across party lines

About this time every four years I wish I were a US citizen. I crave a stirring speech, a real grandiose vision and I want to vote. I’m a little jealous that Americans can say things like ‘America is the hope of the Earth’ with a straight face, it must feel good to get swept up in such grand rhetoric (though don’t think too hard about whether it’s blasphemy, that ruins it).

2009: Barack Obama and Michelle Obama dance

Obama makes me swoon a little. Look at them dance (the Guardian has more of those pictures here). Actually he makes most Aussies swoon a little; he’d get 72-80% of the vote in Australia. I’m sure he wishes he were running here too.

My warm feelings about American politics starts to fade once they actually go to the polls and begin fighting over loose ‘chads’ and talking about the Electoral College and I remember how convoluted and bizzarre their system is and just how thankful I am for our independent Australian Electoral Commission (their polling stations are organised by elected officials – republicans and democrats – crazy!).

More than voting this year, I’d really love to take part in their ‘Election Day Communion‘ movement.

Churches are hosting special communion services on election day (they vote on Tuesdays – I told you the American system was strange) as a statement of Christian unity. It’s a reminder that the unity Jesus won for us runs deeper than any political divisions we have. Government and politics won’t save us, Jesus does.


We don’t have the same partisan politics here. No one questions if you’re a Christian if you vote for that party. Ok, I’ve discovered since living in the Northern Territory that real Christians can’t vote for the Greens. But every other party is fine. Maybe not the Sex Party.

But I think we too could do with some Election Day Communion to remind us that we who follow Jesus are part of something much bigger and that Jesus has broken down the barriers between us in his death.

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