Monday, November 08, 2004

Not a sermon, just a thought

Conservative religious folk don't take too kindly to liberal politicians hijacking Scripture to justify big government. The reason so many evangelical Protestants and lay Catholics are conservative in political temperment is because their understanding of Scripture militates against trust in earthly princes, but commands total trust on a sovereign God.

Our vote for politicians is not for the allegiance of an economic or foreign policy program, but a sense of wise and just leadership and a proper view of government, man, and God.

The evangelical voter is not so much hoping for a messianic political figure as for a political leader who is most in tune with a biblical worldview on the proper role of government and the proper role of families, churches, charities, and individuals.

Additionally, we don't want a guy who talks a good game, we want a guy who lives a good game.

Examine, if you will, John Kerry's frequent sermonizing from the Epistle of St. James during the campaign. It was hollow to Christian conservative ears precisely because John Kerry completely demonstrated St. James's indictment of "faith without deeds" being like "the body without the spirit," dead.

You will remember that Kerry tried to woo conservative blue collar voters in the heartland earlier in the year by asserting he believed that life began at conception (a position held as doctrine by the Catholic Church and held as scriptural truth by many born-again evangelicals). Yet Kerry asserted he could not live out his faith via his political trust as senator by voting for legislation endorsing that viewpoint. In other words, John Kerry had faith in a particular notion, but lacked the will to live it out in corresponding works. Yet, on the other hand, Kerry was perfectly fine sermonizing from the Bible about Republicans allegedly failing to live out a Christian faith by failing to endorse a large welfare state, something Republicans don't even claim to have faith in anyway. How rich is that?

I don't want to get into a protracted biblical or moral debate, but I think the bottom line for Democrats mulling over how to woo "values voters" and bite into the Republican advantage on conservative Catholics and evangelicals is this:

instead of trying to fool voters that your candidate is not as far left-wing as his/her record shows he/she is, try nominating a bona fide centrist with enough street cred on social issues from the get-go so that you be not seen as a hypocrite.

Not a sermon, just a thought.