The Presidential election is upon us. Primaries, debates, water cooler discussions and of course opinions shared around the kitchen table in our homes.

The amazing thing about this Presidential election is that once you sift through our involvement in the Middle East, the declining state of our economy, health care concerns and how to respond to the terrorist threat, the conversation almost always turns to one of race and gender. Is the United States ready to have a woman as its leader? Will America vote for a black man? Unfortunately, as I listen to a variety of opinions, sometimes subtle and at other times blatant sexism and bigotry begin to emerge.

I have heard comments that Obama will be assassinated if he is elected simply because of the color of his skin. That Hillary will never be elected because she doesn’t have enough testosterone flowing through her veins (I’m not so sure about that). And that the United States will be less of a respected nation in the world if we don’t have a white man at the helm. Ummm, perhaps we should look at the variety of skin color and gender leading the nations of the world today?

In the Bible, in Galatians 3:28, God announces his opinion on this issue very clearly. He states: Now there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female . . . It would appear that God is not concerned about race, income status or gender. What God is most concerned about is a person’s heart. What they believe. What they stand for.

In actual fact, several thousand years ago, when God was choosing a King for the nation of Israel, the Prophet Samuel was quick to choose a man who “looked the part.” God, on the other hand, chose David (who became the greatest King Israel has ever known). In choosing David, God said, “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

As we continue down this tumultuous path toward November fourth, perhaps we should make sure we are looking beneath the color of skin or the style of hair? Perhaps we should explore, as deeply as is possible, the condition of a candidate’s heart?

In no way am I attempting to endorse a particular candidate. However, I am simply asking all of us not to discount a Presidential possibility solely on the way a person looks. I have to wonder if tall, gangly (and quite frankly—homely), Abraham Lincoln would ever have been elected based on much of the criteria that the American public uses today?