We are now in the season of fall, which seems to have come rather suddenly, for here in Florida we sometimes seem to be in endless summer! We recognize fall’s arrival, not by turning leaves, but by Halloween decorations for sale in the stores and heavier traffic as the snowbirds return. But we also know it is fall by the election signs dotting yards and displayed on billboards, by political robocalls, and by the television ads for and against candidates and issues. If past experience holds true, these ads will increase in number the closer we get to election day, to the point that it seems more TV air time is given over to them than to the programs we’d like to watch. I’ve heard many people say that they are glad when Election Day finally comes so the political ads will stop!
It is a wonderful thing, of course, to live in a democracy where we have the privilege of voting. With this privilege comes responsibility, for we believe that our votes matter. As Christians, we are to be informed by our faith in all areas of our lives. WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) is not at all a bad way to measure our response at the ballot box to matters of importance to our community, our nation, and our world.
I think one way to discern WWJD about issues, especially controversial issues, is to consider several points:
- What is the truth here? What are the facts, unbiased by special interests? Do some research.
- Who or what group is endorsing or protesting against an issue or candidate? How does it benefit?
- How does this issue affect the entire community?
- How does the issue speak to the Great Commandment? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”( Matthew 22:37-39) We don’t profit ourselves at our neighbor’s expense.
I like this quote by Lester Boss,“ As Christians we are called to do what we can to build a better world, not just any old world.”
May God bless each of you as you thoughtfully and prayerfully cast your ballot on November 6th.
In Christ Love!
Pastor Candy Thomas
Christ Congregational United Church of Christ