People say this to me all the time (well, not all the time):

Not voting for Mitt Romney for U.S. president is really voting for Barack Obama; that is, staying home on election day (or voting a third party) counts as a vote for Obama.

Where does this idea come from? Let’s turn it around a moment. Isn’t it just as logical to say the following?

Not voting for Obama is really voting for Romney; that is, staying home on election day (or voting a third party) counts as a vote for Romney.

So, since not voting for one candidate is apparently (nay, actually!) voting for the other, by not voting for Obama I have already voted for Romney. So why do they insist, that I have to vote for him again, then? Isn’t that voting twice?


Picture of War Horse
The Battle is Not to Those With the Strongest Horse in the War (or the Race)

When I hear my fellow Christians lament in fear that we do not have a conservative Christian deliverer in the Republican party who will save the nation and that we must turn to Mitt Romney to save us–one who has neither a credible Christian testimony nor is he a conservative, I think of a passage in Scripture (Isaiah 31):

Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!

Do we not think God is able to keep his people safe during a second Obama term, without resorting to the arm of a sinner and human wisdom? Will not God see where the church has turned for help and will he not perhaps turn in chastisement against His people?

Yet He also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity.  Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together. (emphasis mine)

Would it not be much better to sit back, do no evil, and watch the deliverance of the Lord?! What He might do, would we turn to Him and not another pagan! We have been given such awful leaders because we deserve them or worse. My friend, Pastor Aaron Gunsaulus, has wisely applied David’s choice of judgments against his sin to the present case of facing only bad choices in the fall. When faced with three possible judgments, David chose the one that would be God choosing, because he did not want to fall directly into the hands of men (1Chronicles 21:9–13)

And what may happen if we turn to the Lord (Isaiah 31:4-7)?

So shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it. Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin.


Shedlock has written a book on these issues, entitled With Christ in the Voting Booth, which is available in many bookstores as well as online at Barnes & Noble, Amazon Books, Cokesbury, and




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  1. Americans are not obligated to vote for either candidate. It can even be construed that people should not vote if they violate their conscience in doing so. Of course, one cannot claim to be a Republican if they do not vote for Romney in November. Republicans vote Republican.

    1. Hie Bob,

      Since when did “membership” in the GOP REQUIRE one to vote for all and only GOP candidates?  (You must grant that party allegiance is probably a dying proposition).

      1. I do not consider myself a Republican because I do not feel obligated to the party or the party’s candidate. I might suggest that one who claims to be Republican and either does not vote at all or votes for a candidate other than the Republican one is a Republican in name only. Would that make the person a hypocritical Republican? Or perhaps just a Republican with a case of sour grapes?

      2. You are applying a broad brush without considering that being a Republican for anyone is in name only.  It requires nothing but signing on a dotted line. When has any GOP President followed the platform produced by its delegates? When has voting GOP required a litmus test? Who determined what a Republican “really is”?  You? Who?

        Might I suggest that all Republicans are Republicans in Name Only, just as all Democrats are DINOS.

      3. What is your definition of a Republican voter David if it is not a person who votes for a Republican candidate? Is a person who (is mad because the GOP primary results didn’t meet their expectations and) stays home on election day or votes for Obama considered a Republican in your thinking?  And maybe you can offer a reason why such a person should have influence in the future of the GOP? 
        Perhaps you can offer a definition of a Republican voter so that I can understand where you are coming from?

      4. It is a person who has registered as a Republican. That’s it. Period. Some people change their party affiliation every election or more often. Unless qualifications to be a member change, that is the only definition that is consistent. If the lion’s share of that party moves to the right, the “party” will move right. If the philosophy of the GOP is lower taxes,

        Bob, you are misreading why some people are staying home. I am not in the least bit “mad.” The GOP has met my expectations. It is just that they did not pick a candidate who meets the Biblical qualifications for a magistrate.

      5. a person who has registered as a Republican” 

        My thinking is that is the definition of a RINO. It is why I am now an Independent instead of a “registered” Republican.
        I do understand though that many feel that they cannot vote for either candidate because of issues of conscience. I agree with not voting on that basis. Perhaps the prayers (and not the votes) of such people will help elect the best candidate?

      6. Bob, that is my point. Everybody is a RINO. The word Republican has no permanent meaning, it only means someone who signed up. Collectively, it will only mean what they collectively NOW.

      7. Besides, Bob. You seem to think that becoming a member of the GOP binds one to only vote for Republicans, Where did you get that notion. I think you are probably making it up.

    2. So Republicans are obligated to vote a straight ticket if they are a Republican?  Even if it includes RINOS as you call them?

  2. When I read about Christians lamenting that any Republican candidate is needed to “save” our nation, I am sickened.  I am not a Christian, so I don’t see politics through your eyes.  But I do see the facts for what they are and no evidence supports this absurd argument that a conservative can or would “save” our nation.  Politics is a complicated business and the conservative attempts to dumb down US politics to simple catch phrases as “drill baby drill” are insulting.  You people should more research and understand what you are talking about.

    The actual policies enacted by Republican and Democratic presidents have been very similar with the exception of the Republicans determination to reduce taxation on the rich and business.  These are actions that are bankrupting this country.  Both sides have increased spending.  Both have charged into fruitless wars.  But only one seems to despise the middle class and the poor and that is Republicans.

    1. To the kid innnnnnnnnnnnnnn Muscogee:

      You are doing the very thing you are accusing others of doing. Who are “you people”?You talk out of both sides of your mouth. Out of one dimple you seem to indicate both parties have their problems, out of the other you want to get in your political jabs. How, for example, did destroying 660,000 running/driveable cars in the Cash for “Clunkers” program help the poor?  It gave money to new car dealers. It gave deep discounts to new car buyers, and destroyed a huge percentage of affordable used cars that the poor could have used to both go to their workplaces and still be independent.Secondly, to suggest that not taxing the rich is the cause of our debt problems is unthinking and bad math. Tax all of the billionaires their entire incomes and possessions and you would still have trillions left over in debt. And who would tax the next year.   Elementary finances, kid.  You can’t spend more than you take in. Getting a higher-paying job doesn’t help if you keep raising the budget higher and higher.

  3. If, as you say, everyone is a RINO then no one is a RINO. You and I, being Independents, may not embrace Republicanism as some do but that does not mean that the ones who do are all RINOs. It would be hard to call someone like Bob Dole, John McCain or GHW Bush a RINO simply because they are not conservative enough for some. For some the primaries are just a political game to be played out but for some the primaries represent a long tradition of vetting and selecting GOP nominees. 

    1. Bob, I am saying that the only legitimate definitions of Republican are:

      1. n., A person registered with the Republican Party.
      2.adj,. The party of said registrants
      3. adj., The official platform of said party. This is subject to change and is not binding on candidates and certainly not its members.

      I can only see calling someone a “RINO” if they call themselves a Republican but have never registered as a Republican.

      I repeat. The only meaningful present-tense definition of a Republican is a person who is registered as a Republican. 

      Of course, you could talk about how Republicans have  traditionally governed or campaigned (but that would two entirely different things would it no?)

      1. In a legal sense of the word you are correct much in the way that a non-believing attender of a church calls himself a Christian because he is included on the church membership list. Using your definition a Democrat who registers as a Republican (for the purpose of disrupting a primary election) is considered a Republican. My thinking is that being a Republican is probably a bit more meaningful that the superficial way that you describe one.

      2. Superficial?  Please tell me you how define a Republican, and why your definition should hold any more water than John McCain’s, Bob Dole’s, Pat Buchanan’s, Pat Robertson’s or Olympia Snowe’s.

      3. Membership with no commitment is the definition of what it means to be superficial. Why not avoid the superficiality and let the real Republicans nominate their candidate.

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