Here’s why I’m voting for Biden.

“Tolerance is NOT indifference. You might be appalled at the other person, but you’re respectful to them. Humility is NOT that you don’t believe you’re right but that you know the limits of what you can prove and you also know that you’re always going to learn by listening. And patience is NOT saying ‘I’m going to put up with evil’ but what it is saying is I’m not going to be too quick to posit motives and say, ‘you must be an evil person; you must be a hostile person.’

So whoever can muster those kind of virtues, that’s what we need in the public square.” – Tim Keller

God help us be at peace as we enter into election day and as we agonizingly wait for the results, no matter what.

I am pro-life from womb to tomb. Neither major presidential candidate qualifies as pro-life in this way. However, I have seen four years of Trump fostering divisiveness and indecency in this country and promoting a dangerous level of egoism and nationalism that isolates our allies and promotes the belief that Americans are better than everyone else. I believe that to allow Trump four more years of leadership would destroy the moral fibers of our country, as some would argue it already has. Of course, we needn’t be surprised by this. This world is not our home. Still, we are called to hold politicians and other leaders on this earth to standards that reflect the Kingdom of God.

Biden is far from perfect. I despise his pro-abortion policies and will fight them if he takes office. His character, though I would argue is far more Christ-like than Trump’s on the whole, has some glaring weaknesses. However, I’m now going to highlight my reasons for why I voted for him. Why am I sharing publicly? Because I want you to know that voting for Biden is not a vote against Christianity nor is it a vote against the unborn. Real Christians are voting for Biden. Real Christians are voting for Trump. Real Christians are voting third party, or not voting at all.

Here are some of my reasons for voting for Biden.

1. He has proved himself to be a leader who has humility, one of the most important traits for a leader in my opinion. (I recall a terrible law that he voted for that he continues to apologize for now and desires to make amends for)

2. He is a leader with decency. He treats everyone with far more respect than Trump: disabled people, veterans, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and anyone else on the margins. I believe character of the highest representative of the United States is actually at least as important as policies. John Piper agrees.

3. He is a leader with compassionate policies for those Christians are called to have compassion for (the immigrant, the poor, widows, etc.) See Isaiah 58:6-11.

4. Though I despise his pro-abortion policies, I know that even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, states still have the right to decide the terms of abortion, and so abortion is most effectively fought at the state level. It is also a complicated issue that requires a comprehensive solution. Most importantly, it requires everyday citizens to form real relationships with moms who are considering abortion. It involves not treating them like projects, but like the valuable people that they are. It means advocating for them body, mind, and soul. It means fostering and adopting children. It means helping single moms find childcare and a job with a livable wage. Yes, it means all this and more. On the whole, I believe Biden’s policies actually fight more comprehensively against abortion than Trump’s do. More on this here.

5. He listens to scientists in regards to the coronavirus, climate change, and other matters of global importance.

6. He acknowledges that systemic injustice is a reality in America, and that unity and justice must be fought for, in words and in action.

7. Trump’s second term agenda is kind of pitiful (also notice that eliminating pro-abortion policies does not make the list). Biden’s agenda is well-thought out, strategic, and advocates for the most vulnerable among us, which I value more than even my personal freedom. See Philippians 2:1-11.

I don’t believe that is a comprehensive list of why I’m voting for Biden. Nonetheless, they are some of the major points.

Some of my readers may be voting for Biden for similar reasons. Others may be voting for Trump for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps your conviction is to vote third party, or not to vote at all this year. Regardless, I encourage you to be involved in all of the “major issues” that are addressed in this and every election. Show you care by loving the people that are affected by coronavirus, homelessness, unjust incarceration, police brutality, abortion, discrimination. Lay down your lives for those who believe differently than you. Look for where you agree. Make clear your disagreements, but with passion free from emotional or intellectual assault and pride. Be tolerant, humble, and patient as Keller describes above. It is the only way forward; and only Jesus can provide it to our partisan, divisive human hearts.

Now go vote.

#election2020

Be Kind to Yourself

Humanity, individually and collectively, has countless sorrows in this life. A few particular griefs that stand out for me are the waste of loss, the weight of loneliness, and the intensity of pain. These things live side by side with our joy, love, and connectedness. Do you feel the tension? Our hope peers down into our cavernous longings and shudders. Our love does not know how to live with loss. We are in the midst of a lifelong tug-of-war between joy and despair. If either dropped their end of the rope, we would be living a lie.

To fight against being overcome with despair, we shout into the ravenous discourse of social media to feel some kind of connection. We fall into the arms of friends to feel known. We look for affection and romantic love-even sacrificial love-to throw themselves into our voids. We sedate ourselves binge-watching sitcoms or scrolling through pornography. We bury ourselves in work to feel some semblance of purpose. We starve ourselves to feel beautiful and drown ourselves in alcohol to escape the hurt. We look for sub-par saviors to supplement the Savior of our souls.

This is not a guilt trip.

This is an acknowledgment: life is hard.

I want you to know, because I am right in the thick of it myself: your own unique, personal methods of self-medicating deserve compassion. Your deepest desires for love, connection, intimacy, peace, affirmation, etc. echo of heavenly realities and a fulfillment yet to come. You’re not alone. You are loved. Don’t give up.

Stare into your sorrow for a while and you’ll find the terrified shell of a human being that is you at your most vulnerable, your most honest state. Eight months ago in coming face-to-face with the most hidden parts of me, this is the journey I began . . . it was the worst and best decision of my life so far.

We must learn to be kind to the parts of ourselves we do not like. It is time to take our darkness gently by the hand and walk with it into the light. I’ve seen glimpses of the goodness to be found. Will you press on with me, in courage and kindness?