I don’t know my candidates very well, so on Tuesday I’m going to check every box with the word “Democrat” next to it, simply to help make Bush a lame duck and stunt his reign of terror over us and the world. I hope you also vote. But I hope voting is the least we do.

Getting involved politically is the least efficient, most expensive, most corrupt, and least effective way to advance the Kingdom of God. But it’s tempting to make political maneuvers our primary method of social good because it requires only a trip to the polls once every two years and perhaps some campaign contributions. We vote for someone who promises to help the poor, and then we feel as though we don’t have to help the poor ourselves. We’ve done our part.

But we can be much more effective through direct action. Consider abortion. We could vote for a pro-choice president, hope he gets to appoint some pro-choice Supreme Court justices, hope they are presented with an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade, hope they have enough votes to do so, and hope the new law has more success than the last Prohibition. Bill Tibert has another idea: “Let me ask you: Which has greater power? Ten thousand people who fill the streets in front of abortion clinics and shame those seeking abortions, or ten thousand people in California who take to the state capital a petition they have signed stating they will take any unwanted child of any age, any color, any physical condition so that they can love that child in the name of Jesus Christ?” But of course we can’t really do that! That would require genuine love and sacrifice.

I recently had a discussion with a Christian leader I greatly respect. He spoke with great passion about how the war in Iraq was justified in order to protect innocent people, and how Bush’s new despotic powers are warranted to protect us from terrorists. But this is not the way of Jesus. This is a way of keeping the danger 5,000 miles away so we can continue to live in cushy homes and buy gas for $2.30 a gallon. Jesus told us to turn the other cheek and love our enemies, not to preemptively torture and kill those who threaten our way of life.

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