was excited about in her interview with Daniel. I personally love these types of songs and this is one of the best I have heard in this vein. http://legacyfive.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/free-election-day-song-from-legacy-five/

    • Ha! Listening now, thanks for the heads-up! 😀

      • Nice song, although it’s the sort of thing that I imagine would be better live. What a great message.

    • Sounds nice, but it’s fairly evident that Lari Goss didn’t produce this CD!

      • Yeah. That’s a nice way of putting it. 🙂 I will say though that the “raw” sounding vocals are refreshing, even though they could be more polished. Nice to hear something that hasn’t been scrubbed to death…

      • Totally agree with that NSF… Though I don’t really think that one needs anymore polishing, I like it just as it is… 🙂

      • Your right… Steve Mauldin did the orchestration; And while he is no Lari Goss he is very good in his own right, and has been L5’s go to producer. He did a great job with their Christmas project and “Live In Music City” he also helped out with Monuments. And on another interesting note he also had a hand in helping produce the Gaither Vocal Bands new CD; Also from what I hear he is not nearly as expensive as some of the other producers and he still does quality work. He was also a big part of Gold City’s success with their albums during the early 2000’s.

      • Oh, he’s great overall, but I prefer Goss and Haun orchestrations…

      • As do I, but I truly don’t think you can go wrong with any of those three…

      • That’s interesting. I guess producers like Steve must be a real boon for those who can’t afford Lari.

  9. Nearly always, one candidate will uphold more righteous principles than another. If for no other reason than judicial appointments, I have never yet been able to justify staying home or going 3rd party.

    If you want to move the party more conservative, you need to get involved in the PRIMARY vote. Otherwise, evil will reign when good people go 3rd party.

    • I disagree actually. If the Republicans get the idea that conservatives will vote for whoever they put up (because the Democrats can always put up somebody even worse) that will NOT move the party in a more conservative direction. Instead, they will draw the conclusion that they no longer need to work hard to put up solidly conservative candidates, because it won’t make a difference to the votes. Witness Scott Brown, who is blatantly pro-choice. Yet Republicans were dancing in the streets when he won because he had promised to oppose Obamacare? This is not a good thing. Not a good thing at all.

      • Sometimes long-term strategy of urging a party in a more appropriate direction can indeed involve taking one for the cause and losing a race.

      • Amy said, a while back, “not to go political”…

        Pardon me, I think the argument HAS, big time.

        Both personalized and politicized. I don’t think this is all to profit folks.

        Back to the music? 🙂

  10. Well, I guess I said what I did to say this; I believe the Republican party uses these issues as a divisive tool. I think if you could find what T. D. Jakes said on the James Robinson show ( believe me I have looked and it must have been taken off) about how the “African/American” community votes and why, you would understand from where I come. I believe in doing the right thing every time in everything. No, I don’t believe in abortion but I don’t believe in the “trickle down economy” either. I can control abortion in my house, I can’t control trickle down except in my house! I also believe if the church wasn’t just having a form of Godliness and denying the power therein, upholding the teachings of Jesus like they should, all this moral corruption wouldn’t be around. I do believe that the church not praying and acting as they should is the problem. NOW, I for one need to get to praying and not playing!

    • I certainly understand your concerns, and I agree with at least some of them. I actually generally find myself in comprehensive disagreement with both major parties on economic policy . . . but that’s really a discussion for another place and time! 🙂

    • I guess I’m not exactly sure what you mean… but I heartily agree that the Church needs to take more action in combating the evil of our culture.

      As for “division,” I also agree that division among Christians and conservatives is regrettable. However, I would maintain that compromise is no solution. We must honor God and follow the conscience He gave us in all things, even if that means disagreeing with our brothers in Christ. I’m sure we would agree on that point.

  11. “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”

    A very young George Washington leaves nothing left to be said.

  12. Y’all may not know this, but we still don’t know our new governor here in Oregon. The GOP candidate (Chris Dudley) is trailed by a few thousand points by John Kitzhaber. Dudley’s doing a good job keeping a lead right now. The counts should be done pretty soon.

  13. I mean this as a non-partisan comment. I know it has NOTHING to do with SG, but I also know that many of the posters here would be interested. A columnist recommended a site where you can try your own hand at balancing the federal budget.
    http://www.crfb.org/stabilizethedebt
    I know it’s not perfect, but it is educational and eye-opening, and I think every homeschooling high schooler should have to try it! Just thought some of us might have fun with it.

    • I did a similar exercise on the New York Times website a few weeks ago. It was quite easy: Cut out all unconstitutional spending, and you’re far into the black, just like that!

      • Oh, I agree with that. But pragmatically, what happens to those people? Do we phase it out gradually? I mean, even though I disagree with it, now we have to deal with the effects of having gotten people accustomed to it.

        Case in point – My grandma. I don’t believe that Medicare/Medicaid is constitutional, but she would be dead within a year without it. That’s what she counts on. Nobody warned her to save up her husband’s payroll taxes for all those years; in fact, she didn’t have that option. So I agree with cutting unconstitutional spending, but we would still have to deal with the results of choices previously made.

        OK, I didn’t mean to go partisan or anything … don’t think that was … 😀

      • No, and I totally get what you’re saying. In point of fact, though, none of those calculators give a fully Constitutional option – just cut-backs.

        We have to keep current promises, Constitutional or not.

      • OK, I follow you. This one is the same way. Just getting a perspective, though, on the scope of the federal government is a worthwhile exercise. (Although it seems so big that getting a perspective on it is like the blind men and the elephant.)

      • True! But it is admittedly easier to grasp once all unconstitutional spending is cut out!

      • It’s sad to admit it, but fiscally, we have problems going back to before the Obama administration…