Ten Commandments
for Intelligent Voting

1. Don’t endorse candidates. It’s divisive. Remember that we value most peoples’ salvation; whether they are Democrats, Republicans, or Independents.            [Main Story]

2. Promote issues of public morality. Our Seventh-day Adventist pioneers dealt with temperance and antislavery laws. Today we face issues of torture, due process in the “war on terror,” stewardship of the environment, immigration reform, protection of marriage and family, capital punishment, and economic justice.

3. Don’t promote political parties. Some partisan gridlock is good. Both parties are based on human philosophies that in their extremes threaten truth and liberty. Be independent.

4. Build bridges. Always strive to build bridges with like-minded citizens on important issues, such as religious liberty and public morality. Show that we care, and that we take our citizenship seriously.

5. Don’t rely on any “expert.” Read and study widely; learn all sides of the issues.

6. Read history. Republicanism and Protestantism are fundamental principles of the nation. According to Ellen White, “These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity” (The Great Controversy, p. 441).

7. Know Protestantism. Know the bill of rights, religious freedom and conscience. Be informed about first-amendment rights.

8. Know Republicanism. Be informed about the rule of law, judicial review, separation of powers, and the checks and balances that exist in our system of movement.

9. Vote thoughtfully. In a republic our duties as citizens include having a say in our government and laws. Paul said that God ordains governments. And in a republic, where people are the government, it’s fair to say that voting is a matter of stewardship, even a religious duty. Given two equally poor candidates, that duty might be exercised by abstaining; but we should not abstain from considering the options.

10. Don’t vote single issues. There may be rare exceptions to this, such as a candidate who openly supports Sunday laws or advocates torture, but that is not usually the situation. Look at the wide range of issues that candidates must confront to run a government well, including economics and taxes, foreign policy, stewardship of the environment, civil rights, immigration, etc., and choose based on those who seem to have the best balance on a wide range of important issues.

Copyright © 2018, Adventist Review. All rights reserved worldwide. Online Editor: Carlos Medley.
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