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 • Politics

soundoff (3,435 Responses)
  1. Christian

    Akmed: A Christian is someone who has put their faith and trust in Jesus of the Bible, Romney has not done that and a Christian is also someone who believes the Bible is true which Obama does not. One emample is Romans 1. So as I said neither are Christians. Wake up or read and learn.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      Bible is a book of stupid, illogical, impossible fairy tales, which have been rewritten thousands of times to control and manipulate the masses.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Dick

      you only pick and choose the fairy tales in the bible to further your ridiculous beliefs. It does not make sense. Did you go out today and kill people because they were working on Sunday? No??? why not? Don't you believe in the bible? It says so right there.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Manuel

      Christian: You are a fool

      November 4, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  2. Obama

    Vote for me on tuesday. A vote for me is a vote for freedom!

    November 4, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  3. dock your dong with dudes

    Vote for more beef curtains flapping in queef wind.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Mr. Kim

      how big is your moo goo gay pan?

      November 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Obama

      you mean queaf

      November 4, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      No beef

      November 4, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Dick

      I like beef

      November 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  4. Chimichurri

    all you suckers out there

    November 4, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  5. Christian

    Democracy is what got the children if Israel in trouble with Saul. They wanted to be like the other nations. God still chose Saul and gave them what they wanted. God will do the same thing on tuesday. Neither candidate is a Christian so it won't matter. Both are bad for the country. My vote is for God as He will choose anyway.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Chimichurri

      that is a fairy tale. puhleeze

      November 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Flounder

      Seems your god is a dictator then. No thanks. But you are welcome not to vote.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Santa

      a book written by man over 2000 years ago, translated over and over. stop believing such absurd bs

      November 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tooth Fairy

      MORE ON

      November 4, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Tooth Fairy

      I'm voting for the Easter Bunny.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • akmed

      you serious?

      November 4, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • akmed

      they're actually both christian. not that even matters. you think your religion is the real one? I've got news for you. they're all made up crapola.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • maria from mexico

      tu eres un estupido maricon pendejo

      November 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Mr. Kim

      당신은 바보입니다. 내 거시기를 빨아

      November 4, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      Vote for hot man skeet to be farted out of a wart filled butt hole right into your mouth.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      Santa: Why should I, or anyone, stop believing in something just because you believe it is absurd.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  6. Jewsus

    Maricon Gran puta

    November 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  7. Jiffy Lube

    Stop changing your oil

    November 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  8. Chupacabra

    My vote is for Jesus too. He sure does a great job cutting my grass.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  9. Paul

    Dont cast pearls before swine.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      Don't cast swine before pearls.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Chupacabra

      My vote is for Jesus too. He sure does a great job cutting my grass, fixing my roof and painting my house.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Flounder

      Here are a few extra apostrophes for the next time that you are short of them, Paul:

      ' ' ' ' ' ' '

      November 4, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Tooth Fairy

      LOL. I have a few extras too. """""""""

      November 4, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  10. 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.

    Let Us Love,
    Lettuce Love,

    November 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm |

      from book of hinduism, absurdity.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm |

      no, from book of stephen king.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Sick Things

      @God's Oldest Dreamer

      Anyone who claims they know anything is a liar.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  11. steve

    He is not on the ticket. Vote for someone to lead the country. Then go to church and pray he does it well.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Flounder

      ...because we know all that prayer has ever been shown to do: absolutely nothing, ever.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      No, we don't know that. There have been many reported answers to prayer - of course, the skeptic can say it was coincidence. Let me give one example, among a number I could give. Quite a few years ago there was a surgeon named William (if I remember right) Nolan. He first wrote "The Making of a Surgeon" about his time in medical school. Later, he investigated a number of supposedly miraculous healings and found that they didn't stand up. Then one of his patients told him that she wouldn't need surgery because God had told her that He would heal her cancer. This meant nothing to Dr. Nolan, so he insisted on doing the surgery. As he related in an article he later wrote, he found no cancer. Still the skeptic, he believed that it was a spontaneous remission. Nonetheless, what the claimed God said turned out to be true was true. Oh, by the way, there was one other aspect which he mentioned, but didn't explore. Not only was the cancer gone, but also were the scars from the biopsy he had done. There is not spontaneous remission of biopsy scars - but be the skeptic.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  12. Tim from Vancouver

    It is frivolous
    It is foolish
    You should have quit while you were ahead

    November 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  13. g2-9cd3008d1e3cd17e318a5d547f909824

    I am agreeing wholeheartedly with Pastor Mark for Hope's Sake, for Love's Sake and for unity with mankind instead of creating barriers and division. Because I have Jesus in my heart, I can love even my enemies. It's as real as it gets.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      Do you have Jesus in your butt?

      November 4, 2012 at 9:03 pm |

      hinduism, stupidity of a hindu, idiot.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:12 pm |

    Human my father was a Hindu Agori, filthy flesh eating monster, and my mother's pimp......big bang happened between them, and here I am half Aghori, half pimp.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Carter

      You said bang

      November 4, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • akmed

      coo coo

      November 4, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  15. Sick Things

    My bunny rabbit Daisy sits around all day and listens to me work, listen to music, watch a game, talk to my family, etc. and never seems to react. She just absorbs it. No judgement. It is just her world and she accepts it. Of course carrots and celery are important. I wish I knew what she knew, even if all she knows...is nothing.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  16. Jake

    It's amazing that as the US and its citizens fight for more freedoms and liberal thinking that they could hate a group called Christians so much. Christians overall have cared for the unfortunate and provided for more social assitance than our government could ever claim to. Just know that we love you even though you hate us, and at the end of days you'll have the opportunity to meet Christ and I pray that you've accepted him as your lord and savior before then. Have a great week everyone and show at least one random act of kindness to someone. God bless.

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

      Christians have done absolutely NOTHING that anyone else couldn't have or wouldn't have done. But the damage they have done is without precedent.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Carter

      Well Christians did shed a lot of blood for the.right to keep this story alive so not everyone could do that.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • g2-9cd3008d1e3cd17e318a5d547f909824

      Thank you for this insight Jake. It's the LOVE that makes the difference.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      You poor, poor put upon Christians. It chokes me up......it does

      Tell you what, persecution boy, stop using your beliefs to deny others' their civil rights then come back and talk to us

      November 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer


      For God and Christ's sakes tone it down some will ya? I believe in God and His family members BUT I will not use their names in vanity like you so do!

      Lettuce Love
      Let Us Love

      November 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Jake, It's easy to believe that if people disagree with you that they hate you. However, I can assure you, as an atheist, I love you as I love myself. It is why I put so much effort into shedding light on the ignorance man has become so comfortable living with. I have family members who are devout christians. I could no more hate you then I could hate them. When I was a teenager, I used to think my parents hated me because they tried to teach me things about life. I know now that even though it was uncomfortable for both of us, in their heart they wanted me to succeed and better myself. While the methods of atheists out here may vary, I know that most of our intentions in our hearts are the same. We seek the betterment of all mankind by abiding by a system of reason and evidence-based decision making. In the end, it's as simple as that.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Flounder

      Jake it is a tough accounting that would need to be done re those acts of giving versus all the persecutions and even killing that Christians have also done throughout history. Non-religious charities now exist on large scales. Better to support those in the long term, and they don't have the baggage that Christianity has.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  17. Odin

    I laugh at your puny servants.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Carter

      By the beard of Zeus!

      November 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Flounder

      Pasta be upon you and yours.


      November 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  18. Reasonably

    We will gather in our exclusionary churches, listen to exclusionary sermons, brainwash our kids with exclusionary dogma, all in the name of our exclusionary lord.

    Go team.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Carter

      We love the leader
      ~Homer Simpson

      November 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • sam stone


      November 4, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  19. Casey

    So you're Christian and like church and communion... that's nice for you. Why does CNN feel we need to hear about it? Fortunately your religion, i.e. fanatical irrational cult, is separate from our government. Enjoy pretending to eat human blood and flesh on Election Day and acting like you know anything about the infinite. I will not be partaking in any vampiric rituals.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      relatively "separate".

      November 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm |

      hindu Agori's, filthy flesh eating hindu's, monsters.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Reasonably

      I think you mean cannibalistic.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:54 pm |

    God is truth absolute, constant, infinite, essence of existence of every thing, including your hindu atheist, ignorant self centered, but you have no education to understand HIM, in your own body.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Hindus are not atheists, they're polytheists.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Carter

      Ganesh is the.freakiest of them all

      November 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm |

      Polytheistic practice is hinduism, denial of truth absolute, because truth absolute, constant can not be divided. hindu's deniers of truth absolute in hindrance to truth absolute GOD are cause of mayhem among humanity.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
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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.