Welcome to the
Christian Citizenship Council
of San Diego
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Prov 29:2)
Equipping the Church to Vote
Chapter 4: Voting Statistics
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for
Early in my life I was told there were three types of lies: “Lies, darned lies, and statistics”. Unfortunately, over time, I’ve found this to be quite accurate. Be that as it may, a few statistics seem to be appropriate when discussing elections, and the importance of a person participating in this precious right we have.
A little closer in history, everyone can remember the Presidential Election of 2000. Of 101,455,899 votes cast nation-wide for either George W. Bush or Al Gore, 50,456,002 went to Bush (47.87%), and 50,999,897 (48.38%) went to Gore 2. But the ½ of 1% edge that Al Gore had in the popular vote didn’t carry the day – the 537 more votes Bush received in Florida (0.009% margin) determined the ultimate outcome. Does every vote count? In this election, every single vote in Florida became nationally important. For Christians, we know that each decision we make counts, including every vote that we cast. For this particular history making election the importance of every Christian’s involvement and active engagement in exercising citizenship rights became even more pronounced. But this isn’t the end of the story. Let’s take a closer look at who voted and what some of the implications are for us.
It’s been reported that among adults, “born again Christians” are generally more likely to be registered to vote (85%) than are non-Christians (75%). What is interesting, however, is that for the two major political parties in the United States, born again adults are equally registered as Democrats and Republicans (35% each). Another interesting fact is about 43% of born again Christian voters consider themselves to be conservatives, which was seven times higher than the number that described themselves as liberal 3. It’s difficult to find reliable statistics on the percentage of Christians registered to vote, and how many vote once registered. If nation-wide statistical percentages give any insight, we find in the Presidential election of 2000, there were about 205,815,000 eligible voters in the United States. Of these, 76% were registered, but only 51.3% of all eligible voters actually voted. This is only a little over half of all that could potentially vote. Considering the number of elections (candidates and propositions) that are decided by an incredibly close margin, this is very disturbing in many ways.
“For lack of guidance a nation falls…”
I believe it’s time for churches to include citizenship training in their arsenal of ministries to equip believers. But this training must be from a Biblical worldview perspective and not from a vested, narrow self interested perspective. The ballot box is just one small component of our arsenal of weapons to influence the world, but it’s an important one. I believe Christians, of all people, are called to be examples of good citizens – and good citizens vote knowledgeably. Only then, in my mind, will each vote truly count.
1 “Your Voice Matters” by James Dobson, October/November 2004 issue of Focus on the Family Magazine