Inspire, Fall 1992

A News Publication for Cedarville College Alumni iS e Fall 1992 ShWhoultd Vote? Dr.Kevin Sims'74,author of WhyShouldI Vote?, is assistantprofessor ofpolitical science at Cedarville College.Kevin earned his master'sdegree at University ofNorthern Iowa in 1978andfinished 1990 at ClaremontGraduateSchool. rice more,the time hascome for Americans to choose their next President.On Tuesday, November 3,millions of Americans will find their way to the polls to cast their vote for President of the United States as well as a myriad ofother government officials. We have witnessed the presidential conventions and the campaign techniques of the candidates.Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas has called for a"New Covenant" between the federal governmentand the American people.President George Bush asks Americans who are seeking "real change"in governmental operations to support him.And,for afew months,we were even treated to the extraordinary populist campaign ofH.Ross Perot.In several ways, this has become one ofthe most interesting presidential campaigns in many years. Notonly have interesting candidates emerged this election year,but also some very crucial issues.The state ofthe economy, affordable health care,aid to America's cities,and protection ofthe environment are some ofthe problemsfor which Americans would like to see some solutions. However, for many Christians these issues are only supplemental to the larger social concerns of abortion,homosexual rights, AIDS,and the general decline in respectfor Christian principles in society. We would like the candidates to address these issues! This election year will also witness the resolution ofcountless local issues at the voting booth.In some communities,schools will be forced to trim important academic programs unless tax levies are passed. Several cities are facing possible cuts in their police protection units without additional revenue.Local public libraries and hospitals are also facing the money crunch.School board members and other officials will be elected in many communities.With all this considered,why would anyone,especially Christians,not wantto vote? With critical issues and the future ofourcountry at stake, why would we decide to stay homeon election day? Some ofthe possible reasons for this absence from the polls are:"I don't like any ofthe candidates,""My vote won'tchange anything,"and one ofmy favorite excuses, "Christians should not be concerned with politics." Christians have been charged with the responsibility to respectthose who are in authority over them.Government officials are charged with the responsibility to maintain the law. With the continued success of America depending on its moral principles,Christians cannot accept morally weak,ethically compromising government leaders.To accept less than the most ethically dependable leadership is to fail to uphold our biblical challenge. As Christians,we must not confine our biblical world and life view to a weekly worship service or a personal reflection. We are called to be both"salt"and"light"in this world. With this responsibility, we mustnot keep our Christian principles to ourselves.If God is the center ofour lives,our principles must permeate all that we do.Thatincludes electing officials who will pursue standards that are worthy ofGod's blessing. There are those who believe that morality cannot be legislated. That is simply not true. Morality can be legislated.Indeed,the question would be better phrased:"Whose morality will be legislated?"The tenets of Humanism are legislated every day by the United States Congress.Christians,ofall people,should be making their will heard through the election process. Remember the words ofProverbs 29:2, "When the righteous are in authority,the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule,the people mourn."For too long Christians have neglected elections in this country.It is time for us to educate ourselves on the candidates and the issues,and then march to the polls to vote. We have the mandatefrom God's Word to see to it that our leaders are acting responsibly.Let's get about the business of electing those leaders.See you at the polls on November 3!