By: G J Fortier
Which of these is your excuse for not voting in the 2012 election?
“It’s not my responsibility.”
“I’m not registered.”
“I don’t have time.”
“I don’t like any of them.”
“I don’t vote so I don’t complain.”
“My vote doesn’t count.”
“The election doesn’t affect me.”
Elections are not about Me, myself and I! They are about us!
There are approximately 220,000,000 Americans who are eligible to vote in the U.S.
Of those, approximately 182,600,000 claim to be Christian.
That leaves about 37,400,000 non Christians.
22% of Christians voted Democrat. 78% of Christians voted Republican.
61.33% of non Christians voted Democrat. 38.67% of non Christians voted Republican.
In the 2012 election …
President Barak Obama won with 22% (7.25 million) of the Christian vote and 61.33% (57.35 million) of the secular vote for a total of 64.6 million. 51.1% of the votes.
Candidate Mitt Romney lost with 78% (25.75 million) of the Christian vote and 38.67% (33.95 million) of the secular vote for a total of 59.7 million. 47.2% of the votes.
That’s a margin of 3.9%
Only 57.5% of registered voters voted in 2012.
Only 26% of the people who voted in 2012 were Christians!
That’s 32,890,000 Christian votes out of 182,600,000 Christians.
That’s only 18% of Christians!
82% of Christians did not vote in 2012!
Based on the numbers above, if every eligible voter cast a vote in 2012, this is what the numbers would have looked like:
Obama would have gotten 22% (40.2 million) of the Christian vote and 61.33% (22.9 million) of the secular vote.
28.7% of the votes.
Romney would have gotten 78% (142.4 million) of the Christian vote and 38.67% (14.5 million) of the secular vote.
71.3% of the votes.
That’s a margin of 42.6%
Will you be voting in 2016?
Now… for the excuses.
“It’s not my responsibility”
This is acceptable if you’re are not a citizen of the U.S., otherwise … WRONG! If you are a citizen, whether you were born here or you were naturalized, it is not only your right to vote, it is also your civic, moral and Christian responsibility. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” But you can’t simply vote, you must also learn about the candidates and their platforms. How could you possibly cast a vote for anyone if you don’t even know if you agree with them? You must know what your representatives stand for and behind. Simply voting along party lines or even because the candidate claims to be a Christian is not enough. Lots of politicians claim that they are Christians. Just look where they’ve gotten us. Finally, it is your responsibility to cast your vote as an example to others, especially your children and any other young people that you may have some influence with.
“I’m not registered”
Really? In today’s world of computers, cell phones and … well, you get the idea. If you don’t know how or where to get registered to vote, just ask the guy (or girl) sitting next to you and if they don’t know, ask the next one. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Eventually, you’ll find someone who can instruct you in getting registered … and pulling teeth is not required.
“I don’t have time”
Again … really? “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Elections don’t happen every day. They’re usually held years apart. It’s not like you have to get up every morning and vote on your way to work. During elections, the polls are generally open on a Tuesday for twelve hours. Most of us work between eight and ten hours a day and I understand that some of us work more. Did you know that it’s the law that your employer provide you time off to vote if the only time that you have to do so is during business hours? And suppose your employer has a problem with doing that, personally, I’d start looking for another job. C’mon, guys! If you can carve time out to play that video game, go to the movies or watch Florida get beat again, you have time to vote. It just takes a minimum amount of discipline.
“I don’t like any of them”
Okay, I kinda get this one. But this goes back to that getting to know the candidates thing. Are the candidates for the next election ideal? Of course not! And you shouldn’t even expect an ideal candidate! But these people who are running for jobs that effect our everyday lives are simply that … people … just like you and me. They are no better or worse than us. If you’re waiting for that “perfect” candidate that you agree with 100% to come along, guess what … it ain’t gonna happen! And if you have to narrow it down to the candidate that you disagree with the least … do that! “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.”
“I don’t vote so I don’t complain”
This was my personal favorite. But what I was really saying was “I don’t care”. I know that apathy isn’t mentioned in the Ten Commandments, but maybe it should be. And if you’re apathetic about hiring the people who we let run our country, what else are you apathetic about? The price of gas? What about groceries? The poor? The economy? Social injustice? War? How can you do as Jesus told us to “love your neighbors as yourself” if you just don’t care?
“My vote doesn’t count”
Really? No … Really? You are a child of the almighty God! How can you give yourself so little credit? I know, I know … I’ve heard it too. “Well if you go and vote, then somebody else will go and vote for the other guy and y’all just cancel each other out” Just take another look at the numbers above. If we Christians vote, we have the numbers to get our candidates elected. Christians outnumber non-Christians almost 5 to 1! How could we possibly lose?
“The election doesn’t affect me.”
If you believe this to be true, then I suggest you watch the evening news, both local and national. There are issues reported there that may not affect you today, but something similar may very well impact your life someday. Taxes, zoning, garbage pick-up, street repair, who runs our schools … you name it. Things related to these and a myriad of others come up and are voted on in every single election. This is not just a call for you to vote in the “big” elections, but to take an interest in issues affecting your every day lives as well.
Unless you just don’t care.
You must decide.
I’m sure that the majority of you reading this are saying to yourselves that you vote … in every election. That you do your part, and that’s great! But remember, you are children of the most high God! You are missionaries! Pastors of a kind! You set the example! It’s not enough for you to simply vote. It is your God given responsibility to use your influence to get others, men and women alike to the polls and vote as well! You are a leader in your corner of the world.
You must be the one who makes the difference!
“Am I my brother’s (sister’s) keeper?” YES! YOU ARE! Give someone a ride! Set a time to gather together, to meet at the polls … and be vocal about it! We have enough competition on the other side who are doing everything in their power … legal or otherwise … to get his … or rather their candidate elected. We cannot sit on our laurels and feel satisfied that we’ve “done our part” by simply casting our vote!
There is a battle raging! Are you a soldier or are you a serf?
Put your armor on! – Ephesians 6:10-20
G J Fortier is a member of Ironmen Ministries and of First Baptist Church, Centerville, Georgia. Look for his new novel, Mirrored Man: In the beginning … The Rob Tyler Chronicles, Book 1 available on Amazon Kindle.