What has people so riled up about the election this year? Well their are plenty of reasons depending on what you value and believe to be true. The Barna Group released a report recently that highlighted some of them. The Barna snapshot was published January 21, which seems like a century ago in primary terms, but I'm sure the data will still hold up.
In their own words:
A new study from The Barna Group provides a data-driven snapshot of the U.S. population, providing a dose of objectivity to some much-debated, often-misunderstood issues. The Barna research explores matters beyond "who-will-Christians-vote-for" questions - for now - in favor of examining the perceived importance of 10 diverse issues. Those include a pair of elements (abortion and homosexuality) often linked to so-called values voters, as well as other issues that relate to morality, justice, and social concern.What are the 10 major issues facing the country? Below is a list of them in ranked order:
- Poverty (78%),
- The personal debt of individual Americans (78%),
- HIV/AIDS (76%),
- Illegal immigration (60%),
- Global warming (57%),
- Abortion (50%),
- Content of television and movies (45%),
- Homosexual political "activists" (35%),
- Homosexual "lifestyles" (35%),
- "The political efforts of conservative Christians" (23%).
Born again Christians still think poverty is a major issue (78%), but personal indebtedness is of higher concern (79%). That is ok, I think you could easily make a case that personal indebtedness is a concern ranking up there with poverty. The Born-Again group is pretty close to in line with where I would place priorities. It is the Evangelical voters that I am most saddened with.
94% of Evangelical voters think abortion is the most important issue facing America today. Poverty doesn't even make the top 5. That angers me beyond belief. What do you think a major cause of abortion is? Yup, poverty! We should focus more on reducing poverty and not legislating morality. Why is it like this?? Why have the Evangelicals lost sight of what the Bible so clearly states? We are so focused on "saving the unborn" we don't care how the born actually live. It makes me irate to think that we spend millions of dollars on preventing an abortion and then sit back and do nothing when the "teenage mom" isn't able to adequately support her child. Where is the love in that? Did Jesus say, "Save the babies so they can squalor and face starvation and general lack"? No, Jesus and the Bible talk a lot about caring for the poor. Here are a few examples:
To the Rich Young Ruler Jesus said: "One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Mark 10:21
James says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
We have the power to change the world - it is through loving Christ and loving those He loves.