The presidential election process has officially begun. Iowans had their say with some surprising results. The rest of the country will express their wishes over the next months. We will express our opinions over the next months.
Since this is a site of a religious association, I cannot endorse any candidate for any political office. There is a legal separation of church and state. That doesn’t stop me from talking about politics in general. But instead of talking about my views, I’d like to talk about how you make your choices.
The idea of separation of church and state comes from the constitutional mandate against establishing a national religion. But can politicians truly separate their belief system from their political self? Can any of us separate our belief systems from our political selves? The answer is no, and so we need to take this into account as we make political choices.
Remember the belief system I asked you to inventory last week. Compare that to the reasons you are considering voting for certain candidates. Many vote for one or two issues raised by a candidate. Many vote along party lines. Others vote on other labels placed on the candidates. These labels make it easy to stereotype both candidates. But that’s the easy way to cast a vote. I encourage you to take a harder look at the candidates and the reasons you are voting for them.
Compare them to your belief system and also ask these questions. Are they honest? This is a hard one. Everybody lies, so if you're expecting to find a completely honest candidate you're fooling yourself. After debates and speeches do a little fact checking. What did the candidate lie about, how does the consequences of that lie fit in with your belief system? Do they have integrity? Do they mean what they say? Does their current talk match the history of their actions? Again, do some fact checking. Do they take responsibility for mistakes they have made? Remember to consider a change in position may be sincere. Are they compassionate? How will their policies affect others, especially those who are struggling to survive? Are they realistic? It’s one thing to make pronouncements in speeches and debates, but can they really be carried out? Understand the political process and understand how difficult it has been to make changes.
These are just a few of my thoughts. Take them; leave them. However, all of it is pointless unless you make sure you vote.
Please stay on topic.