Editor's Note: Mark Schloneger is pastor of North Goshen Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana.
By Mark Schloneger, Special to CNN
It seems frivolous, even foolish.
On Tuesday, as the world turns its attention to who will occupy the most powerful office of the world’s most powerful nation, hundreds of churches will gather across the United States to worship a servant.
As votes are counted to elect a president, thousands of Christians will take the bread and the cup to remember their crucified Lord.
As winners are projected and the electoral map is updated, Christians of many denominations will sing their praises and proclaim their loyalty to Jesus.
It seems ridiculous, even silly.
After all, America is at a crossroads, and we are in the midst of one of the most critical presidential elections of our lifetimes. We know this because people have recited this same tired mantra before every presidential election.
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Our fears, our hopes, our worries and our struggles are the currency that buys our votes. And how do politicians and their supporters acquire this precious currency? They invest billions of dollars to foment fear, inspire hope, create worry and exploit our struggles.
It’s a power play. Some of us are pawns, and some of us are participants. But some of us are choosing a different part.
I initiated the Election Day Communion Campaign out of a concern that Christians in the United States are being shaped more by the tactics and ideologies of political parties than by our identity and unity in Christ. Out of this concern, a simple vision sparked the imaginations of congregations nationwide: the church being the church on Election Day, gathering at the Lord’s Table to remember, to give thanks for, and to proclaim its loyalty to Jesus.
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Gathering for Communion on Election Day seems fitting, for the practice of Communion is an inherently political act. It is both a pledge of allegiance to Jesus and a declaration of independence from all other powers making claims on our bodies, minds and souls.
Far too often, the church has abandoned its first love for the siren song of political parties promising protection, prosperity and peace. Far too many times, the church has ceded the practice of its faith to the spiritual and the private while leaving others to address matters of justice. And far too frequently, the church has attempted to speak truth to power while seeking and relying on that same power for protection.
The bread and the cup are God’s antidotes to our fickle memories. As we eat and drink together, we remember that all things fall under the lordship of Christ. We remember our sin and need to repent.
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We remember that God has lifted up the humble, filled the hungry with good things, and chosen to reveal God’s strength through our weakness.
We remember that the only Christian nation in this world is the church, the holy nation that transcends all human-made walls, boundaries and borders.
As we gather at the table, we remember that the power to redeem, to save, and to transform comes not from atop the seat of power but from within the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
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We will gather for Election Day Communion not because we think that the issues at stake in this election are unimportant or that our votes don’t really matter. No, we will gather for Communion because we think that the issues at stake in all elections are far too important to be relegated to our votes alone.
The Lord’s Supper reminds followers of Jesus to practice the politics of Jesus. To me, practicing the politics of Jesus means working to protect the sanctity of all human life, whether it is found in the womb, in prison, or in countries at war against us.
It means choosing the way of forgiveness and reconciliation rather than vengeance and violence. It means practicing an economy based on generosity and mutual aid.
It means offering care and compassion to suffering people regardless of their immigration status, economic class or religious practice.
It means being good stewards of God’s good creation. And, most of all, it means allowing God’s kingdom to break into the entirety of our lives, from the privacy of our homes to the politics we practice in public.
The bread and the cup keep calling me back to the table inscribed with memory. There, I remember God’s choice for the transfer of power. There, I remember where to go with my fears, my hopes, my worries and my struggles. At the table, with my sisters and brothers, I am in the presence of the Holy.
Though I’m interested in the outcome of the presidential election, I won’t be watching the projected results as they are announced. I’ve made a prior commitment. I intend to honor it.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Schloneger.
Say what you want, but afterr Resevvoir Dogs, nobody can listen to "Stuck In The Middle With You" without instantly envisioning Michael Madsen coming at their ear with a straight razor . . .
AND IT'S OBAMA'S FAULT!!!
Which is about as good a reason to vote for Romney as anything he is saying.
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You need to meditate longer to get hold of yourself or wait till mondays drug delivery arrives.
On election day, I'm proclaiming my loyalty to the United States of America. By all means, enjoy the freedom to worship as you choose, but keep in mind that the freedom to do so without fear of persecution was granted by the Consti.tution, not the bible.
People have an inalienable right to seek damnation. The bible guarantees it.
I love the USA too. They send me check money every month. I don't have no damn I.D. though.
I love the wat Christians don't have evidence, only threats.
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Unless you have proof that shows otherwise, the bible is simply a book of contradictory mythology that promises paradise or threatens damnation, but does not offer a single substantial reason to believe in either. The Consti.tution protects your right to believe in that sort of nonsense, just as it grants me the right to openly state that your belief is nonsense. The Consti.tution is the more superior docu.ment in every way.
The guarantee is no more or less real than is damnation.
The Consti.tution is the standard which all laws in this country must meet. What is said in the bible matters only to those who believe in that particular mythology, and has no place in our government. On election day, I will proclaim my loyalty to the United States and the Const.itution that gives us our freedom, not to a mythological being that exists only in the pages of an old book.
Tom, the bible guarantees nothing! Stop wasting your time with this absurd, magical religious nonsense. Grow up! The bible is fiction written by some guys thousands of years ago who wanted to explain things that they did not understand, control the masses, and take money from them. The church thrives off of weak-minded people like you. Isn't it time to go give 10% of your income to the child molesters at your church so you won't go to h&ll?
Threatening people is what keeps them coming back to the church.
There is more truth in the Bible than all the books in the world combined. The words in the Bible are life changing, it is our service manual on how we are to live our lives. All prophecies in the Bible have been fulfilled up to present. Jesus changes lives for the better, He sets the captive free.
Justyn Kase, please name ONE thing that the bible says came true! There isn't one shred of truth or evidence in this fictional book.
However, there is lots of evil in it. How can you rationalize the fact that it not only says that slavery is OK, but prescribes how you should beat your slaves? And countless other things like this....
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Jesus is not a candidate. But feel free to engage in the eating and drinking of his body and blood as the country lurches toward whatever fate is waiting for it.
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And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Who could go for some flap jacks right about now?
I have come to raise you from your drunken atheist misery, my son. You have been terribly deceived by Satan. Flapjacks are nothing but The Dark One's trickery to turn you away from the radiant truth of waffles.
Whatever. It's the Canadian maple syrup that saves us.
Well I'll tell you one thing. Waffl..*hic waffles are for Pussies. I'll take me cakes with american syrup.
You can go suck that Canadian maple dick syrup all you want. Real Americans eat artificially flavored corn syrup that they call maple. Fucking Canadians.
There's your sign . . .
Anyone who says, "There's your sign" is a giant douche-bag.
There is something special about maple syrup. I think they say it is less acidic than other types of natural sugars. But it sure does taste good.
Anyone who says . . . stuff . . . about . . . uh . . . stuff . . . uh . . .
Canadians! Hate them! Ever since they refused to let me in their country because of, well, who wouldn't scream "FUCK YOU CANADIAN MOOSE-SODOMIZER ! ! !" to a customs agent who said "Beautiful day, eh?"
Okay, I panicked, but Canadians still suck because . . . well, I'm sure there's something. But I still eat imitation maple flavoring corn syrup.
Sugar is neutral, meaning it is neither acidic or basic, and that you can get nice watches and chocolates in its mountainous country.
Maple syrup is the blood of the maple tree. Canadians bury the hearts of infants beneath their maples.
Yes, sven I think I said that incorrectly. I think what I read said something like that plain sugar caused the digestive system to produce more acid to digest it than maple syrup would. I think they use the words acidifying for that rather than acidic. So yes, I should have been talking about how the body deals with it rather than the nature of what you are ingesting.
OK, so here's a question about the election – i don't know the answer, but was discussing it recently.
If the popular vote indicates that there would be an electoral college tie. And let's then assume that in December, the electorates votes according to the popular election and nothing happen out of the ordinary there – meaning it results in a 269/269 electoral tie, and then further assuming that the house then votes Romney in (1 vote each state), and that the senate votes but the vote is even – does Biden get to vote for himself?
some place i was reading earlier said with the current mix of undecided states, there are still 32 combinations that would result in a tie.
OK – according to a USA Today piece on this scenario – Biden could vote for himself in that situation and would win the Vice Presidency under a Romney admin.
But in that same article they said this electoral tie only happened once before (JQA & Calhoun). But I thought another source said it happened once before that with Jefferson. Maybe they mean only once before under the current type of electoral process (where VP's are normally decided as part of a ticket and not as the runner-up – the original process).
Uh, Biden could vote for waffles . . .
Actually, there is a bigger risk of a repeat of Florida 2000, too close to call, Supreme Court exceeds it's jurisdiction and elects the president themselves, which the Constitution doe not empower them to do.
The Electoral College is an anachronism. President should be one man, one vote, no state adjustments. As it is, some of us have 1.2 votes but others only have .8 votes. And the present system allows too much opportunity for state machines to commit voter fraud.
I'll have a stack of flippity-floppity Romneycakes, please.
"The Lord’s Supper reminds followers of Jesus to practice the politics of Jesus" – I must have missed that "Thou shalt follow my politics" part of the gospels. Is that perchance the Gospel of Limbaugh?
Or did he just reinvent Christianity to be what he wanted it to be?
One of the definitions of politics is, "the total complex of relations between people living in society." In that sense, yes, Jesus did have his own politics. He very specifically laid out how we, as Christians, are to interact with the world around us.
And, if you knew Pastor Mark, you'd know he is the furthest thing from Limbaugh or the "Religious Right". He had an article on CNN last July about why he doesn't sing the national anthem. If you find it, I think you'll come to understand a bit better what he is saying here.
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I am here to let a LOT of people know how humble I am, and how I am writing this election article on how I am putting my non-political-really-it-is hey-look-at-me Election Communion Campaign to draw attention to myself, uh, to Jesus, to put Jesus first.
I included an non-political list of my political agendas, humbly, and I am going to pretend that this Election Day self-service service is actually not about politics. And me.
Did I mention that it's all about me?
Are you saying it's about Jesus/me?
"It means practicing an economy based on generosity and mutual aid."
I wish someone would give me some mutual aid cuz I ain't got no damn money.
Declare away. Have fun.
Oh you gonna love this, boy. Tyrone calls you up, you know, in the game, and he says, "I can dig more clams than you, stupid!" And you've got to say, "Nuh-uh, boy!" And then y'all gotta race down to the beach with your buckets and your shovels. And the object of the game... is to find parking.
I don't know why atheists are so surprised that believers believe. Believers are indoctrinated by the people they most trust and belief is cemented in by emotion, not logic. It is easy to see why they believe and will continue to do so.
I also don't understand why atheists want to convince believers that there is no god. How is that different from the proselytizers?
Most people are indoctrinated but for many, common sense prevails.
It is important because of how it affects education and law making.
We aren't trying to convince you. We know your mind is sealed tight by the blindness of emotional, non-logical indoctrination.
We don't really care if you want to believe in Magic Invisibuddy Jesus. What we don't want is your illogical emotional indoctrination perverting government, forcing phony education on our children in school, denying equal rights to groups you don't like, and all the other illogical thing you attempt to force upon the world thanks to your illogical indoctrination.
You shouldn't have trusted the people you trusted most, for they were only repeating the lie they were told. Muslims do the same thing. So do Mormons and Hindus (bait set) and Jews and Buddhists, and all the rest.
Religion survives because people like you aggressively and arrogantly refuse to think. Your received indoctrination is all you want.
I am an atheist. I would think a person of your scientific perspective would not react to assumptions.
If you are an atheist, why are you perpetuating religious stereotypes?
I'm afraid you need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills. Go back and read the original post without your assumption that I am religious.
Anyone that smug is definitely an atheist. You were wrong, Yolanda.
Maybe we atheists just feel the need to travel the world to spread our wisdom to those less fortunate...oh, wait.., that's what Mormons do.
I talk about atheism because aI want other atheists to know they are not alone. Keep your irrational fear if you choose.
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The article and the whole Jesus sacrifice thing are pathetic and nonsensical. The whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. Christians, think this through a bit: how come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.
Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
That is why John 3:16 is such a joke.
Why do you, godless vultures come to gather here? There is nothing in the article of this pastor for you to rip apart to feast on!
Leave religion out of politics.
PRISM, calling people who don't believe in your idiotic fairy tale "vultures" is very typically Christian of you. As for the article, the whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. Christians, think this through a bit: how come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.
Actually Bob, you aren't considered his brother, and he is allowed to chastise you. Jesus had a non-peaceful side as well. God doesn't expect Christians to be door mats or have no ability to think for themselves; however the Bible does say to dust the dirt off of your feet and not to cast your pearl before swine when dealing with nonbelievers. In other words- don't wast your breath on some people who will not listen and are hard hearted.
Religion and the worship of god(s) requires ignorance to perpetuate.
It is no wonder the U.S. doesn't even rank in the top 10 of global academic achievement.
'As winners are projected and the electoral map is updated, Christians of many denominations will sing their praises and proclaim their loyalty to Jesus.
It seems ridiculous, even silly.'
With every idiot proclaiming his faith it gets more embarrassing to be American.
They have no idea how silly they sound.
Mark, another attention seeking Pastor.
Iqqy's spamming again. Iqqy, how come your god can't do its own marketing? Got one of those not so powerful gods, eh? Seriously, p!ss off with the vid spam already.
Wow....that was really beautiful! You're acting like a REAL Christian. I'm proud of you..
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.