The Common Good

Jesus Didn't Vote Today: A Poem

Jesus writes in the sand with his finger.

Jesus didn’t vote today
Not tomorrow
Not yesterday

Jesus didn’t need the bullet or the ballot box or
The bomb or bayonet or budget
Jesus didn’t vote today

Jesus didn’t authorize drone strikes to kill thousands
Jesus didn’t occupy other countries with standing armies
Jesus was occupied by the Holy Spirit that occupies us even still
Jesus was occupied by the truth of radical love

Jesus was not a feeble, timid, compromised, casual, comfortable, middle-class, 
Or otherwise complacent approximation or estimation of the truth
Jesus is the truth

Jesus didn’t vote today
Jesus is not totalitarian surveillance state & war machine without end
He is the peace that passes understanding
He is the peace that brother Berrigan said
Is at least as costly as war
The peace that cost the cross

Jesus didn’t vote today
Not for apathy
But because the lesser of two evils
Is still evil is still the servant of the devil
Get behind me Satan

Jesus didn’t vote today
He said render under to Caesar for a reason
For all our money is marked
With the blood of war & idolatry of empire

Jesus didn’t vote today
He did not advocate the separation of Church & State
Jesus abolishes all separation & smashes all states

Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Will Be Done

Vote if you must on Tuesday
But feed the poor the next day & every day
Vote if you must: Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Green

But live like the kingdom is here
By practicing peace
Justice charity mercy grace
& most of all love
Love is your everyday politics
& what transcends your Sabbath piety

Jesus didn’t vote today
Because his ballot is his body
Our evidence is this bread
Because his candidacy is on the cross
Because democracy is not God
—just our latest attempt at playing God

Jesus didn’t vote today
But the gospel of radical love
Removed the log in the pundit’s eye
That is the illusion that voting could
or would repair, redeem, or restore the world

Jesus didn’t vote today
But he did disabuse us of the lie that he did
Or would endorse or condone
This scheme of things

Jesus died for our sins
He didn’t vote for four more years of them
Jesus didn’t vote today

[The author of this poem does endorses participation in elections. However, I respect people who abstain on principle and refrain from guilting people who do not vote with myths like 'you have no right to complain.' That said, I wonder "Who Would Jesus Vote?" and came up with this poem.]

Andrew William Smith is an English professor by day and DJ by night who works as the Faculty Head of Tree House living and learning village at Tennessee Tech. He’s an activist, poet, blogger, writer/editor at Interference.com, seminarian, unlikely Sunday school teacher, and aspiring preacher. Follow Andrew on Twitter @teacheronradio

Photo credit: Carlos E. Santa Maria/Shutterstock

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