On Tuesday, Nov. 6, the 2018 midterm elections took place. At the end of the night, the Republicans maintained control of the Senate and the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives.
While there are still a few races waiting to be called, it is clear that America will have a divided government. In the past when there has been a divided government, it has taken people on both sides of the aisle to compromise so that laws could get passed. Now many fear that in the current political climate politicians won’t work together.
Another thing Christians need to keep in mind is whether or not this government is going to be one that supports Christian ideals. To illustrate this point, I’ll use Deuteronomy 27:19 to compare and contrast a few Christian ideals with current politics.
Deuteronomy 27:19 says, “‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’”
So let’s start by talking about the sojourner. First, it’s probably going to be easier to talk about the sojourner in terms we use today. Let’s call them an “immigrant”. Second, when you say that, depending on your political leaning, you’re going to have two different reactions. However, we as Christians cannot ignore the teachings throughout the Bible that say to care for the immigrant. We have to care for them and we cannot care for them if we don’t let them into our country. The idea of building a wall along the border is idiotic. However, if you are a firm believer in the idea that we shouldn’t let immigrants into this country, then what can we do to help them? We cannot, as Christians, sit idly by and watch them be poor in their home countries and do nothing. We are called to be active in our faith and that means taking an active role in helping those that we can.
Now let’s talk about the fatherless, also known as the “orphan”. In modern political talk, this can transition to the discussion of welfare. Many Republicans want to cut welfare or put more regulations on it, while many Democrats want to expand it. Which of these two options sounds more like it “perverts the justice of the fatherless?” As Christians, we should try and support the fatherless as best we can, which also means we need to support governmental policies that help them.
Lastly, let’s talk about the widow. At the time Deuteronomy was written, widows couldn’t provide for themselves because women weren’t allowed to work or own land in most cases. In modern terms, this means that we need to support policies that help care for those who can’t provide for themselves. This means doing things that help those who are temporarily unemployed, the elderly, etc. Republicans often times want to cut spending in those areas.
Neither side is perfect. While Democrats typically are a little bit better at supporting policies that help the immigrant, the widowed, or the orphan as mentioned earlier, there are a lot of policies they do support that go against Christian ideals (e.g. their support of abortion or same sex marriage). However, one cannot be too quick to just say, “Well since Republicans are pro-life and anti-same sex marriage they’re the party I’ll support.” Republicans often want to cut programs, such as welfare or healthcare, that help the immigrant, the widow or the orphan. Neither party is perfect, but as Christians we must take an active role in our societies, which yes, does include our various governments, and try to use them as an instrument of good to the best of our ability.
So, as the 116th Congress prepares to gavel in let us pray for them all, and more specifically, let’s pray that they are able to put their partisan blinders down and work across the aisle to do good for our country.