On voting

Today is election day in British Columbia.

Strong opinions.
Weak opinions
No opinions
Bad opinions
Annoying opinions
Good opinions

Opinions on parties and opinions on voting vary greatly.

Personally, I think it’s important to vote. Even as an Anabaptist Christian, part of a history of checkered political involvement (how does one vote from a labour camp?), voting gives me the opportunity to participate in the communal process of discerning our shared values as a society (yes, I’m somewhat of an idealist).

That said, as an Anabaptist Christian, I also need to keep voting in perspective. My vote doesn’t define who I am. In an age where elections capitalize on stark polarizations that seek to motivate voters more by fear than ideals, conflict rather than cooperation, voting is my chance to reflect a political engagement that reflects my values, not determines them.

And so as I go to the polls today, and in many elections to come, I think these words from the Mennonite Brethren Confession of Faith offer a timely reminder of the value, and perspective, to voting:

The primary allegiance of all Christians is to Christ’s kingdom, not the state or society. Because their citizenship is in heaven, Christians are called to resist the idolatrous temptation to give to the state the devotion that is owed to God. As ambassadors for Christ, Christians act as agents of reconciliation and seek the well-being of all peoples...

...At all times, believers are called to live as faithful witnesses in the world, rejecting pressures that threaten to compromise Christian integrity.

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