I went to the polls like a good citizen yesterday. As I checked in, I chatted with the ladies at the first table about my name (“Wow, you’re a third. Must be some kind of royalty.”), where I live (“I live right down the lane from you.”) and if I was the guy who bought the antique shop across from the Post Office. At the second table I was surprised to see ballots for every conceivable party under the sun.
Unlike a good citizen, I am ashamed to admit to you, with the exception of three candidates, I had no clue who to vote for. In fact, I’ve been so out of it lately that I didn’t recognize over 90% of the names on the ballot.
Priorities and Politics
Part of this is because of my station in life right now. I’ve always said that adding a child to your life quadruples your workload regardless of how full that workload was before you had the child. So with 5 kids now, you can imagine how busy life is. I don’t have the time to watch news or follow politics like I used to.
Another reason could be that the older I get and the more I mature in my Christian faith, even though I used to be a straight-line political party member from Cobb County, GA, party politics are not always going to square 100% with devout religious beliefs.
We are citizens of two kingdoms, after all, and the goals of one kingdom are not necessarily going to be the goals of the other.
There was a time when I had no problem siding solely with the Republican party because the issues were simple – the Republicans were more like Reagan and the Democrats were more like LBJ. Reagan instilled personal pride and you-can-do-it-I-believe-in-your-greatness, while LBJ instilled sympathy and you-can’t-do-it-your-too-weak/stupid-let-us-do-it-for-you-we-know-what’s-best.
The choice was easy. My mom loved Reagan, so I did too.
Now, though, you can’t trust the party because the party gives you confusing choices like Not Clinton and Not Dukakis and Not Kerry and Not Obama. And I’m not just talking about Presidential races.
My son, Corey, who’s been watching a lot of Olympics the past several days (which means he’s been watching a lot of polical ads too) said, “Who’s Billy Long, and why’s he ‘Fed up with Obama’?”
Maybe another reason I don’t follow national politics like I used to is I believe in candidates like Ron Paul who has said over and over again, the most important politics is the politics in your backyard. We should know a whole lot more about our local leaders than we do about our federal leaders. Somehow, the pyramid has been flipped, and it’s starting to teeter.
Americas Biggest Problem
But, I think the biggest reason I don’t follow politics like I used to, is I grew up and realized that no candidate in the universe can help us with the biggest problem we face.
Our biggest problem is sin. Sin is the reason why we have wars. Sin is the reason why we need regulations. Sin is the reason why candidates become criminals.
Because sin is a greater problem than welfare, healthcare, taxes and warfare, I have no choice but to focus more on teaching my children what can be done about their hearts and how Jesus has already taken care of the problem of sin for them, on the cross.
Only when the Gospel changes the hearts of men will we ever see any kind of change in the political climate. The Gospel offers real hope and change.