On Nov. 8, 2016, we elect a new president of the United States.
Despite the fact that the future of the American way of life is at stake – along with our national sovereignty and international influence – millions of Americans will not vote.
In 2012, 20 million Christians didn’t vote. Their reasons were inexcusable, as would be confirmed by the thousands who died to obtain and defend this privilege: “I forgot,” “I didn’t have time,” “I didn’t have a ride,” “I don’t like either candidate,” “All politicians are crooks anyway,” “Besides, my vote doesn’t really matter.” Maybe we need to examine the impact of such incomprehensible attitudes.
The real misfortune here is that even the most cursory examination of the world scene clearly demonstrates that government can be friend or foe. Objectively compare almost any country to America: Millions of people are born, live and often die under systems that have given them no choice of rulers and no voice in their own lives. Your vote does matter.
Everyone reading this column has both a choice and a voice, by virtue of the fact that you were “born in the USA” or you now live here legally (yes, legally). Americans, thus far, still have the freedom and good fortune to be able to choose who will serve them, unlike untold millions in other parts of the world who do not have the choice we so dangerously take for granted, or simply ignore.
As an American, you were born with the God-given right to participate in the greatest social experiment ever conceived by the mind of man, a democratic republic (“government of the people, for the people, and by the people”). In other words, you were legally endowed at birth, or by our agreed-upon law, with the right, the privilege and, yes, the responsibility to participate in your own governance.
“Government” is a system by which a nation, state or community is governed. A government in which people with shared values participate is not a democracy; it is a republic. As you know, this means that in America a majority of citizens elect specific representatives to represent and articulate their views in three branches of government. We choose, by the ballot, those who will govern (“conduct the policy, actions and affairs … control, influence, or regulate … persons, actions, or course of events via the executive and legislative branches”).
Our Founders created the judicial branch of government, which is designed to remain outside of, and free from, politics. Supreme Court justices are nominated by the duly elected president and confirmed by the likewise publicly elected Senate to keep them from being subjected to political manipulation by striving to please an electorate.
This system is the fulfillment of the dreams, aspirations and desires of those who came here to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility … promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty” to themselves and their posterity – us.
As you now help determine who will be our next president, just remember this: In our system, the government “derives its just powers from the consent” of those I call sovereigns. These sovereigns (those capable of acting independently and without outside interference) are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights… life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
In our system, the people – these sovereigns – are responsible to ensure that these mandates are met, just as they are to blame when they are not. If “those politicians up there are all crooks anyway,” it is because “We the People” sent them there because “We forgot to vote,” “We were too busy,” “We didn’t get a ride,” “Anyway, my vote doesn’t matter,” so somebody else elected them. (Recall the 20 million Christians who did not vote in the 2012 election.)
In the Book of Proverbs, there’s an interesting quote from one of the wisest governing sovereigns who ever lived; “If a ruler harkens to lies, all his servants are wicked.” Remember this: An unrighteous man appoints unrighteous men.
Who is making decisions for you today, and why is that important? It’s important because today’s decisions are tomorrow’s laws. Prayer was removed from schools by a single judicial decision, made by judges appointed by a president and confirmed by senators who were elected by “We the People” – you and me. (Oh, I’m sorry, not you. You didn’t bother to vote.)
Just as prayer was removed, other liberties that we now take for granted can be just as easily removed from our society in the same manner, by the same people.
“Well, my one vote doesn’t really matter, anyway.” Really?
- In 1776, one vote decided whether the colonies would speak German or English.
- In 1850, one vote decided whether or not California would become a state.
- In 1960, three votes per precinct elected John F. Kennedy over Richard Nixon.
Perhaps had you been there then, with your “unimportant vote,” we would be speaking German, California would be part of Mexico, and we would never have had a JFK.
Will we continue to enjoy the freedoms to which we have become accustomed? Will we be able to vote our consciences? Will we worship God as we choose, or will we become like many other nations where Christian churches are museums and faith in the God of Abraham is underground? Never happen? Who ever thought it would be illegal to pray publicly in America?
Let me say this one more time: Ours is a “government of the people, for the people, by the people.”
So, get informed, pray and then vote – as if your life depended on it.
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