If one is watching our political leaders, one can see that what was true at the beginning of the century is not true anymore. In 2005, both Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi argued that the electorate was losing the ability to vote accurately and fairly, because there was no paper trail to track the vote. But recently, as the number of votes increased across the nation, those same people have argued that the paper trail is not important.
When former president Donald Trump announced that the election was stolen, I did not believe it. I think that he lost some of his supporters during the months leading up to the election, and the resistance against him was stronger than it was before the previous election. I also believe that if Pfizer or AstraZeneca had announced that they were ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccines before the election, he would have won.
ime magazine is not known for supporting the former president. But Molly Ball wrote “How Close We Came - The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the Election” for the February 15-22 issue, in which she attempted to find out whether Mr. Trump’s claims were true or not. In this exceptional article, she brings to light what took place in the shadows because, if things had been done in the light, the results might have been different. She summarizes: “That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream – a well-founded cabal of powerful people ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.” (44). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with civil rights leaders, who warned him of the danger of election disinformation and urged him to change Facebook’s policies. Unlikely allies came together to brainstorm ideas and release joint statements, like the one signed by the CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, the president of the AFL-CIO, and the heads of the National Association of Evangelicals and the National African American Clergy Network which called for everyone to wait until the vote had been fairly counted. Jonathan Tobin wrote a response to Ball’s article and titled it, “No, the 2020 election wasn’t stolen – but yes, it was underhandedly tilted.”
In popular parlance, we sometimes say that the ends justify the means or that shady dealings are ok if we reached our desired goal. But one of the things we teach in theological ethics is that God is just as concerned with the process as He is with the outcomes. The book of Proverbs has wise advice for regular folk and for kings. In Proverbs 16:12-13 we read that “a throne is established through righteousness. Kings take pleasure in honest lips: they value a man who speaks the truth.” This theme continues in 25:5, which reads “Remove the dross from the silver and out comes material for the silversmith; remove the wicked from the king’s presence and his throne will be established through righteousness.” Then Proverbs 28:12 tells readers that “when the righteous triumph, there is a great elation, but when the wicked rise to power, men go into hiding.”
The Bible commands us in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 to pray. “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and for all in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Former president Trump and current president Joe Biden both claim that they are Christians, and I will not question their declaration. Nevertheless, there have been Christians who questioned Mr. Trump’s statement, as well as Christians who question Mr. Biden’s statement. Both political parties stooped to immoral methods in pursuit of victory while their candidate claimed to be the moral choice. The righteousness of the election process has been questioned by both parties but, now that Mr. Biden has been certified and started his work, he is the president of the whole country. I pray that he and his cabinet will govern with righteousness, as we end with another verse from Proverbs that says: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”