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Strauss's avatar

What do you think about Pastor Loran Livingston's statements?

Asked by Strauss (23635points) 1 week ago

Rev. Loran Livingston, pastor of Central Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, recently delivered a sermon that has gone viral. I think the following quote provides the gist of the whole message:

“Don’t be talking to me about my spiritual responsibility to vote. I don’t have a spiritual responsibility to vote. I have a civic privilege.”

I think it makes perfect sense whether one claims to be Christian or not. What do you think?

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12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Voting is not a privilege, its a right. And many of us feel it is a social responsibility and a civic duty.

Many theologians would also argue it is a Christian duty to vote to alleviate injustice.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s another take on the ‘separation of church and state’ dichotomy.

Churches (and religion) should have NO role in civil politics and elections. This pastor, at least, has the guts to say it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

The Bible says to obey the law of the land so many Christians see our votes as responsibility to right injustices as @zenvelo wrote.
Obviously this pastor doesn’t feel the same. That would not go over well here, regardless of party.

seawulf575's avatar

It is an interesting perspective. Even Christians have mixed messages, especially between the old testament and the new and even Revelations. Most see that they are supposed to resist evil. If they deem what is being pushed by one candidate or party is evil, it is their duty as Christians to resist. In this case it would be by voting.

On the flip-side, it is also written that God decides the fates of all nations. That is why Jesus said to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s. God puts all rulers into place per His plan. But that doesn’t mean you don’t vote if you think something is wrong with someone. It just means that God may let the evil person win for some other part of the plan to work.

Demosthenes's avatar

To me, the phrase “spiritual responsibility” sounds deliberately manipulative and pandering in this political context, so I can sympathize with someone taking issue with that wording. I don’t think guilting people into voting is generally helpful, especially if they find the limited choices or the system itself problematic.

Dutchess_III's avatar

There is no law that says you have to vote @KNOWITALL.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Voting is not a privilege

There is no right to vote in the US Constitution*.

But for argument’s sake, let’s say the framers did include such a right. What good was it?

Virtually all Black Americans were enslaved, with an absolute lack of rights of to life and liberty until 1865. In the South they were effectively banned from voting until the 1960s. Native Americans were also largely excluded into the 1960s. White women couldn’t vote in most of the US until 1919.

So regardless of the letter of the law, legislators and courts could and do banish millions of Americans from the polls.

In 2016, the Wisconsin Supreme court came within one vote (4–3) or throwing out my early vote and all those of voters in Milwaukee and Madison (the largest population centers).

Do not take your rights for granted. Conservatives have been fighting to exclude minorities and women from power since the beginning of this nation, and in the past decade their efforts and success have seen a resurgence.

* The Conversation – The right to vote is not in the Constitution

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I care too much for my fellow Americans to not vote. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Right @KNOW?!

Pandora's avatar

The bible does mention following the laws of the land. But it says give to Ceasar what is Ceasars and to God what is God. No law says you must vote, not even in the bible. I think the pastor is pointing out that politics is politics, and God is God. As a pastor his role is simply to lead his people to righteous living and tying the two together isn’t going to get you to heaven. He was upset about Trump using the bible to prop himself up. No doubt too that people were trying to pressure him to promote Trump and kept telling him it was his duty to God and he disagrees. His duty is to be faithful to God. Not a man.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Does anyone think that sounds like lawyer talk? Religious talk.

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