Don’t Waste Your Vote

There is a good article on Dr. Mohler’s blog about Obama and the abortion issue…also you should read the article that he links to at www.thepublicdiscourse.com.

Here is how I would counsel anyone who asks me about how they should vote. In my mind, if two (or three or four or however many) candidates are both pro-life and one has a larger constituency and so a greater chance of winning the election – then I will vote for the one who opposes abortion and has the better chance of winning the election.  The other candidate(s) with the smaller constituency may be more agreeable to me when it comes to financial issues or positions on the war or women working outside of the home or whatever else, but what matters most to me is the abortion issue.  So in that regard McCain is not a lesser of two evils – he opposes the evil of abortion and will work to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Therefore, if I say that abortion is my primary issue, then I must vote for the candidate that is on my side regarding that issue and has the greater chance of winning.  Put aside the whole “wasted” vote argument.  If I were to vote for a candidate who is on my side of the abortion issue, but does not have as good a chance of winning as another candidate who is also on my side of the abortion issue, then I have in essence voted against a candidate who was on my side of the abortion issue which I regard as THE issue that matters most to me.  If I vote against the candidate with the best chance to win because the other candidate agrees with me on other less important issues (economy, war, women working outside the home, etc.) then what I have done with my vote is put the economy and the war and whatever other issue ahead of the abortion issue. Now that is fine if the abortion issue is not the primary issue for you.  If you would rather make a statement about a woman working outside the home or your opposition to the bail out plan or women wearing dresses instead of pants or whatever, then you have a valid argument if those things matter more to you than the abortion issue.  In fact I would argue that if the issue of women working outside the home is so much more of an evil to you than abortion that you won’t support a party’s ticket with your vote – then you ought to at least stop supporting other things that contribute to that “evil” as well.  For example, I take my children to a female doctor and so support that doctor’s work outside of the home.  I work for a business where the COO is a woman and hires women who have young children at home and these women where pants to work.  My wife goes to an OB-GYN practice that has female doctors and nurses and so we’re supporting those women who work outside of the home.  We eat at restaurants that have females working in them and even tip our female waitresses and so I’m supporting those women working outside of their homes. Those restaurants even serve alcohol to people who may be alcoholics…the point is, if you can’t vote for a party’s ticket because you are taking a stand against these “evils” then how much more should you stop doing at least the things I’ve listed above because they support the very thing you are claiming to be so much against.  You only vote once a year, but you probably do these other things much more frequently…

In my mind a woman working outside of the home (and I think Ligon Duncan has stated that Sarah Palin’s candidacy is not a contradiction to the complimentarion view that we share in the church), or the nature of a financial bail out plan, or a view on the war in Iraq will not ultimately determine how I cast my vote.  I understand, as Voddie Baucham has said, that the choosing of Gov. Palin was seen as a slap in the face to those of us who are pro-family, but I shouldn’t expect that a political party or any political leader would be of the same mind as me or the church on all, or even a majority of, the issues regarding the family.  You may think that it would be better for the Palin family if the mother were at home with her kids, just like I do.  But she isn’t, and whether or not she is elected or I vote for her is not going to impact that in any way.  But if I refuse to vote for that party’s ticket because of that then I have elevated those kinds of issues ahead of the issue of abortion.  To me, fighting the massacre of abortion is a much more urgent cause in the secular and political realm than any of those other issues.

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6 comments so far

  1. Kim on

    What about women like Elisabeth Eliot, who have taught such beautiful truths about biblical womanhood? Between authoring books and public speaking, she most certainly has been “employed” on many levels.

    The list is endless and the line is being drawn in the wrong place.

    I totally agree. Sarah Palin has the right to choose how she lives her life and how she raises her family. The unborn child should be given the same right.

    Great post.

  2. Tony Sidaway on

    One interesting point raised by Douglas Kmiec recently is that it is possible that voting for Obama would have a greater effect in reducing abortions than voting for McCain.

  3. Jamie on

    I appreciate this post a lot. The murder of a sweet unborn baby is just wrong and we must fight against it. I do think this should be bigger then the “state”. I feel like all this would lead to is jumping states to murder your child like same sex marriage. I have personally struggled with Sarah Palin’s choices but I really don’t think that her decision to not stay home alone would effect my vote. I think if a women would prefer to put her country or career first then that is her choice. Staying at home and raising your children is not a decision to be taken lightly. Some women just don’t have the courage to be able to stay at home and homeschool etc. so then a Vice President job might be a lot easier!! Really!

    The thought of someone getting into office that would not only overturn Row vs. Wade but make late term and partial birth abortion LEGAL is such a scary thought! If you look at the numbers the actual cases of the women’s health and safety is not even on the radar. This is just a justification for the murder.

    To me it’s a no brainer on the Obama issue and to vote for someone that doesn’t have a chance might make a point but it won’t give us a president that will fight for the unborn!

    Ok, stepping off my soap box.

    Thanks for the post.

  4. Shelly on

    Very interesting. Courage to stay home is not even a consideration. Money is. What about the situation that some of you do not seem to understand – if the mother doesn’t work it could be considered “anti” family because without her income there are no funds available to cover the cost of those necessary expenses to keep the kids healthy, clothed, etc. Am I to assume that I should choose to stay home and not work, causing my children to go without healthcare, medical supplies, and appropriate clothing all for the sake of adhering to a principle of being “pro-family”? I know I’m a little late to his conversation but I’d love to hear any of your thoughts on this because I am a Christian, but I don’t attend church anymore because this is what it has become. If we come into the church and we don’t (or aren’t able to) follow all of these principles (rules) that really have nothing to do with following and believing in Christ, then we feel like there is no place for us there because we aren’t like everyone else. Guess I should have married a rich man.

    • blbarber on

      Shelly. Thanks for the comment. You make a great point. Many in the church hold to an extraneous “doctrine” that to be a good Christian means you are in favor of the mother staying home and not working. Just as some will say to be a good Christian means voting republican and if you don’t vote republican then you aren’t as good a Christian. Biblically speaking, that kind of thinking is not defensible. I’m sure many Christians today, if they truly considered some of Christ’s words to his followers, would say that Jesus was not very “pro-family”. Regardless of how being “pro-family” plays out in an individual Christian’s life, I hope you can see the point of my post. Choosing not to vote for a particular party’s card because they do not line up with every “Christian” category can mean you are throwing your vote away while ignoring more crucial matters of life and death.

      So you are correct to be skeptical of a Christian’s extraneous “rules” or principles that have nothing to do with following or believing in Christ. However, I don’t think it is right for you to just write off Christ’s church because of this experience. I’ve seen this happen in the church and am truly sorrowful that this has driven you away from the church, but I understand how you were made to feel. There is just too much to say regarding this in a comment. So maybe a post is in order, especially since it has been a while since I posted (shame on me). However, let me just encourage you in this – just because someone stays at home does not mean they are more sanctified and a better Christian. Just because someone works outside of the home does not mean they are neglecting their family. Being part a church means being a part of a diverse group of people with differing gifts and opinions and convictions and families and financial situations and etc… So it sounds like the church you left could’ve used some of the diversity that you could’ve offered. There may have been Christians there that looked down on families where both parents worked outside of the home and they needed to be challenged by you and your situation to see that it is not right for them to feel this way. That is what it means to be in the church…So, Shelly, don’t give up on the church. Instead, invest yourself in the lives of people who are different from you for Christ’s sake. It is not easy to do, but this is how the world will know that we are Christ’s…

  5. Shelly on

    Thank you so much for that response. It is the first thing I’ve heard in – I don’t know how long – that I felt is truly a Word from God. I guess you could say that I feel rejected by the Christian community because we don’t fit what seems to have become a “typical” Christian profile. My husband and I both work, we have one son, I suffer from depression and so does my husband, we’ve had our share of struggles and to top it all off, we don’t vote Republican. LOL. I have to admit that that has felt lately like a litmus test of sorts. I have my reasons and I have a very unique perspective. There are some things that I feel are more important than others, and I won’t go into all that here, because it’s not really the right forum. However, I wanted to let you know that I did see the point you were trying to make. I realize that I got rather sidetracked and maybe I sort of hijacked the topic. I apologize for that, but I did feel moved to write what I did. Thank you for your kind response. You have given me something to think about and I will be thinking and praying about it. I really appreciate it.

    P.S. I hope you do not feel that I was attacking anything that you said. That certainly wasn’t my intention. Again, thank you so much for your words. I feel that they were a blessing. More than anything I’ve received from any pastor or church lately.

    – Shelly


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