On Oct. 9, reality star Sean Lowe tweeted, “I’m voting for the rapture this November.” While this comment is humorous for Christians and non-Christians alike, it can also be dangerous. Christians in the U.S. are not only Christians, but they are Americans. With that title comes not only the responsibility, but the right and privilege to vote.

The Founding Fathers had a specific vision in mind for the future development of the country. It is stated in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” which implies that the rights of people are God-given, not government-given.

The “unalienable rights” are those of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. If these rights are God-given, then we have a duty to exercise them. These rights are very broad. What constitutes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? That is for us to decide. Part of liberty is our right to vote.

For women, that right did not come around until 1919, but now that it is a right, it is one that is to be exercised to the highest order.

The fight for women’s right to vote was a century-long conflict that finally came out in women’s favor with the 19th Amendment, which states that the right to vote cannot be abridged based on gender. In 1890, the National American Women’s Suffrage Association was formed, and the argument of the suffragists changed from equality between men and women to women deserving to vote because of their differences with men. Ultimately, what decided the vote was women who demonstrated their patriotism by participating in the war effort. This showed the government that, since women were just as patriotic as men, they just as much deserved the right to vote.

Therefore, all American citizens of legal age are given the privilege and responsibility of putting somebody in office to run the U.S. However, choosing a candidate can be a daunting task. Though our country is currently divided between the two primary candidates, one must be chosen at the end of this election season.

It is not only our duty as citizens, but also as Christians to appoint somebody to office and respect them regardless of our differing beliefs. Without doing this, we fall into the pattern of the world that tells us to combat whomever from an opposing party is elected to office.

The world is fallen, and as Christians it is our job to build it back up to the Lord. In Titus 3:1, Titus instructs for us as Christians “to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

Though many citizens will not vote in this election, it is so vital that Christian citizens vote to represent our faith. Participating in the political process not only fulfills our duty as Christians, but also gives us an opportunity to shine a light upon the world by speaking of the candidates in a way that builds them up, even if we disagree with their policies or character.

Joking like Lowe’s social media confession is fun and lighthearted for a moment, but then we must step back and realize how serious not voting really could be.

As Christians in today’s world, if we do not live up to the principles that the Founders established, we are failing to preserve the history of this country. Part of preserving that history means exercising every right that people in this country have fought for. During the war with Iraq, approximately 4,475 United States military personnel were killed, and approximately 32,220 have been injured. Without the lives that have been lost and the blood that has been shed, we would not even be able to proclaim our faith in this country.

As Christians, exercising our right to vote is vital to repaying what we owe to our Founders and to the Lord.