Religious communities can do more to get out the vote (COMMENTARY)

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A "Vote Here "sign sits on Wornall Rd. in front of a church in Kansas City, Mo., several days before the 2012 Presidential election. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

A "Vote Here "sign sits on Wornall Rd. in front of a church in Kansas City, Mo., several days before the 2012 Presidential election. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

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(RNS) They can contribute by working in voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote campaigns on Election Day. That isn't a partisan exercise. It's basic patriotism.

  • The Great God Pan

    “I know religious communities get squeamish about venturing at all into political matters…”

    Not nearly squeamish enough. If only they were squeamish about opposing marriage equality, abortion rights, health care mandates…

  • CarrotCakeMan

    And squeamish about making secret, illegal political contributions!

    The federal judge who revoked the 2008 California anti-gay H8te Vote had in his possession an email written by Catholic bishops to Mormon leaders in which they both agreed to violate California campaign finance laws to throw the H8te Vote by making secret, illegal cash and in-kind contributions to the H8te Vote. The email serves as proof positive they knew they were breaking the law; the email itself is an act of criminal collusion. Here is documentation about that email:

    The email was included in the evidence the US Supreme Court reviewed before that Court affirmed the revocation of the 2008 California anti-gay H8te Vote. Clearly, the criminal acts committed by Mormons and other anti-gays failed. It is believed Justice Scalia is holding this document to prevent the State of California from using it to prosecute the miscreants.

  • Fmr Cath

    TRUE Christians today do not participate in politics. Why not? Because they follow Jesus’ example. He said about himself: “I am no part of the world.” Regarding his followers, he stated: “You are no part of the world.” (John 15:19; 17:14) Consider some reasons why Christians should not become involved in politics.
    1. Human ability is limited. The Bible states that humans have neither the ability nor the right to govern themselves. “It does not belong to man who is walking,” wrote the prophet Jeremiah, “even to direct his step.”—Jeremiah 10:23.
    Just as humans were not created to fly successfully on their own strength, so they were not created to rule successfully by themselves. Speaking about the limits of government, historian David Fromkin noted: “Governments are composed of human beings; therefore they are fallible and their prospects are uncertain. They exercise a certain power, but only a limited one.” (The Question of Government) No wonder the Bible warns us not to put our trust in man!—Psalm 146:3.
    2. Wicked spirit forces currently have an influence. When Satan offered Jesus world rulership, Jesus did not deny that the Devil had the power to offer him all the kingdoms of the world. In fact, on a later occasion, Jesus called Satan “the ruler of the world.” Some years later the apostle Paul described Satan as “the god of this system of things.” (John 14:30; 2 Corinthians 4:4) Paul wrote to fellow Christians: “We have a wrestling . . . against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) Behind the scenes, wicked spirit forces are the real rulers of this world. How should that fact influence our view of politics?
    Think of this comparison: Just as small boats are swept along by powerful sea currents, human political systems are pulled along by powerful, wicked spirit forces. And just as the sailors in those boats can do little to change those powerful currents, politicians can do little to change the influence of those powerful spirit forces. Those forces are bent on corrupting humans beyond reform and on causing “woe for the earth.” (Revelation 12:12) Therefore, real change can be brought about only by a person who is more powerful than Satan and his demons. That Person is Jehovah God himself.—Psalm 83:18; Jeremiah 10:7, 10.
    3. True Christians give allegiance only to God’s Kingdom. Jesus and his disciples knew that at a set time, God himself would establish a government in heaven to rule over the entire earth. The Bible calls this government God’s Kingdom and reveals that Jesus Christ has been appointed as its King. (Revelation 11:15) Since that Kingdom affects all humans, Jesus made “the good news of the kingdom of God” the main subject of his teachings. (Luke 4:43) He also taught his disciples to pray: “Let your kingdom come.” Why? Because under that Kingdom, God’s will is sure to be done in heaven and on earth.—Matthew 6:9, 10.
    What, then, will happen to man-made governments? The Bible answers that the governments “of the entire inhabited earth” will be destroyed. (Revelation 16:14; 19:19-21) If an individual truly believes that God’s Kingdom is about to remove all man-made political systems, he logically would refrain from supporting those political systems. After all, if he tried to prop up doomed, man-made governments, he would, in effect, be taking a stand against God.

  • Fran


    I agree with you 100%!!! I have never voted nor gotten involved in politics or the conflicts of the world (wars) .. for the same Biblical reasons you cited!! 😀 I am a true supporter of God’s kingdom or heavenly government as the ONLY hope for mankind!

  • Doc Anthony

    Hey, Larry! You see how Tom Ehrich is calling on the churches and religious groups to get all involved in political matters, “get out the vote” and such, especially for the sake of responding to major socio-political issues?

    So what is your response to him, Larry? How about you, Atheist Max?

  • samuel Johnston

    “The more Americans who vote, the more we have a stake in the system.
    Voter support is especially important in areas where one party is working to discourage voters, in some cases enacting regulations that make voting more difficult by, say, African-Americans and immigrants.”
    Gee Tom. Where did you get your degree in Political Science, or Law, or History?
    I have all three. It doesn’t make my opinions correct, but it doe make me wonder what real thought you have given to the subject.
    Any democratic system makes assumptions that are more hopeful than proven.
    Since when do the illiterate, the uneducated, the uninformed, and the generally disinterested, contribute positively to the election precess? “The principal fallacy of democracy is the assumption that people act in their own interest.” I want those who have not seriously considered their choices to stay home – for the good of us all.

  • Larry

    See comments above by CarrotCakeMan and The Great God Pan.

    There has never been a problem with getting religious communities to get out and vote when the subject is how to give discriminatory dogma color of law.

    The problem is getting them out to vote on things such as social justice, relieving poverty and clean politics. Things that normally evince Christian love of humanity that you guys talk about so much in church.

    Of course it would also be nice if religious communities discussed things like the ongoing efforts of suppressing the poor, elderly and minority vote.

  • Doc Anthony

    So you are saying that it IS okay for churches to jump right into political matters, “get out the vote”, and seek to influence outcomes on today’s major political and social issues.

    You just don’t like it when churches do it in defense of marriage and the family, or when churches do it against the Gay Gestapo Gang, or when churches do it in regards to religious freedom issues. Is that accurate?

  • Larry

    I am saying got out there and vote for something a little less selfish than furtherance of your religious dogma. Show that your religious group cares about something other than making people obey the dictates of your faith.

    Christian involvement with abortion, marriage equality, the contraception mandate, are all about trying to force everyone to abide by the religious dictates of their faith. Vocal Christians taking it upon themselves to speak for everyone. All of those can be summed up with the response, “if you don’t like them, don’t do them”.

    Maybe if there was more Christ in the Christian political activity there would be much less animosity to such things. 🙂

  • Good article, taken at face value. As American citizens it’s our duty to vote for our officials, even if they are corrupt as the day is long. This is a good opportunity to “throw the bums out,” as they say. Do not vote for any incumbents, invoke term limits by popular demand (a one-term congressperson may not be subject to all of the bribes and corruption that are rampant today). If you want to act like Jesus, then disappear like the cloud of thought vapor he himself was–he never existed except in the imaginations of the frauds and fakes who wrote the gospels decades after Jesus supposedly died. And especially, watch out for the “stealth fundamentalists,” right wing Republicans (and maybe a few Dems) who act like they’re conservative but are actually biblical literalists (the world was made in 6 days, Adam was a lump of clay) and couldn’t care less about democracy or our republic.

  • Fran

    Not to worry! Jesus and God’s kingdom or heavenly government will soon put an end to all corrupt human governments (Daniel 2:44) and provide a truly righteous, loving and just rule for all of meek mankind (Isaiah 11:1-9).

    There will no longer be “the lesser of two evils”, nor will the wicked ones/terrorists exist on earth (Psalm 37:10,11).

    This will prove to everyone on the planet that Jesus exists as King of that government and that he truly loves mankind.

  • Samuel Johnston

    And then there is “render unto Caesar”. Give me a Bible and I can show you where it says the angels will sit (stand or hover?) on the four corners of the earth.
    Poor Copernicus! He should have paid more attention to Revelations.
    “If an individual truly believes that God’s Kingdom is about to remove all man-made political systems, he logically would refrain from supporting those political systems.”
    Well, your God has been about to do it for for around twenty Centuries. Perhaps his idea of a “true Christian” differs slightly from yours.

  • samuel Johnston

    I can understand how Scalia can be made into some sort of villain, (he is not) but “It is believed Justice Scalia is holding this document to prevent the State of California from using it to prosecute the miscreants.”
    It is believed? Pretty thin, besides, courts no longer require original documents, so a copy would do fine for a state prosecution.

  • Severely Ltd.

    Sammy, I couldn’t agree with you more. Only those truly motivated to explore the issues ought to be voting. It doesn’t help to have voting drives rounding up the un and ill-informed, which is what we’ve had the past few elections. Yes this is somewhat elitist, but being the informed elite is a good thing, no? At least that’s who I want choosing our leaders, not the sheep.

  • Fran


    God’s timeframe is definitely different from ours. As Psalm 90:2 brings out:

    “Before the mountains themselves were born, or you proceeded to bring forth the earth and the productive land, even from time indefinite to time indefinite, you are God.”

    We imperfect humans do not live eternally and are fortunate if we live to be 100!! However, it was and still is God’s intention that we live forever on earth as evidenced by Ecclesiastes 3:11:

    “Everything he (God) has made pretty in its time. Even time indefinite he has put in their heart, that mankind may never find out the work that God has made from start to finish.”

    Concerning God’s timeframe, Psalm 90:4 brings out:

    “For a thousand years are in your (God’s) eyes as yesterday when it is past and as a watch during the night.”

    The important thing to remember, at this stage of human history, is that fulfillment of Bible prophecies Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21) are taking place before our very eyes.

    As Peter wrote at 2 Peter 3:8,9:

    “However, let this one fact not be escaping your notice, that one day is with God as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

    God is not slow respecting his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you, because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.”

  • Hannah Paul

    Very nice quote concerning ‘true Christians” and their neutrality. But you should cite your source since you have pasted it here verbatim – all nine or more paragraphs. Copyright infringement is both illegal and immoral.