This has been an unusual presidential campaign season. It seems like the topic has been the top news story for about two years, and now we are faced with making a decision. As a Christian, I understand that I am an alien and foreigner in this world and that my allegiance is to my God and Lord. But the idea of citizenship offers the opportunity to vote in national and local elections.
I am tempted to opt out of voting and not participate in the activities of the State, which more often than not are self-serving and not consistent with the Gospel. On the other hand, I am reminded that my vote is significant and to not vote is a vote for the consensual delegate. To vote means that I will have to accept the compromises inherent in the process. No candidate will meet the litmus test I see outlined in Scripture. And so if I decide to vote, I have to think about the concessions that will be made.
As Paul Schrag states in a recent editorial, “There is no Christian purity in politics.” Schrag goes on to say, “the question voters must ask, then, involve degrees of imperfection: Every candidate is willing to use military force, but who is less belligerent? Every candidate strays from the truth, but who is less deceitful? Every candidate’s words, actions and policy positions reveal character, temperament and moral judgment. Who scores higher on the balance of these assets and weaknesses?”
In a recent article in Christianity Today, Ron Sider explained why he will be voting for Hillary Clinton. I find his argument compelling. Sider disagrees with Clinton’s position on abortion, stating that “Clinton is bad and good in the usual ways. But Trump is not only bad in many of the usual ways, he is also bad in the ways which I have usually preferred Republicans.”
Regarding pro-life issues, Sider commented that he has, advocated a completely pro-life, pro-poor, i.e., “pro-family, pro-racial justice, pro-sexual integrity, pro-peacemaking and pro-creation care.” Trump’s pro-life position seems politically motivated and not credible. Sider argues that Clinton’s position on racial and economic justice are not only long-held but commendable. He observes, “At a time when racial injustice and mistrust threaten to tear the nation apart, her experience and trust in minority communities is invaluable.”
Clinton has also focused on the lower-income Americans, who have lost economic status in the last several years, and has supported policies that would help to limit the growing divide between the rich and poor. She has advocated a higher minimum wage to $12 and tax cuts for companies that share profits with workers, and she has said she would support the expansion of health insurance to cover all Americans, which as Sider notes is “surely pro-life.” Other policies Clinton would support include proposals to protect the environment and a workable immigration policy. Sider concludes his article by stating, “Voting for one candidate rather than the other does not mean that one endorses all that candidate supports. It simply means that one believes the other candidate would lead to worse results.”
As a Christian, I think concern for the poor, the disadvantaged, the immigrant, creation care and racial justice is mandated in Scripture. To be a faithful witness to the State, I support the candidate who embraces compassion for “the least of these.” I concur with Ron Sider that “in this unprecedented, astonishing presidential election, I have no doubt that voting for Hillary Clinton is the right choice.”