home
RSS
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.

How the White House changed Barack Obama’s faith

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.

The making of a candidate: Mitt Romney’s faith journey

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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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 • Politics

soundoff (3,435 Responses)
  1. Spartacus

    Religion

    The True Cause of Every Single problem Mankind is facing today !!!

    November 4, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • AuntySocial

      agreed.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • and as always

      you are both wrong

      November 4, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • In reality

      The true problem is the "Cain's" of the world who refuse to admit there is a sovereign God and continue to think their wisdom is superior to His.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Scott

      Generalization

      Bain of successful arguments everywhere

      November 4, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  2. Vince

    Too bad CNN doesn't have a "Disbelief" blog. I'm thankful that I don't have to listen to this drip sermonize every Sunday.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • In reality

      You didn't even HAVE to read the article. One thing you will HAVE to do if Obama stays in office is buy health care insurance or pay a penalty...no a tax... no wait, Obama said it would not be a tax....no wait....it's not his fault it's all someone else's fault. Maybe it's Susan Rice's fault or Hillary's fault.
      Only a sample of why we need a different president.

      Vote for Romney/Ryan 2012 for a chance to recover!

      November 4, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  3. lumberjesus

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    November 4, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  4. Sodapop

    So many non-believers. So many people in despair. So much anger. Lack of faith equals lack of hope...

    November 4, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • So What?

      You fools, the Jesus you worship is not the REAL ONE! Christianity is insane. They have let the GOP take it over and then there are the damned evangelicals....they should change their name to the Talibangelicals. Religion is so messed up and that is why I will not have a thing to do with it. Believe in a magical man made invented god...

      November 4, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Maziar Aptin

      As Friedrich Nietzsche Has said; god is dead
      Yes we killed him by curing the sick, by planting kidney, heart, liver, etc. in patient’s body to keep him/her alive; the patient that god had decided to kill.
      We killed god with theory of “Natural Selection”, by excavating fossils, by inventing all kinds of gadgets that god did not want us to have. It began with the invention and manufacture of stone tools. Since then we constantly and steadily have been choking god to death. To me and 25% of people on Earth god is dead but unfortunately it is still breathing inside the mind of other 75%, what a pity.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • Harrison

      Insane? See what the Mormons believe; it makes Alice in Wonerland look downright credible!

      November 4, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • My Name is Legion

      Sodapop
      I believe the latest figure from the UN is that 40,000 people per day die of starvation, most of them children, they can't survive on faith, they just hope they can get some food. Should you not be angry.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • sam stone

      hope for what?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  5. joseph

    He is right in the fact that religion needs to be separated from politics. You don't vote for god you vote for the guy who you feel will run the country better or if you agree with his political beliefs not because of god. Too many times I feel that those who vote this way often forget who are they actually voting for. Republicans for example seem to forget that jesus preached understanding peace and to actually help the poor.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Maziar Aptin

      As Friedrich Nietzsche Has said; god is dead
      Yes we killed him by curing the sick, by planting kidney, heart, liver, etc. in patient’s body to keep him/her alive; the patient that god had decided to kill.
      We killed god with theory of “Natural Selection”, by excavating fossils, by inventing all kinds of gadgets that god did not want us to have. It began with the invention and manufacture of stone tools. Since then we constantly and steadily have been choking god to death. To me and 25% of people on Earth god is dead but unfortunately it is still breathing inside the mind of other 75%, what a pity.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • So What?

      The GOP has made up a god and he's a republican. Fools follow that logic. They only need to read the Bible NT and they will find out the Jesus did not say a thing about abortion or gays. Idi0ts...

      November 4, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • Another Fact

      Republicans forget? No, most of the Republicans I know are the ones who contribute to charitable causes whether it be to their church, community, or relief organization or volunteering to help in the community. My Democratic friends are mostly those who spend beyond their means, will only work at a job if it fits their schedule and expect other people to pay more taxes than they do.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  6. Nathan

    Looks like CNN is hoping this article can send some Christians to churches rather than voting booths. Looks like desperate measures from driveby media. What a shame if Obama loses inspite of CNN and MSNBC.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Spartacus

      actually what a great great victory it would be for America to get someone out of office who 3 weeks before Bin laden was caught gave the country, the terrorist sponsoring nation hiding him 250 Million of our tax dollars and denied North Americans the closure he gave himself b you denying us all the right to see the video of the raid.!!

      His reasoning still puzzles me to this day, he didn't want to rattle Muslim sensibilities !!!!

      What Kind of Priorities are those?

      November 4, 2012 at 7:45 am |
  7. confused

    But CNN – I thought you taught us that Jesus Christ never existed, last easter?. Do you remember your Easter article on the front page? I do – "Did Jesus Christ really exist" was the headlines for CNN on Easter Sunday – for all they're Christian viewers. So don't believe CNN when they try to pretend they have respect for Christianity, so they can soften up they readers to deliver they're pro Obama propaganda. CNN is just an arm of the Democrat reelection campaign, and they're tactics are very similar.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Harrison

      How is it that suddenly you folks who usually love running around quoting the Bible at others are now suddenly chucking it and voting for someone you considered a Heretic, only last week?

      November 4, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • So What?

      No fool, Jesus did exist but the one that is put out in the NT Bible is a construct by the Niscean Council and the Catholic Church.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • Another Fact

      Really, and then they portray Romney as more of a flipflopper than Obama. Let's just remember: Obama was against the wars before he increased troops to Afghanistan by 30,000. Obama was against gay marriage before he was for it. He was going to close Guantanamo before he chose not to. He was against single payer health ins. before he was for it. He was against sequestration before he was for it. He was all for Rev. Wrights preaching before he was against it. He was all for reaching across the congressional aisle until he didn't have it his way.

      Change we need more than ever before we go under is:
      Romney/Ryan 2012 for a chance to recover our freedom.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:02 am |
  8. Joe

    Jesus??? You mean Jesus Fernandez Saez or 'Suso' #30 future midfield star for Liverpool? Yes he gets my vote!!!!

    November 4, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  9. Rick1948

    If anything you do is shaped by some whispy character that no one has ever seen and the only thing you know about him is a book written by HUMANS and is full of contradictions and flat out "can't possibly be's", then THAT is your problem.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  10. shipwreck73

    Uh news flash bible thumpers, Jesus ain't running...... Oh and he doesn't exist either.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:36 am |
  11. terry

    Founding Fathers = Separation of Church and State.... is there something so hard to understand in that ?

    November 4, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • globalgary

      Why are donations to churches tax deductible? This doesn't seem to make sense at all.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Another Fact

      terry – everyone's beliefs, whether they are religious or not, affect their decisions. The idea of separation of church and state is to keep the government from implementing a state religion such as what some Muslim countries have and what the early settlers escaped when they left England. Is that too hard to understand?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  12. AaronT3

    Willard "Etch-A-Sketch" Romney speaks three languages but "When he lies, he speaks his native language" that is why he does it so effortlessly. John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:35 am |
  13. jude

    Politics and religion always mixes well, just ask the inquisition, the catholic church, muslim states how well it does work

    November 4, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  14. My Name is Legion

    And here I thought that Jesus being the good guy all the christians say he is would be busy restoring the power, draining the subways, feeding the hungry (good at that I here), comforting the suffering and telling everyone that will listen that all this disaster was brought upon them to test their faith. LOL Amen.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  15. NotHere

    A long haired freak who fed the poor and healed the sick for free. Republicans would crucify Jesus if he returned.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  16. Elizabeth wafula

    Told y Americans dont vote for a dude who rides with his poor dog exposed to all the elments on car roofAnd has such liitle faith for his country he ships all his money overseas.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • Bob

      At least he took his dog on vacation. Obama says he ate his. I have to ask, " Which dog had the better time? "

      November 4, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Another Fact

      Elizabeth- Seriously? Ships all his money overseas? And you are voting this year?
      God help us.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  17. Mosesthejew

    If thousand or millions of persons get comfort and strength from a belief in an invisible deity, good for them! However it's
    when these beliefs race to extremism I've a problem. More people (children both born & to be born, women and men) have
    died during history of mankind due to religious belief than all diseases the world has seen. SOUNDS PRETTY ACCURATE!
    You believe in your invisible deity and I'll stick with HARVEY!

    November 4, 2012 at 7:33 am |
  18. Ben Irwin

    For what it's worth, the correct link to Election Day Communion's website is http://electiondaycommunion.org.

    (The link in the above article was broken as of 7:30 this morning.)

    November 4, 2012 at 7:33 am |
  19. Andrew

    All that is wrong with America in one opinion piece. So many people going to the polls with their heads filled with mythology can only result in the failed country that America has become. The author drones on about "the politics of jesus" saying "it means..." this and "it means..." that. Fantasy. He is only seeing the meaning in the stupid old scrolls that he wants to see.

    If there was a real god it wouldn't be speaking to us through slave-trading, misogynist, old men who have been dead for 2000 years. It would appear as a giant head over every city every day and give us its divine orders. If there were real gods we wouldn't really need elections to debate and decide right from wrong would we? We have elections because all gods including jesus are doing perfect imitations of mythical gods – silent and invisible.

    Go to the polls thinking about science, not any mythical gods. Think about how to maximize the quality of life for the most number of people in the nation.

    November 4, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • Mosesthejew

      Well said Andrew! Watch your back never know about the Pope -ster, Mormon cult members or southern baptist crazies.
      Be especially careful of senile Billy Graham!

      November 4, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • Smartest Atheist ever

      Not everyone can be as awesomely smart as you Andrew. I'm not sure what your problem is with a group of people who actively go out and help others, regardless of why they do it. Yes, we atheists do that sort of thing too but I've seen churches that are a lot more dedicated to it than most.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • Maziar Aptin

      I agree with you 100%: As Friedrich Nietzsche Has said; god is dead
      Yes we killed him by curing the sick, by planting kidney, heart, liver, etc. in patient’s body to keep him/her alive; the patient that god had decided to kill.
      We killed god with theory of “Natural Selection”, by excavating fossils, by inventing all kinds of gadgets that god did not want us to have. It began with the invention and manufacture of stone tools. Since then we constantly and steadily have been choking god to death. To me and 25% of people on Earth god is dead but unfortunately it is still breathing inside the mind of other 75%, what a pity.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Andrew

      You are wrong SAe.

      There is not an abrahamic church in the world (be they christian, jew or muslim) that does not seek to shut down the process of thoughtful reasoning in its believers and replace it with dogma. That is the lesson of the story of abraham and isaac remember? ('Follow orders no matter what they are. God decides right from wrong, not us. We are just to follow orders.'). That is the (harmful) core of christianity, judaism and islam.

      If religious people happen to do good – if they happen to do something that improves the quality of life of those around them – it is only because a small part of them is a reasoning atheist, rejects dogma, and has chosen to think about what improves the quality of life of people in their community. I applaud them for hypocritically practicing some science-based reason while undermining it and speaking out against it at every turn – as the author of this opinion piece does and has turned into a career.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Bob

      When God created the human race he gave them free will, ergo to do as they see fit . God gave the first humans simple instructions to follow and they were broken right away. Free will. Do with your life what you will, It's in the afterrlife that you are judged.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • whitman30

      Wow, Andrew- I guess you never studied on Lenin and Stalin.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Andrew

      @whitman30,

      What do mustaches have to do with mythical gods?

      November 4, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  20. PE Haberman

    What a load of crap. Keep peddling your miracle tonics fool

    November 4, 2012 at 7:32 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

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.