As I sit down to write my monthly letter this morning, many important topics are running through my mind. Only one, however, rises to the top. Powerful social movements and passions are “blowing in the wind,” and most of them have dangerous implications for the institution of the family, religious liberty, our children and unborn babies, and the country at large. The Ship of State, on which we all are passengers, is steaming into uncharted waters, and the midterm elections occurring on November 6 will determine its course for decades to come. That’s why my letter this month conveys a single urgent message. Christians must go to the polls next month and let their voices be heard! Turnout will determine the outcome. What will you do about it? Will you sit out this election? God help us if you and I fail to fulfill our moral responsibility.
Sean Hannity, commentator with Fox Cable News, said this November election is more important than any midterm in our lifetime. Everything is on the line, and a wholly new interpretation of the Constitution looms before us. Socialism would replace freedom and free enterprise.
I believe Hannity is right. Looking back, I am convinced that Abraham Lincoln’s second term in 1864 was the most consequential presidential election ever. Lincoln ran on a promise to finish the Civil War and preserve the unity of our nation. Opposing him was General George McClellan, who wanted to end the war and leave the country divided. The editors of many newspapers supported McClellan and predicted his victory. If the General had prevailed, America would likely be two separate and competing nations today. Instead of a statue of McClellan standing in our nation’s Capitol, an inspirational monument depicts a seated Abraham Lincoln. It commemorates what this man did to preserve our nation and abolish slavery. That is why we honor him today.
Destiny rides before us again. As Barack Obama said after winning a second presidential term, “Elections have consequences.” Indeed, they do. We, the voters, have it within our power to protect our Constitution, preserve our democratic system of government, and secure the blessings of liberty for us and our posterity.
Will you, my brothers and sisters, take 30 minutes to go to the polls on November 6? Before doing that, I ask you to become familiar with the issues so you can cast an informed vote. And even before you do that, bow humbly and prayerfully before our merciful Lord and ask Him to guide how you make the choices that appear on the ballot. And one more thing. Call or email every friend in your church or neighborhood and urge them to vote! Drive them to the polling place in your car if they don’t have transportation or don’t know where it is located. Ask your pastor to set up registration tables in the vestibule of your church. Talk to your family members. Do everything you can to influence this election. You can be sure that those whose views you oppose will be working just as hard. If you are AWOL in this battle, you and everything you stand for might slip away.
I would leave you with this concluding thought. As we all know, many Americans are bitterly divided today, both conservatives and progressives, Democrats and Republicans. Sadly, we are plagued by hatred and strife. In that tragic environment, I will point you to the words of Abraham Lincoln, spoken on the occasion of his second Inaugural address, March 2, 1864. The war had 13 months to go, and the North would eventually achieve victory. Lincoln had said years earlier that, “This government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free.”
It would take a terrible Civil War to resolve that conflict. During that struggle, 600,000 of his countrymen would die, both from the North and South.4The death toll of that 5-year war exceeded the combined total of all the war-dead in our nation’s history. Nevertheless, Lincoln showed deep compassion and concern for both friend and foe. Read these words and ask yourself if this should be our attitude toward those we now oppose. Here is the conclusion to the address written and delivered by this great statesman:
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
America, we must show charity in our day, as we have done what is right, as we see the right. We must say with Mr. Lincoln, “With malice toward none and charity for all.” Win or lose, may we show a spirit of compassion to those with whom we passionately disagree. May we maintain a spirit of kindness to all men and women. I believe that is what our Lord, Jesus Christ, would require of us.
Thanks, everyone. Voting in this election may be your greatest gift to this marvelous, free and democratic society. Hebrews 12:1 reads, “We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.” Could it be that many of our forebears will be watching as we protect and defend what they purchased with their blood? Now it is our time to defend the heritage they bequeathed to us.
God bless you all.
Dr. James Dobson