With the 2016 presidential election on the horizon, one Religious Right figure is urging women to vote. Cindy Jacobs, co-founder of Generals International, launched a campaign called Red Shoe Votes to mobilize Christian women voters, according to Charisma News. Red Shoe Votes encourages to register to vote and wear red shoes to the polls, although it carefully refrains from endorsing any candidate or political party.
Upon inspection, the campaign is infused with dominionist values. Red Shoe Votes seeks to "shift the nation" with women's votes and ensure that different spheres of society will be "standing on the firm foundation of biblical truth." The Red Shoe Votes website claims that, "For too long, we as Christian women have allowed so many other voices to speak for us, including influential women who do not share or respect biblical values."
In the Red Shoe Votes Women's Manifesto, organizers lay out their opposition to abortion and transgender identity, as well as their support for "biblically-based systems of education, healthcare, justice, economics, and government".
"We believe in the sanctity of life—that all individuals have the right to life from the point of conception to death; therefore, no one has the right to take the life of another person through crime, abortion, euthanasia, or assisted suicide.The authors describe their attitudes toward seven areas of society -- education, family, government, religion, business, media, and arts and entertainment -- which coincide with the seven "mountains" over which Christians must establish dominion in Seven Mountains theology. For example, with regard to family issues, the manifesto recognizes only heterosexual marriage.
Additionally, we believe that the quality of life for every individual matters; therefore, we believe in addressing systemic issues like poverty, racism, and human trafficking, as well as advocating for biblically-based systems of education, healthcare, justice, economics, and government.
We believe that God entrusted humanity with the stewardship of the earth; therefore, we believe we have a responsibility to properly care for the environment and wisely use our natural resources.
We believe that God intentionally created human beings as male and female; therefore, the gender identity we are born with is not a mistake and is unchangeable. Additionally, we believe that God created men and women as equals; therefore, we believe in addressing systems, doctrines, and practices that treat women as inferior or less valuable."
"We believe that marriage between one man and one woman is the biblical foundation of the family. We acknowledge that many families have been fractured; therefore, we seek to extend support and promote wholeness for every parent desiring God’s best for their children."Regarding government, the manifesto encourages Christians to secure positions of political power.
"We believe that Christians should not shrink back from serving in elected and appointed government offices, as this brings peace and justice to the land."The manifesto sees Christian proselytization and conversion as a "right", adding that Christians are entitled to share their faith in every social institution. Separation of church and state is not mentioned.
"We believe that Jesus Christ is the one true God, the Creator and owner of the world. Every individual has the right to hear that Jesus is God and needs to personally accept Him as Savior.Red Shoe Votes' promotional video condemns racism and features multiple women of color. Given Cindy Jacob's history of racially insensitive comments, I find this highly ironic.
We believe it is the role of the church to steward His world and represent His kingdom; therefore, it is the right of all people to have the freedom to share their faith in every institution of society."
Red Shoe Votes seems to be a means of getting Religious Right-friendly candidates into office. While Red Shoe Votes does not endorse any candidate or party, we can reasonably assume that its supporters will vote for right-wing candidates in gubernatorial, House, and Senate races. Regarding the presidential election, I doubt that its supporters would vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, given their manifesto's stance on issues such as the place of religion in society, abortion, and LGBTQ issues. Clinton and Sanders have both expressed support for church-state separation, LGBTQ equality and reproductive rights, whereas Trump has taken either ambiguous or negative stances on the issues. However, evangelicals remain divided over Trump, so there is no guarantee that Red Shoe Voters will cast votes for him in significant numbers.
As November draws near, we can expect initiatives such as Red Shoe Votes to encourage Religious Right supporters to vote. While we can safely assume that many such voters will cast ballots for right-wing candidates in state and local elections, their behavior in the presidential election remains to be seen. Will they unite behind Trump, or refrain from supporting either presidential candidate?