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pre-election musings

Nearly four out of every five messages on my voice mail at home have been political calls. The same percentage holds true for television commercials and postcards in the mail. During some commercial breaks, every commercial has been a political one. In case you weren’t paying attention, this is an election year.

Many people around the world live in countries where decisions are made for them and would love to have our freedoms. They do not have a say in the laws that are passed. Nor do they get a vote about who will lead them. Freedom is one of the greatest reasons why immigrants have risked their lives to come to this country since the very beginning.

Those who enjoy freedom must also accept the obligations that come with it. To remain free, people must keep themselves informed about the issues that affect not just themselves but all of us. This is a tough challenge when our list of propositions seem to multiply like rabbits each election cycle.

On this year’s ballot is a wide-range of issues, from who will be the next presiden to community college trustees, from bond issues to the definition of marriage. People ask me all the time, “How should I vote?” My response is simple: study up on the issues that matter (not just to you but to God as well) and cast an informed vote. If you don’t understand an issue, read up on it, ask friends, and if you still don’t understand it — take a pass. There’s no requirement that you vote for everything that’s on the ballot.

On the other hand, don’t shy away from making a difficult choice because it may be unpopular. If you have certain convictions about an issue, vote in line with your conscience. Vote for what you believe in, not what you think is likely to pass.

The right to vote is what people in other countries have died to obtain. It’s what our own fathers and grandfathers died to preserve.

Honest people will come to different conclusions. You know what? That’s OK.

As God’s people, our first call is not to the ballot box but to the prayer closet. From my perspective, the best hope for bringing about lasting, redemptive change is not in the statehouse, courthouse, or even the White House. It’s what happens in your house.