If you think a vote is a sin, then have the courage to treat it as such

It's been interesting seeing some of the sharp rhetoric being used about Christian voting over the last few weeks, rhetoric that has if anything become more extreme in the last twenty-four hours. 

 

But here's the thing: if you are a pastor who thinks an evangelical who voted for Trump has hindered people from believing the gospel, promoted hate or racism or whatever, then you think that person has sinned.  The same applies if you think a vote for Clinton directly promoted infanticide.  As a pastor, you then need to find out who in your congregation voted for the Donald -- or for Hillary -- and discipline them.

 

Alternatively, if you want to avoid becoming a cult or if you simply do not have the courage of your blog convictions when it comes to actual face-to-face ecclesiastical practice in the real world, you might want to tone your comments down.  You should acknowledge that, while political thinking as a Christian is complicated and nuanced, voting is not, and thus every vote cast represents a trade-off of some set of moral convictions against others. And trade-offs of this kind in a functional two-party democracy are notoriously challenging to parse.   You might also want to acknowledge that dressing up your vote as the truly biblical one and/or others' votes as the sinful ones is often simply a way of pre-empting any real discussion and granting your position the automatic moral high ground.

 

The Kinks have much wisdom to offer us here.  When it comes to voting, 'I'm breathing through my mouth so I don't have to sniff the air' captures the feeling many people have. A bit of political (and Christian) humility at this point might go a long, long way.

(Full disclosure: as a Green Carder, I was thankfully free of any moral dilemma on Tuesday)

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