The outcome of Tuesday night’s election, as everyone knows by now, is Barack Obama.
Not Joseph Smith.
Not some neo-evangelical ideal that will revolutionize the country and set it on a course to hell or utopia.
The American people chose a person based on his ideas on how the country should be run and not on his religion and how that might intersect with his economic, foreign, domestic or immigration policies.
The neck-and-neck nature of the election depicted just how split the country was. The vote was not on religion, but on economic principles and domestic issues that are not necessarily tied with religion.
This election was fought and won as it should: with religion on the sideline. There were, of course, a few bumps in the road but, overall, Americans chose Obama because he is Obama and rejected Romney because he is Romney.
The old adage most Christians in the United States have used is to vote for a Christian, and only a Christian. If not, threats of damnation of an “unholy” nation would befall its unfortunate citizens. References to Sodom and Gomorrah, Israel’s captivity and a host of others usually plague an election season.
But this time, the damage wreaked by Todd Akin’s disparaging comments contributed in large part to the implosion of the GOP and subsequently, to the election as a whole. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would say they didn’t vote for Romney because he is Mormon or that anyone voted for Obama because he is not Mormon. Hopefully, we have moved past this.
Even though the notion that we should live “like Jesus” or that Christians should follow the “what would Jesus do” mantra is rejected here, it is important to note that Jesus was not a political revolutionary, nor did he try to be. in Jesus’ life, he preached multiple times of the imminent coming of the kingdom of God. If one believes that he or she ought to be like Jesus, then they ought to—well, after converting to Judaism—believe that God’s kingdom is coming soon as well.
Perhaps the strongest argument is that Jesus actually accepted two spheres of authority in the first century: divine and Roman. It is recorded in Mark’s Gospel when someone asked him about taxation, he took a coin and asked those listening whose face was on it. They replied “Caesar,” and then Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
This principle can be applied to our attention, money and time. We should give to God what belongs to God and give to our governing bodies what belongs to them.
In yesterday’s case, our hearts and souls belong to God, the betterment of our lives belongs to God; and our votes belonged to Romney, Obama or any other presidential contender.
And the good part is for most of the country, the latter held true Tuesday night.
Applause goes out to the citizens of this country who exercised their right to vote and did not make a sourly-mixed beverage of politics and religion.
For Christians, the attitude should be that no matter what, God will still be God and Jesus’ sacrifice will still remain a sacrifice, despite the spinning and toiling of man in government or politics.
Jesus doesn’t need to be president, only Lord and Savior.