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  • Maggie Wallem Rowe

It’s Election Day – Swallowed any Camels Lately?

The other day, one of our sons commented that he can’t wait until Election Day is over because of the assault on the senses: the thickets of “Vote for me” signs cause roadside blight, and the persistent robo-calls fill our voice mailboxes.

I think most of us feel the same way.

And yet if you’re reading these words from the United States or any other country with a democratic system of government, you also know how fortunate we are to have a voice, a choice, a vote.

So, do you wanna know which candidates will get my vote in the midterm elections today?

The political landscape’s been bleak of late, so I’ve been thinking that maybe Jesus has an opinion on the matter.

Sure enough, turns out he does.

Remember the rather colorful language he used to describe the incompetent religious leaders of his day? Hypocrites. Fools. Tombs whitewashed on the outside to impress the public but containing nothing but dead philosophy and moral depravity within.

“What sorrow awaits you [leaders]…! You ignore the more important aspects of the law – justice, mercy, and faith. Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!” Matthew 23:23-24

Explosive words from gentle Jesus, not so very meek and mild. Why did leaders like these earn his strongest condemnation?

“Jesus was kind to shame-filled prostitutes and fierce with self-filled Pharisees. He gives special attention to the poor and denounces those who ignore the poor.” Rev.Scott Sauls

Could be that Jesus knew his Old Testament rather well.

What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

When I study the list of candidates vying for local, regional, and national office, I don’t need one of those checklists distributed by party partisans. I’ve got one of my own.

Do those running for office extend justice to offenders and mercy to the unborn, the undocumented, the unwanted? Do they exhibit humility before God, or do they boast of their own popularity?

Do those vying for our vote expect us to elect them whatever their personal failings or flaws simply because the policies they claim to support will advance our cause?

Do they subscribe to the view that all politics are transactional, elevating ends over the means, assuming that we the voters will accept moral compromise to get what we want?

These are the private questions I want to ask of those contending to serve us publicly.

I know where to find women and men of this caliber. You’re the ones reading these words right now. I know many of you personally. I’ve seen your heart for people, your passion for justice, your innate decency. You don’t wield the Bible like a prop; you actually read it.

If only I could vote for you today.

- Maggie Wallem Rowe

Maggie Wallem Rowe writes - and votes - from Peace Ridge, her home in the mountains of western North Carolina. She is the author of two books.



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