Everybody has something to say about politics. And recently the Church has been saying too much, according to yesterday’s blog post on Scribe by David Evan Markus, a rabbi in New York and judicial official, who notes that he sees “IN GOD WE TRUST” on the courtroom wall constantly.
“Stop it!” X exclaims. “God is in voting, not election outcomes.”
“I’ve known in my bones the passion and zeal of serving a candidate, a cause or a political party. I know the importance and potency of faith communities shaping moral commitment to policy, motivating voters and building coalitions,” he relates.
“But let’s agree that these notions mainly are about us, not God. Anyone who’d believe that an election outcome reflects God’s will also must admit the noxious possibility that God sent the devastation of Hurricane Harvey to penalize Houston for ‘boasting of its LGBT devotion.’ If this idea turns your stomach (and it should), then stop putting election outcomes on God. And if it doesn’t turn your stomach (which it should), then concede that God might support every electorally successful party, candidate and cause that you most oppose,” which are quite convicting words coming from someone who knows what he’s talking about.
“Elections are too important for such nonsense, much less to foist election outcomes on God,” he continues.
“Elections manifest our God-given power of choice, not God pulling our strings.”
“Voting is a holy act of divine partnership in this process of choice,” this rabbi explains, “fulfilling the social compact of the community and country we call home. This divine partnership dates back to Torah: before God selected Betzalel as master builder for the Mishkan, God told Moses to consult the people (B.T. Berakhot 55a). The modern elective franchise continues this legacy ‘for the sake of heaven’ (Shulchan Aruch, C.M. 163:1).”
X concludes, “The election franchise is a sacred covenant with each individual voter. Nobody, and especially not someone who purports to serve God, should claim a right to intrude on the franchise or put election outcomes on God.”