There may be an unexpected off-set to Republican voter suppression laws – Evangelicals writing the name of Jesus on the ballot rather than voting for Romney. ChristianNewsWire reports that “Bill Keller, the world’s leading Internet Evangelist and the founder of LivePrayer.com, with over 2.4 million subscribers worldwide reading the daily devotional he has written every morning for 13 years on the issues of the day from a Biblical worldview, reports over 200,000 people have already signed up to write in the name of Jesus for President this November.”
CNW explains that Keller “launched a sister website in mid-May,www.votingforjesus.com, that encourages people to sign up and commit to write in the name of Jesus for President this November, and expects to see over 1 million signed up by the time of the election.”
Watch him sell it on YouTube:
Obviously, a million people in scattered states aren’t actually likely to tip the balance for Obama in 2012 but, if you’ll pardon me for saying so, miracles have happened. Republicans are busy trying to turn blacks away from Obama, after all, so Evangelicals turning whites away from Romney can’t hurt. And after all, it’s not only Christians who have miracles in their religious past – Pagans were having them a long time before Jesus. Maybe the prayers of others are finally have some effect, or maybe its the universe just seeking some sort of karmic balance.
The problem for Keller is all this Christian support for a Mormon. History shows he really does not like Mormons. In 2007 he told Bill O’Reilly, a Catholic, that a vote for Romney would be enough to your soul to hell. He says a vote for Romney is a vote for the “Mormon cult” when of course it is simply a vote for president, however misguided.
“There is not one theologian in the country with half a brain that will even begin to say that a Mormon is a Christian, because if you study Mormon theology – it is 100 percent inconsistent with biblical Christianity. A Mormon is no more a Christian than a Muslim is,” he told the Christian Post in May. And he doesn’t think Christians should be limited to choosing between the lesser of two evils.
And so he told the Christian Post that, “A Christian is faced with a difficult dilemma this November. It is literally Satan flipping a two-headed coin with his head on both sides. How can a Christian in good conscience vote for President Obama, who has proven to be the most pro-baby killing, pro-radical homosexual, pro-enemy of Israel President in our nation’s history.”
“On the other hand,” he says, “how can a Christian in good conscience vote for Mitt Romney, a 5th generation member and priest of the Satanic Mormon cult. His Presidency would give his cult the mainstream acceptance they have always wanted since being founded 200 years ago by a documented con-artist, racist, pedophile, polygamist, and murderer named Joseph Smith. Conservative estimates are that Romney’s cult will add at least 1 million converts in the US alone. For a Christian, that means 1 million souls who will buy into a false Gospel and burn in hell for all eternity!”
Well, he’s caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, as the saying goes, or a rock and a hard place – or perhaps between the hammer and anvil of his own prejudices.
Keller though, doesn’t think this is about changing the outcome of the election, telling the Christian Post that since a third-party candidate “has no chance of actually winning the election,” and God himself knows this, that he asked God and God told him to write in the name of Jesus.
“Obviously,” he admitted, “Jesus will never get elected, but if we can get a million people writing in the name ‘Jesus’, it is not only going to impact the election, it is going to make a statement that Christians aren’t going to just take whoever they are offered anymore.”
It’s difficult to say what he thinks will happen: he knows a third party candidate would lose, he knows Jesus will lose. The only possible impact is a victory for Obama.
Still, however small the impact ends up being, I call this a start. This is one of those “If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve” moments for Jesus. Because even if a miracle happened and he won, he can’t serve as president.
He may be able to divide himself into three entities in his one person but he can’t materialize in the Oval Office, though I suspect if he could, and did, this would quickly turn into a “what have we done?” moment for Keller and his followers as they ran screaming into the November night.
Keller does think Christians can make a statement on Election Day, though it is a statement your average, everyday Christian wouldn’t agree with:
“Last election, there were 130 million people who voted – if we can get even 5 percent of the people voting for Jesus, that’s going to make one heck of a statement that this country still is a Christian nation, there are still millions of people who are not going to give into Satan’s choices, and they are going to make a stand for the Christian faith.”
Keller may want to check his math – five percent of 130 million is more on the order of six and-a-half million people. Now that might make a difference here and there. But he should really decide what his goals are.
But mathematics, bigotry and a general smarminess aside, you have to admire his convictions; unlike many conservative Christians he is not willing to sell out just to see Obama kicked to the curb. But this is the point at which you cut off your own nose to spite your face, depriving yourself of a candidate not because of a lack of skills or experience or qualifications needed to run this country but because you don’t approve of his religious beliefs.
The Constitution warns that this isn’t an issue (Article VI, paragraph 3), that no religious test can be required, but conservative Christians have self-imposed such a test, once again putting the Bible above the Constitution. This is the result. And he can’t deny us our “I told you so moment” when this is all over.
You can’t feel sorry for Keller. He is a victim of his own bigotry, after all, not of Romney or Obama or even of Satan. We can only hope to benefit – for once – from that bigotry, as Christian zealots take themselves out of the election like lemmings. I’ve gotta admit, this ‘Lord’ guy works in mysterious ways. Even this surly old son of Odin is impressed.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.