It’s Election Day on Tuesday. (Not a Calvinist holiday. People are voting in booths…)
A lot of pro-life advocates are fed up with politics, especially in a state like California where it seems like the pro-life vote doesn’t matter. I have a lot of empathy with people who feel apathetic about the entire political process, but I want to offer a few reasons to stay involved.
I spoke at a pro-life conference in Southern California recently put on by California Pro-Life Council, and Bryan Johnston asked me to spend the last part of my speech encouraging the attendees to stay involved with politics. It’s not a topic I discuss very often, as my work is primarily focused on training pro-life advocates to use better arguments and to form the kinds of friendships with pro-choice people where real heart change is more likely to happen. (Focusing on those two things is why I launched a non-profit organization this year.)
After a week of thinking about the issue, I delivered my speech and with my closing few minutes, said this:
With my remaining moments, I would like to encourage you in another way that you can help the pro-life movement: Getting more involved in politics.
There are some people in this room right now who are not very excited to hear the rest of this speech, because you trusted a candidate once, and he or she disappointed you.
You not only feel betrayed by that individual, you feel betrayed by the entire process, because it seems sometimes like if you live in California, there is no good that can be done.
So I want to suggest three reasons for why you should stay involved.
#1: When pro-life people vote, it forces the politicians of a pro-life party who don’t feel the weight of the sin of abortion on this land to continue to take us seriously.
Our votes count. Don’t give the Republican Party in California the excuse to write off the abortion issue altogether.
#2: It will help you get in conversations with people in your sphere of influence.
The abortion issue comes up more naturally in election years. “Hey, what did you think of the way the vice presidential candidate answered the abortion question on last nights debate?”
Abortion is not solely a political issue, as some pastors think. No, it’s a moral issue, but it’s also a political issue. It’s still discussed in every election cycle. That’s no longer the case in Great Britain. Abortion is treated as a settled issue by their politicians. I’m glad it’s not like that in America yet. So take advantage of that and find non-weird opportunities to discuss the issue with your friends.
But you should keep in mind, it’s hard to complain about political issues to your friends if you don’t vote. Your friends won’t think you’re serious about being part of the solution. They will think you’re one of those complainers who just gripes and doesn’t do anything about it.
#3: It takes advantage of a great liberty.
Given the current situation in Iraq, you are very blessed to have born in this country, a country where you have the freedom of speech, the freedom to congregate, and the freedom to vote. Don’t throw that away simply because the candidate in question is not perfect. Trust me: There will be no perfect political candidate unless Jesus comes back and runs for office.
As Greg Koukl at Stand to Reason says, we should vote in such a way that will get us as close as possible to the political situation we need to be in for the most good to be accomplished.
For resources on how to vote in California, my friends at California Family Council have put together a 501c3-compatible voting guide. In other words, non-profit organizations, including churches, can distribute this. Share it with your friends, and share this post with those who don’t want to vote anymore.