Recently one of my commenters (here) left me this article to read, How Do Christians Fit Into the Two-Party System? They Don’t. This commenter apparently thinks that I think a Christian has to be a Republican. Why? Well, he can explain that himself.
Do I think a Christian must be a Republican? No. I don’t think it is quite that simple. I do think our religious beliefs should and do guide our political beliefs. That is, I vote for those candidates whose views are most compatible with my religious beliefs. Therefore, unless a political party becomes overtly anti-Christian, I expect most political parties to have at least few candidates I might wish to support.
Is the Democratic Party anti-Christian? It does not claim to be. Yet, the Democratic Party has promoted some policies that bothered lots of Christians. Consider the dilemma white Christians in the South faced when the Democratic Party supported slavery, the Jim Crow laws, and later, segregation. It would have been difficult to vote for any politician who did not support slavery, the Jim Crow laws, and later, segregation. Yet what if you believed that all of us should be treated equally before the law? What if you lived in the South? Would you have voted for a Democrat for President? Given the choice of Abraham Lincoln, would it have pleased Jesus if you had voted for the Democrat? Many otherwise decent Southerners did, and they still thought themselves Christians. Nevertheless, the Bible tells to love our neighbors as we love ourselves; it does not give us excuses for enslaving them.
So why did those southern white Christians vote for Democrats? Do we have a similar problem with one of the political parties today? Some have come to think so, but others think otherwise. So let’s step back. Imagine if you had been raised in the South before the Civil War. Would we have seen slavery as a sin? Would we have been for or against slavery? If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit we probably would have been for it. It would have seemed normal and proper. We would have been taught by people we respected that slaves were property.
What does the Democratic Party stand for today? Here is a summary from an encyclopedia.
Despite tracing its roots to Thomas Jefferson—who advocated a less-powerful, more-decentralized federal government—the modern Democratic Party generally supports a strong federal government with powers to regulate business and industry in the public interest; federally financed social services and benefits for the poor, the unemployed, the aged, and other groups; and the protection of civil rights. Most Democrats also
endorse a strong separation of church and state, and they generally oppose government regulation of the private, noneconomic lives of citizens.
Regarding foreign policy, Democrats tend to prefer internationalism and multilateralism—i.e., the execution of foreign policy through international institutions such as the United Nations—over isolationism and unilateralism. However, because the party is highly decentralized (as is the Republican Party), it encompasses a wide variety of opinion on certain issues. Although most Democrats favour affirmative action and gun control, for example, some moderate and conservative Democrats oppose those policies or give them only qualified support. (from here)
The devil is in the details, what politicians and their supporters actually do and want, not in the platitudes they spout. To get at the details, what candidates actually believe, folks at The Family Foundation ask candidates for public office whether they support or oppose specific statements like the following (see here):
- Elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to a protected class.
- Eliminate state funding for private businesses that perform abortions.
- Allow home school high school students to try out for public school sports teams.
- Provide a tuition tax-credits to families who send their children to non-public schools.
- Repeal abortion center health and safety standards.
- Expand Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.
- Ensure rights of business owners to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs.
- Repeal the religious exemption from compulsory education laws used by some home schools families.
- Allow transgender students in K-12 to use whatever bathroom they choose, regardless of their biological sex.
- Prohibit state government from discriminating against nonprofit organizations that have deeply-held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Each of us needs to think about the following:
- Why does The Family Foundation need to ask whether candidates for public office support of oppose such statements?
- Why would a candidate (Democrat or Republican) refuse The Family Foundation‘s questionnaire?
- Why would candidate (Democrat or Republican) be happy to answer The Family Foundation‘s questionnaire?
- What guidance can we find in the Bible with respect to each of these statements?
If you have not read the Bible or considered it carefully, then it is not too late to do so. In fact, it is important that we all read it. The world pulls at us and demands conformity, but our first love must be our Creator. To be obedient to Him, we must understand what His Word, the Bible, requires of us.