Dedicate yourselves to thankfulness. Colossians 3:15

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vote your conscience

"Mr. Biser says vote Christian principles. Mr. Robinette says vote as if life depends on the outcome. Mr. Moreland says vote for leaders, men or women, who will think clearly and act justly. ... Read up. Think purposefully. Vote your conscience."

Where to begin, considering how to vote, why to vote this fall?
David Biser of Oldtown says in the September 9 Times-News, "we must turn to the Scriptures as our only source of wisdom and truth." He quotes Isaiah 3:12 and interprets the passage to tell us that women leaders are a nation's disgrace (so that eliminates the McCain-Palin ticket), and God will punish us by putting children in charge (and he cites childish behaiors of Obama-Biden and the Democrats). He concludes: "As Christians our duty to is to Christ and His truth." !n today's Times-News, Mr. Biser says he writes again because people have asked him, since the printing of his first letter, “'Then who do we vote for?'” He expounds: "We need to vote on principle and not lesser (of two) evil(s) theory." He says the two main political parties represent "twin ideologies," and he calls for voters to educate themselves and apply logic to decision making.
Two thoughtful responses appear in today's Cumberland Times-News in response to Mr. Biser's first letter: One from Adam Robinette of Herndon, Virginia; the other from Zachary Moreland of Ridgeley, West Virginia.

Mr. Robinette argues the validity of the Old Testament as a guide for decision making today. He says it was written metaphorically and crytically long before the time of Christ "to scare these people in to shaping up." He says that Mr. Biser's approach leads to decision making that has "little or nothing to do with what will pull our country...toward prosperity." Mr. Robinette sums up: "(T)oo many Americans do not want to take the responsibility to use critical thinking when choosing our leaders." He says there are many issues that unite us: "Everyone wants to be able to afford to feed their family, pay for gas, heat their homes, fund their retirement, have good medical coverage, send the kids to college etc." He calls on voters not to get stuck on one issue and concludes: "Picking the leader of the free world should be looked at as a life or death decision...."

Mr. Moreland likes the idea of reading Scripture, but he disagrees with Mr. Biser's interpretation of the passage from Isaiah. Mr. Moreland bases his presentation on Biblical commentaries and poses, regarding the contextual use of the concpet of children ruling a nation: "(T)he leaders would be imbeciles that would exact their people harshly." Then regarding the notion of women leaders being a disgrace, he notes: "(C)ommentators have translated the passage as saying that the leaders would be effeminate men, not women (but) the opposite of the wise leaders...." He cites another interpretation that postulates that men would be "swayed by women...because of their sexuality...putting the men under their dominion"-- women manipulating men to do something other than God's will. Mr. Moreland summarizes: "(I)t is simply saying that wicked, corrupt officials would oppress the people because of their excessive wickedness." And he concludes, " God created both man and woman to share dominion over the earth — or in other words, leadership."

Seems all three men's perspectives have validity. Mr. Biser says educate yourself, apply logic, and vote Christian principles. Mr. Robinette says take responsibility, think critically, and vote as if life depends on the outcome. Mr. Moreland implies that we should vote for leaders, men or women, who think clearly and act justly.

Regarding a Catholic perspective on women in leadership positions, Pope John Paul II wrote in his 1995 "Letter to Women" (cited in my post on September 10 in response to Mr. Bisier's Setpember 9 letter): "(Y)ou make an indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture which unites reason and feeling, to a model of life ever open to the sense of ‘mystery,’ to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more worthy of humanity.”

And regarding a Catholic perspective on how to vote, why to vote this fall, perhaps the video at says it all.

Read up. Think purposefully. Vote your conscience.
by Nancy E. Thoerig 09-23-08

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