On January 11th, Blue Ridge Christian News published the following op-ed by Laura Macklem, NC Values Press Director, entitled “Christian Voters”:

The primary season for the 2024 election has started, and during this time you will hear many candidates in Republican primaries claim to be conservative. But as Christians we need to look beyond the talking points and slick ads to answer the question–will this candidate stand up for Biblical values?

After redistricting, candidates rushed to declare their intentions to run in newly drawn districts with a conservative bend. In some primary races, up to 10 candidates are jockeying for the top spot to face off in the general election, including Congressional District 13 and Lt. Governor. The abundance of candidates does provide the advantage of choice but can also confuse, especially when conservative candidates are proclaiming their commitment to family values.

We should be aware that professed Christians don’t always vote for Biblical values. In the North Carolina General Assembly, we have two pastors who vote with the abortion lobby and against parental rights, along with other Christian members. Cabarrus County’s Representative Diamond Staton-Willims (HD 73) said she consulted with her pastor and Christian church, and having an abortion was the right thing because another child would disrupt her family’s opportunities and schedule. In Wake County, School Board member Monika Johnson-Hostler said her Christian faith guides her, but she fights to keep pornography in schools.  Don’t look for labels, look for fruit.

Christian voters can make informed decisions by referencing trusted organizations for endorsements, voter guides, and candidate surveys. The Christian non-profit policy group NC Values Coalition partners with iVoterGuide, a free Christian digital voters’ guide available on your phone or computer. iVoterGuide rates candidates conservative to liberal, based on a questionnaire they send out on candidates’ positions, issues, candidates’ endorsements and voting records, donations, and public comments. This year iVoterGuide will have a new red ‘thumbs up” feature indicating North Carolina candidates thoroughly vetted and endorsed by NC Values. Included in the survey is a direct question about faith. NC Values also just produced a Legislative Scorecard indicating how NC General Assembly members voted for family values. Voters interested in a more hands-on critique can attend candidate forums, do online research, follow social media, and contact contestants directly. The responsibility of voting isn’t just on election day or during early voting, it begins with research and prayer. Share your research with friends and family and encourage your socially conservative friends to vote.

According to the group Christians Engaged, “Americans who call themselves born-again Christians only vote on average 2% more than the general public.” For a demographic whose values are under daily attack, we can do better. Election after election I see races called by razor-thin margins demanding recounts, proving that every vote does count. This past session lawmakers passed a pro-life bill limiting abortions, legislation to prevent males on female school sports teams, protecting minors from medical gender transitioning, and upholding parental rights. None of these pieces of important legislation would have been possible if Christians stayed home on election day, but the reality is that we need more pro-life conservatives in the General Assembly.  While conservatives have a super-majority, it’s too close for comfort without a vote to spare. When Christians decline to vote, it’s another vote for the radical left. We have to increase our numbers as voters.

North Carolina conservatives have the opportunity to increase the conservative super-majority by 7 seats, elect another conservative to the Supreme Court, three more justices to the Court of Appeals, 11 conservatives to Congress, and Council of State members including the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and also President of the United States. Don’t forget the school board races where decisions are made about curriculum and parental rights.

The left is motivated now more than ever. They are organized, militant, and well-funded, but their values aren’t in line with most North Carolinians. When Christians are committed to voting for candidates with Biblical values, they are voting against the spiritual war waged against families. They are protecting the unborn, parental rights, truth, justice, and religious freedom. As committed, informed Christian voters, we can make change for God’s glory and the future of our state and nation.

Laura Macklem is the press and political director for NC Values.