16 thoughts on “Voting All Your Values

  1. no party and no candidate is fully in line with “christian values”. i put quotations on that b/c it’s kind of a subjective thing. i mean, you’ve got the constitution party that says they are a “christian” party, but that’s only if you are a fundamentalist christian. most christians are not. our political issues of today cannot really be labeled in terms of christian or non-christian stances by & large…b/c we have different interpretations of what jesus might say about the issues. he wasn’t a politician, and most of our contemporary issues were not issues then. it’s hard for me to see jesus as being conservative in regard to fiscal issues, or things like immigration, for example. but, an awful lot of conservative people are christian and say they are conservative for that very reason. i love jim wallis & sojourners, but to me the “religious left” makes the exact same mistake as the “religious right” – attaching jesus to a political agenda. the christian faith is a spiritual thing, and yes it should inform our socio-political views, but how it should do so is a matter of personal conviction. i’m think ralph nader is the greatest american alive, and i’d say a big reason i’m a leftist nutjob is b/c of my faith…but i can’t say a supporter of chuck baldwin or even john mccain isn’t a christian or interprets their faith wrong b/c they disagree with me on matters that are not directly addressed in the teachings of christ.

  2. i’m sure there’s a few people patrolling here that would blow a gasket if i posted a “how to vote” by Dobson

    on another note, and this could be me feeling like this thing is pointed at me (or those like me), but the notion of voting ALL your values is funny to me. it feels like the “left” leaning evangelicals are saying hey, there’s other things to worry about besides ending abortion so get over it. let’s worry about the environment. to me they are not equal by any means and one deserves more passion than the other.

    second, when it comes to voting for a candidate, i try to imagine this guy in my house, influencing me, offering insight into my life, helping with my kids…like a good leader would. and when i try to examine the leaders running, i think hmmm, obama’s a decent enough guy, seems to be positive…oh wait, he’s voted multiple times to uphold abortion. so to me there’s something askew in a man’s worldview, in his heart that can justify or gloss over that idea.

    i would use similar judgement about romney…in his worldview, in his heart, he is part of a large cult and is deceived. i have to question his judgement.

    please be gentle. this does not equal me voting for mccain…there’s heart issues there as well.

  3. i agree with jim on the importance of the abortion issue, in that it remains important. i honestly can’t believe we’ve come to the place in time where we have to debate over whether it’s “ok” or not. but, i do have people close to me who’ve had abortions, and i have to love them regardless, and try and act like christ might. it’s tough. the one thing that i’ve brought up in here before (i think) about abortion is that the majority of christians opposed to it would say it’s based on life beginning at conception…but the bible doesn’t say that anywhere. the psalmist says “you knit me together in my mothers womb”, but that’s as close as it gets. now, i remember a response being “well obviously life begins at conception” (paraphrasing), and yeah, i agree it does, but i’m just pointing out that we believing that is not based on scripture, but rather on either church teaching or our own personal convictions. abortion is bad, it’s awful, there’s no arguing that. but, realistically speaking, it’s not going away. reagan was in office for 8 years, bush, sr. for 4 and now W for 8. it didn’t go away. it’s simply not going anywhere. for me, that’s why it’s not really an issue i base a vote on. also, i do feel that as a man, perhaps it shouldn’t be up to me, as i’ll never be in a position where i have to face such a dreadful decision. i understand the fear that a scared young girl who thinks there’s no other option feels. and that’s why i think the pro-life movement should focus on providing counseling and alternatives. if all the money and energy they spend on just trying to reverse roe -v- wade was put into establishing pro-life pregnancy centers in every community, we’d see a big difference. and that’s what i think needs to happen, and that’s something i support 100%. abortion isn’t going away, and yes, i think that’s a sad reality, but it is the reality. if 20 years of pro-life presidents being in office didn’t do it, i don’t see what would.

  4. yeah i don’t see it going away, nor is my voting based on the candidate that will make it go away.
    my voting is based on character and how they make their decisions.

    we all know that president’s are somewhat limited in what they can get done. but there is a time that is critical for presidents that i’m most concerned about: setting a vision/establishing what is important and time’s of crisis.

    the candidate i vote for better be solid and have a worldview that i line up with for the most part.
    as far as me lining up with obama, we don’t.

  5. my main problem with the piece is the subtle message that supporting the poor can only be done by electing democrats. that is patently ridiculous and, unfortunately, completely assumed as true by many. (thanks, jim wallis, for your invaluable contribution!)

    1. as a conservative, evangelical christian who believes that the bible is to be lived, i have what I hope to be a considerable amount of compassion for the poor. To quote paul, helping the poor is the very thing I’m eager to do.
    I mean, i live in WV. we’re one of the most impoverished states in the union. If you don’t have compassion for your fellow man, you run out of people to interact with in a hurry.

    Regardless, we’ve had over 75 freaking YEARS of total and complete democrat dominion in our legislature. And for all their vaunted “compassion” for the poor, their legislative efforts haven’t kept us from rounding out the bottom of most of the nations statistical misery indexes.

    Maybe it’s becuase government is inherently bueracratic, entangled in red tape and woefully wasteful that i can’t muster up any trust in them to put my tax dollars to efficient use for the poor.

    2. Compassion for the poor starts with the church. Relying on the aforementioned bloated sack of innefficiency that is our government to do it for us seems like an easy way out of actually DOING something for the poor in our communities.

    3. the same body of scripture that gives us “feed the poor” gives us “if you don’t work, you don’t eat” and “a man who won’t provide for his family is worse than an infidel” so, my compassion is biblically directed to the fatherless, the widow and the orphan. it’s not reserved for people living off the system. (paul referred to this as “giving to the widows who were really widows”) those folks need to get a job. i’m all for helping them GET jobs using my tax dollars…as long as they actually GET the job.

    4. with that said, i’ll take “social” justice voting any day. The mere hope of justice for the unborn trumps voting for a party that has sounds “christian” when talking about helping the poor.

  6. one problem with getting a job is how corporations have been able to ship millions of american jobs overseas and take advantage of 3rd world slave labor. that should be illegal. not that there aren’t jobs to be had, but it’s not like it used to be. my fathers parents worked in a wool mill their whole lives, by the time i got to high school it was closed. all the factories, mills and shipyards closed. i want people in office who will stand up to corporate interest instead of serving it, as the 2 major parties both do.

    as far as living off the system and the idea of republicans being greedy and dems being compassionate, i’ll say this. i am a mental health counselor. i’m friggin’ LUCKY to have a job right now b/c our republican governor (a republican governor in rhode island?!?!) cut the mental health budget in half. i realize a dem might have done the same. in my home state of maine the dem governor made cuts. but, we who work in the social work field all know that dems in office means more funds for our clients, who are chronically mentally ill and unable to function without medication and 24/7 assistance, let alone hold down jobs. with cuts to our funds, people like me get laid off, group homes go belly up, and our clients end up in jail, homeless or dead. so, though i don’t trust the dems anymore then the GOP, i do realize they are the literal lesser of two evils as far as my job and my field of work is concerned.

  7. So … for the record… can I say that I’m peeing myself right now?

    The collision of divergent opinions is EXACTLY what, I feel, we need right now.

    At the core, I kind of have a fundamental belief that sharing from our differences is pretty much how we experience America’s potential. We’ll find the middle somewhere and call it “home.”

  8. As far as the problem of the poor is concerned I blame the church, I blame myself. We are far more likely to let someone else deal with the dirty and unlovable then doing it ourselves.

  9. i said:
    Regardless, we’ve had over 75 freaking YEARS of total and complete democrat dominion in our legislature. And for all their vaunted “compassion” for the poor, their legislative efforts haven’t kept us from rounding out the bottom of most of the nations statistical misery indexes.

    i should have followed it up by saying:

    and i believe that many of these programs are counterproductive to actually helping the poor. they are FAR more likely to create dependence on the system than put a man back on his feet untill he can get a job. (those relying on gov. assistance are having 3x as many kids as those who are not.) throwing money at programs because it appears at face value to be an act of compassion is foohardy.

    there’s my 4 cents (my first 2, plus and additional 2)

  10. It’s tough. Obviously there are abuses. But living in an impoverished city, where less than 40% of high school students graduate, where just about no one has a father in the household and because of this mom’s not in the house either because she’s working 2-3 jobs… I just see such a real vicious cycle with seemingly no solutions.

    The “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” message rings pretty hallow when mom has to make the decision to pull you out of school so you can work for minimum wage to help her cover expenses. I had a conversation with a school administrator recently that shared that exact scenario with me. She pleaded with the mom to let him stay in school one more year so he could graduate, but she couldn’t reason with her. Now what hope does that kid have? It’s only a matter of time until he realizes $7 an hour doesn’t go very far, but $200 an ounce can at least keep a roof over your head.

    But if you cut off funding, or make it more difficult to come by – you’re likely going to have more crime on your streets, more homeless, more drugs in the schools, etc.

    So yeah. We’re creating dependence. But by the same token, they are dependent on these types of programs for their survival. Especially children who are the most vulnerable to the cycle.

    The solution has to come from all facets of the community. Government programs play a vital role. But businesses need to be investing back into the community as well. Churches need to get in the mix wherever they can. Heck, so do mosques, synagogues, Elks clubs, the Masons, and suburbanites for that matter.

    What did Hillary say? It takes a village? 😆

  11. throwing money at programs because it appears at face value to be an act of compassion is foohardy.

    Actually, you touch on something interesting.

    No one has ever been taxed out of compassion. Which could explain the disconnect and apathy that exists regarding the impoverished in America. No one gave one dime to any government program because they opted into it out of compassion. But rather, they’re forced to contribute – which naturally creates tension and resentment.

    Which probably squashes any lingering hope for compassion. “Those people” get enough of my money, why should I give more, or volunteer my time – or care at all?

    Of course, if we left it up to compassion alone – my fear would be that every program that has ever existed would be woefully underfunded. Which wouldn’t help matters either.

  12. don’t forget that 51% of american tax dollars go toward the military infastructure.

    $549 billion toward the war in iraq (that’s almost $2 grand per person).

    i think green party candidate cynthia mckinney put it very well, that “we have plenty of money for programs; it’s just misallocated”, and also “there’s something wrong with $38 billion spent on education & $700 billion spent on defense!” of course, the fact it came from a green party candidate automatically makes it lose validity to a conservative, which is unfortunate.

  13. I, too, am greatly heartened by this discussion, and will very likely have my government class read it in the very near future.

    I just cannot get away from abortion as an issue, no matter how I might try. I just can’t.

    It’s probably simplistic and short-sighted and all those things, but I’m captivated by the reality that it presents.

    It is a human rights issue and needs to be framed that way.

    As the Democrats, and shortly, the Republicans, gather around the altar of gov’t, I’m heartened by an article from Gene Edward Veith in WORLD magazine that read, in part:

    “Future Francis Schaeffers need neither enshrine nor neglect politics…”


    The church, indeed, needs to reclaim this issue as a matter of justice (restoration) both in Jerusalem…and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

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