Why I don’t vote

Traditionally my fellow Anabaptists made a clear distinction between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of the Lord. In fact, historians believe the Anabaptists originated the concepts of separation of church and state, and of freedom of religious conscience.

Coming up with these attitudes was really a no-brainer. In those days the wall of separation between church and state was a prison wall. They noticed that the church was being arrested and the state was holding the jail keys, and they sort of figured things out. And when you teach believer’s baptism at the risk of your life, you understand that belief cannot and should not be forced on anybody.

The early Mennonites, Amish and Hutterites didn’t serve in armies, or juries, or as magistrates. These Anabaptists believe that while the state may be an instrument of God’s wrath, the Church must remain an instrument of God’s mercy. Voting, though, is a matter of conscience, even among the Amish. Most Amish choose not to vote.

I don’t vote because I want to keep a clear conscience. If I vote for one US presidential candidate, I have the blood of pre-born Americans on my hands. If I vote for another, I have the blood of post-born Iraqis on my hands. Being involved in the world system tends to force people to make such choices.

It doesn’t mean I don’t care about who’s President, or whether America is attacked again. It’s just that I don’t want the weapons of my warfare to be carnal. I’ve been there, done that.

2 thoughts on “Why I don’t vote

  1. I’ve had the flu. I’ve been there and done that as well. However, I have taken medicine because of it. What happens when the government says it’s no longer “tax deductible” to give to a church, pray, or even protect one’s self and property or worse live a Godly life. Yes, that is possible and I believe probable. Where is the line to “submit” to earthly authority? The weapons of our warfare can remain spiritual indeed, based on faith. Faith without works is dead, however. If God has ordained a country whereby PEACEFUL expression is allowed by the simple voicing of a Godly opionion based on scripture, then is the responsibility greater to remain silent or express one’s faith through obedience to witness with a simple ‘vote’?

  2. It’s not clear to me that voting in the last Presidential election would have been an expression of my faith. Because it’s not clear to me how many of either candidate’s policies were really based on scripture. I agree that remaining silent is not right, if God has given us words to speak for the situation. If not…

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