Because Palmetto Family works every day in “public policy world” — keeping our eyes open for opportunities to fight for faith, family and freedom in government, church and culture — we have been contacted every day about the 2016 Election. As has been said of the American Presidency, it is a “glorious burden.”
But the real burden is the IRS. Because we are a 501c3 non-profit, we can’t do any lobbying or “electioneering.” Even our Palmetto Family Alliance, which can lobby and hold politicians accountable, can’t endorse specific candidates!
So, under the stern gaze of Uncle Sam, what advice or even thoughts may I legally provide to you to get ready for tomorrow?
Here are seven (7) points to ponder in no particular order:
- If you profess Christ, you should vote. In South Carolina we have what is known as a “long ballot.” My ballot will have fifteen (15) offices, including Soil & Water Commissioner! The ballot will be even longer in 2018 when statewide offices from Governor to Commissioner of Agriculture are included. (I almost typed Adjutant General of the National Guard, but that office will be appointed for the first time and not on the ballot in November, 2018.)
I mention this host of candidates because our duty of Christian citizenship isn’t voided by a poor choice for one or two of those offices. We suggest you watch this video about the duty to vote as an act of Christian citizenship.
- Party (and ideological) control of The White House and the US Senate are on the line. At least as important as being chief legislator, Presidents nominate justices for the US Supreme Court and run agencies that regulate and tax. The impact of a President on the church, religious freedom, life, education, and federalism cannot be overestimated.
The US Senate is clearly on the line as well, including the seat on the ballot in South Carolina currently held by Tim Scott. (In the interest of full disclosure, Tim Scott served on the founding board of Palmetto Family Council.)
Political parties are not in the Bible. They are not even in the Constitution. But the parties are farther apart than they have ever been ideologically. To get an idea of what each party wrote as a “to do” list in the form of their party platforms, this analysis will give you an idea.
- In South Carolina, there will be competitive races. Most of the heated campaigns in SC in 2016 are at the local level—Sheriff, Clerk of Court, Coroner—and that will be in only a few counties. Again, the office of Governor is not on the ballot until 2018.
In the SC Senate of 46 seats, only about five are truly competitive. Those are Susan Brill (R) vs Mia McLeod (D) (parts of Richland/Kershaw Counties), Floyd Nicholson (D) vs. Bryan Hope (R) (parts of Greenwood, Abbeville, McCormick & Saluda Counties), Mark Palmer (R) vs. Michael Fanning (D) (parts of Fairfield, Chester and York Counties), Glenn Reese (D) vs. Cornelius Huff (R) (part of Spartanburg County), and Nikki Setzler (D) vs. Brad Lindsey (R) (parts of Lexington, Aiken, Calhoun and Saluda Counties). Republicans (well, those who call themselves Republicans) currently control the upper chamber 28-18.
In the SC House, of 124 seats, about 5 could be close: Rick Martin (R) vs. Carlton Kinard (D) in Newberry County, Mike Anthony (D) vs. Tommy Mann (R) in Union and Laurens Counties, Richie Yow (R) vs. Victor Li (D) in Lancaster and Chesterfield Counties, Kirkman Finlay (R) vs. Tyler Gregg (D) in Richland County, and Leon Stavrinakis (D) vs. Lee Edwards (R) in Charleston County. Republicans control the SC House 78-46.
- It is important that you know your registration status and where to vote. You can find your polling place, see a sample ballot, and check your voter registration by clicking here.
- Remember that the Lord is with us. Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the LORD. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. For thus says the LORD of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. —-Haggai 2:3-9.
- Know that the Lord is in control. Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. —-Hebrews 2:8-9.
- Take time to go deeper if you can:
God is King No Matter What can be found here.
Our Hope is Not in this Election is here.
Read Christians Not Obligated to Vote here.
See Christians Must Vote here.
The Winnowing of Christianity addresses an important issue here.
Franklin Graham’s take can be found here.
Graham will be hosting a prayer time on Facebook tonight at 9:00 pm EST here.
You can read an article from Max Lucado here.