By Kelsi Peace, Features Editor
Elections loom at the beginning of November. Discussions center around which party will control the House and who will support or oppose hot-button issues like abortion and gay marriage, attempting to lure voters -especially younger ones-to the polls.
Christians face a unique battle in determining what role politics ought to play in a life dedicated to Christ. Some feel politics have no place at all, citing Paul’s words in Philippians 3:20 that tell us “our citizenship is in heaven.”
But though my citizenship is ultimately in heaven, my citizenship in American still equips me with the power to affect change- the ability to inform myself through an independent media, to voice my opinion in whatever non-violent method I desire and to vote for amendments and leaders I believe will improve the lives of not only Americans, but people everywhere.
As someone who finds the so-called Christian-coalition and evangelical right more than a little unnerving, I am not advocating that students rush to the polls and cast a specific vote.
Instead, I am asserting that Christians ought to participate in politics, remain informed and voice their opinions. After all, Christ is to rule over every aspect of our lives, and our government is one aspect.
For example, if the Roe versus Wade case is reviewed again, the decision will imply America’s view of what constitutes a life. Christians should have a say in this decision.
I agree with those who argue that we cannot “legislate morality.” Though laws that force Americans to comply with what I believe are correct moral standards cannot reasonably exist, does not mean I can’t use my vote and my country to stand up and make life a little better for someone else.
The Bible speaks constantly of role-reversals, when the downtrodden will be uplifted, when the marginalized will find solace and compassion. Yes, I can volunteer, build relationships and offer a much more personal hand to these people. But I can also spare a few minutes to educate myself, drive to a voting booth and cast an informed vote for someone I think will use his or her power to implement policies policies to help the less-fortunate rather than oppress them.
My vote is my voice.
People are quiet too often; people are ignorant too often. And both of these are dangerous. In another example, places like the Congo, Darfur and Rwanda suffer hideous violence in mute agony because not enough people are aware. People do not know that Darfur lost 400,000 citizens because of genocide, according to an article at www.jewishjournal.com.
People do not know that some are pleading for American leaders to instate a United Nations peacekeeping force, increase humanitarian aid and declare a no-fly zone to end the crimes in Darfur. Elected leaders, make these decisions and write these policies.
Those who vote elect these leaders, demonstrate approval or disapproval for policies and keep elected officials in line with the threat of the vote. And so I ask- how will you use your power to vote?