Last week I heard someone say, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” For far too long, people of faith have not been at the table.  Of those who identify themselves as Christians, only half are registered to vote, and of those, only half actually vote. With only 25% of Christians showing up at the polls, is it any surprise that policy makers increasingly pass laws and ordinances that undermine religious freedom? Is it any surprise that more and more judges are rendering decisions that ignore Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom in favor of newly discovered or made-up rights grounded in nothing more than a politically correct world view? It’s not a surprise and, in fact, it’s highly predictable.

Christians are being forced, on almost a weekly basis, to not just tolerate but to actually condone and participate in actions that God finds abhorrent, actions for which we believe we will eventually be judged. Sure, there are many who will suffer the consequences rather than sinning against God. But wouldn’t it be easier to simply elect judges and politicians who fear God and follow the Constitution? Why fight a battle in the courtroom when you can fight it at the ballot box?

Every other year at this time, we encourage people to vote, not so much out of a civic duty, but as a fiduciary responsibility to succeeding generations. I am frankly shocked at the number of people who wave the flag and talk about supporting our troops, but fail to defend our freedoms in the simplest way possible, by voting for people who will defend the Constitution in legislative chambers. Those same people then go on to be some of the most vocal critics of government, even though they refuse to participate. Simply put: It’s frustrating!

That said, I’ve said for years that your input makes a difference, because it does. Time and again, for decades, I’ve seen people elected by one or two votes, who then go on to vote against a bad bill, that winds up dying by one or two votes. People can, and do, make a difference. Unfortunately, that same principle applies to both liberals and conservatives. If conservatives sit on the sidelines, then we lose by forfeit, and trust me, the other side doesn’t care. They’ll take a victory any way they can get it.

So why am I saying this? The week after next absentee voting begins for the primary election, and the primary is as important as the general. In districts all across the state, there is a clear choice between liberals and conservatives, even on the primary ballot. And it is our duty to our children and grandchildren to make the right choice. If you’re not registered to vote, please call our office and we will help you get registered. Then watch for our non-partisan voter guide to find out where the candidates stand on the issues.

Finally, on a sad note, we got word yesterday of the passing of Senator Conrad Burns, truly a great man who had Montana’s best interest at heart. He was one of my most likeable mentors when I entered politics, and he stayed active even after a debilitating stroke. We’ll miss his smile and his jokes, and we send our sincere condolences to his wife, Phyllis, and the entire Burns family.