Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Game of Politics

Primary season. How fun! When I listen to the Republican and Democratic candidates bickering back and forth, ripping each other's reputation to shreds, it gets discouraging -- like not a one of them is worth voting for. And we still have nine months to go! All the name calling and game playing make me want to wish away the rest of the year. But that all changed when I heard the news that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in Texas over the weekend. Politics isn't a game anymore, and I'm reminded why this and every other presidential election cycle is so important.

In 1986 Justice Scalia was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, and the U.S. Senate confirmed that nomination. In January 1989 President Reagan left office and his ability to directly guide our country was no more. But his appointment continued impacting the decisions made by the Supreme Court for 27 years after his presidency, until Justice Scalia died last weekend.

I'm not sure if that vacant Supreme Court seat will be filled while President Obama is in office, and I won't pick sides in this blog. But it shows that one of the most important aspects of any presidential election is the winner's chance to change the makeup of the Supreme Court. Just five of those nine justices can radically alter the legal, economical, moral and social direction of our nation by their decisions. That is a president's legacy that far outlasts his/her four or eight years in office and can permanently change our culture.

And that takes me back to the whole process of electing our next president. The apostle Paul made a big deal of his Roman citizenship. It opened a lot of doors for his ministry, even guaranteeing him an audience with the Roman emperor and the chance to share the saving Gospel with the ruling authorities. The other apostles, being Jews, certainly didn't enjoy that privilege.

That's why this primary season is so important, and we all need to take part as we can. We need to use all the benefits our citizenship afford us to help protect our fellow citizens and give the church freedom to declare the glorious story of Jesus Christ and His salvation.

And even if the elections don't go our way, we're reminded to pray for those in authority over us. Let us not forget to ask that God would give them wisdom, insight and integrity to do that which He would have them do for the citizens He has entrusted to them.

While it's true the most important citizenship we have as believers is our upcoming residency in heaven, we certainly don't want to underestimate the importance of our earthly citizenship -- and the impact our vote can make this primary season, and in November.

The road to the presidential election is fraught with drama and hot air. How do you keep your head in the game when it comes to staying current with candidates' positions and deciding for whom you will cast your vote?

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