June 6, 2020

Open Mic: Do We Need To Vote For A Christian?

I am going to say this right up front. I do not want any comments shilling for a specific candidate, or any comments that put down other candidates. Moderation (once I can get back to my computer) will be strict. Play by the rules, iMonks.

Quite a dust storm has erupted from Dallas. No, as far as I know, Jerry Jones hasn’t fired another coach. Yet. This storm emanated from First Baptist Church in the Big D. If you read Saturday Ramblings this week you already know that Rev. Robert Jeffress, speaking at something called the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., told reporters that while he believes Mitt Romney, a Mormon, might be a “good, moral man,” those who are followers of Jesus should prefer a “competent Christian” candidate for president.

Jeffress has publicly endorsed the Texas governor, Rick Perry, for president. He furthered that endorsement when he told CNN this weekend, “I again believe that as Christians, we have the duty to select Christians as our leaders…Between a Rick Perry and a Mitt Romney, I believe evangelicals need to go with Rick Perry.”

When asked if religious views should trump competence in a presidential candidate, Jeffress replied, “Yes. To religious people, religion matters.”

I could keep quoting him and various responses (including some knucklehead from one of the “family values” organizations who said that since Mormons and Muslims do not believe in the same god as the founding fathers, they are not protected by the Bill of Rights. Seriously.), but I think I’ve made my point. Jeffress has a right to express his opinion, as misguided as it may be. I’ve heard worse. My question for you is this: Is Jeffress right? Should we as followers of Jesus prefer a competent Christian as a presidential candidate? In light of what Damaris wrote this morning, do you think it important that we elect Christian leaders to government whenever possible? And how would you respond if the pastor of your church took a similar stand as that of Jeffress?

Ok, before you begin your comments, go back and re-read the first paragraph. Stay on topic, brothers and sisters, and all will be well.

Comments

  1. no…

  2. Depends. Can you get a Christian candidate who isn’t (a) in the pockets of big business due to indebtedness due to the kind of money you need to run a campaign and/or (b) isn’t crazy?

    I have no vote on the American election, but our Presidential election is coming up soon and we have a surfeit of choices between dull, who that?, and are you kidding me? for our next President.

    Though we will also have two referenda on amendments to the Constitution on the same day as the Presidential election. Oh, the excitement!

  3. I think this is where the Christian Right falls down. Sometimes you just have to separate a particular faith tradition from the person. In choosing a candidate I might look at his moral make-up as one of many factors – but not the only factor. In the case of Romney I would look for evidence that he does possess a good morale foundation and what I know of other Mormons who have crossed my path, a good work ethic. These would be positives of course but other things have to play into the mix.

    Now if we look at let’s say a Mike Huckabee (if he were running) I would have to see if his fundy views influenced his decision making or not. Rick Santorum is from my own tribe and also a fellow conservative – but I wouldn’t consider him because he is too divisive.

    So for me it does not come down to determining whether the person is part of my tribe or not. Too many politicians have skeletons in their closet. Rather I want to see someone who is the best fit for the time we are in and act accordingly (like a Churchill versus Chamberlin). Of course from my personal view it would help if the candidate stood on my side of some social/moral issues.

    • Well, I’ll tell you, it’s tough. Because, I do believe that for me moral issues are THE most important issues we have to deal with here in America. God does not support homosexuality or abortion. If He’s not behind these issues but we as a country are, then He will not be behind us as a nation. It won’t matter one iota what the new president’s economic or foreign policies are. God will NOT bless us with his favor as He has in the past. Please just take a look at the many and varied ways in which weather, earthquakes, fires, floods, a failing economy are veritably punishing different parts of the country. Really pay attention to the ways in which these events coincide with the behaviors, beliefs, values, and law-passing of the people in those areas. That’s God. These times are biblical. And, for me, I cannot and will not vote for any candidate that is not in line with God’s opinions on these moral issues. BUT, we Americans live in a multicultural nation with many and varied beliefs on these matters. My Christian diligence may mean that my candidate is not likely to win. That’s where it gets tough. So, I don’t know how to answer your question, because who is running that is a Christian? If my candidate (i.e–write-in) does not win (and how can a write-in win?), what good is my vote? I don’t know. For me, I will continue to vote according to my beliefs and leave the outcome to the Lord. That’s all I can say. I’m just going to have to worry about my own voting behavior(s) and urge other Christian believers to do the same. Maybe then, God will favor us with someone who reflects our beliefs because we banded together as a group to vote according to our consciences.

  4. Way too many people think that God has put some sort of spiritual covering over America. I think this is inconsistent with the entire history of Christianity and perverts people’s views on politics and who to vote for.
    That aside, I would vote for Ghandi, a person who actually brought Christian principals into politics, than a person who gives lip service to Christ and then completely Ignores the faith altogether.

    • This drove me nuts. Many people act as if the United States is like Israel. A chosen people, and a sacred nation under some type of covenant. This has led to all types of problems and fringe groups from Focus on Everyone Else’s Family to David Barton to this ciricus meeting in my town… (Why here…….? (Eagle sobs) ) This has led to a faith system that is poisonous and one that has the potentila to corrupt our political system. That bothers me greatly….

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        I think the corruption has already gone the other way, from “That Nest of Vipers in Washington” to the faith system. The corruption of Power Politics: WE get into Power and then Make Everything Perfect (TM — with US the Chosen on top, of course).

  5. Paul Davis says

    I can’t stomach the evangelical political position, I argued one time with a pastor who would only vote for pro-life candidates. I told him that in politics one cannot find someone who %100 agrees with their every position, so sometimes you have to compromise. He didn’t care even if the president has little no pull on the issue, he was going to vote on a single issue only. Now I’m pro-life just to be clear, but candidates are just men, sinful, fallen men (and women of course).

    I do think we need to hold our elected officials to a higher standard, but only realizing that they are human, just like us. I could never vote for someone just because they are a Christian, that has lost all it’s meaning in this day and age, just bear in mind that Job, was NOT part of the religious orders of his time, and yes was more righteous than all the rleligious men around him.

    -Paul-

    • Paul I remember when I was in a third wave church in Wisconsin. The wife of the Pastor worked for the re-election campaign for George W Bush in 2004. She told me upfront that no Christian can vote Democrat. At the time I agreed with her but today I shake my head in shame. Many don’t get this at all….

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I can’t stomach the evangelical political position, I argued one time with a pastor who would only vote for pro-life candidates. I told him that in politics one cannot find someone who %100 agrees with their every position, so sometimes you have to compromise. He didn’t care even if the president has little no pull on the issue, he was going to vote on a single issue only.

      This is called Purity of Ideology, and it’s on the upswing these days.

      Since there are no eyewitnesses to the French Revolution left, maybe some Russian (or Chinese, or Cambodian, or Iranian) expats can tell us where the Ideologicaly Pure road can lead?

  6. I think this is a huge mistake on this pastors part, as James Fallows title a piece on his “Atlantic” blog “Just for the Record: Anti-Mormonism is Bigotry Too.” I wonder what the reaction would be if he said said the same thing about a Jewish candidate.

    This kind of thinking far to easily leads to a rather bad place. Besides, I have never found public professions of faith all that compelling. I mean, if you have to tell me how religious you are I start thinking you’re probably not.

  7. Catholic dude here. Not sure what Pastor Jeffress thinks of Catholicism. But I actually think he’s more right than wrong. The Catholic Church investigated the theology and baptismal practices of Mormons and declared their baptisms invalid. Which for Catholics means they are not brothers and sisters like Protestants are. So shouldn’t we prefer fellow Christians over non- or quasi-Christian groups?

    That said, I’m not particularly impressed by the impact of Christian faith on several of the Republican candidates. So if we’re talking nominal or lip-service-paying Christian versus Mormon that’s another story.

    • You won’t like what he has to say about Catholicism. He thinks you’re all pagan worshiping heretics who are not saved. He has also said that Catholicism in a Satan inspired counterfeit to Christianity.

      • Actually Pastor Jeffres opinions on Catholicism in his own words..”This is the Babylonian mystery religion that spread like a cult throughout the entire world. The high priests of that fake religion, that false religion, the high priests of that religion would wear crowns that resemble the heads of fish, that was in order to worship the fish god Dagon, and on those crowns were written the words, ‘Keeper of the Bridge,’ the bridge between Satan and man. That phrase ‘Keeper of the Bridge,’ the Roman equivalent of it is Pontifex Maximus. It was a title that was first carried by the Caesars and then the Emperors and finally by the Bishop of the Rome, Pontifex Maximus, the Keeper of the Bridge.

        You can see where we’re going with this. It is that Babylonian mystery religion that infected the early church, one of the churches it infected was the church of Pergamos, which is one of the recipients of the Book of Revelation. And the early church was corrupted by this Babylonian mystery religion, and today the Roman Catholic Church is the result of that corruption.

        Much of what you see in the Catholic Church today doesn’t come from God’s Word, it comes from that cult-like, pagan religion. Now you say, ‘pastor how can you say such a thing? That is such an indictment of the Catholic Church. After all the Catholic Church talks about God and the Bible and Jesus and the Blood of Christ and Salvation.’

        Isn’t that the genius of Satan? If you want to counterfeit a dollar bill, you don’t do it with purple paper and red ink, you’re not going to fool anybody with that. But if you want to counterfeit money, what you do is make it look closely related to the real thing as possible.

        And that’s what Satan does with counterfeit religion. He uses, he steals, he appropriates all of the symbols of true biblical Christianity, and he changes it just enough in order to cause people to miss eternal life.”

        • Thanks for informing me of his opinion. Obviously he thinks Catholicism is evil. Oh well, maybe he’ll buy my book and change his mind. 🙂

        • Jack Heron says

          And a really clever forger points out the differences between his dollar bill and yours – look, you can see that yours is a forgery! Compare it to the real one I have in my hand!

          Clever Pastor Jeffress.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          You can see where we’re going with this. It is that Babylonian mystery religion that infected the early church, one of the churches it infected was the church of Pergamos, which is one of the recipients of the Book of Revelation. And the early church was corrupted by this Babylonian mystery religion, and today the Roman Catholic Church is the result of that corruption.

          Chapter-and-verse out of Hislop’s playbook: Two Babylons, a Victorian-era classic of anti-Catholic hate literature. (Not much of a stretch to compare it to Protocols of the Elders of Zion.) Whenever you hear the code phrase “Babylon Mystery Religion” or “Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz”, you’re dealing with a Hislop knockoff. (Like Alberto Rivera & Jack Chick.)

          • Everytime I see the references to Dagon, my mind immediately goes to H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow over Innsmouth”:

            “It took no excessive sensitiveness to beauty to make me literally gasp at the strange, unearthly splendour of the alien, opulent phantasy that rested there on a purple velvet cushion. Even now I can hardly describe what I saw, though it was clearly enough a sort of tiara, as the description had said. It was tall in front, and with a very large and curiously irregular periphery, as if designed for a head of almost freakishly elliptical outline. The material seemed to be predominantly gold, though a weird lighter lustrousness hinted at some strange alloy with an equally beautiful and scarcely identifiable metal. Its condition was almost perfect, and one could have spent hours in studying the striking and puzzlingly untraditional designs – some simply geometrical, and some plainly marine – chased or moulded in high relief on its surface with a craftsmanship of incredible skill and grace.

            …As the good lady shewed me out of the building she made it clear that the pirate theory of the Marsh fortune was a popular one among the intelligent people of the region. Her own attitude toward shadowed Innsmouth – which she never seen – was one of disgust at a community slipping far down the cultural scale, and she assured me that the rumours of devil-worship were partly justified by a peculiar secret cult which had gained force there and engulfed all the orthodox churches.

            It was called, she said, “The Esoteric Order of Dagon”, and was undoubtedly a debased, quasi-pagan thing imported from the East a century before, at a time when the Innsmouth fisheries seemed to be going barren. Its persistence among a simple people was quite natural in view of the sudden and permanent return of abundantly fine fishing, and it soon came to be the greatest influence in the town, replacing Freemasonry altogether and taking up headquarters in the old Masonic Hall on New Church Green.”

            Hmm – and I live beside the sea myself, in a port town…

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Martha, have you ever seen the movie Dagon? It’s actually an updated retelling of “Shadow Over Innsmouth” set in an island town of “Imboca” off the coast of Spain, and within its limitations stays pretty faithful to the original.

        • I wish we were as exciting as we’re portrayed. Trust me, ladies and gentlemen, day-to-day Catholicism is not one giddy round of incense-drenched, ornately-robed pagan orgiastics. Unless things are very different in America – Headless? JoanieD? Damaris? What exactly are you little scamps getting up to on Sundays, eh? 🙂

          Though the fish-headed mitres in honour of Dagon does explain the linkage between Catholicism and fish on Fridays, yes? 😉

          God bless Pope Benedict, he’s trying to row back to the older days, but modern Catholicism is more felt banners and polyester and concrete churches than cavernous Gothic or shadowy Romanesque buildings where flickering candlelight glints off the gold threads and jewels in the robes and crowns of garbed hierophants murmuring in arcane tongues around a high altar wreathed in the narcotic fumes of incense – more’s the pity!

          😀

        • Matt Purdum says

          If you love Jesus, I don’t care where you go to church or what that church teaches. I care about what’s in your heart, period. And I don’t want to hear about “the fish god Damon” because that could not be more irrelevant. And i remember Nixon was a “Christian” (Hitler often claimed to be one too) who appeared with Billy Graham while ordering napalm dropped on tens of thousands of Vietnamese children.

    • Devin,

      Another Catholic Dude here… but I don’t believe that being a practicing christian or not is really high on the list for picking a political candidate. I think almost all presidents have been christian of one flavor or another (OK …. some dietists early on) and we’ve had lots with good and bad character despite this. Kennedy was even Catholic and he was not a shining mentor of christian virtue. SO as far as I am concerned someone like Romney can be in play just as easy as a Perry or a Liebowitz (if he was running).

      • “Radagast the Brown? Radagast the Bird-Tamer? Radagast the simple. Radagast the fool.”

        Sorry couldn’t resist. I see your argument and I think it has merit. I wouldn’t fall on my sword about this one; ideally we would have a Catholic philosopher-statesman, like Robert George meets Thomas Jefferson or something. Probably not gonna happen.

        • Would you settle for Newt Gingrich?

          • Not getting the “good vibes” from Newt. I recall he converted to Catholicism sometime back, but his reputation back in his congressional days wasn’t very good.

        • I’ve been ratted out…. I always thought of Radagast as a kind of Francis of Assisi type – though Gandalf was always in the spotlight….

          • Radagast of Rhosgobel! Yeah I was always annoyed that Radagast didn’t have a bigger part. He kind of “went native” and spent all his time with the plants and animals.

            I recall reading in the “lore” of Middle-Earth that five Istari wizards were sent from the Undying Lands, two went East and they never show up, then of course Saruman, Gandalf, and Radagast, with only the former two having any big part. Oh well.

          • Devin,

            I was going to mention that – they went south and farther east and I believe their color was blue – or at least that is what I recall when I had a copy of Unfinished Tales 30 years ago….

        • You forgot Radagast the Balrog!

          http://flyingmoose.org/tolksarc/homework.htm

          • that’s hilarious!

          • Oh, that makes me so happy! I teach college English, and this inspires me to start a new — anonymous — website that offers “perfectly tailored” research papers. Mwahhahaha!

          • Oh, my. Now I understand where Peter Jackson got the inspiration for flaming Denethor!

            😀

          • Being a big Tolkien fan from years gone by I could almost consider this blasphemous (like Bored of the Rings) if I could just stop laughing……

      • John Kerry was Catholic and I wondered if that was part of the reason why fundagelicals didn’t support him. I wrote about this as a guest blogger during the 10th anniversary of September 11th, but my Dad remember how some of the Baptist he knew who were grateful that JFK was assassinatedin Dallas. As Baptist they didn’t want to have a Catholic in the White House. I feel sick just typing this…but who celebrates the death of someone for theological reasons?

        Yes Christianity can be quite the cancer in American soceity today.

    • Yes, but Devin, we’re electing people (in America and over here too) to govern the country, and since most nations are not 100% name-your-faith anymore, you have to account for those who aren’t your variety of Christian/not Christian at all/not anything at all who want and deserve to be represented.

      This is not to say moral values don’t matter, but if Joe or Jill is running for office, I’m more interested to know (a) does Joe or Jill intend to get us into a morass of debt? (b) is Joe or Jill capable for the job? (c) are their positions ones I can support in good conscience?

      Now that last does impinge on religious and moral values; if there are two candidates going, and one is explicitly campaigning for X, Y or Z that my faith teaches me is immoral, then I can’t really vote for that candidate. But if Candidate A, Candidate B and Candidate C are all much of a muchness on values, then it doesn’t really matter if A is for Atheist, B is for Buddhist and C is for Christian.

      • Martha,

        I’m with you on that. I’ve seriously looked at Ron Paul this go-round because he stands on principles. Now, I don’t know if I necessarily agree with all his principles, but at least he has some! And he’s against the wars and torture and is pro-life.

        At this point the Dems are pro-abortion, pro-same-sex, and even pro-execute-American-citizens-without-a-trial. Republicans are generally pro-torture and pro-more-war. We don’t have great options, though the Republicans seem like the lesser of two evils compared with the Dems.

        The economy’s important to me but to be honest I have zero confidence in the Dems to improve it, 5% confidence in the Republicans, and 50% confidence in Ron Paul to do it.

        • “At this point the Dems are pro-abortion, pro-same-sex, and even pro-execute-American-citizens-without-a-trial.”

          Well, at least they’re “pro-same-sex”. That’s a point in their favor.

    • This is because Mormons don’t believe in the Trinity. While the Catholic church has objections to just about everybody, this is a deal-breaker according to their theology of baptism, which must be done in the name of the Trinity to be valid. (If the church believes in the Trinity, this is sufficient–other words can be used.) I believe the wording is that the non-Catholic baptizer must “intend to do what the Church does.” Catholicism is full of rules like this, I detect no special animus towards Mormons by Catholics.

      • Not really…most of we Catholics view Mormans as nice enough folks, but recognize that they are NOT a Christian denomination.

        Personally, my only gripe is Mormans who claim to be Christian and then drag the rest of the pantheistic doctrine in the back door.

      • Margaret Catherine says

        Blake, the baptism must be done explicitly “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” The ‘intent to do what the C hurch does’ must underlie that, but it isn’t enough in itself.

  8. First, I have no problem voting for a non-Christian candidate. But, the problem is bigger. How do I know whether someone is a Christian? I do not know if Presidents’s Bush, Bush, Obama, Ford, or Carter are Christian.

  9. Having lived through Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush (just to pick on both sides 😉 ), neither of whom did evangelicalism any favors, I’d say no – the candidate’s stated faith is not determinitive.

    Indeed, in the last election the “family values” candidate was not the one with the stable, monogamous lifetime marriage. So who do we believe, the one who states he stands for “our” values, or the one who actually lives them?

  10. Firstly, how can we know the God of the Founding Fathers since none of us were there…and none of them are here? In my readings of history, I am continually struck by the fact than language is a living thing: it morphs, it changes, it grows, it moves. And that the Jesuits are correct when they begin something by “defining one’s terms”.

    For example: “doing one’s pleasure” (Isaiah 58:13) and “the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence) have to do with making money (as in inheritable wealth) by pursuing private (and, Lord willing lucrative!) business…not watching football, going to the Mall, or procuring an abortion. The meaning of the words, cobbled together, has changed! and now means something quite different. Sorta like using the word “suspenders” in a gentlemen’s shoppe in England (yes, Martha? ;D ).

    Second, Scripture has left us this: 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 ~ “For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders? Isn’t it those who are part of the community that you should be judging? God will judge those who are outside. Just expel the evildoer from among yourselves.”

    Indeed, the context is about sexual immorality within the Church of Corinth, and we’re not discussing that particular subject here. But, at the end of the day, it seems to me, that this is a good presupposition to have for “The Culture Wars”. Jesus said very little about the culture wars of his time (homosexuality, adultery, infanticide and abortion, empire-building, torture, and so on). He did, however, have plenty to say about doing our bit in those corners in which we find ourselves: humility, prayer, alms-giving; feed, clothe, shelter, quench, visit, tend the sick, the widow, the orphan, the stranger in our midst. He also had plenty to say about those who knew the rules and lived them…well…religiously, albeit hard-heartedly. I should think this is the sort of guide we need, here, during our election cycles.

    As St Paul wrote in Romans 13, we have the governing authority we are meant to have. If we live modest, grace-filled lives, we have nothing to fear. The Early Church managed to do this under intense persecution, as have other generations of the Church since and continuing. Our best hope is to pray and vote what seems best, not perfect; for the greater good, not our personal agendas. We are a Body, not a collection of individuals…what is the most loving choice I can vote in for YOU…rather than myself???

    • “what is the most loving choice I can vote in for YOU…rather than myself???”

      Wow. that is a whole new way to look at things! Thanks Laura!

  11. No, no, no we do not need to vote for the “Christian” candidates. We need to vote for the candidate who best can hold together the country, city, county, town, or whatever. I have known many, many Christians who will only vote for the pro-life candidate, which of course leads to darn near every right leaning candidate declaring him/herself pro-life (while anyone too poor to buy healthcare should just go off somewhere and die quietly).
    Jimmy Carter said he consulted God on a regular basis, which can only lead us to the conclusion that God wanted the US to go downhill in the 70s. Many of the founding fathers would not even begin to pass the “Christian” test. Look at Iran if you want to see what our country will be like if some of these people gain power.

    • I’d vote form someone who can fix the econonny, get down the national debt without doing it on the back of the poor and without gutting out military. The economy really scares me..I’ve tried to remember as a history buff when was the last time people protested capitalism? I think it was duirng the 1930’s during the Great Depression.

      I’d vote for someone who can fix these issues and get us back on course. Its more complicated though because we have a globalized economy. The prospect of a failing Greek state and the capacity that has to affect the United States and Europe’s economy is frightening.

      • Fixing will be tough because of the global economy AND because this is a great time for India, China and Brazil to emerge as the strong economic front runners. They have cheaper labor and demand will cause pressure from the UN about pollution, labor laws and any other regulation that we have in place to be weakened.

        I am pro life so a candidate standing for that would be good – but in reality I only get half the picture with any candidate because if one is pro life they are also usually pro death penalty (which only makes them half pro-life) so I can’t get too hung up on this (Catholic social teaching not only includes anti-abortion but anti- death penalty and anti euthanasia).

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Radagast, Abortion and Death Penalty are one of those weird linkages where a given Activist is normally Pro one and Anti the other. Like Sex vs Violence in media.

          And for whatever reason, Born-Again Christians got a rep as Gung-Ho Gallows Groupies.

  12. Dan Crawford says

    Are you kidding? The “Christian” politicos we see in the USA are either serial adulterers, social darwinists, xenophobic and racist fear-mongers, sold out to money in all its forms, eager to transfer wealth from the poor to the wealthy, and in general sociopathic liars. They tell us, however, that they are “pro-life” and “devout churchgoers”. Give me an atheist with some degree of integrity any day.

    • I agree with all your points Dan, but as an agnositc what chance do you think I have if I run for President.? I’ think a Mormon has a better chance of getting elected than a skeptic or an atheist.

      • Maybe it just hasn’t been tried yet. I mean, somebody’s got to go first…

      • You could always run for office over here, Eagle.

        We have at least two atheists in government; both of them members of the Labour party, the junior member of our coalition government. One of them is the Tanaiste (more or less Deputy Prime Minister), Minister for Foreign Affairs and Leader of the Labour Party, Eamonn Gilmore (who is practically invisible since taking office, much to the chagrin and anger of his backbenchers) and the other is the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, who is described as an “existential atheist”.

        He at least wants – so it would seem – to get the Church out of running schools in Ireland, but since the decline in vocations and the concomitent reduction in the numbers available for the teaching orders, this means that schools are mostly staffed by lay teachers anyway, so this is less radical than it sounds. What he really wants is to get rid of the system whereby the bishop of the diocese is the patron of the local primary school, and the control of primary schools rests in church rather than secular hands (this is due to the fact that it was the teaching orders of nuns and brothers who founded and developed charitable schools to educate the poor in the first place).

        Where Ruairi is going to run into big opposition is when he takes on the teachers’ unions. Trying to curb their established privileges and practices will have him longing for a confrontation with the ‘power’ of the Church instead 🙂

        We probably have many more functional atheists in public office, but they mainly identify themselves as Catholics (even when long lapsed).

        • Hi to Eagle & Martha – here in the land downunder, aka Australia, we have a confessed atheist as Prime Minister (chief politician for those who don’t know) which doesn’t seem to be a problem for most Aussies. Indeed there are a number of atheists amongst our politicians, both State & Federal. We also have Christians of all stripes and one Muslim at the Federal level. Most of them aren’t vocal about their faith, so it’s a bit different here. Our Opposition Leader is a committed Catholic which seems to get him into trouble with a number of people, even though he’s not what I would call particularly vocal about it, but his faith does inform his views on particular things. I don’t vote on the basis that someone claims to be a Christian, for many of the arguments already made by others. I think integrity and clear policies are the things that should be paramount when considering one’s vote.

  13. I know some of you are really not going to like what I say, but that’s o.k. I appreciate our country, but I believe that ‘It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings’ (Daniel 2:21) Just as our LORD used King Nebuchadnezzar in His judgment of His people, He can choose to raise someone up as a blessing or a curse on our nation. I will leave it in His very capable Hands. It is NOT my kingdom – and last time I looked, ambassadors from one kingdom do not get to choose leaders for another kingdom.

  14. Randy Thompson says

    You can be a Christian and an idiot at the same time.

    You can be a Christian and be completely untouched by the Bible.

    You can be a Christian and your Christianity can be distorted beyond recognition by political ideology.

    You can be a Christian whose faith is distorted beyond recognition by bad theology (both evangelical and liberal)..

    You can be a Christian imprisoned by your economic interests.

    You can be a Christian and surrounded by either idiots, fools, or cynical, corrupt political operators.

    You can be a Christian and not know the difference between entertainment and responsible policy formulation.

    You can be a Christian and imprisoned by your political base.

    And, to touch one more base that I can’t fit into my tidy parallel structure here, you can be a Christian with a genuine prayer life, and still have your brains scrambled.

    If I was going to vote for a Christian candidate, I think he or she would need to be thoughtful; his or her thought processes should be shaped by and informed by Scripture—both (Synoptic) Gospels and Paul, and both Old and New Testaments. Further, it would be important to me that such a biblically- shaped candidate would be unpopular with both mainline and fundamentalist Christians alike, precisely because he or she was biblical. Finally, it would be important to me that such a person would understand what our Lord meant when he taught us to love our enemies, and as a result would treat his or her opponents with respect and without distortions.

    Oh yes. It would be important to me that the Christian candidate refused to lie, slander, distort and make incendiary accusations.

    If I haven’t ruled out the so-called Christian candidates yet, someone, please help me!

    • Yeah, I suppose that would be the rub.

      To date, I haven’t seen a “competent” Christian candidate run for office.

      I think most of the competent Christians are probably doing something more valuable with their time (than running for political office).

      I find it absurd and insulting, that we see Christians run for office, who see their faith as a qualification. As in “Look at me, I’m a Christian and sponsor prayer meetings and therefore you should vote for me.” It’s as if they are using their supposed faith to get elected, rather than the strength of their ideas and their actual accomplishments.

      I loved the TV Series the West Wing. They had a great line in the show, where one of the character says (something along the lines of,) “If you make faith the litmus test, you are asking to get lied to.”

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        I think most of the competent Christians are probably doing something more valuable with their time (than running for political office).

        In other words, only the Idiot-boi Christians go into politics?

    • Randy, you just said what I was about to write, except far more eloquently. I may just have to shamelessly steal it to repeat to my friends and neighbors this election cycle.

  15. Richard Hershberger says

    I think the discussion is confused by the convention of referring to the President as the nation’s leader. Let’s restate that as the President being the chief public servant. He works for us. Now the question is, would we only hire a Christian to work for us? For most people the answer clearly is no. Most of us don’t vet our doctor based on religion. If we need a lawyer, we want the best lawyer available. And so on.

  16. *** OFF TOPIC ALERT ****- I will make an observation here based on what I have read at this site over the last few months and this could be a future topic (since we are skirting politics at the moment). I consider myself to simply be on the sidelines, an observer of the post evangelical wilderness described on this site (partly because I am fascinated by it and partly because in the beginning I was watching to see how catholic – with a small c – Michael Spencer would become). it is my purely subjective opinion that as one moves from evngelicalism into the “post” phase, it seems one leans more liberal. Not a judgement by any stretch of the imagination, just an observation based on limited knowledge. Thoughts?

    • Randy Thompson says

      I think we’d need to sort out what you/we mean by “liberal.”

      And yes, this is off the topic, but interestingly so. Another time, perhaps?

    • Radagast I concure. It is the old baby and bathwater thing. People throw one thing out for good cause and then think they should throw it all out. I know Liberal can be a contentious word but I agree with your suspicions.

      • liberal is only a contentious word if you use it in a contentious way. I think it’s a compliment, personally.

    • I suspect the same, Radagast, but then, I’m judging by my own journey. I’d say I’m post-evangelical by the standards of this community and politically liberal (U.S.-style) by most anyone’s standards, and I drifted to both positions from more conservative ones at about the same time and pace. Austin, I’m not sure I understand your baby-and-bathwater comment, but if this thread is really a tangent, I can wait till another day for the explanation.

      On topic: Even at my most evangelical and most politically conservative, I never thought Christians had a mandate to vote for “Christian” candidates, though I might once have been convinced that we ought to prefer “pro-life” ones.

      • I’d like “pro-life” to include all ages…….

        • Right; “pro-life” oughtn’t just to mean “anti-abortion.” But it took me a while to get to that place.

          • Yep….one candidate I will not vote for is a pro-abortion Catholic. You cannot be both of these things, so whoever you are, you are presenting a false view of your beliefs.

    • Liberal and conservative are both in eye of the beholder.

    • I think that’s true. Probably because to be post-evangelical is, to a certain extent, necessarily a rejection of evangelicalism. (At the very least, it means reexamining and being open to the perspectives that evangelicalism rejected.) And being evangelical in America usually means being very politically conservative, so it follows that being post-evangelical results in an a bit of a leftward shift–or at least, a willingness to acknowledge that liberals probably aren’t part of an international conspiracy to impose Marxism and annihilate Christianity and abort all the babies.

      • Matt Purdum says

        I’m just pro-Jesus. I don’t think he’d drop napalm on little kids. If that makes me liberal, so be it.

        • I thank we shoud support our troops. They might a had a good reason for it.

          • Matt Purdum says

            Vern, that’s just frightening. I wonder if the German civilians felt that way when their troops operated death camps. I lived through the Vietnam War. Nixon ordered mass death to prove to himself and the world how macho he was. I certainly don’t think we should support troops or leaders when they act immorally. People like you frighten me to death. I’m not kidding, that kind of thinking is scary. Sorry to get so off-topic, Chaplain Mike.

          • Yes, because killing children is such an effective way to win wars.

          • Guys I’m pretty sure Vern is a troll.

  17. Isaac (the poster occasionally still known as Obed) says

    I’m gonna go a bit against the trend here, but I think that all things being equal I would certainly vote for a Christian over a non-Christian. Ideally, a Christian will have a worldview similar to mine, which will in turn affect his/her decisions and policies in a way that would be more in line with how I, as a voter, would prefer.

    The problem, of course, is that all things are not equal, and not all Christians share the same worldview and assumptions. Furthermore, there are plenty of folks whose Christianity bears little effect on their personal lives, business practices, political ideas and practices, etc (or, even worse, affects them in ways that are contrary to the Gospel). Rev. J’s take seems overly simplistic to me. So, maybe he eliminates the Mormon from his list, what does he then do with all the various evangelicals on the ticket who all seem to have completely different abilities, ideas, worldviews, etc? What does he use to determine who’s the “right” Christian?

    So, no, I don’t think it’s a good idea to take a completely pragmatic approach without factoring in a candidate’s religious/faith beliefs. But they are one factor of many. I’m certainly a bit wary of any candidate who says that his/her religious beliefs have no effect on their political decisions. That’s either blindness, a lie, or double-mindedness, none of which seem to be good trait in a candidate.

  18. “No, no, no we do not need to vote for the “Christian” candidates. We need to vote for the candidate who best can hold together the country, city, county, town, or whatever.”

    I agree, the set of skills and characteristics it takes to run a secular government and confront complex national and international issues are not exclusive to Christians. And if Christians in fact did excel at these things above all other groups, we wouldn’t even have to ask, “Is this candidate a Christian?” We’d just vote for the best qualified candidates and put all the Christians in office by accident.

    At the end of the day, what matters to me are the civic values and issues I take as important, such as human rights and consumer protections. My values are informed by religion, but neither experience nor theology lead me to believe that the champions of my values are going to be Christians.

    • The last sentence should read: “but neither experience nor theology leads me to believe that the champions of my values are necessarily going to be Christians.”

    • Also, this comment was supposed to go under Suzanne’s post. Oopse. 🙂

  19. No. In my own experience, some of the worst and least compassionate public policy decision locally have come from people who were elected in large part because they were Christian. And some of the meanest public sentiments and statements have come from these same people.

    We should elect competent people who have the public interest at heart. They may or may not be Christians.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      In my own experience, some of the worst and least compassionate public policy decision locally have come from people who were elected in large part because they were Christian. And some of the meanest public sentiments and statements have come from these same people.

      Probably because “these same people” are secure in their Righteousness.

  20. We don’t need to vote for a Christian…but it’d be nice if we voted for someone who had American ideals (this time).

    • Agreed Steve.

    • Steve, what are “American ideals”?

      • Limited government. Freedom. Property ownership. You know…the kinds of things that are in our founding documents.

        • Matt Purdum says

          As someone who minored in history, I can assure you that when the socialists take over a nation, they seize all the private property, padlock or bulldoze the churches, and kill their enemies. By those standards the current president — although you may disagree with him — is thoroughly anti-socialist, thoroughly American, and he’s somewhat more Christian than Thomas Jefferson. If we’re going to do this, honesty is the place to start.

          • Really? Can you explain to me why that didn’t happen in the UK whenever Labour were in power?

          • Jack Heron says

            Because ‘socialism’ isn’t a block thing. You can have a socialist solution to one problem and a private solution to another. Something these people crying ‘socialism!’ every time some public social idea gets advanced in America have never seemed to grasp – it’s not a choice between pure state ownership and a totally free market.

        • Limited government as an American ideal? Really? Are you forgetting the other side of the debate of the founding fathers here? And how many presidential candidates have taken a public stance against freedom and property ownership? That was cute what you did there though…that guy in the white house is not like us you see…

      • American values = Agreeing with me

  21. This may be simplistic, but as a follower of Jesus, I believe I’m commanded to love my neighbor as myself. So the ‘right’ candidate is the one that has convinced me they will do the most good for the most ‘neighbors’. Regardless of what they claim their faith is or isn’t. And regardless of whether those neighbors even happened to live in the same country.

  22. Matt Purdum says

    The spectacle of these candidates trying to out-Jesus each other is shameful. I’ll vote for none of them. It’s tough to believe we’ve fallen this far.Hitchens and Dawkins could not have dreamed up a more unattractive scenario.

  23. What do you do when “God’s man” for the office is whoever happens to get elected? Romans 13:6-7.

    Or, since we are a republic, are “We The People” considered the rulers?)

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head Steve. Our country doesn’t resemble anything you’ll find in either the Old or New Testaments. In fact before our United States there was nothing else even remotely like us. Our “generation” has received an incredible, unique, gift of political freedom that I’m afraid we have for the most part squandered due to a failure to apply Jesus’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount to today’s world.

  24. Christiane says

    I’ve been ruling out some of the ‘Christians’ lately . . .

    ones who want to prevent students and old people and poor people from voting;
    ones who signed the ‘pledge’ presented to them by a lobbyist named Grover Norquist,
    ones who call the poor and the unemployed who are marching in the OWS protest a ‘mob’,
    ones who have forced states to fire teachers and policement and firemen which has led to hardship,
    ones who cow-tow to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, instead of their constituents,
    and ANY politician who supports any projects backed by the Koch brothers,
    including destruction of the public school system, destruction of organized labor, destruction of social security, destruction of the United States Post Office . . . . etc. etc. etc. etc. . . . . . it just goes on and on
    this dismantling of the fabric of our society by the ‘powers that be’

    I will vote for my country’s sake, the millionaires can take care of themselves . . . they don’t need my vote

  25. Contrast this with Canada.
    There are people in Canada who believe a Christian should not be allowed to hold office because they would not be objective enough in deciding on national issues. For example we had a science miister who drew a lot of flak because he did not believe in evolution.

    • “For example we had a science miister who drew a lot of flak because he did not believe in evolution.”

      And rightly so, IMO. A science minister should not reject the central theory of biology.

      • Neather should the US presedint reject the founding principals of our country based on Jesus Christ. America electing an athianist presedint woud be like Canada electing a dog to be their king. An obamanation. Some bodys got to reform our capitel like Jesus clinsed the tempel, so they siese there whoredums and idle worshop. Then wed have godly men to choose from, not just a bunch of Mormins and Moslems.

        • are you a real person?

          • A real person? No. A real troll? Definitely.

          • He does add some comedy though….

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            I notice he spelled “obamanation” right.

            And while going through the IMonk archives earlier today, I dicovered some Vern comments under a slightly-different name (“Vern_B” or something like that). Slightly-different handle, same BS attitude & spellings. So he’s been trolling IMonk for at least a year.

      • Anyway evalution is still a bunch of bull.

        • Perhaps….but that other crazy stuff they teach in schools like “spelling” and “grammar” and use of the English language is all pretty valid. Might want to try it, Vern.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Unless he’s a California Public School Casualty from the time when “Creative Spelling” was the latest educational fad.

          • I have some probloms with lex dixia but I under stand intellagent desine just fine

      • +1

    • A science minister who rejects the process of science? Good! He should get flak. That is as stupid as a Foreign Minister who does not believe in Belgium or China.

      • Donalbain, I have no idea how government ministers are chosen, but I’m fairly sure it’s not on the basis of being compatible with the subject of their ministry (it seems to me to be a combination of paying off supporters by putting them in good posts, ensuing your loyalists have the strong influential ones and putting rivals/potential successors into weak or marginal ones).

        We’d had ministers for finance over here who had no economic degrees or education whatsoever (our last one, God rest the man, was a lawyer and although he was fawned over for his intellect, the banks managed to panic him into tying the country into handing over billions of taxpayers’ funds for bailouts instead to telling them ‘You’re going to go bust? Go ahead!”).

        Then again, we’d had a minister for justice who was legally trained, and he was something to the right of Genghis Khan, so that’s not necessarily any better 🙂

    • The comment by Ken was inaccurate. The minister in question, Gary Goodyear, initially refused to answer a question about whether or not he believed in evolution. People assumed (incorrectly) that because he was an evangelical, that he did not believe in evolution. He subsequently clarified that in fact he did believe in evolution, but it was the original non comment that received the media attention.

      • Yes, and that was the only media attention I heard (that he did NOT believe in evolution) and nothing subsequent to that. And at that time many were saying he should resign.

        So where did you get information that he later admitted to believing in evolution?

        • Just checked, the last I had seen was an article:
          Science minister won’t confirm belief in evolution
          in the Globe and Mail (can google it).
          But I also found another wikipedia source that is updated and supports what you have just said.
          Thanks for pointing that out.

          The comments left on the globe and mail article are telling.

    • I should add that Ken’s original premise that there are people in Canada who believe that Christian’s should be able to hold office is very true and quite widespread. The Liberal party campaigned on it in the second and third last elections, driving evangelicals into the Conservative camp, where as previously they had not been strongly identified with any one political party in Canada. For example in 2004 the Liberals commissioned a poll that included the question ““Would you be more or less likely to vote for the Conservatives if you knew they had been taken over by evangelical Christians.”

      Outside of the political sphere, Christians have had to resign or be fired as jobs as wedding commissioners because they were unwilling to perform gay weddings.

      Graduates with educations degrees from a Christian University in British Columbia were prevented from teaching by the B.C. College of Teachers, unless they underwent a year of “deprogramming” at a secular university first. The Christian University had to fight it all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court where they won the right for their program to be recognized.

  26. Should we “vote” for our medical doctors to be Christian? If we’re willing — and we manifestly are — to entrust our very lives to a Hindu anesthesiologist, Jewish surgeon, and Mormon nurse in the OR, then why do we think that the same sort of people wouldn’t be able to contribute to the commonweal in public office?

    • No, cause the Hindu dont have docters like we do, they beleave in yoga and neadle puncture. (I dont know what the Mormins beleave but I aint willing to risk it.)

      • Ahem. A good friend’s group cardiologist practice had 2 Hindus in their group of 8.

        Just because a few on the edge of the herd handle snakes not all Christians think playing with rattle snakes should be a part of worship.

      • I’m guessing you don’t get out much.

      • Vern, I hope you’re trying to be funny. Otherwise, you just sound ignorant. Please update and let us know you’re joking or not.

  27. All other things being equal, I would prefer to vote for a Christian (as best I can determine what that might mean). Competence and character, however are paramount and I don’t yet see a candidate, Christian or otherwise, that has my full confidence.

    I’d vote for Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan long before I’d cast a vote for Pat Robertson or Pat Buchanan. A President needs charisma to function in the office, and has to be able to articulate and sell an idea. Clinton had the talent, but not the character or judgment. Still waiting for the right guy …or gal. 🙂

  28. God has proven time and time again that He can work through those whom do not directly believe in Him. Case-in-point, Emperor Cyrus the Great.
    Better a virtuous pagan than an evil Christian.

  29. At a time when politicians and political parties can pander to the religious right while also proliferating the anti-Christian philosophies of Anne Rand, I have no interest in voting on the basis of ones religious beliefs. Whatever happened to light having no fellowship with darkness?

    • + 1

    • AYN Rand ( for the record.)

    • Yeah, because a society based on free minds operating with rational self-interest in free markets with mutual recognition of everyone’s rights to life, liberty & the fruits of their labor is so evil. And THAT’s the only Randian philosophy I hear from the RIght- not her atheism, not her rationalization of infidelity (Right-wing sexual offenders are usually hypocrites about it, not public champions of it), not her disdain for charity.

      • Oh, but to the point- I’d love to be able to vote for a Biblical Christian conservative who is competent & qualified. But it’s not an essential.
        Regarding Mormons- It is not bigotry to say that LDS beliefs & practices (additional revelation, Progressive Deification & quasi-Masonic Temple rites & oaths) are not consistent with Biblical Christianity & the historic Christian consensus- Orthodox, Catholic & Protestant. However, I will not say that individual Mormons may not have personal saving faith in Christ. My main quarrel with Romney isn’t his Mormonism but that as Gov of Mass, he wasn’t Mormon enough. He was a social moderate-liberal who only turned Right when he decided to run for President.

  30. Yeah, Christians ought to vote for only Christians. Also, they should only put Christian gas in their car, only pay for goods if a Christian cashier is at the register, surf only Christian waves at the beach, and make sure our Christian waiter is serving us Christian food.

  31. Is there a typo in your question?

    You say “should we prefer a competent Christian”. How could the answer be anything but “yes”?

    • Well, it seems that many tend to blur that distinction, as if somehow being Christian supernaturally endows a politician with competence. Or, perhaps, the fact that he chose Christianity is taken as a demonstration of his competence. Either way, I doubt there will ever be a time where the majority can distinguish between a competent and incompetent Christian candidate. Is there even consensus on what determines competency to begin with? If we could just figure that out, I think faith would no longer even enter the discussion, unless perhaps to decide between two candidates shown to be objectively equal in competency.

  32. If a competent dedicated follower of Jesus Christ ran for president I would probably vote for them. My problem with “christian” candidates is that anyone can say they are Christian. In this country the fruit of your life doesn’t matter, only if you say your a Christian. Also saying your pro-life doesn’t make you a Christian. I know a few non-Christians who are pro-life.

    I think most religious/Christians vote on pro-life and gay issues not does this person have a real relationship with Christ.

  33. Do I prefer to vote for Christians? Not in the least, but I do think that a candidate’s religion matters. I probably wouldn’t vote for a Mormon, but for the same reason I wouldn’t vote for a conservative evangelical – the dominent political ideology of those circles differs too much from mine. I’d love to vote for a Buddhist though, and I’d love to live in a country where we could allow candidates to be open about their agnosticism rather than pretending to be Christian.

    I do adore Jimmy Carter however, so maybe Christian candidates, real Christian candidates, are where it’s at.

  34. In terms of presidential politics, yes you do need to vote for a Christian candidate, as that is the only sort of candidate available from the major parties. You don’t get to the top of American politics unless you believe in Jesus Christ.

    • Probably more like, “You don’t get to the top of American politics unless you say you believe in Jesus Christ.” In the United States of Jesus, those are the magic words of syncretic civil religion which pass for authentic faith.

      • In the 1920’s when Adolph Hitler was gathering support for his movement, he pandered to the Christians, saying he was one and did all he did in the name of Jesus Christ. There’s a speech of his where he says that. So saying one believes in Jesus Christ doesn’t make one a Christian.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          And during that period, before they were able to stage their coup-from-within in 1933, the NSDAP presented themselves as Guardians & Restorers of Traditional German Family Values in contrast to the homosexual decadence of Weimar Berlin.

  35. Well, let’s just say that at this point in my limited experience as an eligible voter, requiring faith for a vote seems like a single issue vote to me. If I’m going to vote on a single issue, I’m going to stake it on an issue that makes a bigger impact. The faith of the president doesn’t necessarily determine either his policies or competence level. Fiscal responsibility is the bottom line for me this time around. I don’t care if he’s a member of the Church of Satan (official) or a United Methodist. I’d vote for a Sufi or Unitarian who will stand for common sense in the face of political pressure. Those Pastafarians, on the other hand…. Might be a bit of a stretch. 😛

  36. It is like the question, would you want a competent atheist surgeon operating on you, or an unskilled Christian who would make it certain that you died on the operating table, but dismissed it because you were going to heaven anyway?

    Too many think that because we are Christians, we are qualified to rule the world. And when we try to do that, that is where all the evils attributed to Christianity happen. I once lived under the delusion that if I only had a Christian employer, I would be happy. But I found myself suffering under the abuse of a few “Christian” employers, and their evil was non-ending, as they thought by that means, they were doing me good.

    It is like a story I once heard, of a man who was being chased by a bear in the woods. When he realized he wasn’t going to escape, he fell on his knees and prayed “Dear God, let this be a Christian bear!” The bear, nearby, dropped to his knees and said “Father, for the food I am about to receive, make me truly thankful.”

    Being a Christian doesn’t automatically qualify one for office. We’ve found that out with several who said they were Christians.

  37. Methinks Mr. Jeffress’ sentiment is bound up in the notion that this is an intrinsically Christian nation, or at least has overtly Christian roots, and thus that heritage ought to continue. The trouble is, it’s a fairy tale, just like it’s a fairy tale that having Christian leaders will save us from whatever evils beset us. a couple hundred years of professing Christian leaders should make this clear.

  38. No – If a candidate happens to claim to be a Christian it has far less bearing on my decision than the person’s character and consistency of belief (with politications past experience is a good indicator of future performance). I wouldn’t vote for Romney or Perry because they are deceptive about their history and what they stand for (and in the last election Huckabee was also in my list of deceptive candidates).

    I would also cite Cyrus, who is praised by God, but also does not know Him (Is 45:4) — leader’s don’t have to be the same faith as me. God can raise up a good candidate from any group of people. My job is to discern (since I can vote).

  39. Well the Mr. Jeffress is doubling down on his comments about Mormons,

    “Followers of Mormonism, Hinduism, Islam, they’re not worshiping the same God in a different way. We believe they are following after false gods. And as Christians, we can look at the Bible and see very clearly that God always judges a nation that has a ruler who introduces false gods into that national life.”

    So God will judge us for electing anyone who is not Christian. Probably by sending a tornado to kill a few random people somewhere right?

  40. Has anyone bothered to notice that a lot of Politicians promote fundamentalists because making America “GOD’s country” makes it all the more easy to dehumanize people from other countries. And these foolish dominionists actually think that they’re bringing GOD into the political arena of their own accord.

    • Well, you touch on several issues here. Fundamentalists, some but surely not all, rallied behind Jerry Falwell, Sr. in the 1980’s and we gained the holy triad between him, Robertson and Dobson through the Bush years. This triumphirate has had its heyday; one is gone, the other two are superannuated and largely sidelined, creating a vacuum in belligerent voices which pretend to represent all true “Christians”. To their credit, these guys largely sought to influence culture, instead of dictate it. All in all, I really like Jerry Falwell as a human being and sincere prophet, with all his warts. But this new crowd filling the void is something completely different. I find them cynically ugly in attempting to bring God on their own level simply as a prop. Like HUG says, their Christianity looks more like 1930’s Gott mit Uns fascism, aber doch nicht gegenüberstehend. They perpetuate this American myth of piety. What is it exactly that we’re told it is so important to recapture? Was it ever there? Are their promises to River City deliverable? Where are these “leaders” taking us? To the Lord? Is anybody asking these questions?

  41. No. I don’t need a Christian plumber either unless he is reasonably priced and knows how to fix a leak.

  42. An Observation>/i>

    In the US there is a formalized concept of the separation of church and state (Didn’t Jefferson 1st mention it and the supreme court has taken this in some rulings?). Yet politicians are openly Christian and taking political actions that are openly Christian. Politicians could never do that in Canada.

    In Canada there is no formalized rule of separation of church and state, and I do not know that there has been either any laws or court rulings. And yet politicians in Canada would never get away with what they do in the USA. Its as if separation of church and state is by convention or public opinion.

    Interesting

  43. The whole episode makes Evangelicals look like closed-minded idiots, as if they needed anything more to make them look any worse. There have been so many drug, sex, and money scandals within Evangelical Christianity that I have come to the conclusion that voting for a born again, evangelical, or fundamentalist Christian would be equivalent to voting for a two-faced, untrustworthy person. I may never vote again for a candidate who wears his or her faith on their sleeve.

    The Republican Party (GOP) needs to eject fundamental Christianity from the conservative “tent.” Christians in conservative’s clothes are filling the political debate with ridiculous non sequiturs that only serve to divert the public’s attention from any substantive discussion of how a particular candidate might actually address the ills and problems facing the nation.

    I want a fiscally conservative, socially centrist candidate who broadly espouses Judeo-Christian values, who comports him- or herself with a certain presidential gravitas and retains a level of grace and dignity in spite of the many indignities heaped upon them throughout the campaign season. I would not vote for a non-Christian (i.e., meaning Christian in the broader sense, not in the narrower fundamental or evangelical sense) to be President of the United States, but time may change that position. I would probably have no qualms voting for a candidate of any major religion (e.g., Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.) for an office below President, depending on the issues and the the candidate’s background, values, and qualifications.

    To me, at this time, the current candidates on the more fundamental side of Christianity are failing to show themselves as qualified for the office, and are failing to win my vote.

  44. It certainly is not wrong to vote for a Christian! At the same time, I cannot say it is wrong to vote for a competent non-Christian. I am very uncomfortable, however, with someone who runs for office who puts his faith on a very visible platform in order to attract potential voters. I am very uncomfortable when the church becomes a pawn for political power seekers. It is sad, in my view, that for my whole life (I was born in 1963) the evangelical, protestant church in America has been known chiefly for making a clear, purposeful, intentional grab for political power instead of being known for proclaiming the message of the gospel and loving her neighbors (hippies, gays, Democrats, and other offenders) with a genuine, sincere, unconditional love.

    The church had best beware. She might get what she pursues . . . political power. If we do, we will blamed for anything that goes wrong in the term of the man for whom we gave such enthusiastic support. The best man, the best Christian man, is capable of the worst mistakes. Anything bad can happen in the term of the best Christian President. In the last Republican primary, the good church folk in my neck of the woods were excited about Huckabee. Who wouldn’t want a former pastor as President? I voted for Romney. I had nothing personal against Huckabee, but if he failed as President we would be blamed along with him for the failure. That is a real possibility that no one in the church seems to consider.

    During the reign of Nero, the apostle Paul wrote to honor all authority. Clearly, he was not too worried about Nero! Wrongly imprisoned by Nero and awaiting death, writing his final letter to Timothy, he does not even mention the great emporer’s name! In that letter, as in most of his writings, he seems to be much more concerned with what is going on in the church than with what is going on in the nation. Perhaps we should take a cue from him?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      It is sad, in my view, that for my whole life (I was born in 1963) the evangelical, protestant church in America has been known chiefly for making a clear, purposeful, intentional grab for political power …

      Are these the same Evangelicals who used to harp on how the Great Apostasy began when the Pure New Testament Church received political power from Constantine?

      The church had best beware. She might get what she pursues . . . political power.

      See above, re the “Curse of Constantine” that forms part of Evangelical church history. Does this mean they’ll start wearing robes and funny hats and chanting in Latin and burning heretics, too? And breed their own Borgia Popes and Tomas de Torquemadas and Tetzels? Or will they be protected Ex Cathedra from teaching such error because they’re so Godly?

  45. The Scribbler says

    Interesting question Mr. Dunn. As a citizen, I want competent politicians. As a Christian, I would prefer a Christian offering godly leadership. So, yes, I would like to vote for a competent Christian for public office. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be many competent politicians or truly Christian politicians, let alone competent Christian politicians running for office.

    So, I do what I do in every election… vote for the guy or gal I think will do the least amount of harm and hopefully do a little good along the way and then beg for the mercy of God upon our nation.

  46. I would vote for a candidate who was qualified for the job.

    Jeffress said ‘Rick Perry is a Christian!’

    an endorsement ? not even evangelicals are buying it.

    Jeffress hurt Perry, but Perry went right along with it when he said that Jeffress ‘knocked’ it out of the park with his introduction of Perry . . . everyone noticed

    dumb and dumber . . . they made a good team