Posted by: minnow | September 11, 2016

Seek Out the Facts

This election cycle has challenged many who call themselves Christians but have also voted Republican their entire lives to truly check how those two labels line up with one another.  Most of my dear Christian friends continue to wrestle with the choice they have to make between presidential candidates.  Some will eventually toss their votes toward a third party candidate who has no chance of winning but who lets them sleep at night.  They will tell themselves such a vote is the more moral choice since they cannot bring themselves to support Donald Trump and have heard the unsubstantiated accusations against Clinton for so long that they believe they must be true.

The trouble with voting for a third party is that such a vote is meaningless even though it might ultimately impact the election.  None of the third party candidates is even on the ballot in all 50 states and only one, in only one state, has received more than 15% of the votes polled.  Whether we like it or not, one of the two mainstream candidates, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, WILL BE our next president.

Still, if you are a conservative person of faith I understand the appeal of a third party.  Honestly, most of my friends, Christian or not, cringe every time they read a report on the latest words to come from Donald Trump’s mouth.  And who can blame them?  Some, of course, tell themselves the “right” will be able to control the Donald, but I suspect they mostly hope, but don’t actually believe, it’s true.  Despite the religious right’s attempt to paint Trump as recently born again, my thoughtful Christian friends, and hopefully the rest of the country, can see such a display as an attempt to pull the wool over their eyes.  Surly you can assess for yourselves that even if somewhere there exists a seed of faith, it is not mature enough to survive the test of a presidency.  Already, we have witnessed the re-established dominance of old behavior and rhetoric.  The Donald simply cannot be corralled.

So, if all these good, kind, Christ following people cannot force themselves to vote for the GOP candidate, why not just vote for Hillary Clinton and be done with it? I suspect the 30+ years of right-wing attacks and slander, despite nothing but innuendo to support them, has a little something to do with their reluctance.  I suspect most have not actually studied Hillary Clinton’s record, researched her resume, or read her own writings.  I know I hadn’t, at least not until recently.  I was content to tell myself that even the perception of her faults was too big a hurdle to overcome especially since I had a viable candidate, to support instead.  But, the primaries are over and Bernie Sanders did not prevail so now I need to look at the options which remained.  We all need to honestly, seriously, look at the options which remain.

I am about to make a case for Hillary Clinton but before you quit reading may I ask one thing of you?  Please weigh your choices: SEEK OUT THE FACTS.  If the people you read or listen to don’t document their positions–I don’t care of it’s me, your pastor, a news anchor, an editor, or your mother–fact check their views.  Then make your decision.

For those who wonder about Hillary Clinton’s faith these are her own words spoken recently at the National Baptist Convention in Kansas City, “I am grateful for the gift of personal salvation and for the great obligation of the social gospel to use the gift of grace wisely, to reflect the love of God and to follow the example of Jesus Christ.” In the same address she used these quotes from St. Francis and the Bible, “Try to preach the gospel always, and, if necessary, use words,” “Faith without works is dead” and “We cannot just be hearers of the word, we must be doers” to explain how her faith intersects with her life. “For me,” Clinton said, “it has always been about trying to live up to the responsibility described by the prophet Micah: that we ‘do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.’”

Humility, not a word often associated with Hillary Clinton.  But I ask you, could you have walked in her shoes and still chosen to put your life under the glare of a public spotlight?  When half the nation blamed you for your spouse’s infidelity and the other half criticized you for standing by his side, would you have continued to spend your waking hours working for change while carrying that target on your back?  Had an embassy been attacked under your watch, despite the fact that a Republican congress had cut its security, would you have had the courage to get up the next day to do your job?  Would you have been willing to answer accusations years later about your role in the incident from the very people you knew had partnered in cutting that embassy’s security?  Would you still smile, still take the press seriously, if the day before you gave a historic acceptance speech the media behaved as if the biggest story of the evening was what you would be wearing?  I could not have walked in Hillary Clinton’s shoes for the last 30 years.  I could not have kept my mouth shut when I was vilified and lied about day after day in the press.  I would have been angry and expressed my anger and given the press something to write about.  So for me, humility is a perfectly fitting word for Hillary Rodham Clinton.  And, I will proudly cast my vote for her in November.  I won’t be voting for her because I line up perfectly with her policies, but rather because she is someone who will bring honor to the office and we need more of that, not less.  Hillary Clinton will execute her duties faithfully because that is what she has done her whole life, to the best of her ability.  And the proof of that is in the facts.

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