Midterm Elections Reveal the Spiritual State of the Union

This 2022 midterm election was supposed to be the turning point that would put America back on the path of moral sensitivity and spiritual awakening. Sanctity of life, law and order, personal responsibility, and family values were all on the ballot. Although there were gains from the Christian perspective, they were far short of expectations. Our nation that proclaims “in God we trust” showed little regard at the polls for that motto.

The recent Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade drew several states to voter referendums on solidifying abortion rights. Kentucky, Vermont, Michigan, Montana, and California each proposed various amendments ensuring abortion access. Abortion rights prevailed in all five states. Kansans had already approved an abortion rights law in August.

Crime is a crisis in America, particularly homicides and drug trafficking. Yet, crime prevention was not a winning election strategy this year. Republican Lee Zeldin of New York ran on a strong anti-crime campaign against the state’s Democratic governor, Kathy Hochul. Hochul had been strongly criticized by both parties for her liberal bail reform laws. Yet she won by more than 300,000 votes. In Pennsylvania, Senate hopeful, Dr. Mehmet Oz, ran largely on conservative crime policies. His opponent, John Fetterman, aside from his health issues, carried a lot of soft-on-crime baggage including fighting for record clemency and early release of prisoners. Fetterman won by five percentage points. Nation-wide exit polls showed that only 11 percent of voters said crime was a top issue influencing their votes.

The priorities of other moral and spiritual issues were reflected in the candidates chosen. Americans are reluctant to define Democrats and Republicans by their religious association. But it is inescapable. The Democratic platform is substantially more liberal in its alignment with biblical principles and values. The Republican platform is much more reflective of those principles and values. So, when the midterm “red wave” was predicted, it portended a trend back to the moral and spiritual traditions many believers were hoping for. It was looking like a victory for personal freedoms, family values, and general biblical precepts. Then there was last Tuesday. There were many more Democrats elected than the polls predicted. The red wave was more of a red ripple.

The Republican anticipated super-majority in the House turned into a potential razor-thin advantage. The The expected Senate majority may be reduced to 50-50 again depending on what happens in the December Georgia runoff. The perceived Christian conservative movement just didn’t materialize. Christian values are not being played out at the voting booth. The question is whether we are a Christian nation anymore. Among voters nationwide, only 4 in 10 say they attend religious services at least monthly. Only a fifth say they go once a week or more. About a third say they never attend. Most Democrats say they attend religious services even less frequently. Seventy percent say they go to church less than monthly. Among Republicans, 46 percent attend at least monthly. So, over half of Republicans have little commitment to their faith. Furthermore, voter apathy among Christians is prevalent in America with only two-thirds of registered voters voting.

From these observations, I have to conclude that Americans in general have little desire and motivation to recover from our downward spiral burdened by moral weakness and spiritual indifference. The problem is not the candidates, the strategy, or the finances. The problem is the voters. Only God can ignite the souls of His people to lead the course correction of a nation. Usually, He only does that after true repentance and desperately crying out in prayer for His intervention. Isn’t it time to step up, share your concern with others, and change the spiritual state of the Union? Aren’t your children and your future generations worth that?

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