Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Should women vote?"

This question was sent by a reader a few days ago. To tell you the truth, I wasn't going to blog about it here; but since the topic came up already, I must tell you this is something I have been thinking about lately, but haven't had the opportunity to address just yet. Now, please keep in mind that what I'm going to say now is just my personal opinion, not something I claim to be the absolute truth.

I believe that the husband and wife should vote as one: meaning that, after discussing the possible options, both come to a mutual decision and the wife strengthens the husband's vote with hers. I think it's a shame if the wife disregards her husband's opinion and "cancels" his vote by choosing the opposite. And in my opinion, the same is true for adult unmarried daughters - they are under their father's authority until marriage.

Of course, in our generation things are often more complicated than that. Some women have no fathers (like myself); some have unbeliever fathers who are unwilling to step up as leaders of their families - and there are other examples of situations when the voting issue isn't very clear. For now, I do vote, trying prayerfully to give my support to the candidate who seems most God-honoring. However, I admit that I haven't thought enough about whether or not a woman should vote if she has no husband, father or brother to guide her.

I would love to hear thoughts from other ladies.

60 comments:

Bethanie said...

I've thought a lot about this lately too. After coming up confused, I discussed it with my husband he confessed he would rather me vote (I never have before). So, when it was time to renew my licsense this year I signed up to vote. I'm kind of excited to explore the different candidates. Also, I'm looking forward to keeping Mrs. Clinton out of the white house.

Mrs. MK said...

I have always voted as you described---with my father and now with my husband. It is simply the only way I see that it should be---why would you not support your husbands choices in everything, including his votes?

Tracy said...

I totally agree.

Lady of the house said...

I agree with your point of view, but what should the wife do if her husband wants her to vote for Mrs. Clinton?

Lily said...

I do think that women should vote, because we have the right to vote. I would not have been a suffragette fighting for women's right to vote.

This is a very confusing issue for me because I almost wish I wasn't obligated to vote, I would rather let my husband vote for the family. Since I have that obligation I do my best to vote responsibly, but I am really not overly interested in politics and find that I have to force myself to be educated on the candidates and their issues. It is not a natural interest for me.

I'm 100% capable of understanding the issues, I just am disinclined to follow the politics. I have never voted against my husband. But, he and I are generally pretty well aligned in our world views, and politics is more interesting when he explains it to me ;-)

Benjamin Wortham said...

I have to question the logic of this blog entry. How can you ask to hear thoughts from other ladies when this is a right that you surely wouldn't have if you weren't allowed to vote?

Do you think that if the women's lib movement hadn't happened that you would even be allowed to use a computer and post comments? Since you wouldn't be able to vote, I'd be very surprised if this type of expression were allowed.

Now, all that to say, thanks to freedom of speech, you do have the freedom to write your opinions publicly, and it is interesting to read someone who has an alternative opinion such as yourself.

Also, I'd love to read a post regarding you and your husband's thoughts on the current political climate, I'm so lost! So many poor choices its becoming difficult for us to find a good candidate!

Take care, and may God Bless!

-Benjamin

The thoughts of the righteous are just, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
Proverbs 12:5

Perplexity said...

My husband and I both vote as our conscious tells us to. About 80% of the time we are on the same page with what we believe and want. The times we are not? Neither one of us would even attempt to convince the other to change their mind. And, if you can't or don't believe in the candidate you are voting for, you are better off not voting at all.

One thing about voting that I strongly believe, above anything else, is that it is a privilege AND and obligation. There are too many nations in the world where no one, man or woman, has any say in how their nation is run. That is not the case in this country, founded by the people, for the people.

Things may have gone sadly crazy as far as politics goes, but as a whole, the foundations are the same. The people of this country chose the people who will govern them.

It is a gift, that I don't believe anyone should refuse. Man or woman. Married or single.

Anna S said...

"Do you think that if the women's lib movement hadn't happened that you would even be allowed to use a computer and post comments?"

:)))

Benjamin, do you think women were chained to the stove and sink before the blessed entrance of feminism? :P What a misconception. Women were ALWAYS productive, creative, responsible, wise; they had responsibilities. They had influence.

So yes. Just like my great-grandmother was *actually allowed to speak* (heehee) I believe I would be, too.

Anna S said...

"but what should the wife do if her husband wants her to vote for Mrs. Clinton?"

I believe this should be discussed, but in the bottom line, the wife should follow her husband's leadership.

Calamity Jean said...

I do think that women should vote. I also think that because God gave us our own mind that we should use our own thoughts to decide who to vote for. Most of the time my husband and I agree on candidates but sometimes other issues are more important to me than they are to him or vice versa. If a couple wants to decide together to always vote together than I think that is fine but I don't think you can say whether its Biblical or not.

Katy-Anne said...

I don't believe a woman needs to vote. She should never go against her husbands vote anyway so what is the point of her voting? Voting against her husband or father is usurping his authority. It is the men that are to make decisions for a family, thus only the man needs to vote for the family.

Mrs. G said...

My husband and I were discussing feminism recently and I said the only good thing about it was women being able to vote. He looked at me and said, "And when did you last vote?"
I protested that last year at voting time, I had just had a baby and couldn't get out. His response? "My point exactly."

I have voted every other election; though, it was for whom he suggested. He follows politics better than me and I trust his judgement.

Mrs. Brigham said...

I am registered to vote in my maiden name, but have not yet voted in an election, due to various circumstances and whatnot. The 2004 election was the first year I was old enough to vote, so it is not as if I have had lots of opportunity to give it a go ;o) Sean and I agree on politics for the most part, and do have friendly debates on certain issues, but we would vote the same on the big issues that show up on the ballot. I probably will not be voting in the upcoming primary elections in my state just due to the practicalities of getting out to vote with a little one in tow, but I probably will vote for the first time in the 2008 election.

Terry said...

Thankfully, my husband and I agree on almost every political issue. I don't think we've never had a political discussion where we didn't agree. And if we have, holding up the issue in light of scripture usually gets on the same page pretty quickly. I think it's important, particularly in America's current political climate, for every woman to vote. We learned that first hand down here in the now infamous state where I live 8 years ago.I don't think that it's a waste of time or unneccesary for a wife to vote if her husband votes. I have to respectfully disagree with you Anna on whether a wife should always vote with her husband. I personally know a couple where the wife is what is known as a single issue voter: she votes for the pro-life candidates as much as possible. Her husband, while pro-life, feels that a voter must take other things into consideration and has on occasion voted for a different candidate. And what about Christian women who are married to unbelievers? What should they do? While I understand and agree that oneness should be expressed in every way possible between a husband and wife, I also know that we are each accountable before God for our own actions and faithfulness to what we believe. I believe we must be true to our conscience and faith when we step into the voting booth.

Kristy Howard said...

I have always voted since I became of age- before I was married and now that I am married. I believe that voting or not voting is a cultural issue and not necessarily a Biblical issue, since obviously women voting wasn't even an option in previous generations (and still isn't in some cultures). I would even dare to say that, as Americans, voting is not only a privilege but a duty- I firmly believe that women (and men, of course) SHOULD vote! I realize that it was the women's lib movement that brought about a woman's right to vote, and I do not advocate the attitudes that fueled that movement in the least. But that was nearly 100 years ago... I don't feel that a woman voting in this day and age is an act of feminism but of good citizenship.

That being said, a woman should always exercise her political freedoms in accordance to her husband or father's wishes and beneath his authority. If a woman has no husband or father, I do believe that she has the obligation to cast her vote- for the good of her country.
~Kristy

Leann said...

I didnt vote for a while cause I didnt know about the people who were running for office.
if they were believers or just faking it.
what their stands on morals were.but one day the Lord had me vote.
I didnt know who to vote for and was really having a problem cause I didnt like one of the men and thought he was a bafoon.
so I only went to be obeydent to the Lords leading.
all I said is please Lord dont make me vote for the bafoon you know what I think of him.
well you guessed it, when I got in there and ready to vote the Lord said vote for him.
I said Lord how could you this guy is a fony and he isnt even a real person he is a actor!!!
well years later I am still glad I voted for this man cause he had the heart of God and he was interested in the same goll I was. making them tire down the wall.
God showed me you cant look at the out side or even what you think you know about this person.

if God can sway the heart of the king he can also sway the heart of someone running for office.
I vote as God would.
I look at the way they treat things important to God and then I vote.
but I dont just listen to what they say I look at what they did in the past.if they were sneaky and evil or dishonest in their past dealings then they are out, cause they have showed their true colors.
I will not vote for a clinton.their record speaks for its self.
nore will I vote dem,s cause they have too much swaying then to the lack of morals where abortion and other things are conserned.
I vote morals not party.
everyone should vote who has the right.they should pray about it and vote.its our right to vote,someone faught for our right and we should vote.us christians should for sure or we may end up losing our christian rights.

Stephanie said...

Someone has asked why a woman should vote if her husband is? Well... because it would add one more vote... Remember the totals are not tallied by family. It is the individual vote that matters. So, if you and your husband want, (for example, since it has already been mentioned) to keep Ms. Clinton out, wouldn't it make sense to both vote in order to get in as many votes as possible?

I think we need to be careful about making "rules" about how exactly to honour and respect our husbands. To vote or not to vote is not in the Bible anywhere. I think it is our hearts that show respect to our husbands, and it a genuine attitude of submission that is important. My husband is easy to submit to because he loves me like Christ loves the church. It is a submission that brings freedom, not a submission that brings bondage. Making rules about voting won't change women's hearts, and it doesn't really matter, does it?? It is our attitude and submissive heart that matters.

Ahuva said...

"Benjamin, do you think women were chained to the stove and sink before the blessed entrance of feminism? :P What a misconception. Women were ALWAYS productive, creative, responsible, wise; they had responsibilities. They had influence."

Anna, I have to agree with Benjamin on this one. Some women had influence before feminism. And some women were chained to the stove or committed to the insane asylum. Take a look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Packard

"The law at the time stated that no person could be committed to an insane asylum without a public hearing. But there was one exception; a husband could have his wife committed without a public hearing or her consent."

Back in the mid 19th century, women had as many rights as their husbands would allow-- and not a lot more. For women blessed with wonderful husbands, this wasn't a problem. Women with abusive husbands suffered (and I would say locking your wife up because she disagrees with you in public is abusive).

Chelsey said...

Our country was founded on the idea of a "family" vote. The men represented both the husband and wife at the "voting polls". It wasn't because woman were though of as inferior or "less" than her fellow man, but because families voted together.

I do want to mention that as our forefathers designed the method of voting - that a few women were allowed to vote - widows who were the heads of their households with sons that were minors (under 21 years of age). This also meant that the widow must own land for only land owners were allowed to vote. This was so that their families would be represented. We were a family oriented society versus today's pseudo-"individual" society.

We vote as a family and by that I mean that I do vote but vote for the same person as my husband. I think this is important since my husband and I are "one" and we should be likeminded!

Holly said...

Since the right to vote is an individually given right by the Constitution, I believe it is each person's duty (male or female) to vote for the candidate they choose with or without input of their spouse or parent.

Lydia said...

I actually just posted on this today. Not so much whether or not we should vote today but that biblically speaking the men should be governing the country. I think that since the other side (anit-Christianity) has both men and woman voting that I need to be a support to my head by voting along side him. Of course, if he said no, I would have to submit to his authority. I would love to hear your thoughts on my post.

Kaeus said...

luckily i dont have to think about whether or not i 'should' vote, i HAVE TO because here in australia, i will get fined if i dont.

as far as voting with my husband or against him, we seem to be pretty wel alligned in our views, but since he is not an australian citizen, he cannot vote. so i guess really, i'll be voting for the two of us.

and even though both of us are american citizens, i doubt either of us will be voting in that election, since neither of us live there. it doesnt seem right that we should have a say in who controls a country we arent living in.

Gothelittle Rose said...

My word, there are people who think that women didn't have a voice before they were allowed to vote? That now that they can, no woman can be chained to a stove or committed by her husband? Surely they haven't seen the same things I have?

I'm the one who researches politics. My husband asks me what's going on and I tell him about what I've been reading and seeing. We decide on the issues together and both vote the same. I think it's a shame that political representation isn't family-oriented. Very little is, to be honest. Families are struggling as society seeks to tear them apart, from 'age-appropriate' education to working mothers.

K said...

I definately think women should vote. My husband and I don't always see eye to eye when it comes to politics - but I'm not going to vote for someone I disagree with just because my husband does. I wouldn't consider it cancelling out his vote - I've discussed this with my husband and he said one of the things he loves about me is that I can disagree with him. He says we challenge each other to think in different ways - and we can "agree to disagree". I think it's kind of a shame if a woman were to vote for someone she didn't believe in - just because her husband had different thoughts on the matter. God gave us women our own brains and our own thoughts...I trust that he expects us to use them - especially if her husband is perfectly fine with her difference of opinion.

saskia s. said...

For the first time, I'm in agreement with you! I think there's a perfect solution for this dilemma- all women who believe that they shouldn't exercise the right to vote should voluntarily give up their right to vote. Leave the voting to the god-hating feminazis- we prefer it that way!

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world, a united vote or a united front in political views would be fine. But in a not-so-perfect world where some women are oppressed, it may be valid that women oppose their husbands in their vote to create a more equal balance for seats in parliament.

USAincognito said...

It's me again....
Voting is a huge privilege and duty!! It should be something more women (and men) do! As citizens, we complain about our government and our laws. Well, guess what? Most of those that complain never even headed to the polls to vote when the time came. More need to stand up and let their voices be heard via the voting polls! Voting is a very important part of this nation (America) and it is how we are able to elect leaders or to pass certain laws. Just sitting by and letting the men do all the voting is not the answer. Women are important and their votes are just as important!
And who cares if you disagree with your husband on an issue or on who should be president!! Be YOU, not somebody else!!
I, for one, am thankful that women have the right to vote. More women need to become involved in politics and more women need to vote - our opinions and beliefs are just as important! And it is sad when we let men (or other women) tell us differently.

Andrea said...

I'm following the comments with great interest, and also a degree of surprise; I'm startled so many people believe that it was suffrage alone that granted women the right to vote. Yes, suffrage did open the vote to Caucasian women in Western society (do please note that votes for women of other races did NOT come at the same time as votes for Caucasian women, nor indeed did votes for men of colour; shameful inequalities in the Western system of democracy existed even after suffrage women the vote for a certain percentage of women, and of course, as has already been noted, many people in other cultures still do not have the right to a free vote) but women voted before the 20th century, too.

Historically, women in various positions were allowed the vote based on certain conditions; by and large, it was an issue of property ownership. In Early Modern England, for example, as well as 19th century Canada, many women were property owners and therefore technically entitled to vote (laws were later passed barring them from this right, but it did exist at one point).

Laws that limited the vote to property owners meant, of course, that many persons of both sexes were barred from voting, if they did not own property of their own; inequality in voting, long before it was an issue of women's right to vote or not vote, was at its root not a sexist issue, but an issue of class. It was only as the property requirements surrounding the right to vote relaxed that other divisions (race, gender, etc.) came into sharper focus.

I think that in order to properly appreciate our right to vote, regardless of our gender, race, etc. we could benefit from examining the history of voting in and of itself. In the 18th century legal scholar William Blackstone observed that "the true reason of requiring any qualification, with regard to property, in voters, is to exclude such persons as are in so mean a situation that they are esteemed to have no will of their own." That is, according to the common misconception at the time, people too poor to own property were not sufficiently rational or sane to be granted the privilege of voting! The primary concern was that only those sane and rational enough to make an informed decision be allowed to do so.

Given that the privilege to vote implies the person entitled to said privilege is nothing more or less than a thinking and rational member of society, with the mental capacity to make an intelligent review of the candidates and give his or her support for the candidate who best exemplifies the voter's own moral and political ideals, I think all women of voting age have a duty to act on that privilege. We may not always be captivated by the debates or the issues at hand (goodness knows I'm not!) but we do have the power to effect a change for the better by casting a vote.

I can't speak for married women, nor for young ladies whose fathers are at home with them, nor even for American women at all, as I'm Canadian (I understand the American voting process is much more complicated than our system, whereby we simply fill in a single bubble on a very small sheet, drop it in the box and go home to wait for the results!) However, as an unmarried Christian woman I can certainly examine the policies of each party, evaluate how well they line up with what God's word tells us we should desire, and make a prayerful decision as to who should benefit from the support of my voice, and my vote.

And of course whichever candidate happens to win, whether I am happy about it or not, I am certainly going to be praying for him!

Buffy said...

Yes women should have the vote. Any adult who is sane and not in prison should. How can you take responsiblity for keeping to the laws of a country if you have had no input in those laws yourself? If a woman doesn't want to vote that's up to her. If she wants to vote what her husband votes that's also up to her. But no one has the right to take the vote away from a woman.

Maggie said...

Anna,

I am a bit miffed as to why my earlier comment wasn't posted, but I shall try and reformulate my opinion and hopefully it'll be posted. Perhaps it just got lost in cyber space

I wholeheartedly agree that women should vote! If it weren't for the feminist movement than all women in Canada would not be able to vote. In Quebec it wasn't until the late 1940s before women were able to vote!

As someone else mentioned, voting in Canada is less complicated than south of the border, though I think more entertaining because we have a multi-party system. Within my group of friends and family we discuss for many days leading up to the vote about which party is the best option. The discussions can get quite lively and heated yet at the end of the day we never point blank ask someone who they are voting for, it is a private decision that they must decide for them self. This is another reason why we don't have exit polls in Canada (where as soon as you walk out of the polling station, someone asks you who you voted for).

That being said, do I vote the same way as my Dad? No. And nor do I feel that I am obligied in any sense to do so. God blessed me with a brain and free will. Thus I must make a conscience decision, on my own, to decide which party to vote for.

Secondly when it comes to voting, I get very annoyed when I hear others whinge about the political system only to later find out that they did not vote. That, in my opinion, is inexcusable. We have advance polls, we have voting in absentia (where you get someone else to vote for you, if you are unable to be there on voting day), we have voting by mail -- many snow birds, Retirees who head south of the border for the winter -- vote this way if voting day happens to fall in the winter.

Lastly, I am really curious to know why so many posters are against Ms. Clinton. Is it her personally? Or just the thought of a woman in power?

Cheers,
maggie

Chelsey said...

I'll respond to Maggi's question about Clinton - there are many things, but bottom line for me - ANYONE who supports abortion will NOT get my vote. Period.

Sarahndipity said...

To be honest, I find the idea that a husband and wife should always vote for the same person very odd. My husband and I agree on most issues and usually end up voting for the same person, but it’s entirely possible that there will come a time when we end up voting for different people. But so what?? What does this have to do with the Bible? It sounds like people who think husband and wife should always vote for the same person are drawing conclusions from the text that aren’t really there.

Sarah said...

This is an interesting discussion! I, for one, do not believe that it is good to decline the right to vote simply as a means of demonstrating submission or avoiding too much control. It may sound very well to say that one is letting one's husband or father take the leadership in family politics by having him be the only one voting, but, politically speaking, such abdication is a disaster for your side! The liberal, left-wing, anti-Christian individuals, whether couples or singles, are sure to vote for their issues against the ones that Christians would support. By all means we should vote, whether for our husband's candidate or for the one that we have mutually decided to support. Going back to the one family-one vote system will only work if all families do so. Otherwise, we hand the vote to those 'feminazis.'

I am, by the way, unmarried, and only recently living on my own. My mom & dad always vote for the same person -- so as not to cancel out each other's vote -- and I strongly agree with that strategy! While I've never consciously chosen to match my dad's vote because he is my authority, I've never voted against my family. We share the same political views -- we should, they taught me! If I do get married, I believe that my husband and I should share political views; there would thus be no temptation to 'cancel out' his vote.

I am also a Canadian, and an (ex-rural) Albertan, so it makes voting pretty easy (federal -- the Conservatives. provincial -- the Conservatives.) :)

Andrea said...

Maggie,

always a delight to hear from a fellow Canadian! I'd just like to jump in to clear up one little misconception; the suffrage moment did not initiate Canadian women's right to vote on the Federal level, although it did provide some considerable impetus on a Provincial level. The initial Federal move that gave women the right to vote came into force during the first World War, when then-PM Robert Borden passed a bill calling for conscription of young men to the army.

Many people were understandably outraged at this bill, and the Prime Minister, anxious that he would not lose electoral support and would at the same time gain the support needed for his motion, forced through an act that gave the vote to persons who would otherwise have been deemed unqualified-- military nurses, and "spouses, widows, mothers, sisters and daughters of any persons, male or female, living or dead, who were serving or had served in the Canadian forces." At the same time he disenfranchised all those he felt most likely to vote against him, such as conscientious objectors, individuals who had been born in a then-enemy country, etc.

The thinking behind this act was that the women who gained the vote would be so anxious for relief to be sent to their boys, they would use their vote to wholeheartedly support Robert Borden and, by extension, the conscription act-- and, as it happened, they did.

Now, obviously this is an example of politics at its most shameful and most "rigged" but at the same time it acknowledges the influence we as women can have for good or for ill, and it effectively nullified most objections about women being unfit for making political decisions, since the Prime Minister himself had supported their capacity to make rational decisions!

While I would not today use my vote to support a movement for conscription, at the same time I am extremely grateful to those women who chose to do so, since their support of that act was a great stepping-stone that led to the ability you and your friends now have to sit down and engage in debates, knowing that you have the power to effect change for the better.

I do wonder if the way we view voting and democracy in Canada is somehow different than they do in the US; from conversations with my three closest female American friends I have gained the impression that we do seem to have different approaches to the system. It's tricky to put a finger on, but as close as I can come to explaining it is that I think in Canada we equate "personal" with "private" -- that is, the vote is a personal decision, something that we can discuss on an intellectual level, but at the same time we consider it in poor taste to outright belittle those whose opinions differ from ours, as it's something that we do consider private. At least within my circle of friends, making personal attacks against a person for her political views would be tantamount to asking a lady about the intimate details of, for example, her relatonship with her husband, and then openly judging her response! (I do realise some ladies, married or otherwise, do this. My friends and I are not among them)

From observing interactions amongst my American friends, their vote seems to be much more a matter of public property, and open to greater scrutiny and ridicule simply as a matter of form. I don't know if that's universal (my experience, as I say, is somewhat limited) but those differences might go a long way to explaining our different approaches to who should vote, and how, and why :P

Anonymous said...

Anna, I have a hypothetical question for you, because I'm curious to know how you'd feel about this situation.

Let's say that I've been married ten years. At the time of our marriage, neither of us was a Christian. However, as time wore on, I came to know the truth of God, but my husband did not. So I'm essentially the Christian wife of a non-Christian husband (this is NOT my own situation, but rather an EXAMPLE). The Bible says that I'm still supposed to be submissive even if my husband's not a believer (I Peter 3:1).

Now let's say that there's a referendum on the ballot. It says, "Elective abortion is the legal right of a woman, at any stage of pregnancy, to terminate her pregnancy without limitation and for any reason." There are two options, "yes" and "no."

Because my husband isn't a believer, he doesn't understand the moral issues surrounding abortion. He supports what he perceives as the bodily integrity of the woman. He doesn't believe life begins at conception. However, as a Christian, I know that an unborn child is a sacred life and that abortion is a grave moral wrong.

Shouldn't I, in such a situation, cast a "no" vote, even if my husband intends to cast a "yes" vote?

When does the value of human life exceed that of wifely submission? If a non-Christian husband told his Christian wife to have an abortion, would it be her responsibility to submit, or to stand up against grave moral wrong and refuse to abort?

I believe that there are certain moral imperatives that exceed the importance of wifely submission. When serious issues of morality are at stake, women have a responsibility to stand up for what is right, even if their husbands won't. Politicians have all the power in the world and the ability to make moral and immoral decisions that get down to the very nitty-gritty of the sanctitiy of human life. For this reason, I think it's important that a woman should always vote with her own conscience, even if it is not in alignment with her husband's (ideally the two would be in alignment), because if she votes against what she knows is right before God, it is sin and she'll be held accountable for it.

I think it is the right and the duty of all citizens to vote their own consciences, particularly if they are Christians, and regardless of gender.

Be blessed, Anna!

Sue said...

I'm pretty sure my husband would would be shocked if someone suggested that I not vote or that I could only vote the same way he did.

Personally, I don't think it's anti-Biblical at all for women to vote their own conscience. And just because we used to have a household vote in some countries is no reason to use it now, unless your conscience really tells you it's terribly wrong. After all, we used to make it difficult for African-Americans to vote in the USA. We changed that when we realized it was wrong, just like we did with women's suffrage.

In addition, it is the law of our country and other Western democracies to give the vote to any citizen of age (unless they have committed a crime that takes away their vote). And it's a privilege to do so. Think of all the parts of the world where neither women nor men can vote. Be informed on the issues -- certainly discuss them with your husband if married -- and go to the voting booth with pride.

Like Maggie said, many places have absentee ballots, if you find it hard to get to the polls. In Ohio, USA, you can use them for any reason. You request them by mail, and just make sure they are back to your county board of elections by election night.

My .02

THE KING'S SHEPHERD said...

I must admit that I am surprised that anyone would think women shouldn't vote. Why shouldn't they? Just because God designed man as the head of the household, it doesn't mean a woman shouldn't vote regardless of whether she is married or not. To say this would be stretching what these verses in Scripture mean and would be taking them out of context.

Jeannine said...

I have not given this topic much thought yet. We just got married this year and there haven't been any elections yet.
You know that I too believe that the husband is the head of the wife. However, I do not think that this necessarily entails that he decides her (free and secret) vote. It is a difference if a wife willingly decides to go along with her husband's views or if it is the biblical way to do it. Personally I think I am leaning more to the direction that the wife can choose for herself whom to vote for.
For the rest my husband and I share the same political views anyway :).

Maggie said...

Andrea,

Yes, that is quite true about Borden extending the vote during WW1 to the female relatives of soldiers as well as nurses so that conscription will pass. For the sake of brevity, I chose not to mention that in my earlier comment. And yes, you are quite right that it was indeed a rigged vote that Borden did, but perhaps this is an instance of 'necessity is the mother of invention'?

I do completely agree that here in Canada we do indeed equate 'personal' with 'private'. I was at a house party earlier this year, a few days before our Provincial Election and there were a few people there who were out right bashing several of the candidates in the riding, including those that I was contemplating voting for. Oddly enough, we all agreed that we wouldn't vote for one particular party. At the end of the day, I voted my conscience and that was that.

Another point I'd like to mention, is that once parties get a certain percentage of the popular vote than they are invited to the official leaders debate. I would LOVE to see the Green Party at the next leaders debate. Not because I necessarily 100% agree with everything they stand for, but I do think it would bring environmental issues to the forefront, forcing the other parties to think of original platforms instead of just copying each other. And then perhaps we'll see real environmental change. Instead of just empty rhetoric.

Someone else mentioned that they do indeed vote for the same party as their father, because their parents raised them and they share the same set of values. This is interesting. My parents raised me and I do share many of the same values as them, but the political party that my dad supports (he has openly admitted to which party he is a card-carrying member of) has changed so greatly since the days of his youth that even he has trouble supporting them at times. I agree with this. This particular party is no where in line with the issues that I am currently dealing with, thus why would I support this party? Wouldn't it make more sense to support a party that reflects your own personal values versus the party that your family has supported for the past 5 generations?

Cheers,
maggie

PandaBean said...

I agree with what you wrote in this post, Anna, that a wife should discuss the options with her husband and vote as he does. As has been pointed out, it used to be votes per household and the head of the house, usually the husband, voted for the entire family. Now that that is no longer the case, I still feel that the family-unit-vote is the best option, so in order to achieve the modern equiliant, I vote the same as my husband.

An anonymous commenter raised a good question, what if your husband was going to vote for something obviously immoral? Personally I believe this is where a woman has to stand up for God and vote for Him and His teachings, thereby being the example of Godliness as discribed in 1 Peter. What are your thoughts, Anna?

God Bless!

Andrea said...

Maggie,

yes, brevity is something I'm trying to work on in my own posts :P The history behind women voting in Canada was one of the topics that fascinated me in my history courses at school-- my professor at the time was a sweet, soft-spoken, truly delightful lady and she encouraged the most polite and respectful discussions I've seen anywhere, whether in univeristy or elsewhere; I think it was her approach to the whole thing that got be so intrigued in it to begin with!

I do know what you mean about party values changing over time. I've been watching the parties lately with true exasperation, since nobody seems to line up completely with what I understand to be Biblical; this whole issue over Stephen Harper's name appearing in that communique (I've watched the wretched news report seven times now and still can't quite put it together!) to me seems so symbolic of the deception and corruption that can weasel their way into any party, given the chance. I do look sharp askance at the Conservatives, sometimes even more often than I do at the Liberals, since the values the Conservatives purport to espouse often seem sadly lacking in practice, but at the same time . . . well, hope springs eternal! They have certainly kept me busy with prayer ;)

I would love to see the Green Party at a debate too, simply, as you put it, for the change it would force in the approach to discussion . . . perhaps we would see more of everybody's true colours in that event. I find that animated discussion helps me clarify my own stance on things, so I trust it would do the same for the candidates ;)

That's one thing that really makes me look forward to the prospect of marriage, actually; having another person in the house who is wholly committed to following God, with whom I can exchange ideas like these. The thought of setting breakfast on the table as election day is coming up, and we discuss the latest proposed changes and whether or not these line up with what we would see in our country . . . the thought of that sort of discussion delights me. I don't know what I'll do if he's not at least a little interested in politics!

To be honest, I don't know yet if I would change my vote to match my husband's. Perhaps he won't be interested in voting, and I'll be the only voting member of the household. Maybe he will vote as your father has, Maggie-- for a party he's simply grown comfortable with, but perhaps one whose values don't match those in the teachings of God; maybe he wouldn't care if I matched his vote or not, but what if he did? In that case --the event that he was following somebody who was not following God-- I would have to prayerfully seek God, and ask him whether my submission was more needed by my husband or by my Father. I may never even know who my husband votes for, if he wants us to retain the degree of privacy and ownership of our vote that we had when we entered the marriage (I do know God-honouring marriages where the husband and wife do not share their votes with each other . . . again, the more I see and hear, I really do believe this is a cultural thing). I really am not sure yet. I am, however, certain that this was a wonderful question, Anna; it's sparked not only discussion, but, at least on my part, a lot of reflection as well as forethought, so thank you :)

Andrea said...

. . . I just thought of another thing. I would love to hear what ladies think when two Christians of different nationalities marry one another. I know that if, for example, I as a Canadian were to marry an American or British gentleman, I would retain my right to vote in this country, but he would not have that right unless he chose to adopt my citizenship. Nor would I have any right to vote in his country, unless I did likewise. What in that event would seem a fitting course of action?

deb said...

If I had been alive before women gained the right to vote, I wouldn't have been a suffragette. But now that we have the right, I do vote. This is because not doing so would half the power of consertive Christians.

I would like to disagree with the comment about feminism allowing modern women to blog. Women of long ago were writers, such as Austen and Fanny Burney. If women could write succesful novels before modern feminism then there is no reason that women wouldn't have been allowed to blog.

Gothelittle Rose said...

In my opinion, people who insist that women who don't support Hillary Clinton don't like the idea of a woman having power say a lot more about their own bias than Clinton's non-supporters. I don't support her because I don't agree with her, period. On... well... just about anything.

I've supported Elizabeth Dole. I would support Condi Rice.

In my area, it's a famous feminist ploy to claim that you must support women because you're a woman, regardless of whether their policies would tear your family apart and cast your loved ones into dire poverty. I don't buy it. I vote based on issues and character, not race or sex. In that way, I think I'm less biased than those feminists, not more.

I'm trying to not speak too strongly on this, because I really do find their claims personally insulting. You notice, though, who claims that someone wasn't elected because "the nation isn't ready for a black/female/hispanic president" when the truth is that they advocate things that the American People won't stand for.

Michelle said...

I will direct my comments to voting in the US. I do believe that a woman should vote, and I believe that she should choose her own votes - to do otherwise would be a violation of the law.

Regardless of what the writers of our Constitution intended or designed, we have had amendments passed to it that have changed voting to be one per person, restricted only by age and criminal history.

It is also illegal to tell someone who to vote for. Each vote is to be secret and private.

These are the laws of our land. And we are to live by the laws of our land.

Ahuva said...

"I would like to disagree with the comment about feminism allowing modern women to blog. Women of long ago were writers, such as Austen and Fanny Burney. If women could write succesful novels before modern feminism then there is no reason that women wouldn't have been allowed to blog."

The Brontes were actively discouraged from writing because it was considered to be "unfeminine" by many. Pre-feminist writing was hardly a given. Women were not encouraged to enter the public sphere.

Maggie said...

I would also like to point out that many female writers of Austen's time wrote under male names, as it was indeed very taboo for women to support themselves with writing. Very 'unmarriageable of them'. Austen may be a household name, but she died in poverty in the end.

Ewokgirl said...

The thing that bothers me about this post is that it assumes the husband or father is all-knowing and always makes perfect decisions. Men, even godly men, are still human and fallible. Also, the candidates are fallible humans, so they don't always present themselves truthfully.

I vote as I see fit, not as my husband tells me to. Granted, we have yet to disagree on any voting issues, but if we did, I guarantee that I would vote my conscience, as he would his. As he often tells others, I'm smarter than he is, and he loves that about me! (He himself is quite intelligent.) I tend to be the one who stays more informed about issues in the world, so he often comes to me with questions. That doesn't make him submissive to me or mean that I am usurping his supposed authority. It simply means that he knows I read a lot and like to stay informed, and he trusts my thoughts and opinions.

To say that it's silly for a woman to vote is to say that she doesn't matter. If she's voting the same as her husband, then she's adding an extra vote. Every vote counts! If she's voting differently, then at least she is voting her conscience, as he is his. In a perfect world, all married couples would have a united front in everything, but as we all know, this is not a perfect world.

Jennifer K said...

I left two comments here regarding women voting, and they did not show up. My comments may have not been in line with a lot of comments here, but they were hardly disrespectful. What's up?

deb said...

Being discouraged to write and not allowed to write are two different things. There were many female writers of the 1800s that are marvelous. The fact that they are published under their OWN names means that women did write succesfully. I get very frustrated that the only two writers our generations know about seem to be the Bronte' sisters and Austen. For goodness sake, read Ann Radcliffe,Fanny Burney, Margaret Oliphant or Elizabeth Gaskell. These writers all had strong women characters.

Ahuva said...

Deb,

We've now listed seven 19th century female novelists. There were, what, a dozen or so in all? My point is that women were dependent on the benevolence of their husbands and fathers for what we today consider to be basic rights (because of feminism). How many more women were forbidden education, forced into unhappy marriages, or locked away in an asylum because they did not have the supportive environments those women writers enjoyed? I'm sure I could come up with the longer list-- including women you would expect to enjoy more freedoms such as Mary Lincoln and, much more recently, Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan.

Those of us who have supportive and kind fathers and families should not assume that everyone enjoys such blessings. The laws fought for by feminists were to ensure that those who do not have the benefit of good fathers, brothers, and husbands still have some protection. Feminism has done some awful things... but it has also brought about some good things as well.

deb said...

As I am an ardent book nut I could probably come up with many more female writers. lol

WOmen and men have been equally mistreated in the past. The time periods that were roughest for women were also roughest for all of humanity. That is one reason why I am happy with my current time period and have no romantic desire to time travel.

As for feminism, I was only debating as to whether women would be allowed to blog in the 1800's. I certainly wasn't discussing the merits or non merits of the entire feminist movement.

Considering that women were supposed to keep up lengthy written correspondance, I think that blogging would have been a Victorian woman's dream.

Gothelittle Rose said...

Before feminism, the onus was on men as the physically stronger sex to protect women. Now we're all expected to be like the increasing numbers of female superheros in the movies, more than capable of defending ourselves from attackers that are often larger than us, with heavier muscle mass.

There have been creeps among men throughout the ages. The difference is that feminist policies treat the gentlemen like creeps and don't encourage men to rise above that, while making women alone responsible for their own safety. What a sad result!

I know that more abuse is reported now than used to be, skewing the statistics. Is anyone able to prove that abuse of women is actually significantly less now than it used to be, once the increased reporting is accounted for? Personally, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it's more prevalent.

The part that the feminists leave out of the story, you see, is that the majority of men are not inherently creeps.

injunkayl said...

I am amazed to see women openly and proudly advocating natural patriarchy so strongly and I completely agree the female should strengthen the vote of their patriarch

I agree with so much that is written here that I am now going to refer this site to as many people as I can, I write of these things too but people sometimes need to see it coming from an intellegent and sane woman to take its reality and wholesomeness to heart

Thank you for being a voice of clean, wholesome truth

injunkayl said...

The solution is that only men should be allowed to vote

pat said...

Vote.
You are a person with an independent mind. Use it.
If you considered your father an unbeliever, you wouldn't hesitate to vote your mind. Nor should you hesitate if your husband is a believer.

The Christian bible has a passage where Jesus, when questionned if people should pay taxes to Caesar, holds a coin, which has Caesar's portrait on it, and said "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's... render unto God that which is God's".

Voting belongs to the realm of the mundane political. Don't confuse it with religious needs.

Chickenfingers said...

This is quite a complicated issue, and much has been written about it. But surely, we must, first and foremost, consult what the Good Book says.

1 Timothy 2:11-12
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

From this, we must infer that the woman has not authority at all over her husband. Therefore, for serious issues like voting, she can only support him, but cannot contradict at all. As it continues:

1 Timothy 2:15
But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

Us women have no place in politics. Our role in the home-and in humanity in general-is to bear as much children as possible, that we may spread His word and His love.

Sam said...

Most of the posters here sound like they're Americans, which means they're also blinded by patriotism. They speak authoritatively using words like "right" and "duty." I have three things to say:

1. Just because something is a "right," doesn't mean you have a "duty" to exercise that right. Women have the "right" to an abortion upon request, do Christian women have any duty to get one?

2. If you're a Christian, you SHOULDN'T BE VOTING PERIOD. Proof:

a)"For our citizenship is in heaven" Phil 3:20
b) "we are ambassadors for Christ" 2 Corth. 5:20

Can you imagine being a citizen of a country and being sent to another as an ambassador and then participating in the politics of the land you’re sent to? Ridiculous. Remember, you can do a lot more good by spending time on your knees than you'll ever do with a vote.

3. If a traditional, conservative woman still feels the compulsion to vote, then consider the fact that i) Your home is to be governed by male leadership (Eph 5:24), your church is to be governed by male leadership ( Tim. 3:2) virtually all the prophets were men, all the books of the Bible were written by men, all of the twelve disciples were men. Really, what business do women have involving themselves in the important matter of choosing the next leader of the nation? Rather than "talking it over with your husband," may I suggest you encourage your husband to talk it over with other godly men. In Acts 15, there was an important dispute in the church. Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem and met with the "apostles and elders." (v.6). A group of men came to a consensus without the help or input of any women. There's the pattern.

Anonymous said...

This post, like many of your others, is unbelievably sexist. I find it highly offensive that you continue to demean women and devalue women.

Women are as smart as men, as understanding as men, and as commanding as men.

By saying that women should not vote, or that their vote should be an extension of their husbands is basically saying that their voice should not be heard, that it is worthless. That this country, that is split evenly between the sexes, should only contain the prerogative of half the nation. That is not equality, that is tyranny.

I am sorry if anyone takes offensive at my strong words, but I can't sit by and see women be brought down.

Anonymous said...

I cannot vote according to federal law - am a female - and do not really care. I prefer to stick to writing poetry and doing petit point.