Everything I Needed to Know About Voting, I Learned From Deuteronomy

So it look like Rev. Rob Schenck has put together a rather simple and straightforward explanation regarding “God’s Word on How to Vote.” Based on his reading of Deuteronomy, Chapter 17, verses 14 – 20, Schenck explains how Old Testament rules regarding Israelite kings and his horses and wives should guide Christian voters today.

Here are the verses Schenck sites and explains: 

14 “When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman. 16 “Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’ 17 “He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.

18 “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 “It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.

Schenck has released an accompanying podcast in which he goes through and explains what all of these verses mean, such as when the Bible talks about horses, it means power and when it talks about not sending people back to Egypt, it means that the king doesn’t seek earthly solutions but rather “points the people Heavenword to God … [and is] someone who can direct the people toward our ultimate help, which comes from the Lord.”

Not being a Biblical scholar, I guess I don’t have much to say about Schenck’s interpretation of these passages, but I did want to highlight his interpretation of verse 20, which proclaims that the king “may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left.”  

Here is Schenck’s explanation:

Now somebody made a political joke about this and said that must mean we have to vote for independents. Ha ha, very funny, no. But there is something here about someone who sells out to a political ideology on one extreme or the other, right or left. We’re looking for someone who stands on principle even against political pressure to cave into ideological platforms, parties, and so forth. This is someone who does what is right for the country and resists the temptation to capitulate to political pressures and political pressure groups.

Hmmm … so Christians shouldn’t vote for someone who “sells out” to an extreme idology, someone who caves into ideological platforms, or capitulates to political pressure groups?  Interesting, since that is exactly what John McCain did in order to win the support of the Religious Right. 

Thus, at least according to Schenck, Christians clearly cannot vote for McCain.