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How Christians decide who to vote for

For many people, voting is a lot like the lottery: mark off random boxes on a form and cross your fingers in hope of getting lucky. “Hopefully this person will represent what I stand for,” one might think before pulling the lever or pushing ‘submit.’

After all, it is much easier to play the lottery than research for a project. But what if, just for once, responsible Christian citizens would take voting seriously? What issues are important to consider in researching candidates who are nominated to run for president?

For some Eastern students, the upcoming election will be a time to discover what issues matter to Christians who want to cast responsible votes.

For senior Kristine Rego, sanctity of life issues (including abortion and war) are very important. She believes that life is sacred. Perhaps for similar reasons, she believes that welfare of the poor will also be an important issue for Christians to consider.

Junior Ashley Rambler believes international justice issues will be important to think about as a Christian. Consider on-going wars where civilians are being harmed and killed. Rambler also thinks it is important for America to have good relations with other countries.

Junior Ben Mello is concerned about taxes as a hot topic in the election. He believes Christians should be good stewards of money. Mello expressed concern for knowing where tax money is going and the possible creation of more government programs. Mello believes that, while the government should fund some programs, there are many that are not doing what they were designed to. Along with his concern for raised taxes, Mello expressed concern over the national debt.

While some may quickly identify a candidate who fits with one’s personal views on what issues are important in the election, others may have a more difficult time. In an article entitled “How to Pick a President” published in Christianity Today, the authors comment that the important thing as a Christian making an informed vote is not to identify a candidate with whom you agree on certain campaign issues, but rather to pick a candidate who will be virtuous in office. The authors make the argument that “virtue trumps policy” because a virtuous person will also be someone who takes a strong moral stance on important issues.

Making an informed vote that supports your beliefs as a Christian may be hard for some people to do. There are obviously going to be decisions that have to be made about what issues are most important to you and your faith. Prayer is not to be underestimated in this season before choosing a new leader for our country. The most important thing besides prayer is to take your decision more seriously than simply gambling on a random candidate. Make an informed decision and invest yourself in the process. Be a part of the on-going conversations concerning faith and politics in the upcoming election. The relations between faith and politics can be very real for the person who takes both seriously.

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