Does God care if I vote? I think it’s a fair question. Is God invested in my participation in the democratic process. I’m not certain. You’d be hard pressed to find an argument for democracy in scripture. Monarchy, empires, and dictatorships are all through the Bible. Nobody gets to vote for anything or anyone. Individual liberty and freedom aren’t big ideas. Yes, elements of what we come to identify as the “Judeo-Christian tradition” highlight aspects of personal freedom and individual choice. When married to the pagan virtues of certain Greco-Roman philosophers, the notions which lead to the American system of governance become clearer. At best, we are and have always been a mélange Greek thought, Roman practice, and Judeo-Christian aspirations. Within this long and simmering intellectual reduction, where is God? Is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; a God who remains silent on voting (and many other hot button issues) present to offer an opinion as to my participation in this year’s election?
Should God’s Testaments be read like an Originalist interpretation of the United States Constitution? If I interpret these words, as the late Justice Scalia would have argued, at face value, I can only come to one conclusion: there is nothing in the Bible which compels me to vote. Unlike the arguments for or against the church’s position on sexuality where actual passages about human sexuality are debated and their socio-historical context is argued; voting is nonexistent.
God is not invested in America’s election, Caesar’s hegemony, or Pharaoh’s reign. If God were on Rome’s side, the empire would have fallen during Diocletian’s persecutions well before 476 and after the Constantinian conversion. Egypt would have collapsed when Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land. If we think America is God’s chosen nation, then I fear we’re Rome on the brink of collapse.
To read into a given Biblical text God’s interest in my voting is to add ideas into the Bible which aren’t there. I am applying my cultural standard and placing my beliefs into the mind. I’m confusing my will with the will of God. I can absolutely say I have no proof that God cares who I vote for and most importantly, if I vote. The evidence isn’t there.
Please don’t tell me I have a religious obligation to vote for anyone. If I vote for anyone, I am leaving God at the door. My vote has nothing to do with God. I have built a personal wall of separation between the God, church, and the state. God doesn’t tell me how to vote. Why should God tell me who to vote for when there’s no record of God telling anyone else?
My vote doesn’t change my life. However, my relationship with God and the work I do for the church changes my life each day. After I vote, most aspects of my life will remain the same. I doubt I’ll notice much a change regardless of who wins. I’ll get up, got to work, see my kids, eat lunch, and do all those things I do. But my life, the things that give my day meaning, my faith; that’s got nothing to do with my vote and never will. It’s got to do with God and we’ve got fish to fry, people to feed, lives to help mend, and the remnants of a hurricane all around.