There are a great many things which people consider when voting for candidates for public office. Especially high public office, be it on the local, state, or national level. First, most people consider a candidate’s Party Affiliation; this is done without thinking. If a candidate is not on our party’s ticket he or she may not be considered; this is automatic. In cases where both candidates are of the same party, as in primary elections, do we try to vote for the person most qualified? It is to be hoped so, but in reality this is not always the case. All too often one’s vote is based on such relatively meaningless qualities as personality (his or her charm or lack thereof), the candidate’s ability as a public speaker, and many frivolous things which it is not necessary to mention in this article.
To the question put forth in the title of this article, “Should one’s faith influence a citizens’s vote?”, the answer must logically be yes! Consider the following facts:
One’s faith can never be left at the polling place door and retrieved after the vote is cast. It is an impossibility in anyone with any kind of convictions. If a candidate’s platform and personal lifestyle do not coincide with one’s own beliefs, how can one vote for him/her? By “reason”, some will say. Very well then, let us reason.
Isn’t it reasonable to assume that most “Faith Based Organizations”, or religions, have a certain commonality of basic good/bad beliefs amongst them? Do they not all basically believe that it is wrong to murder, wrong to steal and embezzle, wrong to cheat, wrong to lie, wrong to hate one’s neighbor, wrong to curse God? Even Atheists believe such.
Prominent among such organizations is Christianity. (More properly considered an organism than an organization.) There are enough Christians in this country, that if every one voted strictly according to their faith, and the tenets thereof, there would hardly be a crooked or immoral person elected to any public office. No church would knowingly elect or call anyone to service, from Pastor to Sunday School teacher, who was not of good character and qualification. Why shouldn’t these same principles be applied when voting for public office seekers.
Lest there be misunderstanding, this article is not saying that every candidate for public office should have to be Christian. No, no! It is simply saying that if Christians, and others, voted according to the moral principles of their faith we could clean up our government institutions and keep them clean, whether or not the politicians themselves were Christians, because one would vote on the candidate’s personal moral principles as well as their qualifications for office.
Granted, there are some so-called faith based organizations which are run by hate-mongers and murderers, who would like nothing more than to see the United States and Israel crumble into dust. However, it is likely that the common people of those organizations are peace loving and law abiding with the same basic truths as Christians, and that if they voted according to their faith the same results would attain. To wit: decent office holders.
Yes, one’s faith, one’s moral beliefs, should influence a citizen’s vote.