A new video narrated by Mike Huckabee seeks to remind Christians to cast their ballots according to their values, and says their votes will "be recorded in eternity."
"In generations past, the church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect its sacred rights and duties. This generation of Christians must do the same," the former Arkansas governor says.
Several variations of the video, titled "Test of Fire," have been making their rounds on the Internet for several months now, but previous versions weren't narrated. The videos were produced by Catholics Called to Witness, an organization that promotes religious liberty, and have been viewed over two million times during the last few months.
In the video, voting to shape America's future is compared to the way a blacksmith shapes metal objects. The blacksmith is shown shaping words like "taxes," "jobs" and "energy" out of the metal he is working with, and, when Huckabee begins talking about non-negotiable issues, the blacksmith shapes the words "life," "marriage" and "freedom."
"Many issues are at stake, but some issues are not negotiable. The right to life from conception to natural death. Marriage should be reinforced, not be defined. It is an egregious violation of our cherished principle of religious liberty for the government to force the church to buy the kind of insurance that leads to the taking of innocent human life," says Huckabee.
"Your vote will affect the future, and be recorded in eternity. Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire?"
Huckabee is a best-selling author and the host of highly-rated television and radio programs. He was also a pastor for 12 years, and served as the president of the Arkansas Southern Baptist State Convention.
He's not the only one who is encouraging Christians to consider key moral issues when they take to the voting booths on Nov. 6, however. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association recently released advertisements in which Graham challenges voters to cast their ballots while keeping "biblical principles" in mind.
"I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman," the advertisements, which feature a photo of Graham and his signature, read.
Some, like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, have criticized the BGEA's ads as being a "coded" form of "blatant politicking" by a non-profit organization. Others, like journalist Roland Martin, are critical of the ads because they address only a few issues and don't mention other important biblical issues – like caring for the needy.
The BGEA told the Religion News Service the goal of the ad campaign was for Billy Graham to "[challenge] citizens – particularly in the faith community – on how to vote, rather than for whom to vote."
In blog post Tuesday, Huckabee said some predictions are showing that there will not likely be a shift in party power in either the Republican-controlled House of Representatives or the Democrat-controlled Senate in the upcoming election, but he hopes a strong Republican turnout could prove the predictions wrong.
"If Republicans get out and vote in much heavier numbers than usual, they could all be proven wrong. And there's no lack of enthusiasm," wrote Huckabee, who served as the catalyst for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in August as a show of support for the company's CEO, Dan Cathy, and his comments on keeping marriage between a man and a woman.
"Republicans in San Francisco who've given up on their own state even volunteered to drive all the way to Nevada to work for Romney. And reports from heavy Republican districts are that the lines are already as long as the lines at Chick-Fil-A. If Republicans would wait in line for an hour for a chicken sandwich, surely they'd stand in an even longer line for the country."