Arguing with Christians who intend to vote for Mitt Romney on purely practical grounds is fruitless. I will lose the battle before it has even begun. I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried. When I point out how Governor Romney has pledged to actively defend the right to kill 25,000 innocent yet-to-be-born Americans per year, they will simply say that Obama is much worse.
So, I would try this argument.
Suppose one candidate promised he would kill 2,000 American Christians a month, and the other said he would kill 10% less (only 1,800 a month). Would the Christian voter vote for the candidate who would kill the smaller number? No, he would vote for NEITHER!
Would it matter if the differences were much greater than 10%? No, he would vote for NEITHER. (In fact, it wouldn’t matter if his preferred candidate promised to only kill 1 Christian a month)
Would it matter if the victims were Muslims instead of Christians? No, a Christian would vote for NEITHER.
The principle is quite simple: Don’t vote for any candidate who would promote the killing of one innocent person. But do you see why this argument is a loser? It is because the voter I address has already abandoned principle. He or she wants us to look at the bigger picture. What are 25,000 lives when the economy is at stake?
As I see it, there are two other major problems with the pragmatic argument. First, it isn’t practical. It assumes that a single vote counts. It doesn’t, really. Practically speaking, Barack Obama beat McCain by 8.5 million votes. Millions of Obama voters did not count. They were redundant. Those voters could have stayed home and the outcome would not have changed one iota. On the other hand, nobody’s vote for McCain counted (as a practical matter) – they all could have stayed home and it would not have mattered.
The pragmatic voter probably does not want to hear any of this practical stuff. Because, even though he is pragmatic, he does have one principle that guides him every election: Thou Shalt Vote. Here is where principle finally kicks in.
How is that one can believe God requires him to vote, but at the same time think the Lord has not given a single principle in which to determine how to cast that vote? This voter might be respond: “The presidential candidate doesn’t have to be a Christian; he doesn’t have to be perfect on life issues. But I have to vote for somebody, don’t I?”
No you don’t.
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.
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