I’m a Christian. I’m not perfect, and I fully understand that there is no such thing as a perfect politician. That being said, I always prefer to vote for candidates who share my faith and for those who I believe will fulfill their office well. As America becomes more and more secularized, however, many folks, even some Christians, don’t see the need for elected officials to adhere to religious beliefs. I disagree. I believe there is good reason for Americans of all faiths, as well as atheists and agnostics, to vote for a man or woman who believes in a Higher Power.
Throughout America’s history, politicians from all walks of life have spoken openly about their faith. President Reagan even went so far as to say that “if we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” Nearly every president in history has adhered to some religion, some more devout, others less devout. “In God We Trust” is still printed on our money, prayers still open legislative sessions, the Ten Commandments are still displayed in some courthouses. Americans should be accustomed to the idea of a divine leader. Our Declaration of Independence even acknowledges a “Creator” (with a capital “C”) who has endowed us with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights ONLY come from God; no man can give these to you. When a leader does not believe these rights come from God, there is nothing to ensure these rights cannot be taken away by arrogant humanity.
But there is a deeper need for our representatives, senators, and other elected officials to revere God: they should feel like they have to answer to a Higher Power. The definition of “fear” used in the title of this article is not referring to being afraid of God to a point of cowering in a corner somewhere. Fear, in this sense, implies a sense of reverence and awe. You see, as humans, power can easily go to our heads. An elected official who doesn’t believe in a Higher Power can certainly fall into the category of a demagogue. They hold the position, they tell people what to do, they have no regard for the people they represent, and they feel that the law does not apply to them. Great examples of God-less leaders can be found in Socialist and Communist regimes throughout history. The leader of the nation or empire becomes a god. Citizens become coerced into cult worship of a leader who once promised to be the advocate of the people, such as in North Korea with the “Cult of the Kims.” Do not think that could never happen in America.
Leaders who genuinely express a belief in God understand they will be judged more strictly beyond this life than in any earthly court of law. They know they will have to answer for how they treat and respond to the people they were elected to lead and represent. They are more conscious of the fact that they were elected to serve, not to be served by those “below.” As one prominent conservative said: “Why are we some of the most generous people in the world? Why do Americans contribute millions of dollars to charity? It is not because of the tax write off; it is because in this nation we are influenced by Judeo-Christian values that teach us to care for the less fortunate, to reach out to the needy, to love our neighbor.” This kind of attitude should be commonplace in our politics and in our society as a whole. Love for neighbors, even those with whom we disagree, is what it means to be a Christian. Now, will some politicians who claim to be men and women of faith fail? Sure. Will some of them get caught up in corruption? Sure. As I said before, no person is perfect. And when they do fail, we can vote them out of office.
To me, it seems more than logical to vote for men and women who believe they will be held accountable for their actions, and I believe the best way to do this is to vote for men and women of faith.