Voting for an Unshakeable Government

by Benjamin Scott Campbell

On November 4, in the United States of America, there will be something called Midterm Elections.

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America!

And I can’t help but think of our youth and elders going around, as some are wont to do, passing out stickers, pamphlets, or other informational literature in an effort to get people to go out and vote! “Yes, vote!” some might say. “It’s either you vote or our future is in their hands. Don’t you realize people have died to give you this right? Don’t you know how other generations have suffered to make this land what it is today? Now it’s going down the tube, and you want to sit back and ignore all the issues? If you don’t vote, someday you’ll be wishing you did when the United States of America crumbles under the cruel grip of tyranny. Do you want that? Do you want this nation to fall?”

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America.

All the hoopla and outcry for us to get out and vote strikes me with the same lacklustery as it always has, and this is the mode of many people these days, although I would be lying if I said it was the majority. The trouble is that when facing the question at hand (Should I vote? or perhaps from certain folks Why aren’t you voting?) we are presented with two camps, and this reflects the false nature of these elections. Are you a voter, or are you a bum-sitting-outer? Are you the fervent “for the sake of our nation” type, or are you the “for the sake of my apathy” type?” It is exceptionally problematic and is presented clearly in the issues we vote for.

Vote YES! on Prop. 48. Vote NO! on Prop 48. Vote for Bobby, because he’s a Republican! Vote for Yosef, because he’s a Democrat!

We are consistently fed package deals. All or nothing. Yes or no. Pass or fail. Win or lose. 1 or 0. We are treated like biological computers, and the voting booths are programs. Of course, this extends into almost every facet of life, but to endeavor that connection is not my purpose here for now. What if there was another option? What if there was a better option? What if I didn’t have to be the passionate vote-or-die monger OR the apathetic let-it-burn fatalist? The fallacy of false alternatives cannot win here: there is more to life than voting or disengaging.

Besides there never being a Scriptural mandate to vote, we are told in 1 Peter 2:17 to “honor the emperor.” In the very next verses, Peter implores us to be subject not only to those who are “good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.” Are we to be terrified, then, when a person of insincere repute is voted into office? Should we dismay when that bill we so adamantly petitioned against passes? Maybe we didn’t petition against it, but somewhere in the quiet of our secret thoughts we believed it to be an awful thing. What if our taxes are raised? What if they refuse/accept the proposal for the pipeline? What if this man/woman fails to live up to his/her promises (spoiler alert: they never do, nor can they)?

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Artist’s Interpretation of Baton Rouge, LA. after the vote doesn’t go his way
This may also just be Baton Rouge, LA

In choosing not to vote, which is my stance, I am choosing to direct my energy and focus toward a government. Yet for all the elders I see around who vehemently stand immovable on the carefully maintained green of “Vote, or else! And may God bless America!” I cannot help but wonder if the enemy has shoehorned them into the greatest lie of their generation: things may be as they were in the good old days, and we are the ones who must make it happen. Wrong and wrong. Ecclesiastes speaks to the foolishness of such talk, and the prophet Daniel says nearly the antithesis in Daniel 2:21 (when dealing with an unjust king, by the way), “[God] changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings…” In choosing not to vote for propositions and rulers on this earth, where kingdoms of immense power rise and fall, I choose to direct my focus on a government and a kingdom which cannot be shaken, His government.

God has given wisdom to our elders and passionate zeal to our youth, yet they choose to squander it in fighting each other rather than joining as one, under Christ’s banner and not the star-spangled kind. The zeal of the youth ought to be praised by the elderly, and the wisdom of the elderly ought to be respected by the young, that in unity and as one we might proclaim the name of Jesus, not America.

After all, why should I spit on the sacrifice of those who died to give me the freedom to do so?

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But, you know, whatever. Go vote for Prop 48.

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