I’M NOT PASSING JUDGMENT.
I’m raising a question that I’m wondering about during this election cycle.
I have a lot of Christian friends and some family members who are voting Republican.
Some are saying it’s because the Republican Party platform better reflects Christian values—an argument that perplexes the heck out of me because I don’t see that at all beyond arguments about abortion and the gay lifestyle, two hot topics that Christians debate.
I got an email yesterday from a friend I deeply respect. It was pitching the Republicans with this line:
“We have better ideas and better candidates. We can disagree with Romney on theology,
but only one set of candidates believe in preserving American & Judeo-Christian values. Those candidates are Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan.”
Most of my friends, however, don’t want to mix religion and politics. They insist that one has nothing to do with the other.
My gut response is, “How convenient.”
When you take that position, you don’t have to defend yourself while voting for a party that wants to beef up the military beyond what even the military is requesting, continue billion-dollar welfare to oil companies, and allow rich people to pay half the tax that their secretaries pay—at the expense of compassionate services like:
- grants for school lunches for the poor
- college loans at reduced rates for kids who don’t have rich parents
- Social Security, which faces cuts or a bumpy ride on Wall Street
- Medicare, which turns into a voucher system requiring frail souls to go negotiating for a deal, like shopping for a used car (advantage used car dealer)
- Healthcare for everyone
Nor do you have to defend yourself for supporting heavy-handed government intrusion from the party that complains the government is too intrusive. Sample intrusions, which get about as personal as you can get—sex:
- A “human life amendment” that bans abortion, with no exception for rape or incest.
- Prohibition of same-sex marriages, which some Christians treat as a religious matter and others consider a legal matter.
Does arguing that religion should have nothing to do with politics allow Republican Christians to rationalize why they are voting against a Party Platform that seeks to help people in need?
I don’t know that this is true. But I have been wondering about it for the past decade or so.
Maybe there’s another option. Maybe it’s that abortion and homosexuality trump everyone and everything else, including what Jesus said was one of the two greatest commandments: love your neighbor as yourself.
Or maybe my friends are right. Religion has nothing to do with politics. Yet politics has everything to do with people. And people is what Christianity is supposed to be about.
Sorry for all of these election blogs lately. This will be over soon.
Wouldn’t it be nice to get back to the good ol’ days when Republicans and Democrats could pass each other on the street without spitting?