A week or two back, some colleagues were discussing, via Facebook, the advisability of posting election placards on the rectory lawn.
This is, obviously, a brilliant idea. Can there be, in a society that is deeply and artificially divided by partisan politicking, any better way to hasten the decline of the institutional church than by identifying its ministers with a particular party or, better yet, candidate?
But let us say, for the sake of argument, that one does not want to destroy the church one serves, nor render it irrelevant to 47% of the population (or 53% if you swing the other way). And yet, despite this quaint old-fashioned style, one nonetheless believes that the Church has a role to play in the world of public affairs, to shape and inform the consciences of voters. What to do?
There are surely thoughtful, long-term ways to do take one's proper part -- by teaching and preaching in ways that stimulate reflection on public questions without choosing sides, by inviting qualified experts on public policy to discuss their specialties with the congregation, and so forth.
But, of course, none of that can be summed up in a few words and stuck into one's lawn.
So if one really cannot resist the urge to deface a perfectly nice patch of grass with a cheaply-made disposable eyesore, here is the sort of thing we recommend:
Clear, Biblical, nonpartisan. We have some other ideas along the same line: "Vote Your Conscience" against a waving flag background; maybe a daring "Just Say No to Usury" or a countercultural "Render Unto Caesar." But this is our favorite.