Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Scare Tactics

There's an election coming up in a few weeks. Perhaps you've heard about it. On November 7th, millions of Americans will participate in elections to determine the political course of our country (and state and local governments) for the next few years. Volunteers from all sorts of political stripes are feverishly working to make sure that their constituents make it to the polls to vote for their favorite candidate/cause.

And, elsewhere, some are working to ensure that certain people don't make it to the polls. Sadly, this is an often-repeated tale throughout our nation's checkered history.

In the latest version, just a little bit south of here, Latino residents have been getting flyers telling them that it is illegal for immigrants to vote. These flyers have been sent to people strictly on the basis of their ethnicity. Many are indeed naturalized citizens, who have every right to vote in the upcoming elections. This is a scare tactic, pure and simple.

The authorities are already investigating the matter, but for now, the truth is that we don't know exactly who perpetrated this cowardly act, because the individual did not, in fact, take credit for his/her actions, instead using the name of an anti-immigration organization that denies any prior knowledge of the flyer (I'm inclined to believe them. Why use your name on the flyer only to deny it later? No, this is more likely an individual-perhaps within that organization, using the organization's name to avoid personal responsibility).

I know that there are a lot of people out there, from many political viewpoints, who have a lot to lose (or perhaps to gain) by the outcome of this election. Many see their political agendas as being in the will of God, using their religious beliefs to justify actions that would normally be seen (even by the perpetrators) as criminal.

To such people, I have some questions. Do you really have so little faith in God that you believe that God has no power to achieve God's purposes, whatever the election results might say? And what about our call to evangelism? Do you think that criminal actions reflect favorably on God's people, so that more people will be inclined to adopt your faith? I say, let the elections run their course. By all means, use whatever legal and ethical means you wish to work toward your desired outcome. But intimidation is wrong, pure and simple. I hope that the authorities are able to determine who committed this act of cowardice, and that the effects of these flyers on those who might otherwise have voted is minimal.


  1. I'd be curious to hear what you think of this pastor.

  2. I'm not familiar with Boyd outside of this article, but based on reading it, I'd definitely be interested to learn more, and respect his courage to stand up against the assumptions so many place upon Evangelicals today. Thanks for sharing the link.



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