I didn’t VOTE where’s my free starbucks, ben & jerry’s, chick-fil-a….

Yeah you read that right – at the risk of having family and friends turn against me let me confess – I, NEAL ALLIGOOD, BEING OF SOUND MIND & SPIRIT did NOT exercise my “right to vote” OR did I?  Not vote I mean but exercise my “RIGHT”?

Now before anyone goes off all half-cocked and ready to smash me with an intellectual debate on what a loser I am in the comment section – PLEASE, PLEASE, All I ask you to do is read what I have to say, maybe look up the links I reference, and watch any videos that I talk about, BEFORE you “rip me a new one” or consider me completely anti-American!

Also understand that I am in NO WAY shape or form attempting to get you to NOT VOTE – thus the reason I waited till now to share my thoughts.  I am simply sick (seriously – like to the point of vomiting in my own mouth) of all the political rhetoric and campaign hoopla going on to “pressure” people into doing what is their “civic duty” or their “right to vote”.  I do believe that many men and women have gone before me to do many great things, and fight many treacherous battles and even give their lives so that I might have the right to have my voice heard.  For that I am deeply thankful and I would say forever in their debt, except for the fact that there is only one man to ever walk this earth that I am “truly – forever in His debt” and that had something to do with a Cross & a Tomb, not a rifle & an army.  I think that those people who fought for my right – would ALSO say they fought for me to have the right to voice my dissatisfaction, disappointment, and utter lack of faith in the way things are done – to a point that I CANNOT and WILL NOT be harassed into something in which I do not agree.

Let me also say that this is not a condemnation of anyone who did get out and vote today – no matter who you did or did not vote for.  I have great friends and family and people I dearly respect and love who voted on both sides of a lot of issues.  I cannot sit back and leave little comments about “anyone who loves God and has common sense and a love for America BETTER have voted a certain way” – to me that is much worse than what I am doing today (and for the record I don’t think what I am doing is bad or wrong – it is taking my own personal stand).  

I would be lying if I said that there is not some apathy or laziness attached to this decision, just not really caring enough to want to get out into all this mess, but that was much more the early stages of my thought process.  Now after the last few weeks I am probably much more interested and knowledgeable about the issues and the candidates and the things going on around me than I have EVER been during an election.  (not saying that I am extremely wise on these things, just more so than I have been) and it is in this time that I must say I cannot trust either side.  I do not like how the system now works, it is broken, it is terrible, and it is so off track.  I think our forefathers would be shuttering at the thought of what is taking place in our day and age.

I also have a problem with the fact that people are being pushed, coerced, harassed, whatever you want to call it into getting out to vote, when obviously they DO NOT CARE enough to be informed.  I mean if this election is truly as important and as vital as we say it is – shouldn’t we care more about taking the time to educate people on what the issues are, what each person stands for on these issues (yeah I know that one is a pipe-dream since they all basically lie or “spin” the truth to some extent to a point that I don’t even think they know where they actually stand on the issues).  Shouldn’t more time and effort go into education and information the months/years leading up to an election, instead of the all out blitz to just get numbers into the polling sites in the final few weeks of this race?

Now on to the articles I am about to reference, let me first warn you – These are some blogs/articles/posts that I have come across that make a LOT of sense and have a lot of value to me.  They are from people that I do not have ANY connection with and in fact disagree with some major points in their writings, but I completely agree with their LOGIC (hhhmmm whatever happened to good solid rational thinking) in their arguments.  Do understand that I do not know much about these people and may find that I cannot stand what they stand for, but that is what makes their stance so appealing, it isn’t that we are buddies, but it is that their words are exactly the way I feel.

First up is a blog Selwyn Duke called “Why Most Voters Shouldn’t Vote” – before checking it out – understand that I like what he says ALL THE WAY UP TO the part where he says “The people I refer to are liberals”  –   yeah well I don’t think it is one group that has it messed up liberals/conservatives – just about EVERYONE is “playing the game” – so I tend to go “off-track” with Selwyn here, but the first part of his article is RIGHT ON with what I think.

Second article I found is by Jason Roth (goes back to 2001) called “Right Not To Vote” – now again understand that not all of what he says do I agree with.  In fact I am probably MUCH MORE in disagreement with this person’s real political beliefs (see his indicated slant against pro-life) but the fact remains that he hits the nail on the head about not everyone should be voting.  I love the last part where he is talking about why we can’t have an “abstain” button as a way to vote – heck I would get out and be all over that.  I mean the candidates get to take that road when voting on issues – why can’t we?  I mean how cool would that be if Americans could get out and vote and show that NEITHER of the parties are legit and that we won’t settle till we get what we want – now THAT would truly be “having our voice heard”.

Then I came across this clip on youtube – asking the question “should some people not vote” – PEOPLE THIS SHOULD BE EYE OPENING TO US – and should rival the other popular video that was flying around everywhere saying “Please Don’t Vote”  (it took a lot for me to actually link this one as it angers me whenever I see it and makes me sick to my stomach – first I am not SO STUPID that I cannot see the horrible “reverse psychology” going on – which I know they intended – but secondly I get so tired of everyone thinking that just because people are in Hollywood that they are soooo “in tune” with what America needs – I mean don’t you think they probably have the LEAST understanding of what my and your life is really like – don’t you think they probably have some “agenda” in doing this and that it is not totally out of the “goodness of their heart and concern for the well being of their fellow man”?????  COME ON)

All of these things lead me to ask – Why Should I vote?  Give me solid reasons to go vote, if I cannot fully back either candidate?  I mean have we truly come to the point that it is always going to be about the “lesser of two evils”?  I cannot accept that fact.  I am ready for someone to rise up and be a person of integrity, someone we can respect, someone that doesn’t “toe the party line”, someone that cares about deeper things than “simply getting elected”.  I mean if the candidates really care about the fate of the country and that we have better days ahead, wouldn’t it truly be more about “country first” & “change” FOR THE GOOD – not simply for the cause of change or “my thoughts” of what country first is about?

So now you know a lil more of why I didn’t vote, not because I am just some slack, lazy, ignorant person (although those may be true traits ha ha ha) but because I cannot firmly stand behind either side and at this point haven’t been given a viable “other” option.  I am not going to mindlessly fall in line and be “berated” into thinking I “have” to vote or else I am un-American.  If anything I feel I am being more bold by not doing what everyone else is and taking my own stand.  I have real issues with the fact that some out their ARE actually knowledgeable and voting their conscience and are informed, while others are simply voting “against” a certain candidate, or voting FOR someone cause they are attractive and well spoken, or because they are African American or because they are NOT African American, or because they ARE a war vet or because they ARE NOT a war vet – people that just don’t know and yet their vote counts just as much as someone who does know and has strong convictions – to me that is not Democracy in it’s finest is hour – and if it is then I am not sure I desire Democracy to be what defines me.

I close with the thoughts that whether Obama/Biden or McCain/Palin enter office that I have been given a challenge that “our struggles are not against flesh & blood” or against Democrat or Republican/ Black or White/ Obama or McCain/ America or Anti-America – but instead against the “rulers of this dark world and the evils of those dark spiritual forces” – see Ephesians 6:2 .  I am reminded that I serve a God and surrender to a Savior that is bigger than any economical downturn, or political party, or anything else on this earth.  As such, whomever enters that White House I need to pray for them, for their own soul and place of eternal rest, I need to pray instead of complain & condemn – that God would infuse His Spirit into them and allow their heart, mind, soul, and strength to be used in such a position of authority to bring Honor & Glory to our God most High.

So maybe take a moment today and see how much we have fallen into the trap of this circus, and ask ourselves if we have spent more time focused on the parties, office, election, “rights”, etc than we have the ONE that actually DOES HAVE the control of all of these things.  May we invite Him into this situation and setting and ask Him to provide a better future through His wisdom & providence!

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “I didn’t VOTE where’s my free starbucks, ben & jerry’s, chick-fil-a….

  1. I love your stance. While I dont share with your perspective I love your rationale and well supported opinion. If I am honest I cant say that I am thrilled for either option, but alas I have rationalized in my mind voting for one.

    Hope things are going well for you.

    RM

  2. Neal,
    I just read a piece last night on this very issue by Derek Webb. Basic premise is that if you’re having a crisis of conscience with both candidates you have no scriptural mandate to vote for one over the other. In fact doing so may be sinful if you violate your spiritual principles simply for the act of fulfilling your civic duty.

    http://www.patrolmag.com/times/922/how-shall-we-then-vote

    It’s an interesting perspective. It reminds me of that Simpsons Halloween special a few years back when the two aliens were masquerading as Clinton and Dole and when they were discovered on election day replied “You have to vote for one of us…it’s a two party system!”

  3. Yo Travis – GREAT link to the Webb stuff – I love what he has to say – and it is where I am – his was done much better, but at least I got my thoughts out ha ha ha – thanks oh yeah love the comparison to the Simpsons – sweeet reference!

  4. Hey Ryan – I won’t tell your dad if you don’t that I didn’t vote ha ha ha – or Mr. Ronnie for that matter – let’s keep it on the DL ha ha ha – Thanks for your thoughts – and I am TOTALLY cool with the fact that people DID have the info they needed to vote their own conscience – just for me this where I stand and I don’t like trying to be “bullied” into something else – that’s seems “Un-American” to me.

    Cool to hear your thoughts and I love the fact that we can disagree, agreeably!

    Good seeing you a while back – have a great week!

  5. Hey bro,

    I appreciate what you have written and I respect your view. I have lots of rights I don’t exercise because it just wouldn’t be right.

    Grace & Peace.

  6. Neal.
    I read your article and looked at the attached links but I still do not understand how one can not cast a vote. I know I am not as young and hip as a lot of you are, however I do try to look at things with a open mind. As one of the veterans you referred to in your article that spent time on the Battlefield I, nor any of my comrades in arms feel that you or any other American owe us anything. We did what we had to do out of the love of God, Duty and Country. Just as I voted in todays election out of that same love. I am not trying to say that you do not love God if you do not vote by any means, But I do feel that as Christians we have an obligation to God, duty and country to stand up for the moral values and issues we believe in and if we do not were are letting those that follow Satan control the fate of this country. I only ask you to listen to the sermon that Brad Giffon preached this past Sunday Nov. 2 at this link http://www.tscoc.com/avministry.htm#sermons
    unfortunately it is not posted yet but should be very soon and if it does’nt change your opinon about voting we will just have to agree to disagree on this issue.
    your friend
    Lee Owney

  7. tim

    Neal,

    Are you registered to vote where you live? It’s a good idea to register. Then if an issue is on the ballot you might want to vote on you actually can. So, not only do you not think any national politician is worth voting for but also no local politican, no change to the state constitution, etc? I read a lot of words up top but I’m not buying your case. You sound like a politician to me.

  8. Hello Tim – oh it is so good to hear from my dear friend – Yes you are correct I am not registered where I live – in fact due to the wonderful laws of this fair place they have me in limbo to not get my “official” paperwork to have a license and to register my vehicle (but all of that is in the process) so that I am not able to claim legit living status. Also the people I live with have this dire need to jump on the “energy” bandwagon and keep cutting off the lights so I can’t stay up late and read all about these “burning” local issues that I should be so passionate about. (tongue in cheek)
    You do make a valid argument about still caring about local issues – and if I had been here longer and knew what all those were it may have been a greater driving factor. Within your own argument lies the problem, I have not lived here long enough to know about what is BEST for this area, and thus again backs up that my vote could be an uninformed and actually worse decision than not voting.
    Thanks and I appreciate that you also paint me as sounding like a politician. Do you have some aggression toward me?? If I knew where you lived I might come over there and see if you would talk like that to my face! ha ha ha
    (for those that don’t know or understand I live in Tim’s basement)

  9. Hey Lee,

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns – also thanks for being one to defend our country out of Love for God, duty, and country – because (although not having FACTS to back this up) I would say many that probably fight for us in these days would not list God as extremely high on that list.
    I will try and listen to Brad’s message, as I feel like I have an open mind on this issue as well (not exactly sure what the whole “young and hip as some of you are” comment was about but anyway). I still doubt it will change my mind about voting in THIS ELECTION – (first off it won’t matter cause I won’t be able to) I need people to understand I am not talking about voting in general – just I did not feel like I could in “good conscience” do so at this time.

    If you check out the link in Travis’ comment above I think Derek Webb says it well.
    I am not saying that I will not vote in future elections. I also will say that more than likely we will still totally disagree and that is completely fine with me, I don’t think you made a mistake by voting, AT ALL. I am glad you felt the conviction to do so.

    I would like to address the fact that obviously you feel as though one candidate (whomever you voted for) does have more of God’s mind or purpose on moral issues while the other candidate (whomever you did not vote for) is a “follower of satan” – which seems a little harsh to me, but I think I know what you meant by that.
    What is interesting to me is that if you DO feel that strongly about one being right and one being wrong (morally) then how do you know for sure that if I had voted, that I might not have chosen (for other solid reasons, not simply moral issues) the candidate that you disagree with – and in that realm you should be GLAD that I didn’t vote.
    I felt as though both candidates did a lot of lying, which causes me to lose trust, and if I cannot trust then I don’t feel as though I can cast my vote for you, it is sort of that simple.

    You also mentioned something about an obligation to God, duty, country on moral issues. I believe I have an obligation to GOD first and foremost. In that obligation, and that is not even a good word – in my gratitude for what He has done – I choose to serve, and in that I can STILL have an impact on moral issues without voting. Let’s be honest – typically when Christians talk about “moral” issues they mainly mean the Pro-Life discussion and right to life at all ages. Here is how I see it.
    My not voting does not prevent me from working with our local crisis pregnancy clinic to actually reach REAL LIFE women & men & babies with the love of Christ and hopefully prevent an unborn child from having their life ended. But even MORE IMPORTANTLY to share the love of Christ so that they can accept His gift of Grace and spend ETERNITY with Him in heaven. This does not have to happen simply through politics. And correct me if I am wrong but in my life-time there has been NO CHANGE to Roe V. Wade no matter who was President, Congress, Senate etc. Now that is not me saying GIVE UP and just let whatever happens happen – but it is me saying I feel like this type of thing gets better addressed from bottom up – working on the local – get your hands dirty level instead of the top down – legislate our way into morality (which will never happen and we never see any sort of hint that Jesus tried that method)
    So while I am not saying those who stood for these issues and voted that way because of importance to them were dumb to do so – I am saying I believe differently and thus it did not carry as much weight for me to HAVE TO VOTE against such a candidate. That does not make my desire to end such horrors any less than someone else’s it is just that I choose to go about in a different method.

    That is just an example of where some of my beliefs affect some of my actions differently than others of my brothers and sisters in Christ.
    Hope my thoughts came through clear – not trying to change your view – just wanted you to understand that I do hear & see those valid points but I handle them differently.

    Thanks for the solid feedback – hope you and the family are doing well – maybe I will get to see you sometime when I am able to get back to the home turf.

  10. Jeff Davis

    Neil,

    Referring to Lee’s post, I was there for Brad Giffin’s sermon this past Sunday, so I’m familiar with just how passionate of an entreaty it was. Among other things, he spoke of how Christians are “salt” and “light” (Matt. 5:13-16), responsible for influencing our culture with whatever faithful means necessary. Based on your blog post, you and I are pretty much on the same page in our thinking. I believe that choosing not to vote is just as much an exercise of your vote as choosing to give it. Giving and withholding are both acceptable uses of the vote. Of greater significance, though, is whether one’s giving or withholding is accompanied by knowledge or ignorance about both the candidates and the issues. It stands to reason that wielding our vote with proper knowlege (not just hearsay or whatever news channel/newspaper that happens to be in front of you at the moment says!) has the potential (when done with the right attitude) to be a faithful way of doing our part to influence culture for Jesus – even if it’s a seemingly small way by itself. Thus, it’s the right thing to do…the faithful thing to do. To my shame, I am not doing it. Not that I am not voting, but that I am not exercising my vote with sufficient knowledge. Had I done so, I might be voting today…I might not. Probably not, but that’s not the point. Does James 4:17 bear any value to this conversation when it states that “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins”? What about Romans 14:23, which says “and everything that does not come from faith is sin”? And that declaration of Paul’s arose from differences in matters of opinion! I don’t think our opinion counts much when Christ calls us salt and light – that is what we are expected to be! So, we are to wield the power of the vote (how much does that sound like Obi Wan Kenobi?). The more and more I painfully wrestle with it, it seems to the logical conclusion. Please know that I am internalizing all this as I go, so I don’t judge you. I carry my own guilt believing to have let someone down somewhere along the way.

    On the flipside, I am maniaclly of the opinion that even if every Christian in America effectively wielded the power of the vote in accordance with a love/truth/justice-infused faith and Bible-based values but did nothing else to effect redemption and transformation in their local & global communities, then it was all a waste!! All in vain!! And that is what IS taking place in many churches all over the nation (especially in eastern nc!)! I am often tempted to allow what I like think of as righteous indignation inspired by love to become fury when I sense (more like get slapped up side the head w/) the “Ain’t it awful?” attitudes in the discourse, lessons, sermons, of my home church! I am definitely no expert, but I hear more comparisons of America to Israel than I’m comfortable with. Not that valid comparisons don’t exist, but I’m not sure how much care some preachers/teachers take to ensure the comparison is sound. Sorry that I’m rambling on so. For me this all started when my father expressed his opinion to me some time ago that anyone who doesn’t vote has no right to express dissatisfaction, disapproval, etc…b/c they didn’t help to make a difference and thereby took a vote away from the “good guy” and practically gave it to the “bad guy”, as if someone already owned my vote. The same was true if I suggested giving it to a hypothetical third candidate more qualified in every way. Daddy really is a good fella, we just disagree on matters relating to the topic of what it means to be the Church today.

    If you read this any time soon man, please respond. I’ve enjoyed reading your post and I’d like to hear back from you. God seems to be moving in such conversations. By the way, are these web blogs free? I think having an outlet to vent or collect your thoughts, etc… is a healthy and good thing, but I’m still debating whether I want to share them with the world or not. Hit me back man.

  11. Marty

    Neal,
    To me this has less to do with your “Christian duty” than it is just an intellectual discussion. I applaud you on your dedication to political apathy. I didn’t read every word you wrote, nor did I click on any of the links you sent. I guess I’m exercising my right to have an opinion without having to read every article in the blogosphere first…

    On my ballot this morning there were more offices to elect than just the US president. Are you saying you either didn’t like any candidate for any national or local office in your area; or are you saying you didn’t know enough about any of them to vote; or something else?

    I guess my “logical” argument would be that it is inevitable that people will be elected, whether you choose to abstain from the process or not. Not expressing an opinion that is counted (as opposed to a blog which makes no legal impact on the political process) is the same as saying you fully support the outcome, like it or not. In other words, when Osam…I mean Obama wins, grab your ankles and say “Thank you!” because you asked for it! Or if McCain wins, and he does something you don’t like, call him and say “I’m glad you did that.” Your non-vote is an endorsement, not a protest, of whatever you don’t like.

    I agree completely with you that Jesus Christ is the only One in history who deserves my vote and my life…but I chose to vote as a Christian in society so that whatever miniscule amount of legal influence I have would promote the most godly leaders and issues that have been made available to me–they aren’t perfect, but who is? If the time comes when no more godly leaders are nominated, then I will still vote so that my voice is heard in a legal capacity, and I’ll do that until the right is no longer mine. I don’t think you’re wrong for not voting – any more so than I think someone with a winning lottery ticket is wrong for not collecting their prize.

    Keep up the good blogging, brother. I sincerely love ya, even if we disagree.

  12. Hey Jeff – good chattin’ with ya on the phone – thanks for the feedback – guess we covered most of our interaction via phone so the only thing left to say is – yeah these are free – I sure as heck wouldn’t be paying to take this abuse ha ha ha – there are a number of good blog sites out there and they are all free – so check it out.

  13. Hey Hey Hey my boy Marty – what would be a good debate without you weighin’ in – I love it – and I know I always will get some good “soundbites” from ya ha ha. My eyes lit up when I saw you responded!

    I love that you said you had the right to give opinion without reading everything or doing the research – you got it man – that is what this thing is here for, sadly though it is that exact mindset in the Presidential Election that has me bothered – your feedback here, uninformed of all of what I did say carries the same weight as someone who read and re-read and even talked with me personally – for the blogosphere I’m totally fine with it – for the “Leader of the free World” – got my reservations about that system.

    YES there were many other issues to vote for today and I didn’t cover any of them – so I totally agree that more could be done, but I also feel like being new to this whole area and scene there is no way I would have the time/energy to vote responsibly about the things going on here in GA -so that was another reason I “abstained”. This is not to say in the future if I disagreed with possible candidates that I would not go in and vote on the other stuff – it just seems most of what everyone is talking about today is Presidential and some Congress/Senate, but not really anything else.

    I think some people look at my not voting as me saying this absolves me from saying I had anything to do with the outcome – whereas you are saying by me not voting I had everything to do with my affirmation of the outcome. I don’t see it that way – here’s my thought – I think a lot of people vote simply to say “well I didn’t vote for that guy, so don’t blame me” (reference bumper stickers in recent years “don’t blame me I voted for Kerry” or “don’t blame me I didn’t vote for Bush” yadda yadda

    I am not looking for an “out” in fact I am sick and tired of that mentality – whether you did or didn’t vote – whether the person you did or didn’t vote for won or not – how about we stop playing the political blame game and take up responsibility for our lives and actions OUTSIDE OF THE ELECTION DAY!!! How about me saying (for instance if I did vote for McCain and Obama wins) you know what I did what I could do – and I am not happy with Obama but He IS my President and I am going to pray for him, and I am going to obey his authority until it clashes with my God (and vice versa if it was McCain) and I am going to do all I can to make this country great – not because it is the “ordained” country of God or the only way to be saved but because it is where I live, it is what I love and I am going to do what I can – which this time around meant not voting on things of which I don’t know and frankly do not care cause it is so messed up. So I am not looking to be absolved of anything – in fact I will probably be MORE AWARE and take more time and effort in the next four years – as well I hope everyone else does too. Cause wake up people – EVERY FOUR YEARS they are going to say “this is THE most important election” “it is VITAL for you to do your duty” blah blah (um if you notice on Bachelor or Survivor or any of those shows each week they always say this is THE MOST difficult/important vote yet – we love to live in a frantic frenzied place and it is driving people in the political arena as well)

    My final thought – and I bet you didn’t think I would read that far – is about your lame comparison between right to vote and right to collect lottery winnings – come on Marty did you just get tired of making actual valid logical arguments – REALLY – so you were as excited and pumped and fulfilled walking into/out of the election place today as you would have been collecting 100 million dollars???? I think that might be a stretch and to basically back door me to say I was as wrong for not voting as I would be to not collect a prize. Even I am smart enough to see the dripping sarcasm and cutting nature on that one ha ha ha ha – but that is what makes this fun.

    Thanks for your thoughts – I love watching the way your mind unfolds in arguments and it keeps me enjoying the art of debate. Hope all is well with you and Exie and I really am – truly am glad that you did your part and voted and that you felt as good about it as winning the lottery (wink wink). Keep in touch brotha – glad you got a lil enjoyment out of my humble opinions ha ha

    LATA

  14. Neal,

    I was home for lunch and read your ramblings up top. I didn’t mean to come across as aggressive but was probably too short (no comments on that).

    Here’s why I was not impressed with your reasoning. I don’t believe you. I think you decided not to vote because it was going to take quite a bit more effort this year than in the past. So, you decided not to vote. Then, you posted this blog to try and support your case. If you had posted this a few weeks ago, it might have been more believeable to me. If you had done allt his research and soul-searching and came to the conclusion you were not going to vote, I might respect your blog a little more (though I think your reasoning is flawed) but I think the truth is you just didn’t feel like voting and then decided to justify it.

    Tell me this. If you were living in Raleigh today as you were this time last year, would you not have gone to the polls and voted? There are several incredibly important races in North Carolina and I’m sure locally. Heck, you are still a homeowner there. I’m guessing there is something on the ballot that might affect your taxes as a homeowner and Lord knows you need all the money you can get 🙂

    If you had at least registered to vote here and then sat in line for an hour and voted, you could have voted “NO” to sell more bonds and raise more taxes in Cobb County. Good grief, we have enough parks as it is and I could have used your vote on that. If there was only one race on the ballot, your rationale MIGHT hold water with me but I think you just made a bad decision and one I doubt, or at least hope, you’ll not make again.

  15. Yo Yo Tim – back again – I actually was kidding about the aggression – I sort of thought you were just giving me a hard time and didn’t take much of what you wrote seriously and I am cool with the fact that you don’t agree with my logic and that you are trying to just say I was lazy and now try to cover.

    Of course if you notice I DID own up to that being the original thought process a few weeks ago – and yes I DO HATE to put a lot of effort into things like this. But then I did start doing a lot of thinking about whether or not I was “punking” out and then trying to play the “oh I’m above that” routine (you see I really do think a lot more deeply about stuff like this than people realize – and that’s okay cause I am not here to impress them)

    I also realize that ultimately if you have formed an opinion about how I handled it – that all my arguments don’t hold water and you will believe what you want to believe. Facts are facts – today is election – I didn’t vote – biggest thing to me was Presidential – didn’t do it – can’t go back and change it – will totally be willing to live with what comes – and I am okay with that.

    Here is where my big problem was – NO ONE was convincing why I should – once I started having doubts about actually seeing it through I could not find anything that was not just outright bull – and that was just trying to guilt me or harass me into “following the norm”.

    Now to your point about being back in Raleigh – I sort of hate “theoretical” situations cause no one really would know for sure “what they would have done” but to be honest – the way I have felt the last couple weeks about it all – and the way I have felt today being totally at peace about NOT VOTING – I would have to say I think I would have found myself in the same boat – take that or leave as you will – I think if ya know me or talked to people who do – I don’t tend to make a lot of “rash” decisions and also don’t tend to go back on things I decide to do or not do (sometimes to a fault cause it is simply being stubborn) – but I feel like based on my convictions about all this EVEN if I was back in Raleigh I probably still would not have voted (oh yeah I am sure now I am the worst person ever ha ha ha) – now I may have been more aware of local stuff and felt more at ease talking to friends who could give me solid advice and I may have gone to vote on other stuff, but I honestly believe I would have not voted for the President.

    It is funny that you said that about posting this a few weeks ago – I had really considered that – in fact even had the computer ready to go a couple times. Then I felt like I might cause more problems for any friends (or some of my college students back home) that may have been on the fence – not that I think I am all this huge influence in their life, but what if my being able to be okay about this caused them to change their thoughts – well I decided against it (again take this for what it is worth, but I guess you have to think I am an outright liar if this isn’t true). In fact I even ventured my thoughts to Jeff & Lisa some time ago and they definitely disagreed with me, to the point that Jeff said “please don’t share that in the pulpit” and laughed – I mean not like I think the pulpit is the proper place to deal with these issues since you cannot take a truly black & white stance on this biblically in my opinion – but it did cause me to think that I didn’t want to influence someone else.

    I was soooo glad to finally be able to just vent it all out today since it was basically “over with” at that point. So this isn’t just some last minute bailout (hhmmm sounds political ha ha) of my own laziness – it may have been headed that way some time back but now more than ever it is more of a conviction. Interestingly enough the way I have watched some people try to sway my opinion today has just sort of reinforced some of my dislikes of our system.

    Oh well I do appreciate the fact that you are very politically aware and informed and I no doubt have a great respect for your knowledge and understanding of the political realm. So I am glad that you did vote (even if it was in the midst of reading Obama’s memoirs ha ha ha ha – keep up the HOPE man). But as for me and my house (well at least the basement section) we chose to abstain today.

    I like that you ended with me making a bad decision that you hope I won’t make again – ha ha ha – just for spite now I may NEVER vote again —oooooo j/k I tell ya what – we find a way to get some more qualified, better leaders (or at least not the “lesser of 2 evil models we have” and I’ll be first in line) And on the bond referendum – see I had not even a clue about that so I probably wouldn’t have even paid attention to it – it’s pretty hard to know all these facts in a 3 month time span.

    and by the way I will fight you – if not over the election at least after the big game this weekend – GO HEELS!

  16. Marty

    Congrats Neal, your candidates won, all of them!

    Just a couple retorts: First, the lottery analogy may be a little thin, but that’s only because you and I have ALWAYS had the right to vote. There are people in the world who would never sell out their right for a million dollars, thus making the privilege of voting more valuable than a winning lottery ticket…just not to you…Attention everyone, we now know the price tag Neal puts on his right to vote: “100 million dollars,” Or Best Offer.

    Second, it seems only slightly hypocritical that you want to work really hard at making the country great, presumably exhausting all resources at your disposal, except your vote-the one thing that truly makes a legal impact.

    Third, we agree. Prayer, Christian love, serving others, living for our great Lord…these are the only truly significant things we can do as individuals “outside the election” (I don’t usually put such a divide between living for Christ and voting, I see voting as under that umbrella) to improve our country. Our country’s (no we are not Israel, God’s chosen elect – nor is Israel, for that matter – it’s the church) problems are a result of sin first and foremost. Personal greed, and greed of government, corruption, immorality of all kinds, and pride/selfishness are at the core. No elected leaders will save us from sin (or even pay all our bills). And I don’t think any elected leader is more to blame than the people of the US for leading our country into trouble (especially financially).

    Bottom line: you want to do everything you can “outside of the election” to make our country better and more godly, and I want to do all that PLUS vote, so I did. Now, vote’s over, you and me have a job to do (Matthew 28:18-20).

  17. It’s thoughts like this that I have been oh so tempted to vote independent (maybe someone like Nader…don’t know) which I tend to agree with more than either of the two big parties.

    I’m all about finding “a way to get some more qualified, better leaders” than what we currently have… but have pondered and discussed with a few people, and for the most part all come to the conclusion that no matter how fresh of a perspective a politician has had, after a few years they will ALL end up in the same boat…

    but who knows, maybe we know have some “hope” 😉

    PS – I did vote but totally respect your choice to not vote and I agree about your point about “legislating morality”…

  18. Aaron

    Neal, Neal, Neal…

    Awesome.

    I posted something yesterday on why I voted the way I did (I didn’t drink the Obama Kool-Aid or the McCain Geritol… I went third party–both for President and Senator), and on the totally whack reasoning that people–mainly McCain voters–gave me in order to scare me into voting for Obama.

    Basically, it was along these two lines: your guy won’t win, and a vote for anyone but McCain is a vote for Obama. I also hear the “lesser of two evils” stuff, and it totally doesn’t fly.

    No, my guy didn’t win (he got less than 1% of the vote in VA)… but one of the major party candidates wasn’t going to win, either. Everyone running had a chance of losing… thus, that argument is pretty flawed to me. The important thing is that we have the freedom to vote for whoever we wish–even if it’s not voting at all.

    That second line of flawed reasoning is totally based on fear–to scare people into voting for someone they don’t really care for. Here’s the thing–a vote for my third party guy is a vote for my guy not for the dude you’re afraid of. Our electoral process shouldn’t be based on fear, yet many GOP’ers this year voted totally out of fear, and tried to scare unflappable guys like me into voting for McCain.

    The lesser of two evils thing is totally bogus as well. That’s like the doc telling you, “You’re going to die this week. It’ll either be of painful bone cancer, or of a massive heart attack.” It doesn’t matter which is the “lesser” of the two options–both suck. It amazes me that so many people don’t know that there are third party candidates–they feel like they have to vote for one of the two major candidates. And in VA, every position up for election on the ballot has a write-in slot–you could have written “ABSTAIN” in any for anything, and still have voted in VA (not sure what the deal is in GA).

    In the end, I didn’t care for my choices for President or Senator, but I did find third party candidates that I could get behind for those races. You couldn’t… and you exercised your “right” not to do anything… and then blogged about it. You’ve got stones, my man.

    Now… if everyone were as jacked up and intense about spreading the kingdom of God as they were about this frickin’ election, the world would be reconciled to Christ in a short time (I remember saying something like that in Chapel nearly 9 years ago… only it was about basketball instead of an election).

    Good post.

  19. Hey guys –
    First off again I want to say – I LOVE to see when Marty has posted it is always wonderful “banter” (and yes my right to vote is worth 100 Million ha ha)
    Chris & Aaron great to hear from you guys as well – especially since the last few comments I got were starting to beat me up – good to have some positive thoughts ha ha ha – j/k I know that is your right to slam my right to write what I wanna write – Right?

    It is all some really good thoughts and opinions (and that is exactly what they all are opinions) – and yes Marty we now have a job to do (although I’d argue it our job from Matthew didn’t go on hiatus during the election process ha ha – I know you didn’t mean it like that)

    I am saddened by a lot of what I saw yesterday – just some thoughts & comments from very influential people that proved how bad of a system we have, yet they celebrated as a reason that makes this country great. The fact remains though that love him or hate him or simply don’t trust him – Barack Obama will be out new President come January – how about we just plan on working together (seems like Jesus prayed something about unity of believers somewhere in the Bible – maybe if we set the example we might be able to influence a nation to do the same???).

    Thanks for all the feedback – and I am sure I’ll get more – it is interesting to see the different points of view – so now I gotta go figure out how to get registered before my next 4 years are up!!!!

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