On voting as an American citizen, by a Chilean immigrant

Elizabeth is a friend from Chile. She has been in the U.S. for more than a decade after being raised under one of our government’s favorite dictators, the brutal human rights abusing Augusto Pinochet.

I am originally from Chile, but two years ago I became a naturalized US citizen.

The Disappeared Persons of Chile

Photos of Disappeared Persons compiled by the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. [Image]

This upcoming election is the first time I will ever vote for a president. I was born and raised under the dictatorship of Pinochet, and as you know he made all the decisions for us.

It’s been a while now that Chile has had a democratic government, but I never had the chance to vote because I moved to the US 11 years ago. All that just to say that your posts have been so helpful to me. I don’t take voting lightly. It is something very serious to me. I didn’t choose to be Chilean, even though I’m proud of it. But I did choose to become an American citizen. I take to heart all the things I promised during that ceremony. I think I am the luckiest person in the world because I am a citizen of two countries I deeply love. But most importantly I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God!

As the day of the election approaches I keep reading everything I find about the candidates on all the typical sites that support them. But also I read a lot of international news about the election. I think they show a little more objective points of view. But anyways… I just thought I let you know that I have found your posts so refreshing, special in foreign policy.

As I mentioned I am proud of my 2 passports, but I hope that never stands in way of God and me. So many people today act like Americans first and then Christians. Instead of being Christians first and then American, and then Republicans or Democrats.

I love your posts about social justice. That is a subject that means so much to me, and as Christian we don’t talk about it enough. Or more than talk, we don’t do enough to deal with it. It is easier to look the other way, and go to a mission trip once a year and keep telling ourself that that is enough.

Thank you for keeping a meaningful conversation open.

As the first Tuesday of November draws near with rhetoric reaching a fevered pitch, accusations be hurled like ammo in a cow patty fight, and orchestrated lies spew from both major campaigns, be mindful that people all over the world would legally take your place and mine. And illegally, too.

So whether you vote for Johnson, Obama, Romney, write-in or exercise your constitutional right not to cast a presidential vote, do neither of them lightly or, as I am prone, cynically. Pray, study, consider, meditate and decide. But, whatever your choice, make is with the seriousness of a people granted the right to have the decision.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.