Last week I wrote a post listing 7 reasons Why, (as an Evangelical Christian) I am Voting for Mitt Romney and Not Just Against Barack Obama. Today I am going to explain the eighth reason why, in the context of my faith, I am voting for Mitt and against the current president.
In the summer of 1997, my two youngest brothers were attending seminars at BYU in order to earn their undergraduate degrees. I took a two week vacation from my job and went to Provo, Utah, to be with them and with my mother during that time. Stefan and Judah spent every day in school from morning till late afternoon, and so Mother and I had to find ways to entertain ourselves during those hours.
During that two week period, BYU was hosting an exhibit of the artifacts from Masada, which was on special loan to the campus via the BYU Jerusalem Cultural Center. The exhibit traveled under guard with posted signs that the 1997 trip was the first time that these artifacts had ever been in the United States.
As I went through the exhibit, I was amazed. We saw portions of the book of Isaiah contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls, pottery from the Holy Land, and artifacts which had been excavated from the fortress at Masada, where the last Jewish rebellion against the Roman government occurred about 66 A.D. The residents of Masada had lived in the fortress for five years, before they finally committed suicide to avoid capture and execution by the Roman army.
Cassette tape recorders were provided to each visitor so that we could tour the displays while listening to an explanation of each item that we saw. We saw replicas of Herod's palace and the last temple, artifacts left by the Roman soldiers, and shards of pottery and makeup brushes and brass mirrors left by the women who had lived at the fortress. When we came to a collection of very small clay lamps which were about the size of the palm of an adult hand, Mother motioned to me to turn off my tape recorder. "Look," she pointed. "This explains the parable that Jesus told about the ten virgins--five had enough oil for their lamps and the other five did not. This explains why the five with the oil could not share theirs with the others." I looked more closely at the lamps and saw what she meant--each little lamp was made like a nightlight with only enough supply of oil for one night. When we had finished talking I clicked my cassette recorder back on to hear the narrator explain, "These oil lamps would have been the ones referenced in the parable of the ten virgins."
Of all of the experiences I have enjoyed over the course of my life, seeing the artifacts from Masada is in the top 5. The exhibit was a profound reminder that the nation of Israel was completely gone for almost 2000 years. As the child of parents who were in the Jesus movement, I grew up in a house where the star of David was prominently featured, and I learned from my earliest youth that the Jewish people are precious to God. To see the belongings of these people who were exterminated and scattered by the Romans was a profound reminder of the struggles of the Jewish people throughout history and particularly the long struggles of Israel as a nation to maintain its sovereignty.
As evangelicals, we believe that Israel is a nation that has a special and unique history and an important future. We believe that the promise of God in Genesis to Abraham, "I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you and the entire world will be blessed because of you," extends to the entire nation of Israel. We also agree with Benjamin Netanyahu that the reestablishment of the nation of Israel May 16, 1948 was a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and that it was God who re-established this nation as an independent state. Therefore, we reject statements such as the one made recently by Henry Kissinger that within ten years the nation of Israel will cease to exist. We stand against Iran's anti-Israel rhetoric not only because it is racist and genocidal but also because it stands against the purposes of God.
For evangelicals, there is a clear distinction between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Romney, we have learned, has maintained a friendship with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu since 1976 when they were both recruited by Boston Consulting Group. In his foreign policy speech this week, Romney denounced the Obama Administration for distancing itself from Israel and promised that we would work closely with Israel in his administration. Mitt's stated willingness to work with Netanyahu to protect Israel's interests in the Middle East is a stark contrast to President Obama who has stated that the boundaries of Israel need to be returned to their pre-1967 borders--a concept which is completely unacceptable to pro-Israel Evangelical Christian voters.
Abraham Lincoln said, "My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right." When we stand with the nation of Israel in friendship and military support, we are on God's side. That's one more reason why on November 6th, I am voting for Mitt Romney and not just against Barack Obama.
Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me A Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her newest novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.