Breakpoint Commentary # 81103–11/03/98
I can't tell you, my BreakPoint listeners, how much I envy you today. Why? Because as a convicted felon, I cannot vote.
Today is Election Day , and your first civic duty is to vote! If you don't vote, you are abandoning the first tenet of the biblical command to be a responsible citizen.
I won't tell you whom to vote for, because I never endorse candidates. But I will say that whether you vote Democratic, Republican, or Independent, you should look at one overriding criterion this year: character.
It's because so many politicians seem to lack character that huge numbers of people are turning off on the political process—and this is deeply distressing. These people have become cynical because they think all politicians are corrupt. But this is wrong: Many of the congressmen and senators and governors I know are decent, honest people, and many truly love the Lord.
This widespread cynicism about politics can be terribly dangerous. Recently, while I was channel surfing, I picked up a Canadian television program. A comedian was singing a ditty about the present scandals in the U.S. It was disgusting and demeaning. And six times he sang the refrain: "But we love you Billy because you're just like us."
Well, that little ditty has haunted me, not that anyone should be self–righteous. Yes, we're all fallen sinners—just as the president is. But the implication is that we welcome presidential immorality because it makes us feel better about our own immorality. God forbid that that should ever be the case.
The way to put the lie to songs like these is by voting today for men and women of character. Men and women who will stand up for righteousness, who will defend the helpless, especially the unborn. Who will act with virtue and nobility. Who will refuse to sell out their office for a mess of political pottage.
And in my book a good test for virtues and character is the willingness to clean up the corrupt campaign finance laws.
I hope that as the election returns roll in across the country today, there will be a resounding cry of righteous indignation from people who want to restore our Founders' vision. Remember, America is a republic, not a democracy. And in a republic, we are to elect representatives who will rise above the passions of the moment. They are to be men and women of character and virtue, who will act responsibly and even nobly as they carry out the best interests of the people.
No, we don't want leaders we can love because they remind us of our own darker side. We want leaders we can look up to and respect.
I must tell you, I miss being able to vote. All you have to do is lose the right to vote once, and you would never again find any excuse for not going into the voting booth.
So if by any chance you're tempted to stay home today, don't do it. Be a good citizen: Exercise the greatest right a free people have.
You have a chance today to send a signal loud and clear across America: Give us leaders who are, in the words of the psalmist, men and women of character and integrity.
Copyright (c) 1998 Prison Fellowship Ministries. Found on the Web at Breakpoint with Chuck Colson. Used by permission.