What the Republican Party Must Do to Keep My Vote

by Dave Miller on November 20, 2013 · 76 comments

We just finished the off-cycle elections and the next round of Congressional elections will be ramping up in the coming months. Will the split remain between the House and the Senate? Will one side or the other take both houses? Will the Senate have a veto-proof majority? These questions will be answered in 11 and 1/2 months.

While the political fires are in at least a brief hiatus, I’d like to make some personal observations about the coming elections and my participation in it.

I am thinking through whether I should continue to be affiliated with the Republican party and support its candidates.

Two facts to start this discussion:

1) I realize that no one in the Republican party – nationally, in Iowa, or in Woodbury County – is staying up late at night worrying about my vote.

2) On the other hand, I have been a pretty reliable Republican voter throughout my adult life (my first vote was for Gerald Ford against the peanut farmer from Georgia). I voted for a Democrat for Congress in 1980 when I lived in Ft. Worth, because I thought he was a good candidate. He won the election and later switched parties in the heady Reagan Revolution days, and became a Republican Senator (Phil Gramm). In the late 70s, after learning about the horrors of abortion in America, I made a commitment never to vote for anyone whom I knew was a supporter of abortion rights. That pretty much ruled out Democrats as an option where I voted. While I lived in Cedar Rapids (7 Congressional cycles) I refused to vote for our congressman, a liberal Republican, because of his abortion views.

All that to say I’ve been a lifelong Republican. Truth is, I tend to vote against Democrats much more often than I vote for Republicans. I love my current Congressman, Steve King, but more often than not I’m holding my nose at the ballot box and voting for someone I’m not enthused by, hoping that he or she defeats the candidate I’m incensed by. Every once in a while, I’d like to hang a chad enthusiastically! I am weary of simply voting Republican because that candidate is “better than the Democrat.” If I continue to settle for the lesser of two evils, isn’t evil going to reign?

So, I am wondering what the future will hold, and if my consistent voting record will change.

My Options:

  • I can continue to vote Republican. The purpose of this post is to reflect on what the Republican Party must do to keep me registered in the “R” box.
  • I can vote Democrat. When pigs fly. When the Cubs win the World Series. When John MacArthur speaks in tongues. Never. Even if a Democrat had acceptable views, as long as they caucus with the Democrat Party, they are part of the problem – abortion, the destruction of moral values, etc. This is not really an option.
  • I can vote for independent candidates. Sometimes they are good ones. The problem is that they are about 49% nuts ad 49% Don Quixote. It amounts to a protest vote, because independent voters just don’t get elected. Is wasting a vote a legitimate option?
  • I can give up voting. I have never missed a vote, since 1980, for presidential or congressional elections. But I might just decide to join the masses of Americans who find something else to do on that fateful Tuesday. Not sure what I’d do, but I can just skip a trip to Sergeant Bluff!

I realize this, if I am going to continue voting Republican, it is probably going to have to be with some lowered expectations.

I believe that the battle for “family values” as we have traditionally defined them is lost. America has accepted homosexuality as a-okay and the Republicans are not going to win with a candidate who asserts about homosexuality what the Bible says. Homosexual marriage is coming to a courthouse near you, even if it has not yet. The idea that sex is a gift of God, to be experienced only after marriage between a man and a woman is about as current as knickers or knob and tube wiring. We no longer (if we ever did) represent a “moral majority” but need to focus on being a prophetic minority. We cannot hope for a candidate who completely shares our values and represents our viewpoints. Such a candidate will likely not get nominated and will certainly not win.

If I’m Going to Continue As a Republican

So, if I am going to continue as a Republican, I am going to have to settle and compromise, to some extent. The question is where I am willing to compromise and how much I am willing to settle. I thought I would reflect on my irreducible minimum. I understand that there are no perfect people or perfect candidates. But what I am reflecting on is this, how low will I go?

1) I cannot and will not vote for someone who believes that killing a baby in its mother’s womb is okay. Someone who has a moral compass so perverted as to believe that to be acceptable simply does not get my vote. To me, that is the bedrock, the watershed, and whatever other cliched metaphor you want to apply. If the Republicans are not a pro-life party, I want nothing to do with them. Single-issue voters are held in general disrepute. Fine. There are lots of issues that matter. But this is not an issue on which I will compromise. If the GOP gives up this platform plank, I hope they get drummed in historic numbers! I will no more vote for pro-death Republicans than I did Democrats.

2) I want a candidate who respects me enough to tell me what he (or she) really thinks, not what I want to hear. It is hard to tell how sincere someone is, but I believe that a strong majority of Republican politicians are PLINO (pro-life in name only). Romney’s magically-timed revelation about abortion at precisely the moment he decided to transition from liberal Massachusetts to national Republican candidate was at best suspicious. Let Republicans be the party of straight-talk and honesty. No more saying one thing and doing another. Candidates that demonstrate this kind of insincerity will lose my vote. I don’t need a candidate to be an evangelical Christian, nor to pretend to be one, to get my vote.

3) I want a candidate who is a man or woman of character. I’m tired of hearing “family values” from men who are cheating on their wives! I’m sick of hearing those who rail against pork-barrel spending ad earmarks, but join in when it benefits them. Hypocrisy is not a quality I admire. True character is among the hardest things to discern, but I’m going to at least be looking for it! Let’s be the party of integrity.

4) I want a candidate who champions religious freedom. When cultural Christianity was the majority viewpoint in America, we could afford (though it was unwise) to hope for candidates who would enforce that viewpoint in Washington. Now, I do not believe that the question is whether the Christian mindset will prevail in America, but whether we will be allowed to practice our faith without interference. We are being painted as extremists, as hate-mongers, as dangers to society. We need to be focusing on protecting religious liberty and the freedom of speech.

5) I want a candidate who understands that you cannot debt-finance the American economy ad infinitum. I want fiscal conservatives who do not bribe voters with promises of free this and government-funded that. Republicans need to be consistent and faithful advocates of fiscal sanity.

6) I want a competent candidate. I’m sorry, fellow Republicans, but we have too often settled for candidates with more patter than brain-power. Some of our superstars, especially in the media, have been known for wild rhetoric rather than for reasoned solutions. There are some good candidates out there, people who are qualified to make some of the changes that need to be made.

What will 2014 bring? Who is going to be elected in 2016? My crystal ball is broken and I have no strange fire to offer. But I know that while I am still likely (at this point) to give the Republican candidate a close look, I’m not going to continue accepting the lesser of two evils forever.

The Discussion

Most of the commenters here are Republican, or Republican leaning. There are a few Democrats that lurk in the shadows and a few more independents. This is a self-reflective post – a Republican looking inside his own party. I’d request you avoid heaping your contempt on the GOP in this comment stream. If you’d like to reflect on your own party (or lack of one), go for it. But, fellow Republicans, what do you think about America’s political future?

  • Are you all-in with the GOP even if they abandon some of the planks that conservatives have demanded?
  • Do you buy the lesser of two evils argument?
  • Do you agree that we must view ourselves as a “prophetic minority in America” – as conservative Christians? How does that affect our political involvement?
  • Are you, like me, evaluating your part in the Grand Ol’ Party?

Tell Dave all about it!

 

 

1 Dave Miller November 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I’m pushing my luck. Our Calvinism discussion today has remained pretty civil. Now, I’m introducing politics.

If this stays civil, I’m doing a post tomorrow about tithing while drinking alcohol moderately and saying a sinner’s prayer, using only the King James.

2 Jake Barker November 20, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Wow Dave,
Praying using only KJ…..that’s tongues too….oh BTW your monthly shipment of wine went out UPS Onite today should get it in time for tomorrows post. ;)

3 David Rogers November 20, 2013 at 6:17 pm

For me, it’s fairly simple. I try to find the candidate that most closely approximates my own views on the issues (though that is not always that simple, and often requires a lot of research, and thinking through issues, and prioritizing issues). The “pick-a-candidate” websites are helpful here, to some extent, but you have to be careful to look for built-in bias in how they weight different issues. Then, I vote for the candidate whose views come closest to my own, independently of what party they are affiliated with (if any), and what chance they have of winning. For me, as a Christian, I feel I am being faithful to my convictions that way. Also, faithfulness to convictions is not the same as formulas for success. But, in the long run, the future of the world is in God’s hands, not mine.

4 Dale Pugh November 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I live in a very Republican area of a fairly Republican state. It’s easy to find candidates who fit my own viewpoints. It’s easy to vote for them. It’s easy for them to win. That being said, I think we’ll find the process more difficult in the future because of the prominence of a “go-along-to-get-along” attitude towards homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and ease of access to abortions. The only thing we have going for us now is a lame duck president who has made a complete shambles of his major legislative accomplishment. But I’m no more enamored with the current Republican legislators than I am with the Democrats. The next election cycle is going to be a tough one for me. I really despise liars.

5 John Fariss November 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm

I am technically a Democrat, and have been since I was old enough to vote for my father’s high school buddy, the late Congressman Bill Nichols of Alabama. But both parties have their share of people with do nothing more than patter their party line, and reflect whatever sentiment the prevailing winds blow their way. In fact, that is part of the reason I would not make a pledge about abortion the way Dave has: many, in my opinion, who claim to be against it do no more than give it lip service at election time–and that goes all the way up to the White House, with the last several Republican Presidents. And even though I find it morally abhorrent, it is the law of the land, and voting for a pro-life commissioner of deeds, circuit court Judge, state senator, or even congressman is not going to change that. But being registered as a Democrat does not require me to vote Democratic, and I make my choices much the same way that David Rogers said he makes his. David is also, IMHO, right on target about “pick-a-candidate” websites and mail-outs, in that they are often biased and pick their questions and parse their answers in a way that favors their candidate of choice. And I haven’t voted for a third-party candidate since I was young and foolish.

John

6 volfan007 November 20, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Let’s all pray that Dr. Ben Carson will run for President. I heard him speak at Union University’s, Scholarship Banquet. I’m for him.

David

7 Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. November 20, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Volfan,

Amen and Amen. He would be excellent. The only Republican that could defeat Hillary in my opinion.

8 Dave Miller November 20, 2013 at 7:21 pm

I know little about him, except snippets of the speech he gave a couple of years ago. But he sounds good to me so far.

9 volfan007 November 20, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Dr. Ben Carson is super intelligent. He came from a poor family, so he can relate to the common man. He is very conservative. He said many things that had me ready to shout….at a fancy, scholarship banquet with a bunch of big wigs in attendance, too!

I hope he runs for President. He’s the kind of man we need in the White House.

David

10 Joshua Breland November 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Dave,

You said,

“I want a candidate who respects me enough to tell me what he (or she) really thinks, not what I want to hear.”

Do you want this from denominational leaders? I find it humorous that Southern Baptists demand this from their politicians but not from their Baptist leaders.

11 Dave Miller November 20, 2013 at 10:31 pm

I would expect it even more so from denominational leaders.

12 Dave Miller November 20, 2013 at 10:31 pm

I would expect it even more so from denominational leaders. Of course, most of the time, I have no say in their election or selection.

13 SVMuschany November 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

One of the largest reasons, in my opinion, that the Republican party does not constantly represent the Conservative values that its core “base” believes in, is because that very same “core” is lax in actually forcing the politicians in power to stay true or get out. Far too many Christians are apathetic to the political process. They think on lines of “My mind is on the Kingdom of God! I won’t get involved in politics.” And I think that type of action is damaging and destructive, not only to the health of this country, but to the cause of that very Kingdom of God they seek to serve.

I am not a post-Millenialist, but one of the good things that this eschatology system had going for it was the belief that Christians need to be active in the world. We never will “convert” the world to the point where God’s kingdom becomes reality. But we also need to be careful not to neglect being involved in the political realm of this country.

Romans and 1st Peter both tell us to submit to the governing authorities. However, in the United States, the “true” governing authority is to the Constitution, not to politicians. The government is supposed to serve the people, not the other way around. Thus when people neglect and do not get involved in the political process, from the Federal level down through the states and finally to the local level, they are in affect are violating what Scripture commands.

That also gets me to my other major gripe. Far too many people look only to the Federal level in terms of politics. If we REALLY want to be involved in change, we must START at the local level. Republican party not doing enough for you? Start a third party movement at the local and State levels. Want to keep the Republican party but remove the “career” politicians and those not interested in core Conservative values? Get communities and states on board, THEN start to change Washington. Far too many get things all backwards, and that is ineffectual.

14 Ryan Abernathy November 20, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Dave,

I’m with you on most of what you si has far as choices and criteria. I soured on the Republicans and became an independent who usually votes Republican with my nose held about 12 years ago. Last presidential election I voted, but left my vote for president blank- because in Oklahoma you can’t have an independent on the ballot and I could not vote for Obama OR Romney out of conscience.

I would like to engage one of your points and ask you to reconsider. You say that you can’t vote for a Democrat because of their party’s platform. I could not for a pro-choice Democrat for the same reasons as you, but I could easily and happily vote for a pro-life Democrat- and they do exist, generally on the state not national level. Truthfully, I would do this happily because if they won it might begin some leverage of turnaround to move the Democrats away from their hardcore abortion rights no matter what philosophy.

The mood of the country comtinues to shift on abortion towards life and I think the righ mix of Democrats could lead to the end of this as a focus or plank in that party. It would be slow but it could happen if enough pro-life Dems are elected at the state level.

For that reason I would encourage you to reconsider your position on never voting for a Democrat based on their national party platform. Every candidate deserves to be judged on their own personal merits.

On another note, I really like your calling out of the pro-life lip service on the part of the Republican Party. It’s disgusting. It’s also been a hobby horse of mine over the last couple of years. With all of the pro-life presidents, congressmen, and justices we have seen elected, you would think we would have seen the repeal of Roe v. Wade. We haven’t because no one takes being pro-life seriously once they are elected. There are so many other pressing issues that it gets glossed. The real action on this issue is at the state level. The Supreme Court has made it pretty clear- especially the recent ruling on Texas- that the regulation and limiting of abortions falls on the states. That’s where we can and are making a real difference.

15 Dave Miller November 20, 2013 at 10:34 pm

As I said, once long ago I voted for Phil Gramm who was a pro-life Dem, at the time.

But the Dems as a party are so passionately pro-death at this time that I would have trouble voting for any Dem to statewide or national office. He or she would caucus with the Dems, support their judicial appoitments, etc.

16 Dave Miller November 20, 2013 at 10:35 pm

And, as I said, PLINO is an accurate descriptor of a vast majority of Republican politicians. They are pro-life to get elected, but do not much care about it as they legislate.

17 Lynne November 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Mitt Romney was (is) THE gold standard of this ‘shifting platform’ phenomenon. I could not stomach his reversals on gays and abortion so I decided to vote ‘independent’ by way of a ‘write-in’ in the last presidential race. I lost a couple friendships during this time, but so began my questioning of the GOP. I’ve never looked back. Dave, reading your article was like looking in the mirror – I’m so glad that there are more of us out there.

I could not agree more with Ryan who points out that there are pro-life democrats out there and we should consider supporting them when and where possible. I thank you Ryan for extending that thought to one possible conclusion of:

“because if they won it might begin some leverage of turnaround to move the Democrats away from their hardcore abortion rights no matter what philosophy.”

That is powerful to consider especially in light of the fact that, as you also point out, it is the pro-life stance that is growing while the pro-abortion mindset is waning – perhaps in small numbers, but no matter, that is the way it is moving. And praise God for that.

18 Tarheel November 20, 2013 at 10:35 pm

David,

I like you have the litmus test of pro life….I cannot vote for anyone who is for expanding/protecting the pro abortion agenda in this country.

PLINO…I like it. ;-) It’s apt.

I feel like I could have written what you posted…almost word for word…well at least thought for thought…I am not as articulate as you.

I have soured too on the Grand Ole Party too. However, I am thinking that there may be one left on the national stage that I might be able to get behind…

Here is one of them;
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/11/20/Exclusive-Rand-surveillance

Rand Paul is talking about big and important substantive ideas and is not simply speaking platitudes, he stands up (sometimes alone among the power structure of DC)…that is what the GOP has been missing…some actually GRAND ideas and importance articulately shared with principled fervor….instead we nominate boobs who would not know a thing about moral or fiscal sanity or even the bare bones of shaping a winning political agenda if their lives depended on it.

Paul is addressing these issues in a way that resonates with so many people because they are good and right and noble age old inextricably linked ideas of freedom and morality.

19 Tarheel November 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm

I’ve coined a phrase myself…..”capitolists”.. Too many republicans have joined this

These are “establishment members” of both ‘parties’ who have joined the brotherhood of Capitol Hill and could not care less what anyone thinks unless they are thinking of not granting them more power and money.

20 Dave Miller November 20, 2013 at 10:53 pm

The Lesser of Two Evils: A follow up question:

Most of us will admit that we tend to vote way too often for the “lesser of two evils.” Mitt Romney was not my first choice as a Republican Candidate. He was not my second choice, or my third. In the field of 9 candidates (that is my estimate, my memory) he would have been about my sixth choice, maybe lower. But I voted for him because I don’t really like the policies of the current administration. I was not a huge fan of John McCain, or Bob Dole or George the First. I just liked them better than Obama, Gore, Clinton, or Dukakis.

I get sick of voting for the lesser of two evils. But is it wrong to do so?

My guess is that most of us look at the prospect of having to say the words “President Hillary Clinton” to be distasteful. I actually pulled for (but did not vote, obviously) Barack Obama against her in the primaries in 2008. That specter is too horrifying for words!

But imagine that she was running against Adolf Hitler. Would I vote for Hillary against Hitler. All joking aside, there is a big difference there. I don’t like Hillary at all, but she is nothing compared to the butcher of Berlin, the initiator of the Holocaust. Hillary Clinton would be better than Adolf Hitler, can we all agree to that?

So, here is my question. What are the limits of the “lesser of two evils” ethic?

I would much rather Chris Christie be President than Hillary. By refusing to vote for him as a pro-choice Republican, I might be contributing to the election of someone I consider to be much worse. But to vote for him I would have to sacrifice my own ethics and beliefs. To some extent, we do that every time. Unless Jesus is running for office (he’s not), we are going to have to vote for someone imperfect, fallen, sinful. All elections are, in effect, a choice between evils, between sinners.

But at what point do I say “this far and no farther”?

21 David Rogers November 20, 2013 at 11:36 pm

I am not going to say someone is “wrong” for doing so, but personally, I have decided never to vote for “the lesser of the evils” anymore. If all Christians would do that, even though we may not all be agreed on who the best candidate is, I believe it would help the credibility of our testimony, inasmuch as it would bear witness to the relative importance we give to our convictions, the relative lack of pull that thirst for power holds over us, and our ultimate trust in God as the sovereign King of history. And who knows? Maybe not. But it might just revolutionize the political dynamic in our country as well.

22 Rick Patrick November 21, 2013 at 12:42 am

Like it or not, it’s a two-party system. Either I vote for the lesser of two evils or I am supporting the greater of two evils by default.

To keep my vote, the Republican Party must stand for one less sin than the Democrats. If it’s a tie, I could rationalize not voting. But currently, it’s not even close.

23 David Rogers November 21, 2013 at 1:09 am

Could the days of the two-party stranglehold be numbered? Some think maybe so:

http://swampland.time.com/2013/10/22/not-a-joke/

24 Dave Miller November 21, 2013 at 4:00 am

Doesn’t give much incentive to the GOP to hold the line does it? All we’ve got to be is one sin better than the Dems. Sets the bar kinda low doesn’t it?

25 Rick Patrick November 21, 2013 at 7:44 am

Not as low as the Democrats…by definition. But you’ve got to remember that I’ve never given up on the so-called Culture Wars, which I really view as nothing more than being salt and light in our world and speaking out in favor of Christ honoring values. I’ve not exchanged “confrontational clarity” for “convictional kindness.” I believe the incentive for the GOP to hold the line on social issues is linked not to our votes but to our voice. If social conservatives made as much noise as the fiscal conservatives in the Tea Party, they would be paying more attention to us. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and we stopped really squeaking at least a decade ago.

26 Dwight McKissic November 21, 2013 at 9:31 am

Rick & all,

I believe that within two years there will be the emergence of a ” Kingdom Party” that will merge the righteousness positions of the Republicans with the justice positions of the Democrats. That party is going to shake America as nothing before. It will bring us together across racial, denominational, & party lines. It will be the undoing of the two party system as we know it today. It will be somewhat a revival of the Moral Majority combined with the SCLC that was led by Martin Luther King. What a great day it will be for our nation. It will be a partial fulfillment of the promised last days outpouring promised in Acts 2. Wait & see.

27 Bill Mac November 21, 2013 at 10:38 am

Dwight,

I’m tempted to jump into this, but before I do, could you give me a glimpse of what that party would look like, in terms of platform? Frankly it is difficult for me to judge the democratic party as positive in anything they stand for, but I’ll wait to see what you have to say.

Thanks

28 Dwight McKissic November 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

Bill Mac,

Platform: Pro-life, Pro-Traditional Family Values, ant-gay marriage, school vouchers, equal treatment in sentencing for all persons in the criminal justice system, gun control laws that mirror Israel’s gun control laws. Equal Opportunity For All. Democrats were right on the Lily Ledbetter Case. Democrats are right on making sure that law & policy reflect equal value & treatment of all citizens. Democrats are right in the advicating a core value of that philosophically promote the social & economic justice of all people. The best way I know to explain it would be to look at the agenda of the Moral Majority when Falwell was at the helm & the agenda of the SCLC when MLK was at the helm & you will see the Kingdom Party Agenda. Or better still, study everything the Bible says about righteousness, combined with a study of everything that the Bible says about justice. In doing so, you will find the Kingdom Party Agenda. Reading Tony Evans book in the Kingdom Agenda would also give you additional insight. Thanks for asking.

29 Bill Mac November 21, 2013 at 11:26 am

Are repubs really against equal pay for equal work? And against equal sentencing for offenders? Honestly I’ve never heard that Democrats are for the latter.

The criminal justice system in this country needs a major overhaul. We have to find some way to punish non-violent (non-dangerous) offenders without sending them to jail.

30 David Rogers November 21, 2013 at 11:50 am

Dwight,

Such a platform would likely get my vote, but I am leery of what too much political success might do to the church at large–getting our focus off of preaching the gospel, our sights set on positions of power, etc.

That being said, I am not going to hold my breath until such a coalition comes together, either. The interests on both sides–big-business fiscal conservatives, and social democrat liberals–are too strong, and their power bases are too entrenched.

And my hopes are not pinned on something like this happening, but rather in the preaching of the gospel, the transformation of individual lives, consistent discipleship lived out in the context of committed churches, and the eventual return of Christ who will set up His perfect Kingdom when He comes.

31 Tarheel November 21, 2013 at 10:49 am

I too would request some elaboration, Dwight.

32 Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. November 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Bill Mac,

Rightly or wrongly the Republicans are generally considered to favor business/management over labor; against increasing the minimum wage; in the Lily Ledbetter case high profile Republicans favored a more enhanced Federal Retirement program for men over women; anti affirmative action/opportunity based on color or economic background; sentencing laws that allow for lesser sentences for Cocaine possession vs. crack possession; sentencing laws that have somehow resulted in minorities and poor people being convicted of crimes and sentenced to lengthier punishments for the same crime than Whites. There is clearly a disparity of justice in America based on color and economics.

Republicans tend to favor racial profiling. Democrats tend to be steadfast against it. Black Christians tend to vote Democrat based on their justice/economic positions, while holding their nose at their social positions. White Christians tend to vote for the Republicans based on their social positions, while be almost totally inconsiderate or even mindful of the justice/economic positions that minorities are concerned about. This must change. We must figure out away to come together under the banner of a Kingdom Agenda that we all can buy into and work together.

33 Tarheel November 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm

It is my belief that Affirmative action policies are in fact one if he remaining stains of racism and should end with quickness.

Dwight, Wow….republicans favor racial profiling? (I support any kind of profiling that us fact based and appropiate, just because someone has a certain skin color is not enough…the skin color profiling happens both ways, btw.

Reps don’t Don’t support equal pay for equal work? (I don’t support the Feds setting pay for anyone; plus all the stats thrown out there is not “equal work” at all…instead they tend to include all working men and all working women…thts a skewed way to look at it from the outset.

IMO, your assesment of why “white people vote republican” itself smacks of racial profiling and perhaps even a tinge of racism.

I’m hoping I misunderstood you.

34 Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. November 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Tarheel,

The SBC voted in favor of a plan in Phoenix to intentionally include more people of color in all aspects of SBC life. Annually, entity heads are to give an account as to how they are implementing this plan at their entity. No quota’s were/are required for hiring, but the expectation for minority inclusion, and accountability for honoring the plan was set in place.

I’ve noticed that since the adoption of this minority inclusion plan in SBC life, there have been some significant, noticeable, and measurable improvements. We now have minority VP’s at the EC and the NAMB. We have a African American as head of the Music Department at SWBTS, and of course the President of the SBC is a minority. There are probably other minorities in 1st time high profile positions in the SBC that I am not aware of. All of these appointments took place to the best of my recollection after or very near the adoption of the minority inclusion plan. Entity heads report on minority appointments as never before. I was most impressed that SEBTS hired a VP of diversity to oversee the inclusion of minorities in all aspects of campus life. That was an “off the chain move”(hood speak for something positive or extremely good) by SEBTS. I’ve always been impressed with Danny Akin and his positions and now practice when it comes to race.

Point: The SBC effectively adopted something analogous to an Affirmative Action Plan and it is working. Thanks God there are no quotas required, but clearly a plan is in place.

Tarheel, What would be wrong with “The Kingdom Party” having a “affirmative action plan” similar to the SBC? Would you oppose that? Do you view the SBC plan as racist?

Because of historic racial and gender systemic discrimination in America that allowed one race of people to gain a substantial advantage over other categories of people, doesn’t biblical justice demand that something be done to redress that situation? Your abhorrence and attitude against an affirmative action type plan helps me to understand why many Christian Blacks simply will not consider voting Republican, and believe that what you are expressing explains how the majority of Republicans feel about this matter. This is why we need a Kingdom Party that will marry righteousness and justice.

35 Tarheel November 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I have not seen that resolution, but if you describe it properly as affirmative action-lite…..I probably would have voted against it…simply because i think any time you make skin color the focus you are by definition showing preference or in some form bias toward or against someone for that reason.

Affirmative action as a matter of law seeks to continue to repress ‘people of color”. (I do not like that term, but since you are using it and some form of moniker is necessary for the discussion I will use it.)

What I mean by continuing to repress is that it conveys an idea of “hey, you can’t succeed on your merit, you cant be qualified, apply and be accepted on that basis, so we will grant you special status so that we can ensure you suceed”

What is happening there is still the idea that “one group” must allow the success of another…basically saying that alone “people of color’ cannot succeed without help from “another people group”….it continues not eliminates preferential and biases.

In Scripture we are told over and over that God see’s no distinction based on skin tone, or ethnic background…there is but one race…the human race….that should be the goal…looking at all people as humans worthy of dignity and respect and stop carving out special groups for special treatment…whether good intended or not…affirmative action is racist if not by definition…certainly by application.

We have got to stop carving out special and acceptable biases and preferences under a better sounding name…like affirmative action. It kinda makes me sad that the SBC did that, if it as you described it…not because I do not want to see “more color” but because the color should not be the focus at all…it is not to God and it therefore should not be to His poeple.

36 Dave Miller November 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm

If the party you describe comes to pass, I will likely join.

37 Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. November 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Tarheel,

I agree that at some point we must take color out of the law, in other words no more affirmative action. But that date needs to be set in the legislative process, and after sufficient enough progress is evident. It wouldn’t matter to me what that date is, perhaps even as early as 2025. But at this point, some form of AA is needed, just as we recently implemented in the SBC. The SBC AA move from my vantage point was much more meaningful than the ’95 apology. The SBC AA move was “fruit worthy of repentance”.

38 Tarheel November 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

See my post above for comment….I probably should have posted it here….right now it is post #35.

39 Rob Ayers November 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Dwight,

You say that continued discrimination based upon race is needed in the short term – but in the long term it could be quantified. You provide a arbitrary year as a termination point (2025) without justification. Is it your contention Dwight that progressively the sin of racial discrimination will be lessened to the point that the continued forced discrimination by the power of the state can be removed? By your arbitrary date? How is that forced discrimination any less a sin committed by the state than it is in the minds and hearts of those who discriminate by race? How do you suppose that the sin of discrimination will be lessened to the extent in your arbitrary date? Why not in 2014? Why not in 2020? Why not in 2050? Why not now? Must the innocent who work or study hard be discouraged to learn that their efforts are naught because of some arbitrary racial mix mandated by the state for the sins of others? Should those whose work is less be rewarded by the same mandate? Help me hear please.

Rob

40 Dwight McKissic November 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Rob,

Great questions. Time is limited, stacked schedule. My short answer to your question is: how do you propose that we address the historic, systemic discrimination that women & minorities have experienced at the hand of the government? It is the victim who will have to say when the debt is paid. As a member of the victim race, I know the majority of my people do not feel that the debt for 200 years of government sanction racial discrimination has been paid.

Case in point. My mother taught school in Arkansas for $200 per month, while her Whote counterparts made $400 per month. At what point is the debt settled for that kind of discrimination that even impacted my inheritance?

You are calling affirmative action discrimination. Is that fair to call it that when the reason that it exist is to redress discrimination? You are right about this though. The year 2o25 is an arbitrary number to prompt minorities to recognize that AA will not last forever & we are the ones who need to lead the effort in determining when it shall come to an end.

41 Rob Ayers November 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Dwight,

As a member and one of the great leaders of the Kingdom of God, what would Jesus say or do? Would He suggest that one should seek redress or even vengeance for wrongs committed against them and their ancestors? Or would He say that forgiveness is an even greater act of redemption than social justice?

Since we do live in a sinful world, there is no one who has not felt the sting of discrimination – some more, some less. I was bullied as a child because I was the weak nerd – when I went out for football in the 7th grade they called me “killer” because of my physical limitations. This impaired my social confidence and kept me in the shadows for far too long. I do not seek now some artificial means to inflate by wounded psyche from an outside source save one: my Savior has forgiven me (and my tormentors), and so now I can move on by His Grace, Mercy and Strength.

Must the victim continue to demand redress from the innocent? Even Scripture indicates that we are each responsible for our own sins, and not for the sins of others. If a person or business discriminates against a person of color in employment or in providing/withholding goods or services based solely on race, should not the guilty alone be forced to pay compensation to the aggrieved?

Truthfully brother all I see in the system you are advocating is a perpetuation of the problem at hand. Those who are harmed negatively by your system will blame minorities because their hard work was negated for something they did not do nor have any control of. Do you really believe that most people you know will be approving of your 2025 date? Or will they continue to hold grievances and bitterness because the sin of discrimination has not abated enough for their likes? And it will not be abated because humanity is a sinful and despicable set of beings whose natural inclination will not be eliminated on this side of glory?

Rob

42 Dwight McKissic November 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Rob,

Once again your questions are valid. This is a case where the oppressed & the oppressors(or their descendants see things differently). There are residual effects positive & negative of yesterday’s discrimination that are still impacting the lives of people today. Democrats tend to wholeheartedly understand & support affirmative action. Republicans take the attitude …”Get over it”. This is one of those wedge issues that keep the Kingdom Community from voting as a block. Many Blacks view AA as a debt owed, that has not been paid in full. Obviously, you don’t see it that way. But the Kingdom Party could hammer out a policy position acceptable to both sides where we perhaps meet somewhere in the middle. That’s why I propose that we simply settle on a date when AA will end. I don’t belive that we will ever reach an agreement on the merits or demerits of AA. But we can reach an agreement on the ending date. I hope that I adequately addressed your questions below.

43 Rob Ayers November 22, 2013 at 1:25 am

My brother Dwight,

You wish to speak politically – I am speaking spiritually and morally. It was immoral and a sin for people to enslave, abuse, mistreat and degrade people based upon their skin color and where they were born. It was a tragedy and an affront to God that people took others who were made in the image of God, ripped them from their homelands, forced them to remain in abhorrent gut-wrenching conditions (in which many did not survive) and then forced them to labor (under duress and without remuneration) for another man’s wealth. Chattel slavery is un-scriptural, a spit in the eye’s of God in which the Torah condemns viscerally with death to the perpetrator who degrades themselves in such sin.

It continued to be a sin for governments and individuals to keep people of color “down” by various policies, laws and regulations such as segregation and Jim Crow. It was evil that many were lynched for merely being black – a stain that God will never forget as the blood calls Him from the ground. It was a grave and horrendous evil that many wrapped themselves in the clothes of religiosity in justifying themselves as they placed on fire the symbol of righteousness while cowardly wrapping themselves in sheets as they committed atrocities on the black community. I come from Tulsa, Oklahoma where it was considered good to bomb from biplanes portions of North Tulsa (Greenwood being burned to the ground, with 10,000 people displaced, with 300 people buried in mass graves) because it was said that a black shoe shine boy got uppity with a white elevator operator.

It was evil that your mom received half pay just because she was the wrong skin color. It was immoral that you were discriminated against because you were your father’s and mother’s son. God will have the final say in all of these actions for no sin is hidden, and God is the Righteous avenger whose justice will be served in due time and His timetable.

I believe that when you justify discrimination by the state (for recompense) then you justify those who did all of these atrocities before. You understandably know the evil committed against you and your ancestors. You know what it feels like when someone unjustly and without reason besides that which you cannot control slights you, abuses you, or declines to support you because of your race. Yet you believe that the power of the state, doing the same thing in determining winners and losers based on racial quotas is just.

It would seem to me that being the aggrieved victim, you would know exactly what to avoid – racial discrimination of any kind for any reason for any purpose. When you were the victim, you understood the morality that when the strong oppress the weak that it is a sin. The highest virtue is not seeing that a “debt owed is repaid” – but found in the Master’s words, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” and “vengeance is mine, I will repay.” Otherwise you justify discrimination “if done for a good purpose”. Since all of us can think of some past grievance or injustice that needs avenging then it must be perfectly okay for the strong in prosperity to oppress the weak (right?) This then justifies those who did it before, and justifies those who will do it today or in the future be they white or black. It justifies the government sanction of slavery and Jim Crow as well as justifies the government sanction of artificial racial quotas. I say discrimination is wrong and a sin practiced by any individual (including the state) against anyone be they black, white, Hispanic, for as the beloved hymn says, “…red and yellow, black and white, we are precious in His sight.”

This morality is not white or black. It derives from one who was born into the world a Jew who took the shame and injustice of the cross He did not deserve and forgave us our transgressions and sins – who of the penalty and debt of sin said, “it is finished.” Are we greater or lesser than the Master and His example?

Rob

44 Adam G. in NC November 22, 2013 at 2:22 am

I’ve heard Affirmative Action called a continuation of the 3/5 Compromise, with a positive spin.

45 Bill Mac November 22, 2013 at 11:23 am

BTW, just a quick look at Israel’s gun laws seems like it would require a repeal of the 2nd amendment. I doubt the Kingdom Party would get very far with that.

46 Dwight McKissic November 22, 2013 at 11:28 am

Rob,

The first paragraph in your latest reply(now comment # 43) says to me that you understand the depth of the problem & the severity of the pain that descendants of those discriminated against feel. Those of us over 50 living in the South, actually experienced & lived through the in-your-face racism & discrimination ourselves. I had to fight back tears as I read your first two paragraphs because I recognized that you truly feel our pain, & identified with it. You were/are not Just another “get over it” type Republican. It was important for me to understand that you truly understand the problem, acknowledge the wrong, and say, I’m sorry. No one should ever gave been treated this way. Thanks. I am still emotional as I type this.

Most of what I’ve expressed represents what I believe represents the majority thinking among people of color, at least that is what I hear from those I pastor & talk to. Most vote Democrat because the Democrats do a better job expressing & redressing the pain you so adequately & eloquently articulated in your first two paragraphs in your latest reply. It is difficult to partner & vote with a party or people who won’t acknowledge your pain and it’s validity.

I deeply appreciate you challenging me to look at the matter morally & spiritually or through the eyes of the Kingdom. Obviously people do that on many issues & still arrive at different conclusions. Individually, I chose to do that many years ago. That’s why I’ve voted Republucan without exception since 1984 except for the immediate past Presidential election where I didn’t vote for either of the candidates. I have reached a point that we must declare an end to AA for all the reasons you mentioned @ more. It’s simply a matter of deciding when to declare it to end.

I am not a spokesperson for those considering forming a Kingdom Party. I am not exactly sure what the official platform stand on AA might be on this issue. Knowing some of the parties involved, I belive that a platform position in AA might strike a balance between the forgiveness-let’s put it behind us position–with the let’s determine what constitutes the repayment of the debt, and declare it over when the debt is paid ays certain date. The mistake of the existing AA policy is that I don’t believe that there is an end-game built into the legislation/policy.

I agree with your Kingdom position that redemption & forgiveness must take place & be granted to the government on this issue by those who have been the victims, or their descendants. Jesus said it best: Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. Rob, I forgive, and I am ready to mice on. The Kingdom Party will hopefully bring others to that point, or somewhere in the middle. You must admit, that’s better than we have now.

I will be away from the computer for a great part if the day. But I will respond intermittentingly as time & opportunity permit. Thanks.

47 John Wylie November 22, 2013 at 11:38 am

Bill Mac,

What do my you mean, that it would require a repeal of the 2nd Amendment? I guess I’m not following you. Thanks

48 Bill Mac November 22, 2013 at 11:40 am

Democrats tend to wholeheartedly understand & support affirmative action.

I disagree with this. Democrats see a group they can manipulate and exploit, much the same way Republicans view evangelicals.

What will the republicans do when some Christians decide that voting for the lesser evil is still voting for evil?

49 John Wylie November 22, 2013 at 11:42 am

Bill Mac,

I see what you are saying now. Sorry I was behind on reading the comments.

50 Bill Mac November 22, 2013 at 11:45 am

John: My research is not exhaustive, just took a quick look, but it looks like gun ownership is not guaranteed by law, as ours is. Israeli citizens have to jump through a great number of hoops to obtain guns. There doesn’t appear to be much in the way of gun ownership for personal protection, hunting, or recreation.

51 John Wylie November 22, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Bill Mac,

You are right about Israel’s gun laws. Gun ownership is not a right and it’s difficult to obtain a license for one. In America gun ownership by the numbers is about 1 to 1 but in Israel it is about 1 gun to 50 people.

52 Dwight McKissic November 22, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Bill Mac,

Do you really believe that evangelicals vote Republican because they are being “manipulated & exploited” & African Americans vote Democrat because they are being “manipulated & exploited” by the Democrats? Or is it that both groups are voting sincerely, intelligently, & convictionally, for the party that they believe represent their interest & highest prioritized issues?

It could be viewed as offensive & demeaning to suggest that these groups are being manipulated. If so, it does not doeskin well of their intelligence, discernment, or decision making.

53 John Wylie November 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Brother McKissic,

I know you addressed this question to Bill Mac, but I would like to chime in. I personally do believe that both parties have largely exploited and manipulated their respective constituencies in a number of ways. When a political partisan spins facts in order to make their party look good on a particular subject is engaging in manipulation. And when a partisan uses people ( i.e. Joe the plumber, the Sandy Hooks survivors, the 911 survivors etc…) to advance their own political standing or cause, that is manipulation.

I certainly agree that sincere and thoughtful Christians vote for their respective parties in a very conscientious way, but I also believe that none of us are intelligent or informed enough so as to totally inoculate us against exploitation and manipulation. The reasons this are manifold, but the most glaring reason is that we are often not privy to the same information that those running for office are.

54 Bill Mac November 22, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Dwight:
Both can be true. People can vote sincerely and still end up being pawns of the people they are voting for. Politicians lie. A lot.

55 Adam G. in NC November 23, 2013 at 1:43 am

Parties exploit and manipulate their respective bases…because that’s modern politics…and we should all feel ashamed, offended and demeaned. The fact that we dont is what is so sad.

56 Adam G. in NC November 21, 2013 at 1:29 am

I’m not going to speak here as if there really are two different parties in this country. They are just two sub-groups of the same folks with more in common than not (not like they are all American, but more like they are both mafia, but different families, but still mafia).

We dont need to create a new third party, what we need is a REAL two-party system that offers you REAL choices. Right now the Republican party is in a death struggle with itself (think Buckley/Reagan/Paul vs. Nixon/McCain/Christie). There is hope that what emerges after 2014 is a Republican party that has a philosophy that truly differs from the democrats (other than war and ‘merica) in every way…statism, economics, freedom…its all on the line here.

Currently it doesnt really matter if the Republican platform is pro-life or choice, war or non-intervention, gay or straight…cause if you pause for a couple of minutes and look back on the last 75 years you will see that they have accomplished absolutely NOTHING that they stand for (other than being always at the ready to spend hundreds of billions defending the freedom of folks who dont want it anyways). Can you think of anything? They truly have become the party of the status quo in a leftward drifting civilization.

Here’s my advice…whenever you see the likes of Karl Rove or Lindsey Graham or any other lib…er…”establishment” republican campaigning for someone in your area…vote for the OTHER guy in the primary. If there isnt one, try to draft somebody.

57 Dwight McKissic November 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Bro. John,

Points well made & well taken. It is the broad sweeping generalizations that I was addressing. It is one thing to say some may evangelicals and African Americans are bring manipulated & exploited by the Republicans & Democrats to vote for their perspective party…but to implicate “evangelicals” and African Amerocans as a whole are “manipulated” & “exploited” is patently false. Evangelicals & African Americans that I am acquainted with can articulate very well why they vote the way they do. They like David Rogers expressed early on in this comment stream vote the way they vote because of shared values at key points. I have never felt manipulated or exploited by either party to vote how I have voted. And that would be true of the majority of voters. Let’s assume others are as reasonably as intelligent as we are. No one who comments here would admit to voting for a party or person based on exploitation & manipulation. Let’s assume that that would be true of the majority of voters. What say ye?

58 John Wylie November 22, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Brother McKissic,

I understand completely what you are saying and I agree with the what you are saying in general. And I believe that the majority of voters of whatever party they vote for have very clear reasons as to why they vote the way they do.

However, where I agree with Bill Mac is that politics is by nature exploitive and manipulative. I will give you two examples in order to demonstrate my point. First, two of the reasons that I am a Republican is that I believe in limited government and limited spending. To be honest I think that I wrongly believed that George W. Bush would reduce spending and the size of government, and he certainly failed to do either. In a sense I feel like I have been manipulated and exploited. The second example will no doubt hit close to home, and I want to preface what I am about to say with the fact that I have a deep admiration and respect for you and I am looking forward to many years of a wonderful friendship, but I believe that African Americans have been exploited to some degree by the Democrats. Without going into a long dissertation as to why I believe this, I will simply ask a question, what did the founder of planned parenthood (Margret Sanger) have to say about the black race? Today the biggest defender and supporter of Planned Parenthood is the Democratic Party and the race most adversely impacted by the pro choice movement has been the black race.

Please don’t think that I am making a comment about anyone’s intelligence here, that’s why I used my own experience as the first example.

59 Dwight McKissic November 23, 2013 at 12:35 am

Bro. John,

You & I are friends. I appreciate though your being sensitive to addressing a sensitive subject with sensitivity. I need to be careful to do the same.

I voted for George Bush twice, primarily because of his stated goal to offer legislation & leadership toward a constitutional amendment against gay marriage. Shortly after he won the election his wife came out in favor of gay marriage, and in my opinion he only put up a less than half-hearted effort toward a constitutional amendment. Because of other factors, O would have voted for Bush anyhow. But for many Blacks who voted for him for the first time because of the same-sex marriage issue….they felt exploited & manipulated by his lack of committment & leadership on this issue.

The Margaret Sanger issue is real & well known in the Black Community. Again, there are other reasons Blacks vote Democratic in spite of the Margaret Sanger issue. That’s why I really don’t believe at the end if the day, people vote the way that they do as a result of manipulation & exploitation.

60 Tarheel November 21, 2013 at 5:48 am

Adam G said;

“Here’s my advice…whenever you see the likes of Karl Rove or Lindsey Graham or any other lib…er…”establishment” republican campaigning for someone in your area…vote for the OTHER guy in the primary. If there isnt one, try to draft somebody.”

Lol! That’s my thinking too!

61 Jim Pemberton November 21, 2013 at 9:46 am

As long as we don’t have adequate representation, we no longer have a representative republic. As long as we have voter fraud the extent that we have it today, we no longer have democracy. The corruption in our governing bodies reflects the corruption of fallen people, including ourselves and our neighbors. The best we can do is hold our nose at the polls and don’t expect much from whoever happens to get “elected”.

The other factor is that we have become largely ungovernable. There’s nothing much that our governing officials can do when the people are a) not unified by a common ideology and b) desire actions that are either not sustainable or in direct conflict.

For example, we expect our incomes to be worth more than they are and our government has sold the economy to our enemies in order to make this happen. People who are now retiring wanted the option of killing the future generations before they were born who would support them in their retirement. It can’t work and politicians can’t win public support telling people the truth about it.

62 Bernie November 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Well said Dave,

I tend to agree across the board with your position. I’ve followed politics closely and I’ve never before been so dismayed by our choices: a God-hating, Bible rejecting Democratic administration and party, and a weak, mealy-mouthed, compromising Republican party, akin to Democrat-Lite. No surprise there as we are in the midst of a post-Christian culture as you implied.

As to your thoughtful and provocative questions:

Are you all-in with the GOP even if they abandon some of the planks that conservatives have demanded? Unsure, because that would be determined by the planks themselves. Abortion and marriage are two ‘hills to die on’ for me, or litmus tests as to my vote. Family and freedom are at the top and life and marriage serve as the fundamentals of the family.

Do you buy the lesser of two evils argument? A difficult and challenging question. I have settled or ‘bought’ into that before (Dole over Clinton) and of course holding my nose, as I voted for both McCain and Romney since Obama was not an option. For the good of the country, a biblical case can be made for the ‘best option available’ in some cases where a major compromise is unnecessary.

Do you agree that we must view ourselves as a “prophetic minority in America” – as conservative Christians? How does that affect our political involvement? Absolutely, insofar as we are prioritizing the gospel over politics with our time, talent and treasure..

Are you, like me, evaluating your part in the Grand Ol’ Party? Yes, like never before. May God grant a revival in our churches, nation and a reformation of one of the two major parties, or a renewal of biblically based independent candidates.

63 Rick Patrick November 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm

My prediction: the Kingdom Party MIGHT get 20% of the vote. Just like Ross Perot, it would determine the outcome of the election, which would hinge on whether more Democrats or Republicans joined. The mainline party that loses fewer voters to the Kingdom Party will win.

64 David Rogers November 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm

My prediction: “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

65 Greg Harvey November 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm

So the ramification of what Rick is saying is that the Kingdom Party’s relevance would be in occasionally picking spoilers to defeat from the existing dual-party-system party that is closest to them in ideology…

Alternatively, if it were TRULY SUCCESSFUL and established a permanent “third” party (I’ll argue that doesn’t endure in the long term in American politics…it’s more likely one of the existing duopoly parties instead goes out of business since that has happened before historically), then we’d convert from a “two-party” system to a parliamentary system.

I’m not sure that would be an improvement. But in a parliamentary system you have a much more difficult time defending key priorities especially based on morality. Look at Europe for repeated proof and especially Belgium (the seat of the EU parliament.)

There are zero shortcuts to political success. If you want influence our politics, you have to convince people to support you. 20% is the starting point of influence. The bigger question is whether politics is a useful process in Kingdom work. I’ll argue that it is very easy to corrupt and very difficult to purify.

66 Rob Ayers November 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm

The framers did not develop a parliamentary system. It was familiar to them – but they did not develop it, preferring Locke’s vision of three branches with a “winners and losers” operation – the majority most always dominates – unlike in Parliamentary systems which placates minority positions, and a great deal of compromises in order to form stable governmental alliances. Because of the design of the American government, this has lead to the two-party system. While these two parties have sometimes changed names, they have remained fairly consistent throughout American history.

Rob

67 Greg Harvey November 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm

You’re absolute correct, Rob. And the ramification of the history is that unless you are planning a political movement that will REPLACE one of the parties–including a base of about 20% of the population and the ability to reach roughly half of the independents–your new political party won’t endure very long. The system won’t sustain it.

Now I realize there are counterexamples from the Libertarian “Party” to other niches. But those aren’t influential in broader American politics for the most part.

68 Dave Miller November 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Rick’s comments bring to focus the entire problem of Christians and our involvement in the political arena.

What level of pragmatism do we accept?

Do we pursue the ideal or settle for what we can get. I see logic on both sides, but I’m leaning toward a more ideological, idealistic stance right now.

69 David Rogers November 21, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Winning the battle vs. winning the war? “Success” vs. faithfulness?

As I see it, our on-going love affair, as Evangelicals, with the GOP has not gone well. We have given up more than we have gained. And I don’t see anything that leads me to believe that may change anytime soon.

Yet, at the same time, we are not exempt from standing by our convictions, studying the best we can to understand the times, and doing our best to love and serve our neighbors, and to seek their welfare, both publicly and privately.

70 Dave Miller November 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Empty promises and unfulfilled dreams – the result of 30+ years of “culture war.”

71 David Rogers November 21, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Have you read To Change the World, by James Davison Hunter?

72 Dave Miller November 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm

No, but I will.

73 Ryan Abernathy November 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Have you read Bad Religion by Ross Douthat? Solid examination of the end effects of 40+ years of cultural Christianity and culture war.

74 Adam G. in NC November 22, 2013 at 2:03 am

I’ve said it before…Evangelicals are the cheapest date in politics.

75 Adam G. in NC November 22, 2013 at 2:14 am

When words like “kingdom party” and “agenda” meet politics, I hear coercion…and “Christian Socialist American Workers Party”.

I’m sorry, but I will not vote for fascism nor pseudo-marxism regardless of a candidates religious convictions. A better goal would be a government that is neutral toward all religions, but active toward promoting the free expression of those religions. An even playing field would be a real blessing.

76 volfan007 November 22, 2013 at 10:25 pm

“It is so extremely unfortunate that many people including celebrities like Oprah Winfrey have decided to play the race card by indicating any of the people who oppose President Obama’s agenda are simply doing so upon the premise of racism. This is an invalid criticism as many people simply oppose a large government seizing control over the liberties we have formally considered to be integral characteristics of our nation. It is time to grow up and stop describing the opposition of an individual’s beliefs to be exercised as racist, this is so close-minded. Is it truly racist to oppose the forced implementation of a system of healthcare that places the government in charge of one’s most prized possession, your health? Is it racist to oppose the highest corporate tax rates in the world which drives business out of our nation rather than into it? Is it racist to oppose wealth redistribution which stifles business development and American entrepreneurship? Is it racist to oppose the policies of the Environmental Protection Agency that don’t promote energy independence? Is it racist to oppose having a weak or non existent foreign policy that places the entire world in danger? Is it racist to oppose presidential rhetoric that has produced an intolerably divisive atmosphere throughout the nation? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream of a day when we would collectively evaluate people on the basis of their character and not the color of their skin. By assuming that opposition to the president is racist we instantaneously find ourselves having abandoned Dr. King’s dream.”

Dr. Ben Carson

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