Blog Post: Another Election Day Rolls ‘Round
Today is Election Day! How important is it to carefully consider the character of the person for whom you vote?
In 1880, James Garfield became the 20th President of the United States. He was also an ordained minister! He gave an accurate assessment of what our Congress would become if the voters became apathetic:
“Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . [I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”
Garfield was shot by an assassin at the Washington railroad station en route for a northern trip (1881) and died 81 days later.
On October 12, 1816, John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, stated:
“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
In 1763 John Adams wrote in the Boston Gazette:
” Let us examine, then, with a sober, a manly . . . and a Christian spirit; let us neglect all party [loyalty] and advert to facts; let us believe no man to be infallible or impeccable in government any more than in religion; take no man’s word against evidence, nor implicitly adopt the sentiments of others who may be deceived themselves, or may be interested in deceiving us.”
In 1781 Samuel Adams said:
” Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
From an 1803 election sermon delivered by Matthias Burnett, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Norwalk, CT:
” Consider well the important trust . . . which God . . . [has] put into your hands. . . . To God and posterity you are accountable for [your rights and your rulers]. . . . Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you. . . . [L]ook well to the characters and qualifications of those you elect and raise to office and places of trust. . . . Think not that your interests will be safe in the hands of the weak and ignorant; or faithfully managed by the impious, the dissolute and the immoral. Think not that men who acknowledge not the providence of God nor regard His laws will be uncorrupt in office, firm in defense of the righteous cause against the oppressor, or resolutely oppose the torrent of iniquity. . . . Watch over your liberties and privileges – civil and religious – with a careful eye.”
The lesbian mayor of Houston, Texas has been in the news a lot recently. Did you know the voter turnout in that city was only 11 percent the year she was elected? In fact, the average voter turnout in metropolitan areas is 10 percent! Click here to listen to my interview with Pastor Dave Welch, Executive Director of the Houston Area Pastors’ Council and a member of the “Houston Five.”