When I turned 18, I was so excited to be able to vote! I remember proudly voting for George W. Bush in 2004. Voting was something that I thought everyone should do and was appalled to learn that there were some who chose not to take part in the democratic process.
In the last couple of years, I have become so disenfranchised with the outlandish party-line battles (which seem to be more important to some politicians than actually accomplishing anything with lasting value) that I have struggled to pull myself to the polls at all. The ridiculousness of the left vs. right debate only fueled the fire of my internal political struggle. As I have learned more about Scripture and learned that as Christians we are a part of the Universal Body of Christ (which transcends nationalities), national pride has taken a back seat to the desire for social justice, people to know Jesus, and a unity in the Global Church. The fact that many American Christians have wedded Christianity to certain political opinions and, at times, have cried "God bless America" louder than "May I bless You, Lord" made this internal battle almost entirely one-sided.
But now I see myself moving back the other way a little bit. Now, you're still not going to see me wear patriotic apparel or join any political group that seeks the good of the American People at the expense of people of other nations, but you will see me at the polls on November 2nd.
As Christians, we need to let our voice be heard in the political and national arena. To put it simply, we often serve as God's voice in these issues. However, when we speak as Christians, we need to be speaking for the good of ALL people, not just the good of the American People. We need to be careful to vote with the Holy Spirit, and not with our pocket books. Sometimes tax cuts, government aide, and stimulus packages can be very good for our pocket books and our country. However, sometimes these things come at a cost to other people, whether it be other social classes within our own country, or the citizens of other countries.
I am not a political expert, and I do not know too much about economics. But these are some issues that are important to me this election:
1) Government Aid to the Poor: What are we doing to effectively help the poor? What are we doing to "give them a hand-up, instead of a hand-out?"
2) Abortion: The "Abortion Problem" in the United States will not be fixed with legislation, there has to be a change in beliefs. However, I want my elected official to vote people into office, when given the opportunity, who value the lives of the unborn.
3) Same-Sex Marriage: Same-Sex Marriage is not just a religious or moral issue. According to some researchers, same-sex marriage has negative consequences for society, hurts the physical health of the nation, and can have detrimental effects on children (among other things). See The Case for Marriage or The Broken Hearth.
4) Education: What are we going to do about the education crises happening in many of our urban school districts?