Are Democrats the Christian’s Antithesis?
As a conservative Christian, I find myself trapped when it comes to politics. Conservative Christians typically vote republican. In my opinion, it mainly comes down to two reasons – abortion and same-sex marriage rights. Once a conservative Christian finds where a candidate stands on these two issues, it’s all over. There’s no need to hear the rest of the candidate’s platform. Guns, foreign policy, economy, Iraq – they are all moot points. This frustrates me to no end.
Now, before you go reading into what I’m saying, please know this, pro-life and anti-same-sex marriage are indeed huge issues. There’s no way around it. I cannot, in good conscience and as a Christian, support someone who favors those things. I just can’t. The Bible speaks pretty clearly to these two issues and to vote someone in who supports them seems, as one person put it, the antithesis to what Christians are about. And I agree.
Despite this, though, I would love to be able to objectively and critically evaluate the other issues. Do we criticize and bash anything and everything a democratic president or candidate does simply because of where s/he stands on the above mentioned issues? For example, would conservative Christians be so adamant about the right to bear arms if all things else were equal*? Would conservative Christians support or oppose certain immigration policies, assuming all candidates were pro-life and anti-gay marriage? Would former president Clinton be seen as the evil villain of American conservative Christianity? Could conservative Christians finally be able to admit that Mr. Clinton actually did some good for America?
Are we settling for what we can get? Are we simply limited by our choices? Have we thrown the baby out with the bathwater? Maybe, just maybe, not everything a democrat stands for is a Christian’s antithesis.
As I see it, most conservative Christians will be forced to vote for McCain simply because he is more pro-life and more anti-gay marriage than his counterparts. As a conservative Christian, do I really have any other choice?
Honest questions. I welcome your comments.
*I am speaking of the general population of conservative Christians. Obviously, conservative Christian NRA members will undoubtedly feel adamant about it regardless.
How come capital punishment isn’t an issue for you. I’ve always wanted to ask because for my mother who was anti-abortion she was also anti-death penalty. Her understanding was thou shalt not kill – means exactly that.
Thanks for the comment, anonymous. I won’t pretend to know much about the issue of capital punishment. It’s one of those things that I’ve always just assumed was biblical. After thinking about it for a bit, looking over some passages and talking with some people, I do have to say that the Bible, short of encouraging it, certainly allows for it. The Old Testament is full of death penalty talk. The New Testament makes several allusions to it as well – always in the context that a government is God’s given method to execute judgment and is therefore allowed execute capital punishment if it deems necessary.
As for the “thou shalt not kill” verse (Ex. 20:13), take a look at some of the newer versions of the Bible which translate the word “kill” as “commit murder”. The lawful and fair judgment of capital punishment placed on a criminal, in the minds of conservative Christians who support capital punishment, is not “murder”. Nor, for that matter, is killing while waging war.
That brings us to the next logical question, is our system of capital punishment fair? The following article, on a prominent Christian website says, “no”: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1998/april6/8t4015.html
So, should a Christian support capital punishment? I think it’s interesting that to European, British and Australian Christians this is as foreign an issue as privatized healthcare. To them, capital punishment is just understood as, at the very least, cruel.
We cannot hide behind labels – Democrats, Republicans. One “side” is not more Godly than the other. Both parties take positions on certain issues which would probably make God weep. We also need to understand that even our definitions of what is *conservative* has deep cultural roots.
pro-life (which I see as matching nicely with the death penalty stance)
Am I a republican or a democrat?
We have to take each issue individually and examine it biblically (in the original text, not just through modern English translations). Perhaps this is what you are saying too…
Love you guys.
And, good gracious, if you are going to make a comment, please do not hide behind an anonymous face. Grow some cohones, people.
Thanks for bringing this up, Jeremy. I’m very frustrated over our poor selection for presidential candidates this coming year. I am pro-life and anti-gay marriage and also against the death penalty and against the war in Iraq. None of the candidates embraces all of these stances. Each one embraces some of them and I think that combined I guess they sort of do embrace all of these stances, but you can’t have two presidents at the same time. 8 years ago, I was hoping Bush would promote life and I guess he did in some ways through his anti-abortion stance and by limiting embryonic stem cell research, but to me his extremely strong and stubborn promotion of the war and the death penalty are a complete contradiction of what I think is the “pro-life” spirit. The war and the death penalty aren’t the same as homicide since you’re dealing with combat and supposedly administering justice to a criminal, but they are nonetheless acts which cause people to die, acts that could freely be chosen not to be done just as much as they are chosen to be done. Anyways, I wish we could think outside the party lines because there are definitely some good aspects in both parties, along with the negative aspects that we are trying to avoid. Sorry I don’t have a solution for this dilemma either.