by Ben Kinchlow

       This column may be too late for the November 7th Presidential elections. For whatever reasons, we procrastinated. "I forgot", "I didn't have time", "I didn't have a ride", "All politicians are crooks", "...and besides, my vote doesn't really matter".

       Many Christians believe that any participation in the political process is somehow "un-Christian". The Lord Jesus said we should "render to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to God, that which is God's". Caesar is a type of government. Informed, intelligent, participatory citizenship is what we owe our government... Caesar. We are enjoined to "pay taxes to whom taxes are due" and to "be subject unto the higher powers". In other words, good government pleases God and, in fact, the scripture is specific that "the powers that be are ordained of God".

       Further, according to scripture... "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." (Proverbs 29:2) Only a cursory examination of these and other scriptures indicates that government is to be the friend of the people, not the enemy of good people and good rulers are to be chosen over bad (Romans 13:3-7). Unfortunately for many, they have no choice. They are born, live, and die under systems that give them no choice in their rulers and no voice in their lives.

       Fortunately, everyone reading this column today has both choice and voice. By virtue of the fact that you are "born in the USA", you have the right to participate in the greatest social experiment ever conceived by the God-inspired mind of man.... "government of the people, for the people, and by the people". In other words, you have the right and the privilege, yea the responsibility, to participate in your government. This is a government "by the people", not a democracy, but a republic. As you know, this means a majority of citizens elect specific representatives to articulate and represent their views in two of three branches of government, the Administrative and Legislative branches. The Judicial branch is "supposed" to remain outside of, and free from, political manipulation. Supreme Court justices are appointed for life by the President and confirmed by the Senate. This is the dream of those who desired to "establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility...promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." Remember, governments derive "their just powers from the consent" of sovereign individuals who are "created equal" and "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights".

       If politicians are all crooks, it's because we elect them, or worse yet, "we forget, we get too busy, we don't get a ride"... and somebody else elects them, but remember... an un-Godly man appoints un-Godly men. "If a ruler harkens to lies, all his servants are wicked". (Proverbs 29:12).

       Today's decisions are tomorrow's laws. Prayer was removed from schools by a judicial decision. Churches can be removed from society in the same fashion.

        "Well, my vote doesn't really count." Oh, yeah? Maybe if you had been there, we'd be speaking German, California would be part of Mexico, and we would never have had a JFK. Who?.... Me!? Yeah, you.

       In 1776, one vote decided whether the colonies would speak German or English.

       In 1850, one vote decided whether California would be a state or not.

       In 1960, three votes per precinct elected John Kennedy over Richard Nixon.

       Yeah, you can make the difference. Do we continue to worship God, as He intended when He allowed America to be established, or become like many other nations today where Christian churches are museums, and faith is unknown, or underground?

       Pray... then vote. Who?... Me!?