Monday, October 1, 2012

The Election Chronicles: Why You Should Vote for Mitt Romney

by Ben Howard

Last week I began a series called The Election Chronicles. The main goal of the series is to try and bring about a healthier, positive tone to the conversation about this Fall's presidential election. I'm sure this is an idea that's been tried by many; some I'm sure succeeded, others most likely failed, but either way I hope it's a useful endeavor for us.

You can check out last week's articles here:
An Introduction
Love Drives Out Fear
Top 5 Presidents That Look Like Jesus
Song of the Week: A Savior on Capitol Hill by Derek Webb

This week, I'm going to explore the reasons why a thoughtful Christian person should/would vote for Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, a third party candidate, and finally, why they shouldn't vote at all.

So, why should you vote for Mitt Romney?

First and foremost, voting for Mitt Romney promotes fiscal responsibility. If you've been in church long enough you've heard the phrase "good stewardship" tossed around rather loosely. Typically, in a church setting it's simply a euphemism that means, "Give more," but there is a solid argument that the proper and responsible allocation of one's resources is a virtue. In fact, Dave Ramsey and others have made a cottage industry out of the "Christian virtue" of fiscal responsibility and living without debt.

This may not be the sexiest reason to vote for a candidate, but it is a prudent and pragmatic one. Overwhelming debt and financial constraints can also promote political instability which often comes along with dramatic social upheaval. Voting for a candidate who promotes fiscal responsibility lessens this unlikely, but possible outcome.

Second, I would argue that a Christian should agree with Mitt Romney's position on limiting abortion. Please notice that I did not, and will not, use the phrases pro-life or pro-choice. I think both phrases ring hollow in a Christian context. For instance, the argument that being pro-life applies to the beginning of a life, but not to the rest of it (war, healthcare, social support, death penalty) is simply misleading and untrue. A Christian supports life to it's fullest, and while that includes dissuading the use of abortion, it includes many other things as well.

Also, I would argue that a "right to choose" is a misnomer as well. In fact, all rights language makes me highly uncomfortable. As a Christian, everything we receive whether it be food, shelter, or even our very bodies, is given to us a gracious gift from God. As a result, what is given is not ours and to assert that we have control or dominion over our it, "a right" to it, is to neglect the gift that has been given to us.

I think a Christian can vote for Mitt Romney because he is in favor of limiting abortions, which I think we can all agree is a good thing, but not because he is pro-life.

Finally, I believe that a vote in favor of Mitt Romney is a vote in favor of local authority over national authority. I'm not convinced that this is a global Christian value, in fact, it isn't. There is nothing in the Bible that says local is better than national. However, local is more responsive than national and the church does its best work in its immediate community, the community that it knows.

I think a vote for local authority allows churches to work alongside projects of government aid and to provide the best opportunity for helping people not fall through the cracks. I don't think it's perfect, but a locally oriented plan run by the community is something that the church can support and even partner with in pursuit of a better world.

Let me add a word of caution to all of those who agree with what I've said and will vote this way in November. If you want to limit government spending, then you and your community must be ready to support those in need, for they will still need support. If you want to limit abortions, then you will need to be there in support of the mothers and children and when necessary you will need to adopt and care for these children as your own. If you vote for local authority over national authority, then you must work with these people to help the poor and the marginalized, the sick, the hungry, and the orphaned. 

You are still called to do these things as a child of God, even if you think the government should not pay for them. You should vote the way you think is right, but do not forget who you are when you're done.

I look forward to your comments.


You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenHoward87 or email him at benjamin.howard87 [at]

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