Sometimes I look at the pile of election leaflets cluttering the hall and the string of posters from here to Galway and wonder who would Jesus vote for or if Jesus would even vote?
Someone I was talking to got annoyed with me for wondering if Jesus would vote.
They pointed out how many people around the world would love to be given that opportunity living as they do under tyrants and despots, having no choice in who rules them. They also said it was our responsibility to society, to make sure that we don’t get far right parties or selfish parties or parties that look after the powerful and wealthy before the weak and poor. They also said that we’re not called to be Jesus but to be his disciples and that I was saying this from an idealistic position and that I never want to get involved with stuff like politics, being an avoider of real life and that sort of thing
I guess that most of the people I know would disagree with me, and I probably will end up voting on Friday, still I wonder sometimes.
My main problem with is that I find that most politicians are asking me to endorse behaviour and values that I don’t really agree with, they are competing and looking to get into power, they are often seeking to influence the world by values that I don’t find in tune with what I understand about the Kingdom of God. Power seems to the thing many of them crave, even if they want to use that power for the common good. So I feel uneasy giving my support to that sort of behaviour.
It seems to me that by voting I am endorsing the type of hyper-competitive, race to the top, power-seeking world that seems to be removed from the world of grace and humility. And which is the real world?
There is that bit in Matthew 25 that Jesus tells the disciples:–
, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave’
If that is what he told the disciples about how it should be among them what does that mean about voting for A or B?
The other thing about voting is that it is my attempt to force my values and point of view, those things which I agree with on the world. I am hoping that such and such gets in so that what I want to see happen happens in the world. Is forcing my values on the world and those who disagree with me the way my heart should be working when faced with social injustice?
I know it’s a dangerous think to imagine Jesus as we might put our preconceptions on him and try to make him in our image but I still can’t imagine Jesus voting just as I can’t imagine Jesus shooting a machine gun on a battlefield.