Would Jesus Vote?

My friend asked this in a previous post of mine. My answer? Well, Jesus didn’t live in a democracy, so that wasn’t a real option for him. I don’t think we can argue about voting in the abstract — is voting always a good thing or a bad thing? We need to ask what voting is doing in a particular context, whether voting is liberating or oppressing for those who live in that particular context. We will need to reason from the way of life Jesus lived in Palestine.

Jesus was about creating a community of the outcasts and marginalized and giving them a voice — transforming them from objects of God’s wrath to subjects in God’s kingdom. The ‘rule of Paul’ as some call it, was the idea that everyone got a voice when Christians got together. They didn’t know who the Holy Spirit might speak through, so, even those who were considered less important, had a voice at the gathering.

We need to ask, for a particular context and time, is voting a liberating or an oppressive activity? Was voting a Jesus-like activity in South Africa when blacks voted for the first time in 1994? I would say it was. Is voting a Jesus-like thing when a one-party government has 99% support? Probably not — voting would reinforce the illusion of support that those in power hold. 

So, the question must be asked — is this a time to vote, is it a liberating activity for those in our country or or not? Does this election offer a means by which those who have been shut out and lack a real role in the political process receive their voice?  I think for many in the country, voting in this election represents a turning of the tide. I believe we have, in this election, an opportunity to elect a person who represents voices that have rarely been heard, at this level, in the political process. Giving a voice to the voiceless is something Christians need to rally around. And back up with a vote. Today.

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