Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Strange Times in America

If you've noticed the news, you may be aware that American voters will be faced this election season with the following unpleasant choices:

1) Vote for a Republican man who is noted for compromise, who seems soft on moral issues, and who has selected a female running mate. The moderate-feminist ticket.

2) Vote for a Democrat man who is inexperienced, is tolerant and supportive of both pre-and-postpartum infanticide, and who has selected a liberal "Catholic" man as his running mate. The inexperience-infanticide ticket.

3) Vote for a protest candidate for president. (N.B. by "protest" I'm grouping any and all motives for voting for a candidate that realistically has no chance of winning. Obviously, the intention of such voters may not be to protest. For example, a vote for the Constitution party candidate for president could be motivated by a principle of always voting for the best possible candidate on the ballot, by a delusion that he has some chance of winning, or because one promised him one would vote for him. I'm grouping all these motives into the "protest" camp.) The loud vote disposal ticket.

4) Abstain from voting from any presidential candidate. The quiet vote disposal ticket.

Realistically, the only tickets that can succeed in this election season are the moderate-feminist and the infanticide-liberal tickets. Thus, with respect to the determination of their country's future, American voters essentially have their choices:

A) Choose the less abhorrent of the two realistic tickets.
B) Choose the more abhorrent of the two realistic tickets.
C) Choose to let other voters decide.

Given that (B) is a senseless option, really the only two options are:

I. Choose the less abhorrent of the two realistic tickets; or
II. Choose to let other voters decide.

It would seem to me that the American voter's decision between I and II would depend on whether:

a) one believes one knows what the other voters will tend to decide, if left to themselves;
b) whether one considers the matter not as an individual voter but as the sum of all like-minded Christian voters; and
c) whether one believes that letting other voters decide now will have benefits in itself that offset any bad decisions the other voters make.

That is to say, with respect to (a), if one believes that the other voters will anyhow choose the less abhorrent of the two realistic tickets, then one has less incentive to assist them and more incentive to consider the value of option II.

With respect (b), if one considers oneself individually, it is irrational to suppose one's vote matters. If one considers oneself as part of a group of likeminded people, however, one can consider how the group ought to behave. For example, one can consider what the effect on the election would be if all likeminded Christian men selected option II.

With respect to (c), if one believes that option II will result in an even less abhorrent option being available in some future election, that might make one inclined to view the matter as being a more abhorrent candidate now, versus a less abhorrent candidate in the future.

Note Well: this is not a political blog. I am interested in the moral issues posed to voters, not debating the candidates. I am not trying to tell anyone how to vote, I'm simply trying to help Christians provide a framework in which to consider the election, because too often I hear the flawed mantra: "Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil." Even an abstention (or a protest vote) is effectively a vote of some kind, and Christians need to consider their duty in their role in America as the civil magistrate.

-TurretinFan

13 comments:

natamllc said...

For what it's worth coming from a dull bulb in the house, you have given some sound advice realistically.

I am going to pray every day for our leaders, vote, and pray every day for our leaders.

Here is an absolute warrant that I must not slack on seeing we live in those days of evil written about. Please note the implied promise in Paul's instruction to Timothy. Also note that the Greek word for "quiet life" is the Greek word bios:

1Ti 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
1Ti 2:2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
1Ti 2:3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,
1Ti 2:4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.


Eph 5:15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
Eph 5:16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Eph 5:17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Godith said...

Your "vote disposal" lingo is amusing. I guess you are trying to avoid telling people unless you vote for either of he two major tickets (Tweedledum or Tweedledee)you are throwing your vote away. --Godith

Turretinfan said...

godith:

As far as determining the outcome of this particular election goes, there's no difference between voting for a third party candidate and simply staying home.

There may be rational reasons to vote for a third party candidate, but among those reasons is not to decide who will be the next incumbant president.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

natamllc,

Yes - praying for our leaders is not an optional exercise - it is mandatory.

-TurretinFan

Gordan Runyan said...

In a wildly hypothetical situation, Turretinfan, please indulge my curiosity:

If once the current pope dies, by some amazing work of providence, the Catholic Church invites you personally to come in and cast a vote for the next pope, as all the honchos gather to choose him...then would you do it?

Consider that:

1. It would pretty obviously be an amazing stroke of the hand of God that gave you this opportunity.

2. You vote really will count in choosing the next pope.

I don't know you except by your writing (which I am edified by greatly)but my off-hand guess is that you would probably refuse the invitation.

You don't believe the office of the pope is legitimate in the first place; every possible nominee would espouse doctrines you know to be unbiblical; and the fact that you might indeed find a way to vote for the "lesser evil" would probably not asuage your conscience any if you went ahead and did it. For no matter how you sliced it, you'd be participating in a process that you believe is fundamentally anti-biblical, if not anti-christ.

So...my guess is you'd throw your vote away and sleep very soundly at night having done so.

Now, I know there are places where the analogy doesn't hold water with the subject at hand. I'm just hoping to illustrate the fact that many of us have come to the conclusion that either ticket you've analyzed is basically, at its heart, the same ticket. With the election of either side, America will keep on going pretty much the way it has been going for decades. One side just wants to go more slowly, is all. At least, that's what they say.

Blessings,
Gordan

Turretinfan said...

GR:

"If once the current pope dies, by some amazing work of providence, the Catholic Church invites you personally to come in and cast a vote for the next pope, as all the honchos gather to choose him...then would you do it?"

No.

"Consider that: 1. It would pretty obviously be an amazing stroke of the hand of God that gave you this opportunity. 2. You vote really will count in choosing the next pope. I don't know you except by your writing (which I am edified by greatly)but my off-hand guess is that you would probably refuse the invitation."

You are correct.

"You don't believe the office of the pope is legitimate in the first place; every possible nominee would espouse doctrines you know to be unbiblical; and the fact that you might indeed find a way to vote for the "lesser evil" would probably not asuage your conscience any if you went ahead and did it. For no matter how you sliced it, you'd be participating in a process that you believe is fundamentally anti-biblical, if not anti-christ."

Correct.

"So...my guess is you'd throw your vote away and sleep very soundly at night having done so."

Yes.

"Now, I know there are places where the analogy doesn't hold water with the subject at hand. I'm just hoping to illustrate the fact that many of us have come to the conclusion that either ticket you've analyzed is basically, at its heart, the same ticket. With the election of either side, America will keep on going pretty much the way it has been going for decades. One side just wants to go more slowly, is all. At least, that's what they say."

I think the analogy breaks down for two reasons:

a) I consider that modern Catholicism stands opposed to the gospel. Romans 16:17 and James 4:4 would seem to be implicated, dictating non-participation.

b) Democracy (broadly) makes each citizen (who can vote) part of the civil government, and bound to do his duty as "king" in governing the land God has given him.

At least, that's how I would distinguish between the two. I can appreciate that someone might view option II as, in essence, refusing to be a part of an immoral and anti-Christian body of government. Thus, perhaps there can be justification for such an approach.

If all Christians thought that way, the choices would probably be more along the lines of choosing between the Red party and the Green party rather than what we have now (in which both candidates - and their running mates - claim the name of "Christian").

In short, if Christians did not participate in democracies, democracies would be even worse than they are.

-TurretinFan

Gordan Runyan said...

Can't say I disagree with anything you've said here.

natamllc said...

....having commented once I am going to be Indian and gamble a bit and throw the dice and see if this comment comes on?

The problem with your wild idea Gordon is this, there is sound warrant for our participation in society and the forms of government we are a part of by birth or immigration. We are to pray for those in government authority because are authorities of this kind are of God.

There simple is no warrant for any involvement in the RCC in any of it's forms. In fact here is the warrant for being involved in any false religion:

Rev 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;
Rev 18:5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

natamllc said...

I have to admit there is something wrong with either my mind and spelling correctly or, b, my fingers are not obeying what my mind thinks or, c, you are out to get me TF?

Which is it? :)

No, no need to cast your ballot and vote on a, b, or c above!

I have already determined the outcome of the election this year! :)

Just to show your readers how dumb my fingers are I want to edit my previous post and then tell a story to show how stupid people like me can be, stupid as in slow of mind to understand.

I wrote and now with edited changes:[[....having commented once I am going to be Indian and gamble a bit and throw the dice and see if this comment comes on?

The problem with your wild idea Gordon is this, there is sound warrant for our participation in society and the forms of government we are a part of by birth or immigration. We are to pray for those in government authority because authorities of this kind are of God.

There simply is no warrant for any involvement in the RCC in any of it's forms. In fact here is the warrant for emigration in any false religion:

Rev 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;
Rev 18:5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.]]

I am a member of a small band of Northern California Indians. I also chaired the Election committee for my people. I had to go through some legal training for the seat I chaired. While at our attorney's office receiving an education on policies and procedures and politics, my attorney asked if I might start a move among all the Bands of Indians within that county? Why, I asked? He said that he had just read a study that analyzed the numbers of votes a person won by or a bond issue won by in the last previous twenty annual elections.

He then said, you Indians can control the outcome of every election, get what you want, if you would band together and vote as one because there are more of you by a couple thousand votes than a person or issue has won by, ever.

One vote sometimes wins an election. When there is a broad consensus and the strategists predict landslide outcomes in an election, a one vote difference doesn't mean a whole lot, granted.

But if the election is that close, your vote can decide the election!

TheoJunkie said...

Well... if you live in Maryland, you can vote whichever way you like-- or not at all-- and the Democrat is going to win the electoral votes anyway. Compound that to the fact that Maryland's electoral votes are a mere drop in the bucket as to hardly matter at all. Kind of like voting in Hawaii, but earlier in the evening.

As a side note: While we would affirm that men only are called to be the spiritual leaders (whether in church or household)... is there anything scriptural that would suggest women should not be secular leaders?

Turretinfan said...

TJ,

That is a good point. Assuming that this would still hold true of all like-minded Christains voted as a unit, that might suggest a different voting strategy than it would if the Christian vote could make a difference in this election in that state.

As far as the other issue goes, I'm hoping to issue a new post on that soon. The answer is yes.

-TurretinFan

zog said...

I for one will be voting Republican this election, not because I think McCain is the best possible candidate, but because he is the better of the two choices. I can’t count the people I would rather vote for than McCain, but he is the better choice.

I have four daughters and a wife (who don’t follow politics at all) and they would never vote for a Democratic as long as they live because Democrats believe it should be legal to kill unborn babies.

This crime against the unborn must be changed. How can you call yourself a Christian and believe it is OK to kill unborn babies? I just don’t get it.

Zog

Turretinfan said...

Zog,

I cannot understand it either.

-TurretinFan