I have thoroughly enjoyed the varied viewpoints expressed on my last couple of posts, including Jordan's attempt at playing the "devil's advocate" or "satan's attorney" depending on your country of origin :) Seriously though, it seems patently obvious to me that this is definetely an issue for open discussion among Christians as we approach what may well be the most historic election in the political life of our nation. I'd like to conclude my thoughts today with a little help from a few 'experts.' In the July 2008 edition of Reader's Digest, I came across a really interesting article by Arthur C. Brooks, professor of business and government policy at Syracuse University, titled: Why we're Happy. I could reproduce the entire article for you here, but I suspect that RD would not be pleased as it would impact their bottom line. So for the purposes of my summation I will give you the salient points.
Brooks begins by stating, "In the Declaration of Independence, the Founders didn't treat happiness as some fuzzy concept; they believed that people wanted happiness and had the right to pursue it. Along with life and liberty, happiness was the connection between the Creator and our nation's destiny, and the ability of its citizens to pursue and achieve happiness was a measure of the effectiveness and morality of the state." He continues, "But today's leaders and policy makers seem to have forgotten this. To hear politicians talk about gross domestic product, health-care reform, and Social Security, you'd think that this nation's Founding Fathers held as self-evident that we are endowed by our Creator with the ability to purchase new, high-quality consumer durables each and every year, or to enjoy healthy economic growth with low inflation and full employment."
He concludes his lively discussion with information garnered from "hundreds of reliable surveys" regarding what he calls "Happiness Predictors." Can you guess what the first predictor for happiness was according to the surveys? You guessed right, it was Faith. In an unrelated article from a "Blogalogue" David Klinghoffer surmises the following, "Jesse Jackson has rightly called Barack Obama's presidential bid a "theological campaign." Indeed, in the primary season, the leading Democratic candidates all correctly emphasized that spiritual values play a legitimate role in shaping political values." In response to an assertion that the primary factor for the Christian in casting a vote should be social programs, he had this to say, "Again, I don't discount the need to provide some kind of governmental safety net for the needy. But if we respect Biblical wisdom, then the best hope for minimizing the suffering that goes along with neediness is to nurture a society-wide respect for Godly values as they pertain to every aspect of our public and private lives."
Finally, contrary to the opinion that this nation was not founded as a Christian nation, here are the reflections of some of the Founding Fathers as well as the opinion of a decorated General of the United States army.
- "It is impossible to rightly govern....without God and the Bible" - George Washington
- "He who should introduce into public affairs the principles of Christianity shall change the face of the world." - Benjamin Franklin
- "It cannot be emphasized too strongly nor too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ." - Patrick Henry
- "It is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians as our rulers." - John Jay (First Supreme Court Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)
- "History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster." - General Douglas MacArthur
I couldn't have said it any better myself. I am persuaded that as a Christian I am duty bound to vote my values. Not because I want to impose some sort of moral control on society, but simply because I love my country enough to want GOD's best for her. Now you can have the final word!!!