Tag archives: Religion

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of November 29)

by Family Research Council

December 4, 2020

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Update: Christian Conservatives Shatter Turnout Records for Trump

No one could have predicted the twists and turns of this election, but Donald Trump was certainly right about one thing: his deeply religious base was going to rewrite the record books. Back in January, talking to a group of evangelicals, he predicted that as high as their turnout was in 2016, Christian conservatives would “blow those numbers away in 2020.” And boy, did they.

Update: Supremes Take a Bite out of Big Apple Restrictions

While most Americans were at home prepping for Thanksgiving, nine Supreme Court justices were still at the office Wednesday night, cooking up something else: a rebuke of New York City’s COVID restrictions. New Justice Amy Coney Barrett made her presence felt — casting the tie-breaking vote that only solidified the working mom’s standing as a rock-solid defender of religious freedom.

3. Blog: Brutal Attack on Indonesian Christians Stirs Renewed Fears of Persecution

A jihadi attack recently took place against Christians in Sulawesi, one of Indonesia’s largest islands. This vicious attack resulted in the mutilation and death of four members of the local Salvation Army, including at least one beheading, along with the torching of several homes and a Christian house of worship. Thus far, however, there have been no arrests.

4. Blog: The Dying Art of Gratitude

In a trying year like this one, it can be far easier to list challenges, tragedies, disappointments, and frustrations than to focus on the blessings. This holiday season let’s challenge ourselves to look not only to the future but also to reflect upon the past. There is far more to be thankful for this year than we likely have taken the time to consider.

5. Washington WatchSen. Roy Blunt Agrees the Media Has No Interest in Honoring the Election Certification Process

Roy Blunt, U.S. Senator from Missouri, Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, and the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, joined Tony Perkins to discuss the contested election, the prospects for Joe Biden’s nominees in the U.S. Senate, and what’s at stake in the Georgia Senate runoffs.

6. Washington Watch:State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz Describes the Last-Minute Push to Dispute PA’s Electors

PA State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz joined Tony Perkins to discuss the resolution she is co-sponsoring disputing the Pennsylvania election.

7. Pray Vote Stand broadcast: Call To Prayer

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony welcomed Bishop Garland Hunt, Stephanie Borowicz, and Michele Bachmann to lead in a special time of prayer asking God to light the path forward for America.

The Dying Art of Gratitude

by Molly Carman

November 25, 2020

If I asked you to list some things you are grateful for in the year 2020, what would you say? In a trying year like this one, it can be far easier to list challenges, tragedies, complaints, disappointments, and frustrations. This Thanksgiving, it’s highly likely that the thing many people are most grateful for is a new year being on the horizon. However, as families gather this holiday season, I want to challenge everyone to look not only to the future but also to reflect upon the past. There is far more to be thankful for this year than we likely have taken the time to consider.

We cannot always control whether our circumstances get better or worse, but we can choose how we will respond. Scripture exhorts us to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4), learn the secret of being content (Philippians 4:12), and give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We do not know what tomorrow will bring, and a new year does not necessarily equal a better one. But we do know that God holds the future, and we are called to remember His praiseworthy deeds, thank Him for what He has done, and trust Him for what He will do.

The Thanksgiving holiday is historically a day to remember the pilgrims and the founding of America, and traditionally a day to gather with family and friends to count our blessings. But being thankful ought not to start and stop on Thanksgiving Day.

Unfortunately, gratitude is an increasingly dying art in our culture, and Thanksgiving has become a mere speed bump on the way to Christmas. Far too often, we focus on what we want rather than being thankful for all we have.

God does not waste anything—not even 2020. Sometimes, trials we face may seem wasted when we are not paying attention and learning from our experiences. Everything that we see, hear, and feel is used by God to teach us. “[B]ut we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

Instead of despising 2020 or wishing it were over, we can seek the beauty in the ashes. Consider Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie’s response to their difficult circumstances while being held in Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp. These sisters walked through the valley of the shadow of death together; it is hard to imagine anything in Auschwitz worth being grateful for. However, Betsie constantly encouraged everyone in her bunker to be grateful. One day, Betsie said that she was grateful for the fleas that infested their mattresses. Yes, the fleas! The guards hated the fleas and would not enter the bunker. This meant they could worship together without intrusion, and that was worth being grateful for.

The year 2020 has been hard, but it is thankfully not Auschwitz. We have much more than fleas for which to be grateful this year. As you carve the turkey, decorate cookies, roast corn, sit by the fire, sing hymns, or whatever your Thanksgiving traditions might be—and even if you are lonely this Thanksgiving—remember that we need not be anxious for anything, for the Lord has and will continue to supply all our needs in Christ Jesus (Matthew 6:25).

I am grateful for how 2020 has taught me to be humble before the Lord, to surrender my plans to Him, to trust Him in all circumstances, and to run with endurance the race set before me—not because I know what the journey will hold, but because I have hope in the final outcome, which is God’s glory and my sanctification. Being grateful is challenging because it requires us to forsake selfishness, whining, and complaining and embrace contentment. If the art of gratitude were easy, we would not need to be commanded and encouraged to cultivate it. Saying we are thankful once a year on Thanksgiving will not resurrect the dying art of gratitude. Rather, we must endeavor to start and end each day with a grateful heart.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of November 15)

by Family Research Council

November 20, 2020

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Update: Trump Team Looks at Cause and Elect

In courtrooms across the country, the Trump campaign fights on. Whether his efforts will be enough to save his presidency, no one knows. But could they save an election system bogged down by doubts and questions? That, in the long run, may be just as important.

2. Update: Radical ’Heroes Act’ Is a Leftist Wish-List

The Left has recently called for the passage of the Heroes Act—an act Democrats are labeling simply as coronavirus relief legislation. But, this $2-$3 trillion bill goes beyond being a relief package. The Heroes Act is serving as a trojan horse for progressive legislation that foolishly uses taxpayer dollars and undermines pro-life and pro-family values.

3. Blog: 4 Disturbing Trends in Religious Freedom Worldwide

A new report released by the Pew Research Center has found that there has been a 50 percent increase in government restrictions on religion across the globe between 2007 and 2018, the most recent year studied. Such a drastic number indicates that religious freedom is on a rapid downward spiral.

4. Blog: Nagorno-Karabakh Survivors: “My Home Is in Ruins. I Have Nothing Left”

Currently, there is a terrible war in Nagorno-Karabakh, a community of Christians residing in an historic Armenian enclave. Their homeland was invaded in late September by neighboring Azerbaijan, a majority Muslim country. This invasion broke a 1994 cease-fire between the two countries. But to make matters worse, in this latest attack, Turkey seems to have encouraged if not inspired the assault.

5. Washington WatchDr. Albert Mohler Previews Biden’s War on Christian Institutions in the Name of ‘Equality’

Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, joined Tony Perkins to discuss the Human Rights Campaign demanding that a Biden administration deny accreditation to Christian colleges and schools.

6. Washington Watch: Senator Lindsey Graham Discusses the Big Tech Hearings in the U.S. Senate

Lindsey Graham, U.S. Senator from South Carolina and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined Tony Perkins to discuss the Big Tech hearings in the U.S. Senate.

7. Pray Vote Stand broadcast: A Time of Prayer

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony welcomed Eric Metaxas, Michele Bachmann, and Rep. Jody Hice to lead in a special time of prayer for our nation.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of November 8)

by Family Research Council

November 13, 2020

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Update: Media’s Early Call: Dancing on the Stealing?

No one expected the media to play fair, but watching the networks declare Joe Biden the winner of a race that’s still unresolved in key states was not only difficult—but frustrating for fans of the democratic process. When all is said and done, Joe Biden may very well be the winner. But first we must make sure the rule of law was respected.

2. Update: The Presidential Election: A Work in Process

There are about 100,000 votes out of 150 million cast deciding states like Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Nevada. If this were Joe Biden, trailing by such a small margin, we would be dealing with the exact same scenario—except for one thing. The media, ever eager to delegitimize Trump, would never have called the election.

3. Blog: The Media Still Doesn’t Get It: Conservatives Tend to Vote Conservative

Four years after one of the most shocking presidential upsets in American history, and after another incredibly close election, the mainstream media still has not figured out why almost half of American voters filled in the oval for Donald Trump. The primary motivating factor is as plain as day: millions of Americans are conservative, and they voted for a president that has enacted conservative policies.

4. Blog: Legitimizing Looting Jeopardizes Liberty for All

The year 2020 will go down in history for a number of reasons, one of which will be the increase of protests, rioting, and looting following the tragic death of George Floyd. While some protestors have been authentically peaceful, others have resorted to destructive actions, which some argue “liberates societies from oppressive infrastructures.” Can that be right?

5. Washington WatchMatt Schlapp Highlights New Evidence of Voter Fraud

Are there legitimate claims of voter fraud? Matt Schlapp, president of American Conservative Union, joined Tony Perkins on Washington Watch to share what he saw on the ground in Nevada and the new evidence of fraud surfacing in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

6. Washington Watch: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Discusses the World’s Reaction to America’s Election Drama

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined Tony Perkins on Washington Watch to discuss the Trump administration’s religious freedom agenda, the latest on China, and the world’s reaction to America’s election drama.

7. Pray Vote Stand broadcast: A Call to Prayer

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony welcomed Pastor Carter Conlon, Michele Bachmann, and Pastor Gary Hamrick to lead in a special time of prayer as we continue to pray for election transparency, honest public discussion, truth to prevail, and peace to reign throughout our nation.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of November 1)

by Family Research Council

November 6, 2020

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Update: Big Tech: ‘The Single Greatest Threat To Free Speech in America’

In the recent Senate hearing addressing Big Tech CEOs, it was clear that there is one thing both parties agree on, and that’s reining in Big Tech. They may have different motives, but Republicans and Democrats share a distrust of America’s social media moguls.

2. Update: In Philly, Coordinated Terrorism Becomes Reality

In Philadelphia, the city council’s $33 million in police cuts has proven to be an example of what not to do. The city of so-called Brotherly Love is now seeing the Left’s rally cry for what it truly is: dangerous to communities and deadly to the economy.

3. Blog: After Election Day Is Over, Christians Must Continue Engaging the Culture

No matter what the results of this election may bring, Christians cannot “check out” and take a vacation from political engagement. As Christians, we must have a long-term perspective. Our engagement in the public square does not start and stop based on election cycles.

4. Blog: Supreme Court Takes a Look at Religious Liberty for Adoption Providers in Fulton Case

Recently, the Supreme Court heard telephonic oral arguments in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a case that concerns the right of religious foster care agencies to speak and act consistently with their sincerely held religious beliefs.

5. Washington WatchKen Blackwell says both sides have an interest in proving that this was a fair & honest process

Ken Blackwell, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance and Chairman of the Board for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, joined Tony Perkins to discuss what was happening in the battleground states.

6. Washington Watch: Franklin Graham insists that voting for a candidate means signing on to their party platform too

Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan’s Purse, joined Tony Perkins to discuss Samaritan Purse’s relief efforts in Louisiana, and his thoughts on an election offering two polar-opposite visions for America.

7. Pray Vote Stand broadcast: Prayer Call

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony welcomed Michele Bachmann and Jack Hibbs to a special time of prayer, to seek—above all—the Lord’s provision for our nation.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of October 25)

by Family Research Council

October 30, 2020

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Blog: Judging Amy: The Left’s Proclivity for Believing and Empowering Women Is Limited To Their Own

Believe women.” The slogan, born out of the #MeToo movement, was a common refrain during the Senate Judiciary hearings in September 2018. But, during the confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary—as well as members of the media—refused to take the judge at her word.

2. Blog: Nagorno-Karabakh: Where Armenian Christians Are Fighting for Their Lives

On October 1, 2020, a violent and dangerous war erupted in a tiny Christian enclave—a spot on the globe few Americans can probably find: Nagorno-Karabakh. In his pursuit to further Islamize the region, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has financed Syrian jihadi mercenaries—reportedly thousands of them—to increase attacks on this Armenian territory.

3. FREE Voter Guide: Text your zip code to 53445 for your FREE Voter Guide

Wouldn’t you like to know if someone on your ballot supports partial-birth abortion BEFORE you vote? What about a candidate that supports restricting gun rights or is endorsed by Bernie Sanders? FRC Action has the quickest voter education tool ever created. Simply Text your zip code to 53445 right now and you’ll get FRC Action’s FREE voter guide for the candidates on your ballot.

4. Washington WatchKen Blackwell argues most rioters in Philly weren’t seeking justice, they were seeking new Nikes

Ken Blackwell, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance, joined Tony Perkins to discuss the riots in Philadelphia.

5. Washington WatchAndrew Bostom says that ‘absolutely’ the media is stoking virus panic for political purposes

Dr. Andrew Bostom, Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Brown University, joined Tony Perkins to share how the media has politicized COVID-19.

6. Washington Watch: James Lee agrees major polling houses are skewing the results to suppress the GOP vote

James Lee, CEO and Founder of Susquehanna Polling & Research, Inc, joined Tony Perkins to discuss how the media polls may be overstating Democratic strength in order to dampen Republican turnout.

7. Pray Vote Stand broadcast: Time to Choose

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony welcomed David Benham, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. James Lankford, and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. Boykin to discuss how we, by the Lord’s strength, can help our nation.

After Election Day Is Over, Christians Must Continue Engaging the Culture

by Claire Gatzke

October 29, 2020

As political campaigns get more combative and election seasons last longer, election fatigue can come early for many people. With election day now less than a week away, I’m sure many Americans are thrilled that another presidential election cycle will have come and gone so that they can check out for a couple of years before the next one starts up.

While I am empathetic to this sentiment, this is not the right mindset for Christians to have. No matter what happens on November 3 (or whenever the results of this election are called), Christians cannot “check out” and take a vacation from political engagement.

As Christians, we must have a long-term perspective. Our engagement in the public square does not start and stop based on election cycles. Since our political engagement is based on God’s commandments and biblical imperatives, we must keep following these commands and imperatives even when an election is not fast-approaching. How are Christians to continue to engage when there is no voting opportunity any time soon?

For one, Christians must continue to pray for elected officials and government leaders. Obviously, we should pray that leaders that fear God and govern according to biblical principles are put in positions of authority. However, once the election has happened, we should be praying for whoever ends up in positions of power, whether they are God-fearers or not. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul “urges that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

As soon as the election is over, Christians must diligently and continually pray for our elected officials, whether we ourselves voted for them or not. No matter who is elected, we must pray that God would speak to them, that they would surrender to God, and that they would govern justly. We must pray this not only for our own benefit so that we can live peaceful lives as Paul said, but we must do so out of our desire for justice and out of love for our neighbor, knowing that God’s way is the best and most conducive way for all humans to flourish.

Not only must we be diligent in our prayers for government leaders, Christians also must be committed to talking about political issues with their family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. The novelty of voting is that everyone gets to do it (if they’re eligible). However, voting won’t help our culture flourish if people are voting contrary to biblical principles and values. The only way to really sway the political and cultural environment is by changing people’s minds so that when they vote, they vote biblically.

For example, even if Trump is elected and the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, decisions on the legality of abortion will be left up to each individual state. The only difference is that abortion will not be legalized at the federal level; it could still very well be legal in many states.

We are absolutely obligated to restrain evil by voting; however, this is not sufficient. To successfully stop abortion and other evils, Christians must engage with individuals in their spheres of influence conversationally to change hearts and minds. If public opinion on abortion is swayed, then people will not elect officials at the local, state, or federal level who advocate for the moral acceptability of abortion. Also, a cultural shift toward valuing unborn life will have a positive impact on women with unplanned pregnancies to move away from seeing abortion as their only option, which will in turn lead to fewer women seeking underground abortions should abortion be made illegal.

No matter who wins this election, there is still a lot of work to be done in redeeming the culture and influencing the public square. People’s eternal destiny, as well as the soul of our nation, are at stake. As we continue our engagement post-election, we must keep an eternal perspective. Every political loss and win is temporary because this earth is “passing away” (1 John 2:17). While we must engage passionately, we cannot put our hope or faith in any political candidate or party, only in Christ our Savior and King. Regardless of who is in the White House and whether that person is friendly or hostile to orthodox Christianity, Christians have orders from God and must be faithful to Him alone; we cannot disengage, give up, or get comfortable.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of October 18)

by Family Research Council

October 23, 2020

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Blog: A Christian Girl’s Response To a Christian Guy’s Struggle With Pornography

Studies continue to find that well over 70 percent of young men these days view pornography on a weekly basis. Porn teaches men that women are less than human and provides a false sense of intimacy. As Christians, we must honestly address the harm porn causes while also striving to understand this struggle and seek how to helpfully respond.

2. Blog: Christian Voting Myth #4: “I’m Not in the Majority Where I Live, So Why Bother?”

Do the majority of Americans actually decide who wins elections? In part 4 of our 4-part series dedicated to debunking common Christian voting myths, we unpack the myth: “I’m Not in the Majority Where I Live, So Why Bother?”

3. FREE Voter Guide: Text your zip code to 53445 for your FREE Voter Guide

Wouldn’t you like to know if someone on your ballot supports partial-birth abortion BEFORE you vote? What about a candidate that supports restricting gun rights or is endorsed by Bernie Sanders? FRC Action has the quickest voter education tool ever created. Simply Text your zip code to 53445 right now and you’ll get FRC Action’s FREE voter guide for the candidates on your ballot.

4. Washington Watch: Sen. Roy Blunt believes Barrett’s hearing helped highlight the sharp contrast between the parties

Roy Blunt, U.S. Senator from Missouri, joined Tony Perkins to discuss the fourth day of the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings.

5. Washington WatchAndy McCarthy insists there’s a lot more to the Hunter Biden cover-up that includes China & Russia

Andy McCarthy, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Senior Fellow at the National Review Institute, joined Tony Perkins to discuss the significance of the Hunter Biden emails.

6. Washington Watch: Luke Rosiak exposes the shocking realities of what public schools are teaching in his new report

Luke Rosiak, investigative reporter for WhatAreTheyLearning.com, joined Tony Perkins to discuss what his investigative reporting has uncovered about what children are learning in public schools.

7. Pray Vote Stand broadcast: Gender Reassignment

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony welcomed Pastor Amado Huizar, journalist Abigail Shrier, Dr. Michelle Cretella and Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) to discuss whether minors have the capacity to make life-altering decisions to change their gender.

 

For more from FRC, visit our website at frc.org, our blog at frcblog.com, our Facebook pageTwitter account, and Instagram account. Get the latest on what FRC is saying about the current issues of the day that impact the state of faith, family, and freedom, both domestically and abroad.

Family Research Council’s vision is a prevailing culture in which all human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives. Join us to learn about FRC’s work and see how you can help advance faith, family, and freedom.

The Left’s (Real) Issue with Amy Coney Barrett

by Joseph Backholm

October 13, 2020

Those who oppose President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court understand that Trump is basically starting on third base. She was confirmed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals only three years ago, which means she was recently vetted and most of the Republicans have already voted to confirm her. Even Mitt Romney seems amiable. If Trump didn’t have the votes to confirm quickly, he wouldn’t have nominated her.

Furthermore, there’s a political risk in opposing her as aggressively as they might want. Mrs. Barrett is about to be the most famous soccer mom in America, and if they treat her the way they treated Brett Kavanaugh, that won’t be received well. They may not want to give Trump the chance to run to the defense of America’s most famous soccer mom. But the benefits of decency might be outweighed by the need for outrage. They might give Barrett the Kavanaugh treatment regardless of how it looks because their base may insist on it.

The base of the Democratic Party is very, very angry. They want to see their rage reflected in those they sent to Washington, D.C. If the Senate simply acknowledges that Barrett has the votes and decides to take the high road, that could be interpreted as weakness and an unwillingness to fight. So the dilemma for Senate Democrats is this: do we repeat the Kavanaugh spectacle and risk alienating suburban women, or do we act like adults and risk alienating our base?

Whatever degree of outrage we see, it is not artificial. Despite the politics, they aren’t pretending to be angry and it isn’t a game. They’re genuinely upset.

They’re upset about abortion. Whatever accusations may surface about the puppies she has tortured and the secret racism her adoption of black kids is clearly trying to hide, they aren’t really worried about puppies and racism. They’re terrified that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Roe v. Wade is to the Left what John 3:16 is to Christians; it’s the promise that no matter what happens in life, it’s not a permanent problem. The prospect of losing Roe is more than simply a difference in policy.

But that’s not all. They are also concerned that well into the future, people will be able to do and say things they object to. They are concerned that bakers and florists who prefer not to decorate for same-sex weddings will retain the freedom to choose. They are also concerned that Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United will allow people to say things they dislike without restrictions. The world they envision is “tolerant,” but they can’t create a “tolerant” world if people are allowed to do and say things they view as “intolerant.” If people retain the freedom to do and say things they dislike, the world they long to see can’t be realized. That world requires them to control the Supreme Court so that the First Amendment protects only the freedom of worship—not the freedom of religion—and only sometimes guarantees the freedom of speech, but definitely not when it’s “hate speech.”

But there’s a final point as well that makes the appointment of a young, devout Catholic “originalist” especially galling. It is foreseeable that Amy Coney Barrett would be on the Supreme Court for 30 years or more. This is troubling because many on the Left sincerely believe that people like her are on the verge of extinction. In their world, religious conservatives are a small and dwindling minority who will simply disappear with the passage of time.

When they sing John Lennon’s “Imagine,” they actually imagine it. They see growing secularization as proof that Lennon’s world with no countries, no wars, and no religions is just around the corner. In that world, everyone will be happy. In that world, people like Amy Coney Barrett are on the ash heap of history, not on the Supreme Court. Barrett isn’t just a Supreme Court nominee with a different judicial philosophy, she represents a renewal of ideas that the Left wants to believe are on the verge of extinction.

Politically, they understand that this nomination is likely to be confirmed, but they will not go quietly into that good night, because Amy Coney Barrett represents a value system they believe is the source of all wars, bigotry, and substance abuse issues in the LGBT community. They believe she will cause careers to be ruined by unwanted pregnancies and deaths from back-alley abortions. They believe it is a matter of life and death—that’s why they will act like it’s a matter of life and death.

Christian Voting Myth #3: “I Don’t Like Either Candidate, So What’s the Point?”

by Joseph Backholm

October 12, 2020

This is part 3 of a 4-part series debunking four common myths Christians use to not vote. Read myth #1: “One Vote Doesn’t Make a Difference”myth #2: “God Is in Charge Anyway So It Doesn’t Matter if I Vote”; and myth #4 “I’m Not in the Majority Where I Live, So Why Bother?”

In an ideal world, you would always have the option to vote for really great people that you agree with in every respect. In the real world, however, your ballot may give you choices that make you feel less like you’re choosing someone to represent your values and more like you are choosing a cancer treatment. In that situation, what you want most is a different option. But sometimes there is no different option. What should you do then?

For a lot of people, the answer is “nothing.” Instead of voting, they choose to be absent from the process, absolve themselves of responsibility, and blame God for allowing it to come to this.

One reason it’s sometimes difficult to vote is because we want to support someone without reservation. On social media, we “like” people that we care about, things that makes us laugh, or ideas that we agree with. Our “like” is our stamp of approval. If we only like it a little bit, we’re likely to move on to something else.

There’s a temptation to treat our ballot the same way. If we can’t give unqualified support, we are tempted to abstain and wait for something better. But voting is not like social media. It’s more like filling a job vacancy. The job has to be filled and the Constitution has dictated the timeline. The fact that you haven’t found the ideal candidate may be frustrating, but it is not relevant to the fact that the job is going to be filled.

Your desire to find someone you can give unqualified support to is noted but not especially helpful under the circumstances. In that situation, it may be more helpful to think less about good and bad and more about better or worse. Is that possible? Maybe.

Character always matters, but if a completely virtuous person is not one of your choices, maybe the policies represented by one candidate are more virtuous than the policies of the other candidates. Is one candidate working on behalf of the abortion industry while the other works to defend life? Does one candidate defend conscience rights while the other supports suing nuns and churches that live out their faith? Does one candidate want parents involved in their child’s education and health care decisions while the other wants the state to interfere with parental rights? In a situation where all the candidates are flawed, we might be able to find clarity if we allow ourselves to think less about people involved and more about policies that will be affected.

In addition, if there is no “best candidate,” it may be helpful to think about the “best team.” No politician works alone. Most candidates are part of a political party, and all candidates have donors and supporters. Executive offices, like mayors, governors, and presidents also appoint cabinet members, judges, ambassadors, and thousands of other positions that affect how government operates.

Which candidate, for political reasons, is going to be pressured more often to do things you like and which candidate is going to face pressure to do things you won’t like? If the two foremen are not people you especially care for, is there a reason to prefer one crew over another?

Though it sometimes seems the end is near, we do still live on earth and that means we will be consistently faced with imperfect choices. It would be nice if the choice was always clearly good or evil, but it’s not. Sometimes the choice is better or worse, and if you aren’t willing to choose better, you may find yourself stuck with worse.

Read myth #4: “I’m Not in the Majority Where I Live, So Why Bother?”

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