When is it OK, Lord, to choose the “lesser of two evils”?
Does it depend on the circumstances? Or is it never really OK? What’s the “right” answer? If we define our problem, can we hope to find a solution?
“Evil = Profound immorality, wickedness, & depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force.”
“Immorality = Not conforming to accepted standards of morality.”
“Morality = Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.”
“Wickedness = The quality of being evil or morally wrong.”
“Depravity = Moral corruption.”
Have we reached the “heart” of the matter when the definitions begin to run together?
Why have You led me here, Lord? Because of our upcoming elections. We are voting for the highest office in our nation — President of the United States. Arguably, the most powerful office in the world.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this in recent months, I would be wealthy beyond measure: “I’m voting for the lesser of two evils.” From both political “sides.”
Am I the only one who sees many behaviors on both sides of the aisle fit these definitions, Lord? Isn’t that what makes choosing the “lesser of two evils” so hard?
There’s the rub: “Accepted standards of morality.” What “standards” have become “accepted” in our shared culture? In our unique time in history?
We have never been a perfect nation. None exists. Yet there was a time when our forefathers looked heavenward. They were… Escaping earthly tyranny. Longing for liberty. Acknowledging their need for Divine guidance and blessing.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (U.S. Declaration of Independence, 1776)
Sure… They were blinded by their own faulty lenses as they viewed the world of Possibility through their own prejudices. But they did look heavenward… with a sense of Destiny toward which You were leading them.
It has been a Grand Experiment with Awesome Results… whenever we’ve allowed You to lift us above our baser instincts. We haven’t always. At times we’ve failed miserably. Painfully. Shamefully.
But we’ve also, by Your Grace, changed the course of human history in amazing ways.
When did the “tide” turn so dramatically, Lord? Suddenly? Or are we like that frog sitting in lukewarm water, who suddenly discovers he has failed to recognize the hot water he is in? Until right before he expires?
Is there hope for us, Lord… even now?
“I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen. Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” (Revelation 2:4-5)
How do I vote my conscience, Lord, when every choice seems to fit the above definitions? Where are idealism, statesmanship, and — dare I say it — godly character?