President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden,
Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

Musings & Younger Perspectives:

Called to Vote | By Nico Romeijn-Stout

We are a called people. We are called to love, to show compassion, to work for justice, and in this election year, I believe we are called to vote. This is a big election year. It’s not that 2012 is any more important than other years (as there are elections every year), it just happens to be one of the big election years that happens every four years in this country.

I believe elections are an opportunity. They are an opportunity for us to affect change upon our communities, our state, and our nation. Change may not always work out for us, but the opportunity is present, and we as Christians have an obligation to speak out – through our ballots, through debates, and through other forms of participation in the democratic process. Change happens not only through official channels and vote tallies, but also through the relationships that are built when people engage in meaningful conversations about the topics and issues facing us this election year. This is an important time. It is a time for us to start and continue conversations, to inject grace into ongoing conversations; it’s a time for us to work towards creating social holiness. This is a time for us to stand up against injustices; it’s a time when we must remember the poor, the oppressed, and the voiceless.

It is the voiceless that I would especially urge you to keep in mind, and to lift up in prayer. In our political system, where the privileged and powerful will spend an estimated $6 billion in political ads this year (according to the Center for Political Responsiveness), the voiceless also often become the forgotten. As adherents of a religion which teaches us that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor and the earth to the meek; as followers of Christ who spent his years in ministry actively seeking out the marginalized and voiceless; how can we not stand up for the very same people?

By the time you read this, the primaries will have come and gone, but November is still coming. I urge you to vote this fall, and to vote with the courage not only of your convictions, but also with the courage of your faith.

Nico Romeijn-Stout is currently attending Boston University School of Theology.
This article was originally featured in Channels 56, September 2012. Download this issue, here.


  1. The radical implication of this writing is recognizing that a vote directed at the person or the legislation, which directly benefits my children or me, is meaningless. Yet a vote benefiting and enhancing the lives of the poor, oppressed, and disenfranchised is a vote that not only directly improves the lives of the voiceless, but, in time, also creates a community where the lives of my children and me are enhanced as well.

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