We are not far from another four-year cycle of American history marked by the election of a president. With each cycle there are cases made that a vote for one candidate or the other will irreversibly change the country. While this is often alarmist language, it is language which is at a fever pitch today.
So if this election is so important, on what basis should we consider the candidates? I tend to think that the list of criteria used to select a candidate can appropriately vary from one person to another. For example, I see no problem with two people placing different weight on how a candidate stands on the preservation of natural parks or the amount of money that should be provided to build new highways or travel into space. On issues such as these I do not lose sleep over the variety of opinions.
There are three issues, however, that I believe are weightier than those of any others. If the two candidates are roughly identical relative to these three issues then one’s stance on concerns like those mentioned above may well be the deciding factor. But in the absence of a similar position on these three issues, I find it difficult to even consider any other concerns. So what are the three issues? Stated simply, they are God, Life, and Family.
As one who is convinced of the reality of God and his interaction with human history, I can only stand with a candidate who assumes the same. Such a stance is not just because I seek someone who holds the same beliefs about the immaterial, but because it is God that roots the values that a government is to protect. Without an understanding that God asks his creation to live in a certain manner, justice and tolerance and mercy may still be pursued, but they have no grounding. And without such grounding they can be re-shaped with the social and political winds to mean just about anything. This, of course, begs the question of what image of God I am asking a candidate to uphold. My answer is the one that most reflects the orthodox, Judea-Christian view as revealed in Scripture and interpreted using hermeneutical tools appropriate for the understanding of any literary text.
Secondly, I must choose a candidate who supports the value of life. This seems like a given. Would we want a candidate to do any less? When it comes to understanding one’s support of the value of life, we must look particularly to how a candidate works to protect the most vulnerable. No candidate would have a chance to win if he (or potentially she) campaigned to dismantle the protection of life for the stronger, more vocally able citizens. So the question becomes: how is it that a candidate protects the physically and vocally less able? The unborn are perhaps those that fit most aptly in this category and so consideration of one’s stance on abortion is of utmost importance to me. I fully understand that abortion is not the only activity that undermines the value of life, but as I know of no other that even approaches the number of impacted individuals I find that if there is a difference among candidates on this issue alone I need not look further to other stances on life-related issues.
Finally, a candidate’s stance on family issues is immeasurable to me. I know of no society that has ever thrived that has abandoned what is considered the traditional model. One might say, “Look at Europe, aren’t they thriving and they have in many ways abandoned the traditional model?” I suppose my answer would be that Europe (at least as a distinct European-like culture) is not thriving if for no other reason that it is not sustaining its own population. Islam is fast taking over the continent simply through its much greater population growth, meaning that in time European culture as we know it will cease to exist unless there is a considerable turnabout in the present progression. That is hardly a thriving culture. While family issues are many, the most basic is the preservation and promotion of the biblical one-man, one-woman marriage which provides the foundational structure inside which the rest of the family portrait should be painted. As one who sets family as an essential criterion, the candidate I support will be the one who most vigorously upholds traditional marriages.
So there you have it. From my perspective the most important issues in this and every election are God, Life, and Family. I will be casting my vote accordingly.