The Rev. Janice Ford, Rector
The Church of the Reconciliation (Episcopal)
As of the close of the Democratic National Convention on September 6th, there were 60 days remaining until every eligible American has the opportunity to step into a voting booth and register his or her choice for the next President of the United States. I have always been impressed by the magnitude of this event every four years—and equally disheartened—by how many Americans either do not vote or vote without much thought behind their choice.
Sadly, some people feel their vote does not matter or that the platforms of the candidates do not really address the issues important in the lives of most Americans. Others simply vote the “party line” regardless of the issues at hand (probably the worst kind of ideology—maybe even idolatry). Still others are turned off by what they feel are less than honest politicians whose ultimate obligation is not to Americans, but to those who make their candidacy and election possible. And, of course, there are plenty of people who do not vote because they are tired of the mutual mudslinging used to disguise the fact that neither party has anything to say of any substance beyond political rhetoric.
As a Christian woman, wife, mother, and priest of the Church, I have to admit that for all the reasons I just noted—and undoubtedly for more than I have noted—I have struggled from time to time with going to the polls myself. However, I can honestly say that I have never missed voting in a Presidential election because I believe it is simply too important not to exercise that privilege as an American. I share in the same frustrations as everyone else when it comes to politics and our less-than-perfect (essentially) two-party system. Still, I will not give up the opportunity to support the individual whom I feel has the greatest potential to lead our nation in a manner commensurate with my personal and professional values.
When I vote, I use as a guide those values and principles that shape me: as a Christian; as a woman, wife and mother; and, of course, as a priest. Sometimes what I hear from candidates makes it challenging to truly determine how they measure up against the guide I am using. That is when I use the most powerful guide I have—prayer. I have always prayed before I vote. I ask God to determine who is the most qualified, honest and caring person to lead our country. I consciously bless the person for whom I am casting my ballot. In truth, I want God to do the choosing, not me—because the reality is that I am no more perfect than those running for election.
I invite each of you to pray before, during and after you vote in November. Pray for God’s hand to be in this election. Pray for the character, intelligence and ability of whoever is elected. Pray for our one nation under God, that there may be security, liberty and justice for all.
- Tuesday, 11 September 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Religion