This Article's Contents
The problems remain. This was written almost 20 years ago. We (and I) have learned some things since then. But Wow! The problems remain, and have grown; which means these things still need thinking and talking about. (References and Bible quotations are at the end.)
The very reasons for BEING a Republican Christian are also the reasons for WORRYING about the Republican party as it is currently functioning.
A conservative writer (Cal Thomas) mentioned
Biblical principles of freedom, justice, equality, integrity, honesty, and hard work.
These moral guidelines are fundamental and raise several areas of concern about current Republican party leadership and spokespersons.
Neglect of Major Biblical Moral Themes
Jesus and the prophets spoke often and vigorously against economic exploitation of workers and of the poor. This should be part of being pro-life; but these are not priority issues in today’s “pro-life” Republican party. The Apostle Paul said greed is equal to idolatry, and the love of money is the root of all sorts of evils; but few Republicans campaign against greed or the promotion of profits above every other value. In fact they honor these moral errors. Peter warned against malice and slander; but Republican leaders do not confront and reject the support they receive from popular slanderers who promote their agenda.
The Company They Keep
This Administration is not the Republican Party of old, and the Party’s primary spokesmen today are often not the kind of people Christians want to associate with. The most widely heard Republican party apologist, Rush Limbaugh, in effect worships himself, freely makes up “truth”, and maligns far better men and women; and he does all of this publicly, and daily. Ann Coulter is no better. Other party leaders are cut from similar cloth, though a little more fashionably. Tom DeLay, Trent Lott, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rove, Gingrich – all behave as if there is no value that can trump the pursuit of wealth and power.
Since these people are the party’s prominent leaders and voices, many Christians would feel deeply compromised to associate with or offer support to such a party. Jesus said, “I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” We do not find those things cultivated in us by Republican spokespersons.
Mis-use of the Pulpit
Church pulpits are not the place for political campaigning, especially not on Sunday mornings. It is worse if the content is uninformed, delivered under pressure from large donors, or flavored by self-righteousness or hate. Churches are not the place for exclusive distribution of literature blatantly favoring one political party. The offense is worse when the material is inaccurate or dishonest. Church meetings are not the place for expressions of hatred, slander, or evil wishes toward current or former First Ladies or their spouses.
It should not be harder to find welcome or comfort at church if you are a Democrat, Green, or Independent, than if you are a porn addict, a successful thief or cheat, violent at home, or living adulterously – but it often is.
Let the church be the church and the state be the state. Many Christians are very uncomfortable with the idea of churches becoming the state or controlling the state.
The Ways They Campaign; The Ways They Win
Elections are bought, if indirectly, on a regular basis. It is very unpleasant to vote in support of candidates who win by buying elections, and by slanderous multi-media attacks at the last minute. We have all seen it, and we know which party has the money and seems most willing to do it. Many Christians feel morally uncomfortable about supporting such truly anti-American behavior.
One party has pressed vigorously, using legal and illegal means, to subvert or reverse the decisions of the people given in duly scheduled popular elections in Florida and California. The same party is working blatantly to take the vote from hundreds of thousands of minorities in US Congressional elections in Texas. Christians want to vote pro-honesty, pro-democracy, and pro-civility – and many feel they cannot do so these days if they vote Republican.
The Abortion Problem
Christians are often pro-life. But if they vote pro-life they have to lend their support to this new unsavory kind of Republican party. The cost is too high. Many feel that the new-style Republicans in control of the party are using this issue primarily to push other agenda items. Christians often don’t want to support that other agenda, especially if it seems the pro-life issue is used only for fund-raising and other political purposes.
Abortion could be very rare in this country. Surely much progress would be made – even if laws weren’t changed – if the churches were making the moral and cultural difference at the local level that they should, and could, be making. As it is, agitation, emotion and money are corrupting our politics – and our churches – and not doing much good at all in this tragic area of American life.
This is one of the least-prominent issues in the Bible, but one of the most prominent among religious Republican activists. We must truly defend marriage in our own marriages. We must practice and promote healthy sexual attitudes and behavior in our churches. But surely those Christians are not evil who want our society to protect the economic and civil rights of fellow citizens – those not willing or able to live exactly by our spiritual light. If we truly let him who is without sin cast the first stone, there would be far fewer stones cast in our land.
Perhaps not all of these issues are equally important to you personally; but all of them involve Christian morality, and for many people they are decisive.
- Hope, and Mourning in America Under President Trump, or
- Freedom From Those Who Rule Us – Freedom to Not Always Fear Them
references and Bible quotations
Scriptures quoted from the New International Version, (c) 1984 International Bible Society