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November 3rd, 2012
09:00 PM ET

My Take: On Election Day, proclaiming my loyalty to Jesus

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.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Belief • Christianity • My Take • Politics

soundoff (3,435 Responses)
  1. Reasonably

    "It seems ridiculous, even silly" – well, yes. Cult ritual is kind of silly.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  2. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    This just in: Hurricane Sandy was created by the Democratic Party and will now be the reason why Mitt Romney loses his bid for the White House. That's right, Obama had the government create Sandy just to mess with Romney.

    Well, that's the story that Carl Rove and others on the Right are getting ready to spin, when Romney loses. That is all.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Sick Things

      The Republican party has become a parody of itself. So much so that your joke could very well be true. They have literally resorted to the fantasy world they have always tread on the edge of. They fell in.

      The good news, whatever happens, Romney will be the final nail in their coffin as we know it. I don't know what the next incarnation will look like, but there was a time where Republicans were not a joke so who knows and were not destructive like this.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Sick, I agree with you. The OLD Republican Party was acually very liberal in many ways, compared to the current one. I think with Citizens United and this election, we are starting to see what has to be a major change in the way we go about electing a president. The Sandy joke is actually based on something that Carl Rove said on FOX today and one of Romney's surrogates has already hinted that they will use Sandy as an excuse when Romney loses on Tuesday. The hurricane stopped his momentum they will say.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  3. Sick Things

    The ONLY way you can suggest that you know anything about God or the hereafter is to believe you can fathom infinity. I don't know anyone who can claim this.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Athy

      What does infinity have to do with belief in god? There's no connection whatever.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Carter

      Dude go back to your video games. You believe everything but actually know nothing.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Sick Things

      What you are suggesting is impossible. If there is a god, and god has always existed, then how you overlook infinity and what that means?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Carter

      Sick things that is. Never seen the man behind the curtain. For a god who loves us so much he.dont come around often. Pay a brother a visit!

      November 4, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Sick Things

      Furthermore, it is pitifull that when challenged with such and obvious component of reality, perhaps the most important, you dismess it as if there were no such concept? Where did god come from? That is the question you must ask.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Carter

      God came from the visions of men who wanted to believe that something existed beyond what they saw. And live forever because that would be awesome.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Sick Things

      Carter, I appreciate your effort but you are really not understanding my points.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Sick Things,

      It's somewhat easy to fathom infinity. Just clear your mind of its' wasted spaces and imagine one is headed to the outermost reaches of the Cosmos and look back when you arrive there, then you will be at a point in time where history is repeating itself and God is saying, "Let there be light!"

      On the other regards of infinity, clear your mind of its' wasted spaces and imagine one is headed to the innermost reaches of inner space and look about and what will you see? You will see the family of God and all His Godly from first born to last born and all God's kin and servants.

      How easy can it be if one but believes?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Sick Things

      @God's Oldest Dreamer

      I have started enjoying your presence here, however I do not uderstand this post. Seems beneath you.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Sick Things,

      Beneath me? How so? What I spiritually believe in is that the Families of God including God Himself lives upon the very first created Cosmos which is the inner Cosmos. Our being but upon this celestial cosmos is due our being cast out of the Inner Cosmos for many reasons. Some were cast out of this Inner Cosmos for faultering and some for continuing to do the Lord's Will here upon this celestial realm of gigantic life forms whereupon their insides are living many families of God's members. We live upon this realm doing what we want while many of us unify ourselves in the communal. My way is not your way and yet when we cross paths we receive each other and walk on.

      Therefore, walk placidly amid the noise and waste ever being mindful of the peace one finds in finding peace there about.

      Lettuce Love
      Let Us Love,
      G.O.D.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  4. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    I have lived a long time, and I've followed politics for nearly half a century, and I've NEVER seen GOD so much inthe conversation as this time around. We have to find a way to get God out of politics and back in the church, get the government back in Washington and out of the Church, and stop the madness... Maine is voting on same-se x marriage and both sides are hacking away at each other, but the Christian side is using more lies and fear mongering than facts and reason.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Sick Things

      Correct.

      And let's get Pot legalized in Washington, Oregon and Colorado.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Agreed, this War on Drugs is killing America. We now incarcerate MORE of our population than ANY other country in the world... that's scary..
      I say if you want to do drugs, then go for it.. you only hurt yourself and maybe your family, but if you are in jail, your family is going to suffer anyway, right.?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Agreed, the first step would be the removal of the npo status from all churchs, and all organizations run by them.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Carter

      F church . Life has been so much better since I stopped believing that crap. More money too since I don't feel the need to pay money for Jesus' love anymore. Liberating.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Sick Things

      Sensible people. So hard to find. Sigh.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  5. Matt

    What a worthless article. Why does this even get the time of day? The media should keep this religious garbage out of the publics eyes so it will just go away.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Agreed, theists need to but the f out of politics. This is not, and never was a christian nation.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Carter

      Just a blog. Everyone has one. People continue to but into this unverifiable nonsense so it will get press. Funny how everything with magical powers is fake except for Jesus? Heal lepers. Drown kids in storms and allow dbag Taliban to throw acid on women who try to go to school. Yeah, there is a God.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • MCR

      @carter, your evidence just argues there isn't a nice, or at least all powerful god...still couoldbe jerky, sort of weak, or multple fighting gods. Not a theist myself, just saying.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Carter

      @mcr Word up. No white bearded god exist. People want to believe so bad so that they get their eternal life. Greed at the highest level.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • MCR

      @Carter, I doubt even most Christians believe in the beard. But you can't have proof none exists, it's not logically possible to prove such a thing, and most people know this, so you are best off offering up your own more plausible, and hopefully tempting, realities. But what brings about lack of belief fastest is creation of a social infrastructure to replace the church. Arguing is much less persuasive.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Carter

      Not sure that I even care. I am fascinated by the fact that we live on a floating.ball. Can't prove god exists or not definitely, but what has been written by men smells like BS to me.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  6. Blessings

    Jesus lubes me this I know
    For my preist has told me so
    Little ones are his to use
    Tiny bottoms light his fuse

    November 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  7. Carter

    Might as well vote for Jesus. We are voting for guys who.cant do crap anyway not sure how a fairy tale could do much worse.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Blessings

      @Carter

      They can't do crap? THEY CAN'T DO CRAP? That is all they CAN do is crap. I need something more, something that will help me to not have to work. My feelings about work are well documented.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Carter

      Dude then Obama is your man. Don't want to work? He's got someone else's money waiting to pay your lazy butt

      November 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Shake

      Then I will vote for that guy...then. Which one is he?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  8. God's Oldest Dreamer

    Can it be said and also inferred that all of Life here upon these celestial shorelines of life-forms resonate from a single celled life-form all the ways to massive cellularized life formations? Is it 'not' written within the Gospels that mankind is but buildings that are husbanded by the Godly? Do we not labour together with God in our tasks? Who among us can deny our psychic Being as being un/just and un/righteous God-Heads?

    Nothing is a Foreverness and Matter, in its' infinitesimally established finiteness, is a materialized foreverness unobtainable by us, human-like megaliths called mankind. We are all giants too huge and too vast for us to ever re-enter in wholeness back into the Kingdoms of God which are inside or within our bodies. So many damningly dumb buildings of evolution's ascension into the spatial voids of outward motions sanctioned by the Godly! Too little are our intellectual abaters

    1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

    Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

    Ergo. does that mean dumbness is genetical or is it societal hierarchies being the dumbness from which socialisms are currently adorned and auspisciously bequeathed?

    We are but celestial manifestations of God's creativities. Evolution is but the Gods'(plural) works and there is reason why we were the last limb to be raised from Fractal Cosmology.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Carter

      Dude, you're going deep

      November 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • HeavenAndEarth

      That is some F'd up nonsense you're spewing brother. Have a nap, y'old dreamer. You're dialing it in from WAY out there.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Carter,

      I have only scratched the surface of the inner sub-atomic Domains of Fractal Cosmologies,,, :-)

      November 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      HeavenAndEarth,

      Rather 'way down deep' and from the inner depths of spatial relativity,,,,, :-)

      November 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Frank

      I didn't say take six of those and call me in the morning, I said take two.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Frank,

      What's that Doc? Take two? I thought I was to take only one? Olanzapine 15mg powerful sh!t

      November 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • the AnViL

      there is absolutely no evidence of an even, orderly distribution of galaxies. your fractal cosmology is lovely science fiction but bears no resemblance to reality.

      there's absolutely no evidence of gods. your use of the latin word "ergo" betrays a deficit in education.

      mentally challenged people like yourself shouldn't be allowed to have internet connections.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • YouBoggleMyMind

      What poo you spew...

      November 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  9. YouBoggleMyMind

    You sir, are a silly little man... I for one am casting my vote for the sun.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Carter

      Yeah! The sun is God. Without it we are dead.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Ra Ra Ra for He is our man and if Ra can;t do it nobody can!

      November 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  10. Golden Plates

    Hello, we of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Counsel have been following your comments closely and are disgusted to see all the blasphemy and the fine name of LDS/Mormonism dragged through the mud.

    We are better connected than you might know, so the next time you find yourself at a ski resort and pick up your equipment then head to the slopes, don't blame us if your ski boots are several sizes too small or that one ski is shorter than the other... blame yourselves. And may God's love be with you.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh that's so funny...

      Reading your comment – really is funny. You're telling everybody that you are that vindictive and against forgiveness. Your god would be pleased to hear that you do not care for the practice of forgiveness. So funny.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Answer

      "they caused me personal discomfort when they have confronted my pitiful religion and my god. I shall make them uncomfortable when they come to my business."

      Great philosophy!

      November 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • HeavenAndEarth

      "Don't blame us" ?

      ??

      ! ??

      Who should we blame? Jebus?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Answer

      Have you ever wondered why you are uncomfortable when you are confronted on your religion?

      LOL

      November 4, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Lds is a cult, dangerous and evil. But no worse then any other theistic mumbo jumbo

      November 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Carter

      F mormons. Crazies

      November 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Golden Plates, what the hell are you doing here on CNN time pass board? you should be busy making crank calls for your Golden Boy Romney, don't let him down.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  11. The Mighty Hand of God Will Smite Thee

    Why do people resist common sense morality? It is because Satan is the ruler of the world right now. Pray for the return of Jesus.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Morality? What's moral about people like you?

      November 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Answer

      Pray hard ... really hard, and get a confirmation on the DATE.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Shake

      Ok Mighty Hand, I just did it. I prayed for Jesus to return. Now what?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • HeavenAndEarth

      Pray for the return of Jeeeebus?

      Why'd he leave in the first place?

      Jeebus, we hardly knew ye. A few magic tricks, water, wine, fishies. Moon walkin' on the high seas. Bingo bango... Poof. Gone.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • eqJustice

      This is just a joke, right? If not according to whack jobs like you the earth should have been destroyed a 1000 times in the last 2000 years. Well, we're still here, so now what boogeyman?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Laughing at the boogeyman.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Trust me Mighty Hand, you would never find it out, if Jesus ever returned, life is too short.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  12. HeavenAndEarth

    Jebus lubs me
    Dis I know
    Cuz de bibu
    Tells me so

    Why do Adam and Eve have belly buttons?

    Dinosaurs are inconvenient.

    How come we only ever hear about baby Jebus and the bearded Jebus on the cross? What about the teenage Jebus, rolling cars and freebasing with his peeps?

    November 4, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • The Mighty Hand of God Will Smite Thee

      Satan is powerful here this evening, but God is mightier.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Doc Hollywood

      I was a teenage Jeebus.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Shake

      I wish Jebus would tell you to shut....up! I have to......look for.......a job, yes a job tommorrow so I would like....to rest if that is OK with you!

      November 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  13. Michael

    What a load of drivel.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  14. The Mighty Hand of God Will Smite Thee

    Woe unto America if she votes wrongly in this election. Sandy was just a preview of coming attractions. Take heed!

    November 4, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yah, cuz hurricanes never happened before there was a USA. It's all because of our elections!

      Idiot.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • The Mighty Hand of God Will Smite Thee

      it is because of our immorality, not our elections. We need someone who will chart a moral course for America. Else we are under God's judgment.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • TR6

      Isn't that cute, the toddler is having a tantrum and is threatening us with his invisible friend

      November 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      The 'ol leading a horse to water and he won't drink solution?

      November 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, he and herbie are having blue ball problems.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • herbie

      There is no herbie.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of course there's a herbie. He's the lame-azz representative of all you little trolls who live to jack off on here.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  15. God's Oldest Dreamer

    Has anyone ask either of the P candidates what their policies will be regarding outdated and antiquated fossil fuel usages in favor of less harsh energy needs such as solar and wind and hydrogen fuel systems? If asked will they stammer about and stagger onward to weasel their way from being put on the spot?

    November 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  16. Name*partypeanut

    Well said, 'Gods' Oldest Dreamer'!!!

    November 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Shake

      Yeah, sure. Well said. Not! Not shut your trap, I am trying....to....watch....my.....favorite,....show!

      November 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Huh? What I say? Am I being blamed? :-(

      November 4, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Shake

      YES! you are being blamed. You are all being blamed because...I can't hear myself hear.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Me too Shake! Many times I can't hear myself listening to the thump thump thump and bang bang banging,,, :-)

      November 4, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  17. PatriotismBlinds

    Well I can see none of you Christian panty pissing closet perverts have the nad to say one goddamn word to me about your fairy tale skirt wearing ass buddy god. You are going to keep that cocksucker to yourself? Awww.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • The Mighty Hand of God Will Smite Thee

      Repent or you will burn in hell for such blasphemy

      November 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • My goodness you're stupid

      The Mighty Hand of God Will Smite Thee "Repent or you will burn in hell for such blasphemy"

      Haven't you noticed that threats from both you and your god are totally impotent?

      November 4, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  18. Sligo

    Let's get back to Jesus – it DOES matter in the election. We want God's hand to guide us. Ask yourself: what would Jesus do? What would Mary do? What would friggin Joseph do?

    November 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Maegadon

      Now THAT's funny Tom, unlike you.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      If I was Joseph I'd kick Mary to the curb for being a cheatin' ass ho.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      No doubt they would all ride donkeys. Are you willing to give up your gas guzzling car for a donkey?

      November 4, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oooh, how I am wounded by thy drivel. Woe is me. Woe, woe, woe, feeeeeeelings!

      November 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      By the way, who is "funny Tom?"

      Commas are your friends, sweet cheeks.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Shake

      Sligo, Jesus would turn the other cheek, Joseph would go somewhere and masterbate while Mary banged the blacksmith. Now could you please...shut...your....trap, I am trying to sleep!

      November 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • hilreal

      Joseph would bang Mary again and tell everyone God did it....man why didn't I think of that one! I just thought the Devil made me do it....

      November 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  19. GODs chosen

    You're ALL going to hell

    November 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How will we know when we get there? It can't be worse than here.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Shake

      Not before I eat the Brood Witch sandwhich I'm not.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  20. God's Oldest Dreamer

    So much bantering about it makes one want to crow louder! Bawk Baaaawwwk Bawk!

    November 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.