The Briefing, Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It’s Election Day in America, and that fact alone presents us with a full range of issues to discuss in today’s edition of The Briefing: A Daily Analysis of News and Events from a Christian Worldview.

Millions of Americans will head to the polls today, participating in the drama of American democracy. All elections are important, but a vote to elect a President of the United States is particularly important and historic. Presidential elections establish a trajectory for the nation, and those trajectories often extend far into the future.

As Election Day dawns, President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney are effectively tied. Most polls indicate an easier path to 270 electoral votes for President Obama, but those polls are themselves now called into question. USA Today puts the race at a dead tie, with each candidate likely to receive 48% of the popular vote.

We will see. In the meantime, we should reflect on the fact that this election matters more than most, given three considerations. The first is the urgency of the issues. The second consideration is the significant divergence of the two candidates on these issues. The third consideration is the lasting impact of these policies in years and decades ahead.

If President Obama is re-elected, his signature health care reform will be certain to survive congressional attempts to repeal or even modify the plan. The election of Mitt Romney would mean, at the very least, a significant modification of the plan. Either of these decisions will have far-reaching implications.

As I discuss, a voting decision is usually not as simple as many think. Most of us likely think of ourselves as rational beings who make big decisions after applying a rational analysis. We can hope that this is true, but humans also make decisions on the basis of intuition. Furthermore, the simple issue of likeability is a huge factor. If honest, most of us could not fully interrogate our own hearts and minds when it comes to big decisions. Nevertheless, Christians must work hard to discipline the mind to make decisions consistent with our worldview and our deepest convictions.

The election is now a barometer of voter enthusiasm, and the candidate with the most enthusiastic voters is sure to win today. As I discuss, enthusiasm is a factor of worldview. Our worldview determines not only our position on issues, but the relative importance we grant to each issue.

I then turn to discuss the truth that every voter decides on the basis of a hierarchy of priorities. We decide which issues are most important to us, and work from there. I contend for the priority of three issues: the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage, and the urgency of religious liberty. Christians are rightly concerned about an entire (and expanding) range of issues, but some will inevitably have priority over others. Christians should carefully establish these priorities in light of conviction.

From there I turn to discuss the great divide between the two presidential candidates and their parties. There can be no doubt that this will be an election with huge consequences.

I discuss all these issues and more in today’s Election Day edition of The Briefing: A Daily Analysis of News and Events from a Christian Worldview.    LISTEN HERE