A Message to the “Values Voter” on Election Day
by Christina Forrester
Maybe you are a lifelong Republican. Maybe you are Independent, with no party affiliation. Maybe you are a Christian and your roots run deep in your faith. Your faith influences your opinions, your policy viewpoints…your entire worldview is shaped by your faith. Up until now you have voted with the Republican party in most elections – you looked to the party that upholds a strong message about voting your values, and that is what you have always done. You may have even voted for Trump in 2016 because, although he wasn’t your first choice, you saw him as the “lesser of two evils” and after all, your preacher said he was bringing the country back to God. Your church fellowship was immersed in a culture that screamed you must vote red if you were to be a “Values Voter.”
But then something happened. You saw the mayor of San Juan begging this “Godly President” for help – crying out that people were dying. And you heard him insult her and blame the people of Puerto Rico for their disaster and trauma instead. You saw little children crying for their parents, being carted off to camps in isolation, you heard parents screaming for their babies as they were forcibly removed from their arms…again, by the “Godly administration,” right? You were promised an administration that would protect you from “criminal aliens” but instead you saw your neighbor, your child’s friend at school, your fellow church goer, deported. You saw a group of old, white men judge a woman who you found to be credible and honest, who stood before a Senate committee and told her story of trauma and you thought of your own daughters, or maybe your own experience. Then you saw the “Godly party’s President” demean and ridicule her to a cheering, laughing crowd and you wondered if you had made a huge mistake two years ago.
You are now uncertain – what is a “Values voter” anyway? You hear nothing from the “Godly President” but hate, insults, and fear. You are reminded that there is no fear in love and perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). You hear the racist, incendiary language about people fleeing from their homes to make their way to the United States for a new future, who you know in your heart are just poor families trying to survive. You see them and in your heart and you have compassion for them. Then you hear the “chosen man of God” call them animals, order that the military shoot them if they throw a rock at the border, and once again, you see the children. You remember what Jesus said about the little children in Matthew 19:14. Then you remember what Jesus said in Matthew 25 about the least of these. That included the stranger. And the sick. Wait, the sick?
The “God party” has tried to take away the healthcare for the poor and the sick for years. In fact, you know this, because one of your family members or friends in a “Godly party” district can’t get insurance because there is no Medicaid expansion. You gave $30 to their healthcare fund when they needed cancer treatment or surgery, because they had no options. Why would the party of values…the Godly party…not follow the values you hold dear, because of your love for Jesus and His words?
At this point you are unsure how to proceed. You cannot reconcile your values as a follower of Jesus Christ with this party that calls itself the “Godly party” any longer. You can’t reconcile the message of Jesus with this President’s words and actions. But you have always been told it would be a sin to vote for a Democrat, because they are godless and believe in murdering babies. So what do you do?
It might help you at this point to know that, despite the talking points you have heard, Democrats don’t want to murder babies – they only want the government to not be in the position of making a choice for women. They don’t want “abortion on demand” – they want healthcare to be between a woman and her doctor. You should also know that Christians who are Democrats share your ideal of a reduction in abortions, and this is why we vote for Democrats – under Democratic administrations and governments, there are less unwanted pregnancies. That’s because Democrats have solutions for family planning, and economic solutions for lower income women. The objections you have always heard raised about a pro-life argument never address, however, the life of children in poverty, immigrants, veterans…the least of these. You begin to wonder if the idea of being a one-issue voter, on an issue that Jesus did not preach about, is not worth the trade-off at the expense of all your other Christian values that you hold so dear.
Now you are wondering if you will be shunned by your community when they hear how you voted in the midterm elections, should you choose to stand up and speak. I want you – the new face of the “Values Voter” – to know that you have a community standing beside you when that time comes. There are approximately 50,000 Evangelicals since 2016 who have joined our community, and you will be welcomed. We may not agree on everything, but who does? We welcome you into our fellowship.
Being a “Values Voter” does not equal Republican voter. God is not a Democrat, or a Republican, but he is the champion of the down and out. Before you cast your ballot, ask yourself honestly which party represents those values in 2018. And remember that any vote for the Republican party is a vote for everything they represent now under Donald Trump.
Christina Forrester is the Founder and Director of Christian Democrats of America, and Co-Host/Co-Producer of the “What Would Jesus Pod?” podcast. Follow her @Christinaof9 on Twitter, /christinaforrester on Facebook.