Abraham's question was:
"Generally, a person’s vote shows whether they’re more conservative or liberal, but not voting isn’t so clear.
"What can a non-vote communicate?"
Some of the answers were
"It communicates a misunderstanding of what voting is."
"I would consider those who didn’t care or didn’t vote is not a true American for the Lord."
"To vote for anyone other than McCain, or to not vote, is a vote for the Freedom of Choice Act."
"I think someone who doesn’t vote is misguided at best and apathetic at worst."
"I don’t think there’s ever a good reason not to vote."
It could mean you were sure planning on voting — a little bit concerned about what seemed like an inordinate attachment to the political process among your evangelical friends, but planning on voting — then became convinced as recently as several minutes ago that Christians (particularly evangelicals) living within the geographical confines subject to the earthly power of the United States government have become so devoted to the American political system as a civil religion as to make their devotion idolatrous.
And you could reason that opting out of such a system is a prophetic, symbolic act of protest against that particular idolatry — not unlike Jeremiah cooking his food over a dung fire or John enacting the cleansing for sins based up repentance outside of the temple.
You might hope that by such in-action, proclaimed with the reasons behind it, might woo some back from their idolatry to a rightly ordered hope and a rightly ordered understanding of "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God what is God's."
America is not a religion. Voting is not a sacrament.
Saying that not voting communicates apathy, indifference, laziness, sin, insufficient devotion to Christ or lack of concerns for the unborn is either uninformed or uncharitable with the likes of people like Stanley Hauerwas and John Howard Yoder out there. (Well, Yoder's not out there any more, but his legacy lives on.)
No one who has not seriously considered their position on participation in the political process (even if arriving at points of disagreement with them) should accept uncrticially that such participation is a Christian responsibility (let alone participation in the two-party system).
It is fine to call a principled position with which you disagree "wrong." But to use the ad-hominem argument of calling it apathetic is a problem.
My decision to vote or not to vote come November-whatever will have come not as the result of apathy one way or the other but as the result of a principled consideration not only of my 2, 3, 6, or 8 choices of who to vote for but also of my decision, in Christ, whether or not to vote at all.
Now, here on my own site, I will say that I am very likely to vote for a candidate for President as well as in my local races. I am most bothered by what I perceive to be a category problem leading to confused allegiances and disordered priorities.
But what do you think? Should voting can be transfered from the category of a 'civil right' to the category of a 'Christian responsibility'?
If so, how?
If it shouldn't be, than what are the consequences when it is?