How are we to decide how to vote this year? That is a question many of us have been asking ourselves and our answers are all over the place from voting against the candidate we like least, to writing in a vote for a third person, to leaving their votes on certain elections blank. Surely there is some wisdom from scripture that can help us as we take part in our nations political decisions. If you look, you will not find much advice beyond "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's..", from Jesus and "Submit to those in authority over you..." from Paul. Now you should all know that if you were a landed citizen of Rome, as Paul might have been, you were entitled to vote for representatives to the Senate and other offices. Rome, after all, was a republic even though she also had an emperor in power as well. That guy no body got to vote for. Therefore, no doubt Christian people did vote in elections but beyond that we see little evidence that they were any more involved in politics.
They were, however, very much a part of Roman life, while guided by the God to whom they rendered their ultimate obedience. They were living salt and light, guided by strong moral convictions. For example, because of the nature of military service in the empire, Christians for the first three centuries refused to serve under arms. (For a vividly clear idea of how the Church behaved in those days read "The Apology" by 2nd Cent saint Justin Martyr.) In short, their vote for a better society was made known by their personal actions to promote it and not so much by their public opinions made at poling stations.
So how then should we know how to cast our votes or not? I like the wisdom posted recently by Fr. Ken Tanner on this subject. He said, "May you comprehend that your salvation is not dependent on who you vote for in an election, or in whether or not you vote; that you are under no biblical or theological or moral obligation to vote for a person or party or proposal or initiative if that vote violates your conscience." So pray and then do what you believe is best for America next. I trust that all of you will do what you believe is right and may God have mercy on America.
1047 Congress Street
Portland, Maine 04102