This is the second part of my take on the results of the Virginia’s General Election (November 7, 2017). See HINDSIGHT ISN’T 20/20 — PART 1 for the first part.
Various people have posted their analysis of the election results, and I listed some in part1. I think each of these theories speaks only to part of the truth, at best. The Bull Elephant has a good collection of such posts.
- This Is The End, Yes, this was all about Trump, and Corey Stewart calls for resignation of RPV Chairman John Whitbeck, we get the neverTrump takeaways.
- The Virginia Blues: Here the complaint is that Republicans are not doing anything. So Republican voters don’t show up, and as observed in this post, A post-mortem, and a look forward, Corey Stewart makes a similar observation.
I could go on with this, but it is sort of silly. Virginia is now a state that votes Democrat. Why? What GOP Must Learn from the 12 Reasons Virginia Went Democrat in 2017 (breitbart.com) provides a decent political analysis. When Ed Gillespie ran like one of the Bush’s, it makes no sense to blame Trump, particularly when the statewide Republicans who embraced Trump polled significantly better than Gillespie. If you want a decent secular political analysis of the election results, this Breitbart piece is a goodie.
I have a different agenda, however. I will not be satisfied if I just understand the political situation. I want to know what is wrong. Why did people vote so stupidly — so self-destructively?
What makes the United States unique? What made it possible for Virginia to make the contributions it did to the formation of our once strong constitutional republic? The answer is Christianity, and we have allowed our leaders, especially those in the Democratic Party, to slowly turn the United States into a nation of pagans.
Why is this conversion of our nation from a fundamentally Christian to pagan state important to our constitutional republic (Pagan, pagan (n.), and What is a pagan? What is paganism? provide links the modern definition, origin, and usage of the term “pagan”.)? We will get to that, but let’s first consider the differences between Christians and pagans.
Christians and pagans have distinctly different beliefs about what is important. Whereas pagans seek the means to get what they want, Christians seek to glorify their Creator, the God who is love.
- Christians follow the teachings of the Bible, and Christians understand we are fallen creatures in need of salvation. Fortunately, our Creator loves us, and He sent us a Savior, His only begotten Son, Jesus, to save us from our sins. Jesus taught us that if we love Him, we will obey two commands: we will love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength; and we will love our neighbor as we love our self. Therefore, Christians consider the state as a tool for protecting each other FROM EACH OTHER.
- Pagans seek the most powerful idols, and they will sacrifice everything they have to get what they want from their idols. What are the idols of today? There are not metal, stone, or wooden. Instead they are the things we want: sex (great pleasure), stuff (fancy homes, cars, and other things that cost money), state (temporal power over others), and self (anything that elevates us over other people). Therefore, pagans consider the state as a means for getting what they want using the power of government.
Two words describe the philosophy of Christianity: I love. Two words also describe the philosophy of paganism: I want.
Since we all inherently know the difference between right and wrong, the lifestyle of a sincere Christian shames and angers pagans. Since sincere Christians have repented of their sins because they understand just how destructive sin can be, the lifestyle of pagans horrifies Christians. Therefore, the two groups tend to separate themselves from each other.
A couple of centuries ago, I probably could have written the above and few would have thought much about it. I doubt folks back then would have regarded what I said as radical, bigoted, insane, stupid, or just plain dumb. They probably would have just nodded in assent, wondering why I needed to say something so obvious. What is different after two hundred years? We no longer make much effort to instruct our children in the Bible. Few understand its teachings or its significance to our history.
The Egg of Columbus describes a story that explains the importance of having the proper insight into a problem. A brilliant idea or discovery may seem simple or easy after the fact, but at that point someone brilliant has shared his insight with us. Before proceeding, take a moment to read The Egg of Columbus. Then consider the insight into the nature of government that a Christian would have that a pagan would not have.
When we consider the world solely with a secular view, what has now become the pagan view, we don’t consider what people believe important. Instead, we focus upon what people want. Hence, political solutions require giving people what they want. Thus, instead of having a government like the one our nation had two hundred years ago, a government that protected their rights, we now have a government that gives us our rights.
What does a government that gives him his rights mean to a pagan?
- The promise of what he wants for pleasure.
- The fulfillment of all his material wants.
- A great and powerful state that imposes his will upon enemies.
- The affirmation that he is as good as or even better than anybody else.
What does a government that gives him his rights mean to a Christian? Consider Romans 13:1-10.
Romans 13:1-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
Submit to Government
13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Love Your Neighbor
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Christians believe that government exists to prevent evil, that which would harm our neighbors. When the state gives us our rights and instead of just protecting our rights, the state becomes an idol, that is, something pagans put before God. Such a government puts Christians in a predicament. Even though Christians must make every effort to be subject to the governing authorities, they still have an obligation to obey God first. That includes loving our neighbors, not harming them. Hence, Christians want a government that protects religious freedom because Christians abhor offending the consciences of their neighbors. Christians don’t want to make someone do something they think is wrong. Therefore, when the state becomes an idol, just a means to the fulfillment of our wants — no matter how vile those wants might be — pagans and Christians find themselves in direct conflict.
What will part 3 be about? What do the election results mean for Christians in Virginia?