Sunday, September 07, 2008


A friend of mine commented on her husband's blog that she was surprised Donald Miller prayed the benediction at the Democratic National Convention. Wasn't it a bad idea to seem to support Obama? I asked, "What would be wrong with it if Donald Miller really does support Obama"? Someone else responded to my question with this answer: Because basic conservative principles are the logical extension of Christian influence on public policy.

I didn't repsond to that person's statement mainly because it wasn't on his blog. Another reason was that it took me a little while to test my thoughts and heart to make sure my vehement disagreement was justified and not simply a reaction to this person whose other writings elsewhere have also made me feel "prickly" towards him. My conclusion is that the "vehement" was not justified, but that I still disagree with his statement.

I truly fail to see how being pro-life pro-birth (because most Republicans are pro-war and pro-death penalty), pro-gun, and anti-gay is a logical extension of Christian influence on public policy.

The fact is that neither political party comes even close to aligning itself completely with Christian priorities. Both parties use "faith" and "family values" and "compassion" to propagate their agendas. Voting a straight ticket on either side would be foolish. That's why my voter's registration card says, "agressively non-partisan." (Fine, I wrote it there myself, but still...)

And that's also why I'm encouraging you to read this article: Voting as a Christian in the Upcoming Elections.


  1. Thanks Jeana for the article. I agreed with most of it, and find it troubling that more Christians don't seem to make it their priority to find out the facts on all issues, and instead just vote the party and not the man/woman :-) based on their personal stances on the issues. Hopefully when Nov is upon us, we will all be truly prepared to vote as God would have us vote and not give in to the pressure of a misguided sermon or the peer pressure of our fellow Christians. Conversely that we would not in a quest to be-nonconformist vote without really listening to the One who truly knows all. Now, to get to researching :-)

  2. But you are partisan, Jeana. You're just partisan for yourself.

    I am, thoughtfully and intentionally, a conservative, because I believe that modern political conservatism most closely reflects my Christian values.

    Conservatives believe that humanity is fallen, and it is the responsibility of government to suppress these fallen impulses, so that we can live together in peace. Liberals believe that humanity is good, and it is the responsibility of government to mitigate the bad things that happen to people because of their circumstances.

    Conservatives and Republicans ended slavery, got women the vote, put checks and balances in our government, and brought the country back to prosperity after the Depression and the seventies. I kind of like that stuff.

    Liberals and Democrats perpetuated slavery, started the Civil War, organized New York and Chicago's political machines, founded and funded the eugenics movement, instituted payroll taxes, promoted the deaths of millions of unborn, and let hostages sit in Iran for 444 days under Carter.

    This is not to say that I agree with everything conservative politicians do, because people are fallen, but it does mean that I will, in general, fight for conservative causes.

    I know it's popular now for Christians to hold themselves aloof from politics, but I'm just not made to be that way.

    Oh, and Sarah Palin rocks.

  3. Thanks, Steph, and thanks again for inspiring more research.

    Lorraine, I fully respect you and Tim and your conservative stance on politics. I think it's great that you have thoughtfully and intentionally chosen to align yourself with the Republican party.

    I can't do that. Not all the way. So I have, thoughtfully and intentionally, chosen not to align myself with either major party. I don't think this means I am holding myself aloof from politics. On the contrary, I am more invested in this election than any other that I have been of age to vote in. And the more I research the issues and the parties and the candidates the more I see that I cannot place both my feet in one camp, so to speak.

    I also don't think this makes me "self-partisan." I am not pushing my own agenda or trying to get a flock to people to think like me. I'm simply encouraging others to think outside the party lines and acknowledge that Christian does not equal Republican and Democrat does not equal Satan.

  4. Lorraine,

    I typically end up voting for Republicans. Not because of the party affiliation, but simply because I have appreciated the Republican candidate and his stances more.

    Forgive me for correcting someone I don't know, but it was FDR's 4 terms as president that brought the country out of the Great Depression, something that occurred during the third term of three consecutive Republican presidencies. FDR was a Democrat.

    President Woodrow Wilson was a major advocate of women's right to vote. He urged Congress to allow women that freedom and it happened during his presidency in 1920. Wilson was a Democrat.

    The checks and balances that the founding fathers implemented were put in place well before the current Democrat/Republican two party system came to fruition. It's difficult to say whether or not we could classify Washington, Adams, Jefferson, etc. as Republicans.

    Regarding the seventies: Nixon was a republican.

    I honestly don't know much about the other historical claims you have made, but they seem to be painted with very broad brush strokes.

    I don't have a problem with aligning ones views by party, though I do find myself more in Jeana's "self partisan" camp. :-) I just don't like painting the Republican party as good and the Democratic bad, which you have done, when history does not support that (though you do admit that conservatives can mess up too).

    God be glorified in this election, whoever is elected.

  5. Jeana--

    We apologize for hijacking your blog. It will almost certainly never happen again.


    Lorraine has just gone to bed, but as her husband and fellow history geek, allow me to correct a few misconceptions.

    First off, broadly speaking--conservatism vs. liberalism is far older than Republicans vs. Democrats. It is at least as old as the dispute between Locke & Rousseau.

    And it was the followers of Locke, such as Madison, who put the checks and balances into the American system of government--not the followers of Rousseau, such as Jefferson or Paine.

    Continuing in chronological order, Woodrow Wilson was--at best--a lukewarm supporter of women's suffrage. Teddy Roosevelt, on the other hand, was full-throated. The congress that passed the 20th amendment was decidedly Republican. (Incidentally, Wilson was also probably the most racist president of the 20th century.)

    As for FDR and the Great Depression, please think a little about your assertion. It took FDR 4 terms (actually 3.08 terms) to "bring us out" of it? Economists generally believe that many of FDR's reforms worsened the problem and kept the US in poverty for years longer than necessary. It wasn't until Eisenhower and the post-war boom that we really came out of it.

    As for the 70's, Nixon was a very liberal Republican, and a liberal Democrat congress held sway through the nearly entire decade. Besides, that, the problems of the 70's were largely started by the Great Society programs of Lyndon Johnson, then capped off by Jimmy Carter. Check out this graph.

    Now, obviously, these are broad strokes. Lorraine wasn't trying to convince Jeana of anything, but only explain her own reasons. And all I'm trying to do is correct a few niggling historical inaccuracies.

  6. grdipnkJeana,

    I commend you for stating your opinion on political issues, that was very brave of you. The resulting comments have been very interesting. I agree with you that both political parties have used "moral values" to convince Christians to vote for their agendas. That's why I, too am registered as an independent.

    Your Very Proud Mother-In- Law


Linharts love comments!