by Alan Rudnick
Originally found at this link which is no longer available.
How not to vote on today
November 6, 2012
Written by Alan Rudnick
Alas, my Facebook and Twitter feeds are blowing up with political jabs that mostly rely on ad-hominem attacks that play into people’s confirmation bias of a candidate.
No candidate is immune from a little ad-hominem attack against their opponent. Unfortunately, some voters like and even enjoy when Facebook posts, media stories, or social pictures vilify a political candidate. And unfortunately, some of these voters call themselves Christians who create or share these messages. Some Christians think they are doing their duty to pass along these ugly messages.
It is really disheartening to see such poor treatment of those who differ in political ideology. My perspective on this election is not about me telling you who you should vote for, but how not to vote:
Don’t vote based on what you read on Facebook or viral emails. Psalm 15:2 proclaims, “The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart.” Is is really righteous to base your vote on manipulative message against a candidate? Can we walk blameless if we share baseless emails? If you truly want to live for truth, then we all have a duty to not believe content that makes a candidate out to be an evil enemy. Most viral social media information makes a candidate out to be some sinister force or movement. If said content is really true, then we really don’t need all the added portrayal of a villain or monster.
Don’t vote without considering reading non-partisan facts. Voting based on what another candidate says about their opponent is always going to be told in an negative light. Avoid the spin factor. Consider Googling some non-partisan fact checking organizations and study up. Zechariah 8:16 states, “These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts.” Don’t get the facts funneled through political parties, but through straightforward truth from someone who has nothing to lose by fact checking.
Don’t vote for those who wish to alienate others in the community. One of the hallmarks of good leadership is being able to move forward with supporters and detractors. Jesus certainly set the standard of walking with detractors. He ate and drank with his detractors. Sometimes Jesus convinced Pharisees and Scribes, and other times he didn’t. His last supper table was still open to his worst detractor and betrayer, Judas. Leadership in the civil realm is about working together and not about alienating others because of political or economic differences.
As a person of faith who is a Christian, I have to remember that my allegiance does not belong to a Democrat, Republican, Green, or Independent party. My allegiance is to God through Jesus Christ and his kingdom. All my earthly beliefs are funneled through my faith convictions. Just because I believe one way or another on an issue, doesn’t mean I condemned others of their beliefs.
This election, voters will disagree on who to vote for. However, let us make this election about voting with informed decisions that honors truth, civility, and community.
Alan Rudnick has been featured on television, radio, print, and social media and serves as the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa, NY. He has quickly established himself as a leader, blogger, and commentator in the areas of faith, Christianity, ministry, and social media. He is the author of, “The Work of the Associate Pastor”, Judson Press. Alan’s writing has been featured with the Albany Times Union, The Christian Century, Associated Baptist Press, and The Fund of Theological Education.
Author’s Website: alanrudnick.org
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Tags: election, how should christians vote, how should i vote, Politics
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