Litmus test?

Presidential politics is a fascinating topic, in my mind anyway. I've always been fascinated by the political machine that exists in America. For a while, prior to being called into ministry, I had big plans about college, law school and a career in politics. Thankfully those were shortlived as God called me into the ministry. I am certainly grateful that I am where I am in my calling today. That being said, I watch the political world with no small fascination and as such I found myself glued to my laptop as I watched the Democractic National Convention this evening via CNN.com. I was particularly interested in Michelle Obama's speech as well as the prayer by Donald Miller, a young evangelical writer who's books I have enjoyed a bit. As I listened to the messages being sent tonight I began to think about this upcoming election (naturally) and my own decision in regards to a Presidential candidate. Unlike too many other clergy, I refuse to endorse a candidate or to even publicly communicate who I'll be voting for. Rather than name names, what I would prefer to do is talk about a single topic.

In the evangelical world we often talk about a "litmus test" in regards to candidates. While the test differs from person to person, it seems as if many of us have some kind of litmus test when it comes to a canididate. For me, it is incredibly simple, yet oh so powerful. I will readily admit that I have one absolutely certain litmus test, and it's a non-negotiable reality for me. The position a candidate takes on the issue of abortion will possibly break my support of their candidacy, although it doesn't necessarily mean that it will insure my support of their candidacy, either. So what does that mean for me? Well, for me that means that the question of a candidate's position on the sanctity of human life, particularly as it is seen on the abortion issue, is a conversation starter, or stopper, for me. So, does that mean that I will automatically vote for a candidate simply because he communicates that he is pro-life? The answer there is no. It simply means that for me to begin considering you, we have to get over that hurdle first, before we can ever deal with anything else. Beyond that, I am more than willing to vote for a third party candidate, or even write in a candidate, if we can't get very far in our discussion beyond their commitment to the sanctity of human life. I am commited to not waste my vote on the "lesser of two evils" candidate.

So, what about you? Do you have a litmus test?  Do you think I am crazy because I do?

Culture, PoliticsMicah Fries