Last month, my dad kicked off his fifty state capital campaign, Decision America Tour. As he travels across the country he is holding prayer rallies at the capitol of each state, encouraging evangelicals to pray for our country and its leaders, to vote on biblical morals, and asking Christians to consider running for office at every level.
Corey and I had the privilege of joining my dad for his first stop in Des Moines, Iowa. As we were mentally preparing our Florida bodies for the cold, I will admit I was nervous to see if anyone was going to show up. Even with the sun shining the temperature was twenty-three degrees with snow on the ground, and it was the first stop of the campaign. I didn’t know what to expect. I honestly had the sole prayer that more people would be attendance than only our own team.
As our car pulled up to the golden dome of the Iowa state capitol building you could spy hand-held flags flying high and thousands of bodies crammed close together awaiting the start of the prayer rally.
When my dad speaks, I normally like to be in the crowd with the rest of the people. I want to feel the energy and hear the message as if I was just anyone else attending. So we climbed up the steps and made our way through the crowd. With snow falling into our boots we climbed up on a snow pile so we could see over the sea of people.
When I saw that more than 2500 people came out in the cold, my eyes filled with tears. These are men and women of all ages who want to take a bold stand for God and for their country. Today, we Christians are on the brink of losing that. People came from all over the state. The man next to me drove 100 miles because they too know this is a critical election year for our country.
Standing in the cold, it was when I looked over and saw my sweet two-year-old girl excitedly flying her flag that I realized this is for her and for her generation. She has an innocent heart that is yet to know the evil this world has to offer. She is yet to know and understand the sacrifices our forefathers made. She doesn’t know the true blessing she was given being born in a country where she can peacefully lay her head in her crib. She has the honor of living in a country that has provided her protection to grow up practicing her Christian faith.
Yet it’s possible that in her lifetime that protection may no longer exist, as we witness our great country in moral decline. We see examples of wedding florists, bakers and photographers getting fined for standing by their moral and religious convictions – and citizens being imprisoned for not issuing same-sex marriage licenses that are contrary to their religious beliefs.
If we as Christians don’t begin to take a stand and take action with our votes and participation in the political process, my daughter will not have the privilege of living under the same rights her great-grandparents and grandparents grew up with.
A couple of years ago, I was sitting in a meeting with a colleague who told me they didn’t believe Christians should be involved in politics. I remember having to pick my jaw up off the floor, because I thought that was an arrogant statement to make sitting in this life of comfort, convenience and religious freedom. I then realized this is what so many young evangelicals believe.
Imagine saying “Christians have no place in politics” to the men and women who fled to this unknown continent searching for freedom for their Christian beliefs, or to our forefathers who put their lives in danger to separate this country from the tyranny of another.
What we neglect to see is that freedom to openly share our faith comes with a price. It was not free. It definitely isn’t inalienable.
It is your duty as a parent; as an American citizen; and as a Christian to preserve those rights for your children and their children.
In 1952, my grandfather, Billy Graham said, “I think it’s the duty of every individual Christian at election time to study the issues and candidates and go to the polls.”
From local elections, to state, to national, educate yourselves people! Every man and woman in political office holds the possibility of altering the life and freedoms you hold now in his or her hands.
I will go to the polls this year educated about each vote, and I will remember my little girl waving that flag.