Faithless VotingDecember 19, 2016
The 538 members of the Electoral College gathered today to cast their votes for the next president of the United States. Since Republican Donald Trump lost the popular vote by more than two percent and reports suggest Russia interfered in our election to help install Trump, many people pushed electoral college members to not vote for Trump.
As Missouri's electors showed up to vote at the state Capitol, a couple of dozen protesters braved temperatures in the teens to urge electors to dump Trump. Law enforcement officers guided the electors from their parking spots up to the voting area.
An elector who bucks their state's voting trend is called a "faithless elector." The term "faithless elector" seems ironic considering the comments of an outspoken Texas Republican elector who voted against Trump. The elector did so in large part due to his Catholic faith. He's called "faithless" for not keeping their faith with his political party. To call someone "faithless" for voting conscience over party is to worship the wrong faith! Part of what got us to this point is people let party trump principles.
Interestingly, our system doesn't seem to even allow for "faithless" electors in many states. Minnesota and Colorado both replaced a "faithless" Democratic elector who refused to vote for Hillary Clinton and Maine threw out a vote for Bernie Sanders by a "faithless" Democratic elector (who then changed his vote to Clinton). What's the point of even have people as electors when buying rubber stamps would be easier?
Washington allowed four "faithless" Democratic electors as three voted for Colin Powell and one for Faith Spotted Eagle (an elder in the Yankton Dakota tribe). A Democratic elector i Hawaii voted for Bernie Sanders. Two Republican electors in Texas rejected Trump with one voting for John Kasich and the other for Ron Paul. Those seven "faithless" votes (not counting the three not allowed) set the record for the most number of "faithless" voters in a presidential election!
In Missouri, the electors walked past more than 100 people lining the hallways inside the Capitol. Then all ten electors "faithfully" voted for Trump. A couple of people held "Trump" signs.
We all have faith in something. The question is where will we put our faith? To be called "faithless" is okay if we are rejecting a false faith. King Nebuchadnezzar burned with anger toward the "faithless" Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were faithless when it came to his idol, which kept them faithful to God.
As electors in Wisconsin voted for Trump, one protester sang "Silent Night." It seems like an odd choice for a protest message. But in this Christmas season we are reminded of our choices of faith. Luke's account casts two saviors for us to pick from: Caesar Augustus or Jesus. Matthew's account shows the magi being "faithless" to King Herod. We must remain faithful to the King of kings even if that makes us seem "faithless" to other rulers.