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  • Writer's pictureJames Shepherd

How I Voted

I voted last week (we’ve had mail-in voting here in Oregon for as long as I can remember). Want to know how I voted? Okay, well I might not tell you who I voted for, but I will tell you how I voted.

Voting allows us a choice – more than just the choice between candidates or propositions. We have a choice to decide what perspective we’re going to take. Are we going to start from the fact that everyone is the offspring of God, or not? I’m trying to. I am looking for the God-like characteristics in each candidate – whether or not it’s a candidate I’m going to vote for.

The campaigns of the two main candidates for President of the United States have both used a lot of negative ads against their opponents. Presenting a case against another’s politics is one thing. But many of the pictures presented of these men are ones of arrogance, physical and mental frailty, ineptness, and dishonesty. These have no part in God’s goodness and therefore no basis in who anyone truly is as God’s offspring. And these are not pictures that I choose to hold of God or of God’s offspring.

This isn’t hiding my head in the sand. It seems that at times everyone exhibits qualities that aren’t God-like. But Godlikeness is our natural state – unGodlikeness isn’t natural to anyone. The solution is to make sure I’m not attaching those unGod-like qualities to anyone, and that I’m seeing that they’re not permanent in anyone. I don’t accept wrong thoughts and behaviors as right. I just don’t allow them to be. Knowing that wrong behavior really isn’t a part of anyone is what prevents that behavior from having someone to attach itself to. And that’s what eventually removes the wrong thoughts and actions.

I’m choosing to take the perspective of finding the God-likeness in everyone else, too – whether or not their politics line up with mine. I can’t be thinking that everyone is the child of God… except for those of a particular political party!

I have chosen to vote for the person I think will do the best job. But even more important, I am choosing to see everyone as God’s offspring. And that includes politicians from all parties and those who support them. I believe it’s this truer perspective that will bring the unity and progress that are so needed in this country.


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