Would You Vote For Jesus?

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God…” Romans 12:2

Many Christians I know vote based on a single issue, usually abortion.  Now I don’t want to get into the pro-choice, anti-abortion debate.  I understand that if you see the point of conception as the beginning of life, you can’t be pro-choice.  But I believe that the question for a Christian-motivated voter is not as simple as a candidate’s stance on abortion.  The question should be: How Christ-like is my candidate?

What is Christ’s ministry all about?  Christ spoke often about lifting people up, helping them, loving them. (Luke 10:30-37) He admonished materialism. (Luke 16:13) Jesus asks us to not only help those who cannot help themselves but tells parables about helping those who are CHOOSING to do unfit things.  We are to LOVE people, first and foremost.

How can a political candidate love people?  Well, if you are in the anti-abortion camp, being anti-abortion is a way of loving.  However, what about your candidate’s stance on the death penalty?  Aren’t we to love the prodigal son? (Luke 15)  Do we to emulate the father in the story or the older brother?  Which does our candidate reflect?

What about the candidate’s stance on healthcare?  Aren’t we supposed to have compassion for the sick?  (Mark 1:40-45)  Is the child who can’t get proper treatment of his asthma due to financial or logistical reasons less important than the unborn child?  In the United States, our maternal death rates are abysmal.  Who is voting for the moms?  What candidate takes care of them?  And in what ways?

What about minimum wage?  Or corporate regulations?  Who is the ONLY group that Jesus got mad at?  Not the prostitutes or the lepers.  Not even the disciples who would betray him.  Nope.  It was the market in the temple.  The buyers and sellers and cheaters.  The ones who used a place of worship to make money.  (John 2:13-16)  So what is the candidate doing about corporations who are not working under Christian values of helping others?  Or even if you argue corporations can’t be Christ-like, isn’t the Christian way  to stop companies from hurting others?  Is the candidate standing up for the people working for corporations?  The people effected by the corporation’s policies? (Luke 18:18-25)

I wonder if it’s easier to vote based on “saving a baby” than any of these other Christian issues.  Because babies are cute and innocent?  Original sin aside, God didn’t chose only the innocent.  Many of those chosen to carry on his message were not very kind people.  Look at the conversion of Saul to Paul. (Acts 1:1-18) Is the man on death row less deserving of our love and forgiveness?  What about voting for the candidate that is extending maternal care and maternity leave?  Is it less important to support the mother of three children than a child in her womb?  What about access to prenatal care?  Isn’t that as important to the health and safety of that baby as not having access to an abortion?  How do you decide?  Does Christ favor the unborn children over the living children?  Over the mothers and fathers of these children?

I can’t answer these question for you.  But I can challenge all Christians to pray about your choices.  To study Christ’s ministry and your candidates with an open mind.  I’m not asking anyone to become pro-choice.  I’m asking that your vote takes into account all of these issues.

There are ten commandments.  And there is the greatest commandment:

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31

Instead of worrying what our neighbor is doing, maybe we could love them and do more for them.  And then ask if our candidate will do the same.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

24 thoughts to “Would You Vote For Jesus?”

  1. I'm hoping the ideas behind the post transcend my religion — so YAY!
    And my husband pointed out the quite absolute sentence on conception &
    pro-choice, and I thought about rephrasing it but never did. He'll be
    happy to hear about your comment. And I remember it for next time.
    Thanks for your contribution 🙂

    Alex Iwashyna

  2. You make so many important points here, especially the point about favoring the unborn over living children. Providing women with the resources they need to prevent pregnancy in the first place, and then to care for the children they do have seems far more merciful than leaving a women with no choice but to carry to term children who she may not be able to care for. When a pro-life argument comes from a politician (or individual) who does not support the societal safety net that would provide mothers with adequate support, I don't find that argument particularly compelling precisely because the concern for protecting life seems to end at the moment of birth.

  3. Personally, I would have voted for anyone instead of Ken Cuccinelli…Even some dirty, long-haired, pacificist (cheek-turning), bathing-in-the-river, Hippy named Jesus. Or really anyone…maybe even a big golden statue of an ox or something. that would be less embarrassing; I can't see an Ox statue suing the government over trying give poor people healthcare.

  4. Thank you for your comment. It's something that I've thought a lot about as well. And while I certainly don't think every pro-lifer disregards mothers post-birth (or pre-birth), I do think that if you accept the term “pro-life”, you have a LOT of people to think about.

  5. Phenomenal post. Thanks for making us think! God is NOT a republican or democrat. We need to judge the candidate or law on our convictions and how they line up with our beliefs. Which is HARD! Because of course I want everyone to be convicted on MY issues and and how I interrupt God's values. You're right. We need to pray and seek God's guidance and pray that our law makers will as well. Good good reminder.

  6. Thank you SO MUCH!! Thinking is HARD. But I guess God gave us minds so we
    HAVE to use them 😉 I also think that it's easier to be on the same “side”
    all the time with all our buddies. It's hard to say: “Wait a second. I
    disagree with that.” You are so good with respectful disagreement though.

  7. love your post!

    I frequently wonder what the world would think of Jesus if he were here today. Would we really listen with open ears and hearts? Or, more likely would we think we'd be listening, but miss half the good stuff because we were so reliant on our on wisdom and too stubbornly planted in what we already believe to be true and important about leadership, love and community?

    Your post is somehow also reminding me to finally get my momsrising sticker on my car… but I may just need a shiny new Jesus fish to go right next to it : )

    peace, momma.

  8. Yay!! I'm glad that you related. Your car can say: “Moms Rising. Until Jesus
    Does.” (I'm not sure that made sense.)

    I tuned out at church and my family and all sorts of people and wisdom way
    too frequently. I know that I turn off that “God sense” in me too easily as
    well. I'm sure that I'd do the same to Jesus. I'd be all: WHERE'S MY

  9. First of all, thanks so much for visiting and commenting on my blog! Mine is supposed to be secular – I was thinking of writing a separate Christian blog but all the good names were taken.

    Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I'm tempted to send it to all my Baptist relatives (whom I truly do adore but we don't agree on very much), but perhaps I shouldn't stir the waters too much. I like to be right.

    I adored your recent post about being messy – a girl after my own heart! :o)

  10. Yay! And you're welcome for this post! Maybe if you pass it on, they'll
    just leave their comments for me to sort thru… Wait a second…

    PS. Hooray for messy people!

  11. Fantastic post! I've often thought the same thing. If my mind were working at even half speed, I'd write out a very thought-provoking comment hitting on a few of your well-made points.

    Sadly, the Dimpled Dictator decided that I'm a 24/7 Diner. I'm using my last remaining brain cells to pretend that I'm working.

  12. BRAVO!!! You might like to read the book titled CHRISTIANITY FOR THE REST OF US by Bass. She wrote it during the period when Bush and Company were ranting about saving fertile eggs from women and giving them names etc. I say love one another. Feed the hungry. Visit the sick. I haven’t visited a prison in a lot of years but it’s in there. Clothe the naked. Love one another. If you care about unborn babies, you better educate their moms, feed them, house them, spend time helping them find skills and jobs and childcare, and probably it will take some government help to do all this and more. There are churches that do these things and I admire them greatly, but sometimes the gummint has to step in. Policy is so important.
    Carry on.

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