Election Day is almost here!
Now I would never presume to tell you for whom to vote. However, I would like to let some Founding Fathers remind you of some very good principles to follow when voting.
Have you decided yet for whom to vote? If so, what criteria did you use to make your decision? We all certainly look at the positions of the candidates on the issues that are most important to us and try to find the one that matches our positions the best. But, have you considered the most important quality? Here’s what Noah Webster said about character.
When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’”
John Jay, one of the authors of the Federalist Papers and the First Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, gave one clear rule when choosing who to vote for:
Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Founding Father John Witherspoon said,
The people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.”
I know that this seems foreign to most of us today – just men, Christians, moral character. Today we are bombarded with messages from the media that character isn’t important, and that the public life and the private life of the candidates should be kept separate. However, this is a very recent phenomenon. Founding Father Samuel Adams, in 1775, said,
Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable characters. The public cannot be too curious concerning the character of public men.”
By choosing to run for public office, the candidates thereby open their private life to the public for scrutiny. The issue of character is simply too important to be overlooked. Why is this so important? Mr. Noah Webster answers:
The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty (voting); if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.”
Hmmmmm. Does that sound familiar? We, as citizens of the United States, have failed in our duty to elect ‘just men’ to rule. The consequences are obvious.
In God’s grace though, we still have an opportunity to turn this country back around. We all must do our part, and voting for candidates of character is a good place to start. You might ask: How can we be expected to know this much about the candidates? Well, it’s going to take some work. John Adams, the second president of the United States, gives us the answer:
It becomes necessary to every subject then, to be in some degree a statesman: and to examine and judge for himself of the tendencies of political principles and measures.”
So, for whom should you vote? The candidate that best demonstrates the character of being a just Christian person of good moral character. How do we know which candidate best fits that description? The answer is to do your homework. Analyze the character of the candidates. Do they follow through with their promises? Are they consistent in their words and deeds? Do they live a godly lifestyle? Do their positions on issues line up with Scripture? Could you call the candidate a ‘just man’ or ‘just woman’ who fears God, a ‘Christian’, and a person of ‘moral character’? If so, you’ve got your decision made. If not, keep looking.
Let me encourage you to take some time to analyze the candidates and then vote for the one who best meets these criteria. Become a statesman. Examine the candidates and judge for yourself. I can’t tell you the exact candidate to vote for, but the criteria mentioned here will eliminate most of them, unfortunately. Then, pray for the wisdom to vote for the person that best exemplifies a godly character. Do that, and you will be faithfully discharging your duty to your country.
And remember that God is in control, even when it doesn’t seem much like it.
And, remember to stay on the narrow path,
P.S. I have a dramatic reading that would be perfect to perform before a church, family or tea party group entitled, To Vote Or Not to Vote. Because I want to get this out to as many folks as possible ahead of the election, I have it on sale right now at 50% off — only $2.49!!