A Christian perspective on what’s wrong with the G.O.P.:

The reality is that voting Conservative does not guarantee that your values will be applied to your country. It guarantees that the candidate who claims to share those values will get to leverage his claimed moral high ground to back his decisions in the press, and on the world stage…

i knew I wasn’t the only one who thought this way. I’m not fond of his pragmatist approach (“Isn’t it better, then, to vote for someone who will put into place a process which will result in your values being applied?“) because I don’t think the application of values is the goal. This is a possible side-effect of the goal (unity with God), but it is not the goal. Just spotted another example of Christian pragmatism in what he wrote: “God gave us His Word because it contains the best plan for His kids. Everything He asks of us makes sense.” Ok, so I think he’s coming from the wrong place, but I like this point of view.

4 thoughts on “”

  1. Sure, sure.

    I think the New Yorker article “Red Sex, Blue Sex” that meuon pointed to on Flutterby recently sums up a lot of the problems that the Christian Conservatives have run into recently. They’re so focused on changing culture, on fixing the stuff “out there” that they’ve neglected their children.

    This is a big part of why I found Orthodoxy more compelling than the Protestant circles I was a part of. Lots of “What” and “Why” but very little “How”. Also, a lot of focus on external moral posturing (while maintaining that it was “faith” not “works” that counted) without the understanding that faith is a journey instead of a chosen frame of mind.

    It seems obvious to me that humility and love (I Cor 13) are a bigger “values” for Christians than almost anything that can be cast in political terms. And how many humble politicians do you know?

    1. As I probably said above (and have undoubtedly said numerous times elsewhere), it seems to me that making a dichotomy of faith and works is a fallacy; faith is expressed through works. But, again (again), this is coming from a non-believer.

      On politicians and humility, agreed: seems to me that those are of their nature contradictory. And there’s also a big unresolved in my mind about me respecting most those who lead by example, and the fact that leading by example doesn’t appear to change very many minds.

      1. Absolutely: Faith, belief is meaningless if it doesn’t affect your actions.

        I agree that acting on your faith (or “leading by example”) might not be the most effective way to get people to change their minds.

        But then, I think the goal is, in fact, acting out your faith, not gaining converts to your way of thinking.

  2. Re: Thanks!

    God gave us His Word because it contains the best plan for His kids. Everything He asks of us makes sense.

    I think the pragmatism underlying this statement is what I’m uncomfortable with. First, I’m not sure what you mean. Sure, everything God asks is sensible from the point of view of someone who dedicates themselves to God. But even what he asks is left up to our interpretation, isn’t it? I mean, what other reason is there for the thousands of Christian denominations other than the simple fact that they can’t agree on what God asks of us?

    And then this idea that everything in scriptures just “makes sense”. Assuming we could agree on what various points mean, if God’s guidance just made sense to a non-Christian, they would have already been adopted.

    For a great reality check, re-read the sermon on the mount. Sure, some of what Jesus says makes for good policy, but how is a secular audience going to want to adopt it wholesale if they have decided they don’t *want* to follow God.

    I think my core problem with Christian Pragmatism is that it tries to distill Christianity to a set of rules, actions, or policies that can be followed absent any devotion to God.

    Christian pragmatism makes an idol of Christian Ideals. It replaces a relationship with God with laws to follow. And then it has the audacity to tell us that it is for our own good.

    Perhaps that’s probably not what you meant, but that’s what I was reacting to.

    Should Christians be involved in policy? Absolutely. But the question of Barack vs McCain for many Christians was “Which candidate can I place the most checkmarks beside?” instead of “Which candidate will govern the best?”

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