Archive for ‘Christian right’

August 19, 2012

“Hate the sin but love the sinner”

by thoughtfulconservative

My thoughts on this at Fairly Conservative.

And yeah, I’m back….again.

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June 15, 2010

Inserting religion into politics

by thoughtfulconservative

I wrote the title purposely. It’s bound to get people’s dander up.

I probably could have written “Religious values and politics” and increased folks’ blood pressure just as much.

“Moral values and politics” may have been a little more acceptable.

So how about “Values and politics?”

Am I far off base here? Don’t we all have values? Don’t we want to see all Americans embrace those values?

Isn’t equality for all men a value? Isn’t honesty a value? Try this list:

“…care and responsibility, fairness and equality, freedom and courage, fulfillment in life, opportunity and community, cooperation and trust, honesty and openness.”

Not bad. And that was a liberal.

Aren’t all of our laws an expression of values? Don’t we all hold certain actions to be right or wrong? We may not agree on the rightness or wrongness, but I think we all have actions we consider right or wrong.

And we all express our approval or disapproval of actions.

If you approve of smoking, you contend it’s freedom of choice. If you disapprove, it’s because it’s a health hazard.

See how it works? Even though we might disagree when it comes to defining values above, most of us could agree with them. So when he says conservatives don’t have those values, is he a “hater?” Is it wrong to now express disagreement based on values?

That seems to be what happens when religious conservatives express disapproval of a lifestyle or choices made by a group of people. We’re “haters.”

Now I agree that religious conservatives haven’t always been smart or convincing in their expression of their values. But does that mean they’re “haters?”

Because I think homosexuality is wrong, it doesn’t mean I hate anyone. I disagree with their lifestyle choices (yes, you read that right, choices) same as I would anyone else’s lifestyle choices. I don’t hate anyone I haven’t met, for one, and you would have to do a lot to make me hate you, like kill one of my kids or something.

I don’t hate them, but I could be called a “hater.” I don’t fear them, but I could be called a “homophobe.”

Substitute any thing else you like.

Well, I didn’t want to go on this long about this because I really wanted to talk about what Mitch Daniels said and the repercussions of it. Because after this post some folks may then be surprised how I feel on the subject.

Maybe in the next post….

June 10, 2008

McCain’s Evangelical Problem?

by thoughtfulconservative

The Week had a compendium of op/ed pieces about John McCain’s potential (?) problems with conservative evangelicals. Here are the pieces if you can’t access the link:

McCain Extends His Outreach, but Evangelicals Are Still Wary

Lori Viars, an evangelical activist in Ohio, said she is waiting to see whether McCain uses his choice of a running mate to ease concerns among social conservatives about his views on abortion and other social issues. “A lot of us are in a holding pattern.”

Evangelicals not McCain’s only problem

McCain needs to drum up more enthusiasm from many parts of the Republican coalition, but his “need for the evangelicals is most crucial.”

Religious Right feeling rejected by McCain

“the fact is, McCain’s moderates can’t beat Obama’s adoring groupies.” Moderates aren’t the voters who “raise money, register voters, print and pass out voter guides, recruit their neighbors, and drive people to the polls.”

A Campaign We Can Believe In?

There are plenty of reasons for Republicans to be “alarmed that the McCain campaign doesn’t seem up to the task of electing John McCain.”

There was also one in the Tennessean over the weekend.

D. Michael Lindsay, assistant director of the Center on Race, Religion and Urban Life at Rice University, said white evangelicals, which make up a quarter to a third of the vote in most elections, have been the largest and most loyal bloc of votes for the Republicans.

But in high-turnout Democratic primaries, there were signs of slippage for the GOP. Exit polls showed that in Virginia and Georgia primaries, both won by Obama, the Illinois senator won overwhelmingly among those who go to church at least weekly. Those voters were 44 percent of the Democratic primary electorate in Georgia, 38 percent in Virginia.

So they make it sound like McCain only has trouble with evangelical or social conservatives. My observations are that he has trouble with conservatives of all stripes, not just religious ones.

McCain’s just got problems and i don’t think they’re getting better yet. That may change.

I sure hope so.

January 10, 2008

Review of Bible and Government – part 1

by thoughtfulconservative

Written by Dr. John M. Cobin, an investment adviser and Visiting Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Bible and Government(subtitled Public Policy from a Christian Perspective) gives a view of government from a Christian perspective most Christians would probably be surprised to read.

This is not Mike Huckabee government, folks.

And he doesn’t wait till chapter one to get started. In the introduction he asks four basic questions (p. 5):

  1. What kind of government should Bible-believing Christians support?
  2. What public policy must be obeyed?
  3. When, if ever, should Christians revolt?
  4. To what extent is the Christian’s submission to the state qualified?

These questions Dr. Cobin seeks to answer in his book.

He then discusses three dominant philosophies of biblical public policy that have emerged (p. 7-9).

theonomists (or Christian Reconstruction) would tend to allow civil government action that assists in the establishment of the postmillennial golden age. …Anabaptists… advocate non-participation in most civil government offices. [ed.-in some cases, this leads them to pacifism]. …Still a third perspective,…seems to offer a revitalized vision of the divine right of kings….if God ordains the state, then nearly all of what it decrees must be obeyed as if God Himself had issued the order.

Reformed Christians (like Huckabee) see civil government as “a redeemable and, hence, potentially useful institution that may be placed in the service of God’s kingdom as a restraint against evil.” This is what most evangelicals mean by Cobin proposes that at least part of civil government is beyond the pale of transformation.

What might surprise some Christians is Dr. Cobin’s interpretation of 1 Samuel 8:4-20. Israel is asking for a king and Samuel is trying to tell them what a king will mean, especially in the area of taxation.

Another of Cobin’s premises is that civil government is, in fact, a lethal institution. He quotes extensively from a speech that includes data that can be found on this website.

Well, that’s the introduction, there’s more to come.

November 9, 2007

The Evangelical Crackup (?)

by thoughtfulconservative

A tip of the conservative cap to the Recess Supervisor for this article by David D. Kirkpatrick from the New York Times magazine. It’s long, 8,000 words, but for anyone interested in where Christianity and politics are going, it is an essential read.

Mr. Kirkpatrick covered the movement and the 2004 election. For this article he went to Witchita, Kansas to see what, if anything, had changed.

I’m not going to comment much on this article, since I wrote my own post on the subject recently.

UPDATE: Jason at The Independent Conservative takes Christians to task over their voting and promises to post on why Christians should support Ron Paul. The Crossed Pond has a similar question.

Nick Schweitzer, Jessica McBride, and Rick Esenberg weigh in on the Giuliani endorsement by Pat Robertson.

October 22, 2007

GOP notes

by thoughtfulconservative

At Politico.com today it’s all GOP, all the time.

First a poll finds Thompson appeals to churchgoers.

Giuliani leads Thompson 29 percent to 21 percent among Republicans generally, the new national CBS News poll suggests.

But weekly Republican churchgoers back Thompson by a margin of 29 percent to 19 percent for Giuliani — roughly tying John McCain.

Then Republicans trade blows at fiery debate.

After two weeks of sparring from afar, the top GOP presidential candidates took their attacks up close Sunday, using the first round of their debate here to question one another’s conservative credentials.

Even Rudi claimed to be conservative. The four co-called top tier candidates received most of the questions.

While the lesser-knowns were brought into the conversation more toward the end, they were largely used as foils for the front-runners.

Then the Family Research Council’s “Values Voter Straw Poll” found Mike Huckabee winning among those people attending the event but Mitt Romney winning the online poll.

The 5,775-vote total included thousands of people who had voted online, and might have become eligible by paying as little as $1 to join FRC Action, the legislative action arm of the Family Research Council.

Heck, the Romney campaign could have had hundreds just in Mitt’s pocket change.

Although the audience of evangelicals at the Washington Hilton was not told about the alternate count, the crowd favorite by a mile among the 952 attendees who voted in person was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He took 51 percent of the in-person votes, compared to just 10 percent for the former Massachusetts governor.

Organizers said they wound up with more than 2,200 attendees, plus more than 400 journalists. Further complicating the voting totals, about 600 attendees voted online, so making it tougher to generalize about the discrepancies, organizers said.

Boy, what confusion. So essentially it doesn’t mean much.

The scrambled results obscured a clear message: To the degree that the group represents evangelical voters, they remain flummoxed about where to put their prestige and muscle in the ’08 race.

Even more surprising, Democrats got 32 of the online votes and 10 votes from those attending. So much for the monolithic Christian right vote, although it was overwhelmingly Republican.