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Doce me faces voluntarem tuam quia Deus meus es tu

Saturday, September 25, 2004
Concerning Christians and voting, Mark Roberts has done a marvelous five-part series on how the church should respond to political matters. I admire Pastor Roberts' plea for neutrality in partisan matters, and I would agree with it entirely were it not for one major exception. Take this quote, for example:


So a solidly evangelical faith can lead you to support either the Democrats or the Republicans, depending on your ideas that have little to do with the core of Christian belief and practice.


I simply cannot accept this. I can accept that Christians will have differing views on economics, welfare, education, gun rights, America's role in the world as a superpower and criminal justice. Though I would argue, as Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcey did in How Now Shall We Live?, that the Bible does have something to say on many of these matters. Yet I cannot shake the idea that the demographic shift among Democrats in the past thirty years (see this Touchstone article by Rod Dreher) has created an environment where serious evangelicals, particularly theological conservatives, are no longer welcome. Furthermore, it seems to me that not only are they not welcome, but they should no longer have a reason to support a party that celebrates abortion and the restructing (by judicial decree) of traditional marriage. The month after Touchstone Magazine (Juen 2003) published Dreher's article on the The Godless Party (indeed the entire issue was dedicated to taking issue with the Dems), the magazine was swamped with angry letters. For the editors, S.M. Hutchens published a respone entitled Practical Atheism.

Hutchens argument is simply that the moral policies of the current Democrat party are so explicityly un-Scriptural that no Christian can, in good conscience vote for the party. In Hutchens' words:

A Christian may think the Democrats’ social, economic, or environmental programs are superior to the Republicans’, but he knows that the Democrats’ moral policies are aggressively ungodly.


Those are certainly strong words, but I would argue, despite Pastor Roberts' wishes to the contrary, that this is the current situation. I wish it were not so, particularly given the rancorous state of public discourse in this country. I know of one friend, with whom I have many political disagreements, who is a strong Christian with a husband in the ministry. She spoke to my roommate of her opposition to the President, disagreeing strongly with the war in Iraq. Yet she stated clearly that she could not vote for John Kerry because of his support for abortion. She stated emphatically that she would sit out an election, and despite her objections, she would vote for President Bush.

I realize that this brings up the issue of single-issue voting and like our man Hugh Hewitt says, majorities matter. I'll deal with that in a later post. This post was my own humble response to Pastor Roberts' recent series. Roberts is a smsart, wiser man than I am, and I admire his longing to see a day return where Christians of good faith could diagree on political matters and sit down as equals to discuss things. Indeed, I wish it were so. I strongly believe, however, that the current political makeup in this country, while not elevating the GOP to the status of "God's Party," has certainly established the Democrats as a party that is indifferent to God, at best, or outright hostile, at the absolute worst.
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