Another huge reason that I find it difficult to be a Christian in a secular democracy is that I feel like the issues that our politicians campaign on are usually symptoms of bigger problems that they cannot fix. So how would Jesus vote on issues that aren't the real issues and that don't (and can't) address the actual issue?
For example, I strongly believe that all humans are made in the image of God, and, as such, that all human life is sacred, and that God makes life begin at conception. So I am anti-taking of all human life, at any stage, for any reason. Technically, this makes me anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, anti-war, and anti-euthanasia. As far as I'm aware, there is no political party in the USA that stands for all 4 of these positions.
Even I am very gray on most of them. Take abortion, for instance. While I believe that killing innocent life is wrong, I also believe that we should be concerned with why this is happening in the first place. Well over half the abortions in this country occur in unmarried, minority women under the age of 25. A part of me feels that Jesus is more concerned with how our culture ignores the sanctity of sex, ignores the many emotional and psychological reasons that young women enter (or are forced into) the sexual act, ignores the cycle of unhealthy sex relationships in the black community - that Jesus would rather we address these failures (which no government can do) than simply vote against abortion.
The death penalty is similar. Back when criminals were publicly and gruesomely executed, and crimes were much more straightforward, the death penalty may have been a deterrent. But I believe that the type of crime we deal with now in the USA is different than what was faced 100 years ago. I believe that all of us have it within us to commit crimes, to choose to act with evil intentions. There is evidence which suggests that the natural human propensity towards wrongdoing is increased in environments of violence, abuse, and neglect. I believe that 21st century criminals - in many cases - became offenders because of a combination of their instinctive 'bad'-ness and the evil which was inflicted upon them. Removing them from society by killing them - a poor retribution, in my opinion - does not address the failure of our society to help them, protect them, or heal them when it mattered, long before their first criminal act.
And what about euthanasia? (this is not a big political issue in this country, but it's something I wrestle with) As a Christian, if I had some incurable, painful disease or was in an irreversible coma - let me go home to Jesus! Seriously. Why keep my body alive if I can't live?
I feel like this post is a little scattered. But this is a real conundrum for me - voting wisely, living gracefully, imitating Jesus. I would appreciate your thoughts!