How Should We Then Vote?
“If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?” — Ezekiel 33:10
By Michael Anthony Peroutka
OK, so you’ve been a student of the Constitution and un-revised American history for some time now. You’ve actually read the United States Constitution and your State Constitution. Maybe you’ve taken our course entitled “Institute on the Constitution”, or maybe you’ve studied through one of the other courses that attempts to educate Americans about the Biblical principles of our founding and the way America is designed to be governed.
You’ve watched some of our “First Friday” presentations on DVD, haven’t you? (If not, I hope you’ll order one or more of those advertised in this issue of “Liberty Forum.”)
By now perhaps you’ve read Bastiat’s “The Law”. You’ve listened to some of David Barton’s materials and you’re familiar with many quotations from the Founding Fathers. All of this has opened your eyes to the way things were meant to (and oughta’) be.
Maybe you’ve even hosted a session of “IOTC” in your home or your church or your town or for your family. If so, you’ve seen the excitement and the satisfaction that accompanies this learning process. Sometimes we feel elated, sometimes angry, sometimes troubled and maybe even frightened, especially when we see that the vast majority of those we keep electing to positions of “public trust” are folks that we just can’t trust at all.
What should we do now that the elections are approaching? How should we act? What should we know? What should we ask? What are we looking for? And finally, knowing what we know (and don’t know), how should we then vote?
WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
Whether we’re talking about Dog Catcher, City or County Council, State House, or Congress, it seems to me that, just like the Marines, we are looking for a “few good men”. Let’s start with the word “good”. Although the people that wrote the commercial for the U.S. Marines probably don’t know it, the word “good” derives from the word “God”. To be good is to be Godly. A good man is one who appreciates and rehearses the attributes and characteristics of God.
So far so “good”! Now what do we want this good man to do?
Simply put, we want him to obey his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitutions of these United States and his own State against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
What is required for him to do this? Well, if he’s going to obey his oath of office, I guess he needs to know what an oath is, right? Secondly, he needs to be very familiar with the content of the Constitutions he has sworn before Almighty God to uphold. If he has never read them, or cannot articulate the principles contained therein, then I guess he can’t do the job, right?
So, if our man is someone who understands his oath of office, then he fears God and believes that there is an eternal system of rewards and punishments that applies to him personally. I think we can assume that if he does not see himself accountable to God for the truthfulness of his oath, then there is little hope that he will feel himself accountable to you or me once he is elected. In other words, if he doesn’t fear consequences from God, he won’t fear you or me.
But he needs to show us more than just fear of The Eternal. He also must demonstrate that he understands the Biblical limitations of civil government as well as the limitations placed on him by the State Constitution and the Constitution of these United States. Unhappily, few, if any, of the candidates who come to you asking for your vote and your money, have even taken the time to read either of the documents that they are promising you, before Almighty God, that they will uphold.
Moreover, assuming all is well with our candidate so far, one more thing is critically important. Our candidate must not only demonstrate that he knows that which is required of him. He must also demonstrate that he will act on that which he knows. It won’t do us any good electing someone who knows what to do but doesn’t do it, whether out of fear of men (peer pressure) or desire to be re-elected, or whatever. This would be a vain thing, indeed.
To summarize, my precious vote can only be spent on a candidate that:
Acknowledges and fears God/the Lord Jesus Christ.
Demonstrates that he has an American (Biblical) view of law and government
Demonstrates that he will take actions that are driven by and in harmony with God’s law and the limitations of the Constitution.
I firmly believe that if I cast my vote for someone who doesn’t meet these requirements, then I will stand before God and be judged for my failure to obey Him. To vote for someone who does not meet these criteria is to do a vain thing before God and men. The chaos and incompetence and corruption of our civil government in all three branches is a result of our failure to choose “able men, such as fear God” (Exodus 18:21). When we choose “the lesser of two evils” we continually get evil and we certainly deserve it. After all, we chose it, didn’t we?
HOW DO WE FIND IT?
Practically speaking, there may be one or two or maybe just a few such persons running in your district this November. This may sound like a radical statement but I’m saying that these are the ONLY people you can vote for. You can’t vote “lesser of two evils” in any race. If there is NOT a qualified candidate in a race then you CAN’T VOTE in that race. Period!
How do I determine if a candidate is competent? How do I determine if he understands his oath, whether he knows his job description and whether he is willing and able to perform it? Here are a few suggestions, a few questions that you can ask a candidate at a town hall candidates’ meeting or when he walks up your driveway and knocks on your door. You could also seek answers to these questions by mail to a candidate or by visiting his website and reading about his philosophy and positions.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT?
Bad Answer: Any answer that calls for redistribution of wealth including “welfare” type programs.
Best Answer: To protect and defend God given right to life, liberty and property
WHERE DOES LAW COME FROM?
Bad Answer: Any answer that contemplates that law comes from man or that it changes with time. Any answer that indicates an acceptance of the evolutionary, “living Constitution” type thinking
Best Answer: Law comes from God. All man made law must comply with God’s law as revealed in Scripture or it is not law and cannot be enforced.
WHAT DOES A LEGISLATOR DO?
Bad Answer: He serves the needs of his constituents and gets them what they want. He gets them their “fair share.”
Best Answer: An answer that indicates understanding that actions of government are limited by God’s law and by the limitations of the Constitution
WHAT IS AN OATH? WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU IF YOU BREAK YOUR OATH?
Bad Answer: An oath is a serious promise to the people that you will do a good job. If I break my oath then the people shouldn’t re-elect me.
Best Answer: An oath is a solemn and binding act BEFORE GOD that presupposes and acknowledges the Sovereignty of God over all things and recognizes that disobedience will subject the oath taker to God’s judgment.
IF ELECTED TO OFFICE, WHAT IS YOUR FIRST PRIORITY?
Bad Answer: To find out what the people (my constituents) want and try to get it for them.
Best Answer: To do everything in my constitutional power to stop the murder of innocent children by abortion and to resist unauthorized and unconstitutional spending on unconstitutional programs.
DO YOU BELIEVE IT IS YOUR JOB TO “BRING HOME THE BACON” TO YOUR DISTRICT?
Bad Answer: Yes
Best Answer: No
DO YOU THINK IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO PASS LEGISLATION OR TO WORK TO REPEAL LEGISLATION PASSED BY YOUR PREDECESSORS?
Bad Answer: It’s important to pass legislation that helps my district financially.
Best Answer: Inasmuch as we currently have departed so far from Constitutional government in all three branches, I am committed to working to repeal those harmful and dangerous actions of my predecessors that have moved us away from the American (Biblical) view of civil government. We have much to undo.
These are just a few examples of questions that will help us to determine whether a candidate is qualified. I’m sure that this list could be expanded and improved or tailored to a certain portion of the country. My purpose here is to give you a start on what to ask and what to look for in an answer. Our failure to hold up a righteous standard is what has gotten us into an un-Godly, un-Constitutional mess. To get out of it, we must think clearly and rightly and compel our representatives to do so as well. Their performance won’t be higher than our standard. Make sure it is a clear one. The right one.
If this means that you go into the voting booth and pull just one lever or two or just a few, so be it. I implore you not to be complicit in evildoing by voting for the “lesser of two evils”. If you find that there is not one lever you can pull, then write in your own name and put yourself on the ballot next time.