QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
10/20/16 - Should we vote to protect our religious freedoms?
On October 20, 2016, we received the following email:
I know that Jehovah's Witnesses do not vote due to not getting involved in politics, but I feel that I must inform you of what NOT voting may entail here in the United States. Due to the release of certain emails from WikiLeaks by Julian Assange, our religious freedoms may be at risk from Hilary Clinton. Donald Trump is the best chance we have to stave off persecution from the US government. Please inform all the people you can influence to vote for Donald Trump. Just register to vote and then cast the ballot for Donald Trump. He may not be the best person for the job, but he is much better than Hilary Clinton.
To the author, thank you for your email. Before we respond directly to your email, we want to explain our position on politics.
Please know that the individuals who operate this site recognize our spiritual autonomy as sons of God and are no longer subject to the Watchtower organization’s interpretations of scriptural obligations. We now recognize our rights and obligations in connection with the government – one of ‘the existing authorities that stands placed in its relative position by God’ (Romans 13:1) – which includes our duty to vote.
While it is true that many early Christians did not involve themselves in the Roman government, we do not view their stand as a commandment for all Christians. It is certainly understandable why the 1st century Christians who lived under the Roman empire would not support the government that actually killed our Lord. But we have not found any record that indicates Christians in other locations considered it a sin to participate in government in their areas. The fact is, if all Christians refrained from voting, non-Christians idea and policies would dominate. This is one reason why religious freedoms are currently thought to be at risk.
As the Bible writer said: “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:17) And so all who want a better government now and in the future should do the “works” that will get us there, and that means for now, voting, and for the future, introducing our family and friends to the universal government, the Kingdom of God.
As for your email concerning which candidate to vote for now, that is a matter for each individual to decide. While we believe in the need to vote if we want a better government, we believe religious collectivism is inappropriate. In other words, if we, as a ministry, were to recommend a candidate, we would cease being a spiritual ministry and become just another political party. But we can, as individuals, do so. And we do, in our personal lives, when possible.
Those who visit this site come here for spiritual upliftment and information. They come from all backgrounds and religious, social and political persuasions. What we all have in common is faith in an all powerful Universal Father and His son Christ Jesus. That is our focus. When it comes to political matters, all we can do is encourage people who want a better government now to get involved, to exercise their rights and vote for the candidate they feel will work toward goals that are important to them.
And it would not be limited to presidential candidates. Those concerned about their states, counties and cities should also have their voices heard in those elections, especially voting on propositions that immediately affect their local communities. It has been said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” If Christians persist in ‘doing nothing’ to better our world, then they should not complain if their governments are run by Godless people promoting Godless policies, or if their religious freedoms are curtailed. It actually seems that they would be complicit in the triumph of evil.