Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Who I Voted For

I am a political junkie, but earlier this year Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw (authors of Jesus for President: politics for ordinary radicals) ruined me—in a good way. "It’s easy to have political views—that’s what politicians do. But it’s much harder to embody a political alternative—that’s what saints do".

So I’ve been wrestling for some months with how to vote. I thought about not voting, but couldn't bring myself to do it. I thought of voting for a third party candidate in order to "send a message". I wanted to vote “none of the above”. I wanted to vote against war... and the taking of innocent life, whether it's justified by calling it "collateral damage” or "choice".

I wanted to vote against a political system that wastes millions of dollars on too-long campaigns while citizens go hungry and homeless. I wanted to vote against a system of greed, pride, power and consumption. In short, I wanted to do something radical with my vote.

So I gave it away. I gave up my vote. I gave it to someone who is not allowed to have a voice in such matters. I voted for Rodger, or I should say I voted on Rodger's behalf.

He's a friend of mine who “lives in a large gated community out in the country” who is not allowed to vote. So I gave him my vote. I was his proxy. I asked him how he would vote if he could, and I honored his wishes.

I won’t tell you who we voted for. I voted for giving a felon a voice. Does that make me a criminal…or crazy? Just a simple act of rebellion…and hopefully grace. I wanted to be counted among the "ordinary radicals".

Joseph, Samson, Jeremiah the prophet, John the Baptist, Jesus, the Apostles Paul, Peter and John – just a few people in the Bible who served jail time. God has a special place in his heart for the prisoners.

Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; According to the greatness of Your power preserve those who are appointed to die. (Psalms 79:11)

Lord, when did we see you in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:39-40)

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19)

So now I'll sit back and watch the election returns and see if we won. Regardless of the outcome of the election, I feel like we already have.


inrepair said...

You are the coolest person on the planet, PJ. Seriously.

Was said...

interesting friend...i struggled over the ballot and changed my vote at the last second. I believe that the political system is not what Christ has called me to participate in. I pray that I can make an impact on the lonely, naked, hungry, and others in need.

Do you want to have a Jubilee event this spring????