By Julie Hansen

To the Editor:

I write this as a citizen and member of the faith community. Most, if not all of us, have felt the need to pinch ourselves during this election season. The TV sound bytes and slick ads are just downright numbing, if not maddening. “He said this….She did that.” Tit for tat. It’s all hard to stomach.

One or both candidates are being, or have been accused of everything from bold-faced lies, slippery, well-crafted lies, perjury, racism, sexism, being a traitor, sexual molester, acknowledging double-speak for the sole purpose of winning voters and then doing whatever, lewd comments and behaviors to women, secretly attacking women who come forward, committing felonies, messing with fund-raising and donations from other countries and leaders for the purpose of personal gain or eventual political favors, and yes, even past murders.

Despite the above, I believe God is aware of all that we publicly see and hear at this time. I do not walk in fear about what may happen on November 8th, no matter who gets in office. As a citizen and member of the faith community, I do have a responsibility to pray, intercede, and vote.

I write this because I’ve heard others make disparaging comments that they will not even vote this November. As a member of the faith community, may I make the following case for a different perspective?

We are admonished in the Bible as follows:

In Proverbs 21:1- “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord. Like rivers of water, He turns it wherever he wishes.”

I Timothy 2:1-2 – “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” Pray and ask for wisdom for our leaders. Even if you did not vote for them and even dislike them greatly. You will be effecting your childrens lives for the good!

I Corinthians 1:27-28 – “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised, God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.”

God is saying He knows what is best to bring about His plans and purposes for the United States and that sometimes to us it may look foolish, unwise and base and despicable. He knows whom He has chosen to be the next president, but I admit, this looks scary to my human understanding.

We are to be more aware of things in this life that are unseen such as prayer and faith and the presence of evil and good. We do not war against things we can actually see. We wrestle against the evil that influences the behaviors of others, doing the things that we see. We can only overcome this with wisdom from above.

God is more likely grieved in His heart when His people do not pray as they ought for leaders, than being grieved by the behaviors of the 2 candidates. God wants all people to bring Him joy, even Clinton and Trump. They were not created to behave like they do now. We are to intercede for them, not mock them, even if you did not vote for them and dislike them very much. We are to influence this

world so evil can be restrained. Do you believe prayer changes things?

An example of how the community of faith can be reminded to lean not to our own understanding, but must look to God, is the Apostle Paul. Prior to his conversion, he cruelly persecuted Christians. Who knew that God would choose this immoral, despicable man, and yet transformed him in a way that changed the known world. Transformation. Sounds like what is needed today.

I will consider the following as I vote this year:

No matter who wins the election, we as the United States are about to be lead by someone with very high disapproval ratings, and with known or alleged immoral behavior and speech.

No one can perfectly foresee what the next president will face and what “leading” may entail. I just pray they are able to not only be transformed, but have the courage to transform as they lead, despite public and media opinion and even looking foolish. Political “business as usual” will fail to preserve our nation for the future.

I will not base my vote on TV sound bytes or even contrived debate performances. I will not get stuck on immoral behaviors, but consider who and what platform might more likely afford our country to maintain its’ national security, borders, freedoms of speech, religion, right to assemble, etc. I am concerned about maintaining what’s left of the sovereignty of the United States. We need to restore what’s been eroded when possible. Although the U.S. is not perfect, when our country is strong, we can restrain evil and need to lead. If we don’t lead, there will be none to stop things like ISIS and even worse.

We need to uphold the Constitution and and Rule of Law, and have Supreme Court Judges appointed who will not make their own laws, but uphold the Constitution. New judges picked in the next 4 years will rule on the court for 30-40 years, whereas the elected president will serve only 4 to 8 years.

Preserving our nation as being self-governed is important. We don’t want to be some large hunk of land that gets lost when leadership commits to what is referred to as the “global consensus” of transnational organizations, treaties, and political correctness.

So get past the “tit for tat” accusations, despicable behavior of flawed personalities and give value to things that are unseen, prayer, faith and the unseen hand of God. Business as usual is not working.!! And by all means, prayerfully vote!

Julie Hansen, Vinton