Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Voting

Here in Fort Wayne we had the Indiana Primary elections today. This will sound bizarre to you, but I personally believe that since 1. voting is an exercise of authority and governance, and that 2. pastors of the Church ought not have their hands in both churchly and civil governance, and that 3. seminary is a time for leaving worldly ambitions aside, and preparing for the life of churchly vocation, that therefore, when I was in seminary, I thought it best to quit voting in political elections.

That is a moot point now, however, since I am not now in seminary; so I voted today. One thing that has not changed, however, is my conviction that theologians in general ought not be politically outspoken, which is not to say that they ought not speak out on political issues where they intersect with moral issues, even speaking out against specific men, or praising others. It is only to say that one's theological and spiritual vocation, one's effectiveness in his use of the Word, indeed, one's theology itself, can become unnecessarily tainted by political concerns, and especially by political partisanship. Therefore, for example, I refuse to give an answer when friends ask me to divulge my votes. Am I a supported of the RNC, and John McCain? Am I a supporter of Ron Paul? Am I a member of Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos," and therefore a supporter of Hilary Clinton in the Primary? Am I one of the audacious hopefuls, who support Obama? I won't tell. That infuriates some of my "seminary type" friends who exuberantly proclaim that the only Christian way to vote is for Ron Paul.

In the case of some of them, I worry that their theological passion, if it ever existed, has been replaced by their political passion. Some seminarians are more willing to argue politics than to wrestle with the Word.

There are many manifestations of what I would call in general the abuse of the voting right. Another is the phenomenon of women who reportedly vote for Hilary Clinton simply because they feel they can identify with her as a woman. Some have even admitted that they vote for Clinton because their parents dislike Hilary, and they find some odd sort of attraction to voting for someone to spite someone else.

I would go so far as to say that the man who is uneducated, in the issues of the day, and also in the Liberal Arts in general, as well as in the teachings of the Church, ought not vote. He ought to educate and inform himself, and then cast his vote in all sobriety.

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