Does God care who we vote for?
A dialogue

Person One. Of course not!

Person Two. But wouldn't it be a disengaged, bloodless God who didn't care who we voted for?

P1. Perhaps God cares who we vote for, but He* doesn't tell us who to vote for.

P2. Of course God tells us who to vote for, but not in so many words. Prophecy is no longer active in this day and age, but we have many other ways of communicating with God -- from the workings of the human mind, to the deliberations of the halachic process, to moral inspiration.

P1. So you're equating your own political decision-making with God's will? That's some powerful chutzpah!

P2. I'm not equating the two -- I'm saying that the process of coming to a political decision, for a religious person, is motivated by the same strivings and understandings which underlie the relationship that one's entire life bears to God.

P1. Huh?

P2. Think of it like this. If you believe in God, and you would prefer to engage in some sort of imitatio Dei, you can't always be a hundred percent sure that you're doing exactly what God wants, for two reasons: one, because it's difficult to ascribe desires to God, those being attributes of people, and two, because even if we accept that God has desires, it doesn't follow that we can even approximate them.

P1. What does that have to do with voting?

P2. Just that it's not implausible to imagine that God would prefer an outcome of history favoring one presidential candidate (let's say) over the other. But, even though it's not implausible, it might not be probable that God actually engages in history in that way. (He might indeed be actively involved in history, just not on the same dimensions, or with attention to the same details, which we might imagine to be most important.) Furthermore, our own political decision making might not correspond to God's.

P1. That seems awfully complicated. Can't we just vote without recourse to God?

P2. Maybe. But just as it would be a bloodless, disengaged God who didn't care who we voted for, it would be a disengaged (or at least sharply compartmentalized) religious person who didn't involve God in her political decision-making.

P1. So who does God want me to vote for?

P2. [Answer stricken to maintain blog's political neutrality.]

*God identified as He for stylistic convenience only.

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