Why this Republican Voted for Obama But Is Not (Yet) a Democrat

Shutterstock 117486055
Full disclosure:  I am 60, a white, male, evangelical minister working at a city rescue mission after 30 years in the pastorate, and a lifelong Republican moderate who has often split the ticket.

In the last three presidential elections I have voted for the Democratic candidate.  But I am not ready to identify as a Democrat.

I wrote about my distress with the right wing capture of my Republican party and the ugly and unfair demonization of President Obama these last four years by many Christians in the blog post “Fear and Loathing in Fundamentalist Land” (November 6, 2012).  One responder criticized me for being blind to the Democrats.

I am not, but I was focusing on the problems in my own backyard, as it were.

So why am I uncomfortable with the Democratic Party, even after supporting their candidate in three presidential campaigns?

I am not as cynical about politics and politicians as my eldest daughter is, but I have a healthy regard for the way politicians will try to say what different audiences want to hear and be all things to all people that they may win some votes from them.  Promises are made to get elected, and forgotten afterward.  To this extent, I do not want to get captured by any political party; I will not make any political party an idol.  It seems to me some Christians have, on both sides of the aisle.

All too often, our political choices are who’s the best of two bad options?  Or who has fewer faults than the other?  Who do I disagree with less?

This year, as four years ago, I clearly distrusted the Republican candidate more.

  • President Bush’s hubris was blinding at the end of his first term; he would not admit any error about Iraq.
  • Then John McCain made the astoundingly bad choice of Sarah Palin as vice president.
  • This time the spectacle of moderate Romney becoming Tea Party Romney, and then trying to be somewhat moderate Romney again in order to be elected was far too much for me.  Not to mention having as his running mate Congressman Ryan of the leadership which decided “we will oppose everything Obama proposes in order to get power again.”

So I trusted Mr. Obama somewhat more.  He has been effective on foreign policy by talking softly while still carrying a big stick.  The economy is mending, though too slowly.  And I hope his rhetoric about a balanced approach to debt reduction will be forthcoming.  But I do have reservations about him and his party.

I am deeply concerned about the increasingly secular bent under the Democratic big tent that frequently dismisses the concerns of conservative Christians and even religious beliefs altogether.  The brouhaha about removing “God” from the party platform and the deaf ear to religious exemptions about funding abortion and birth control in Catholic hospitals is cause for great concern.

I think our pluralistic society is actually a great strength, bringing new energy to our country.  As Christians, we have every right and responsibility to make our case in the public square of ideas and opinions.  But we won’t always prevail.  And we don’t have the right to impose our beliefs on others, nor they on us.  But not all ideas are compatible, even if we agree to disagree.  Christians, non-Christians and atheists can all work together for the common good…but only if we can agree on what the common good is.

Democrats are the pro-choice party, and I am concerned about the many Democrats who believe there should be no restrictions on abortion.

My faith and ethics say that Christians should have a completely pro-life bias.  Human life is sacred and the taking of human life should only be under the most extreme conditions.  We may defend ourselves, our loved ones, and the innocent.  Military actions should be a last resort and only for just reasons.  The death penalty as currently imposed in America has killed too many innocent people and should be stopped.

And abortion must not be used as birth control.

However, we are constantly faced with the hard choices of Christian virtues colliding.  Broken and dysfunctional families are a scourge on America, and God hates divorce.  But in this broken world there are biblical exceptions for divorce.  Yet we are called to support and encourage stable and loving marriages.

It is similar with abortion.  We have the rare cases of a mother’s life in jeopardy because of a pregnancy.  Which life takes precedence?  Can we legislate this?  I don’t believe we can.  A woman in Ireland, which does outlaw abortion, just died because she was not allowed an abortion and was too sick to travel to England.

And is the difficult choice to carry a baby conceived by rape or incest one that should be legislated either?  Certainly, there are moms and children from these situations entirely grateful for the life that was spared.  There are other women who courageously carry such a child to term in order to give the child away to someone who can love the child wholeheartedly.  We must do all we can to make these choices more feasible.  But there are women who cannot or will not do this, and can we legitimately take this most difficult and intimate life and death decision away from the individual?  Most Americans and most Christians believe this kind of terrible decision is between the woman and God.

And I am old enough to remember reading of cases of back alley abortions when all abortion was outlawed; botched abortions that destroyed women’s ability to conceive again or even killed her.  Do we want that again?  What is our ethical responsibility here?

But I cannot condone abortion for any reason without restriction.  Late term abortions, for instance, should be banned unless the mother’s life is truly in danger.  The Democratic party has been unable to concede even this much.

The number of abortions that still occur in America is abominable.  And while I believe exceptions for abortion should be allowed in this fallen world, I want to see much more done to encourage adoption alternatives, and responsible sexual behavior.  Too many in the Democratic Party seem ambivalent to the sexual free-for-all in society today and its corollary of abortion if birth control fails.

Regarding homosexuality, Christians have struggled with these issues from the beginning of the church.  At that time homosexuality was tolerated by the culture.  Later it was not.  Then homosexual behavior was eventually made illegal in America for a time; and later those laws were overturned.  Now there is a societal outcry for full equal rights for gay couples.  The Democrats support this; most Republicans do not when it comes to redefining marriage.

ADVERTISEMENT

-------------

I do not believe the bible condones homosexual behavior.  That is my Christian stance.  But we are called to love all people, witness to the love of God in Christ and encourage positive change in whomever we come in contact with.  Loving those who disagree with us, while debating public policy that directly affects lives is our difficult challenge.

How do we witness to people of different religious beliefs?  Not by restricting their civil rights; not in America.

The vast majority of homosexuals believe they are born that way (whether or not that is always the case).  And changing sexual identity and orientation is so hugely difficult the psychological establishment has given up on it and condemns such efforts (even if someone wants to try).

In such a social and political climate what is our ethical duty?  I think it is to witness to the life-changing love of Christ, encourage people to consider Christ, and promote the best Christian values we can.  In this case, that would mean faithful, monogamous long-term relationships for those who are not celibate (the exact same value we encourage for heterosexuals, by the way, and with underwhelming success).

It is the right thing to safeguard people’s civil rights.  Yet while I would prefer safeguarding their civil rights through civil unions, most homosexuals do not; they want the full status of marriage.  Here I find myself not quite Democrat nor Republican.

Indeed I often find myself in disagreement with both parties, wishing there was a viable third way.

On economic issues, I am conservative.  I do not like much debt either personally or as a country.  We must stop deficit spending and get our fiscal house in order and stop spending more than we are taking in.  Of course, this is acknowledged by nearly everyone.  The main disagreement is how to do this now.

My wife works in state government and one of our best friends in county government.  I work at a rescue mission.  I know about government waste, red tape and over-regulation.  I know about people in real need and people who take advantage.  To be sure, there is way too much waste and too many people who feel entitled.  Yet most of us agree we need social safety nets, even as we try to keep these programs as streamlined and effective as possible.

I know the effectiveness of non-governmental groups.  But private charitable organizations don’t have the resources to meet all the needs.  “Running government like a business” (as some argue) doesn’t make sense when businesses are primarily concerned with profits rather than human welfare or safety.  We need both governmental and charitable groups working together to meet the needs.

Democrats have a big responsibility and opportunity today.

  • As the party of “big government” it has the greatest power to find the waste and trim it.
  • It is the Democrat’s opportunity to make sure we have good and effective regulations, not simply more of them.
  • It is their opportunity to make relatively modest but necessary changes in Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security to keep them solvent.  And if it does this successfully, it will also take away one of the Republican bragging rights just as it did for foreign policy.

But can the Democratic Party do this?  Or is it really too beholden to its special interest groups?  For instance, facing a large deficit, our New York State Governor had to reach across party lines to the Republican controlled state senate to push through education and spending reforms opposed by a variety of union interests and many in his own party.

Will this happen on the national front?  Will Democratic leadership truly reach out to whatever Republicans will dialog with them and forge new creative compromises?  Will they have the courage to go against some interests in their own party?

I am concerned that they will not.

Both parties are addicted to corporate money.  Neither party is willing to challenge the idea that what is good for big business is good for America.  It wasn’t true in the gilded age and it isn’t true now in our new gilded age.

Democrats have done next to nothing to challenge the corrupt culture of Wall Street. President Obama even chose Wall Street insiders for his major economic advisors (wolves guarding the hen house). Two books I hope will be widely read are:  Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, by Chrystia Freeland; and The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted by Mike Lofgren.

These are a few of my concerns that prevent me from calling myself a Democrat.  In this polarized political scene we find ourselves, I pray the nation can forge a new consensus that will unite us in a common vision for the public good.

But is there political leadership in either party that can do this?  We need some courageous political leaders.  Are they out there?  I do not know.  Only God does.


Tom McCrossan is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of America, serving in special ministry as an Assistant Chaplain at a local rescue mission. His grandfather was a minister first in the Methodist and then in the Presbyterian Church. His uncle served at the Victory Service Club of the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles. He is married with three grown children and lives in Schenectady, NY.

Photo Credit: A BCD Creative / Shutterstock.com

Print Friendly

About the Author

Tom McCrossan

Tom McCrossanTom McCrossan is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of America, serving in special ministry as an Assistant Chaplain at a local rescue mission. His grandfather was a minister first in the Methodist and then in the Presbyterian Church. His uncle served at the Victory Service Club of the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles. He is married with three grown children and lives in Schenectady, NY.View all posts by Tom McCrossan →

  • Mrs Woo

    Well said. Does it not leave the thought that our politics and political systems are so sunk in the things of the world (“Both parties are addicted to corporate money.”) that we have to look for different models and leaders with different agendas?

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    On Balance you made the case for VOTING for Mitt Romney but almost in self-defiance voted anyway for Barack Hussein Obama. Who were you trying to convince: U.S. or yourself?

    The U.S. Government IS the Snowball from Hell. It’s first deviation from the Constitution in the form of a “solution” decades ago in response to a “problem” that in hindsight was no worse than a gnat has mushroomed into an Economic Winter that may NEVER turn to Spring. Each successive “solution” led to a bigger “problem” followed by a still bigger “solution.” The result has been ObamaNomics characterized by record-breaking deficits, debt, Failed Stimulus, shovel-less jobs, unemployment, under-employment, government largess in the forms of dependency creating welfare, food stamps, Obama Fones, unemployment checks, disability, section 8 housing, manufacturing malaise, massive government bailouts, tax-payer funded abortions, and immoral reprobate legislating and non-enforcement of good laws (DOMA).

    Be wary of the “problems” but BEWARE their solutions!

    Government is wildly intoxicated and addicted to the worse drugs of all: Power, Greed, Money and an incessant lust to be re-elected by an electorate addled by and addicted to their largess.

    Speaking of Huge Solutions to Big Problems, go figure. This “solution” is far, far too small for the scope of the problem created by former Huge Solutions, and so the Solution will once again make the PROBLEM BIGGER, not smaller:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=512912878727804&set=a.100336179985478.566.100000272887879&type=1&theater

    • Drew

      You mean the George W Bush phones? Yeah, I don’t support them either.

      • Albert J. Fergusson

        CT, phone home

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      I am wary of absolutes, but thus far, it has never failed: when someone invokes Obama’s middle name, they are going to claim that he is the source of every problem in the US, and will probably say explicitly or implicitly that they believe Obama is a manifestation of Satan. Thank you for maintaining that trend, at least.

      Now, as Drew reminds Miles below, this is a Christian site, not a political site. How about addressing the theology of the post, rather than spewing party rhetoric?

    • Questioning

      Is your real name Grover Norvquist? Seriously, you never fail to disappoint.

      • Albert J. Fergusson

        Questioning, I question your use of “Norvquist.” Is it possible you confused Brother Grover with some type of over the counter medication? ;-)

        • Questioning

          Could be, but it was unconscious and pure serendipity if I did. I did not take the time to spell check his name. :>O

  • Miles Elder

    Don’t excuse your evil! Real Christians didn’t vote for Barack Obama. You’ve betrayed our nation and God Himself.

    • Drew

      This website is for Christians, Miles – not trolls, not false idol worshippers of politics, but Christians.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      I like how you set it up like betraying the nation (because exercising the freedom of choice is now a betrayal) is on par with betraying God. It shows who your god actually is.

      • Albert J. Fergusson

        Wait, I got this one, I took logic in high school … his god is The Nation, that pinko rag? (if so, my fellow socialists have won!) I think we might be giving Miles too much power here (unless we’re talking about Miles Davis)

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          Miles Davis had more power than any man should have… except Dave Brubeck. RIP.

          • Albert J. Fergusson

            Well played

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

      Mitt Romney is God?!?……I thought He’d be bigger.

      • Albert J. Fergusson

        In fairness, his hair was really, really big sometimes.

    • Questioning

      This comment gives me more cause for concern over our nation than anything Barack Obama has done or likely will ever do. The hatred and ignorance evidenced here is simply stunning.

      • Albert J. Fergusson

        I kind of get what you mean, but I’m having a bit of trouble seeing straight with this spec in my eye …

        • Questioning

          Understood and agreed…. it’s hard sometimes to let it be.

    • Albert J. Fergusson

      “… when you talk about destruction
      Don’t you know that you can count me out”

  • 22044

    Based on the analysis you provided – I see a couple of things:

    1) You’ll have no danger of becoming a Democrat
    2) Christians will have to look outside of politics to reclaim their witness for Christ.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

    This is a well thought through and balanced piece (when I say balanced, it means that I agree with it :)), I so thoroughly agree with the tendency to create idols out of parties. Thanks for taking the time to pen this.

  • 21st C. Episcopalian

    I appreciated the honest and thoughtful tone of this article. Also, I personally can understand the tension in deciding who to vote for? Neither candidate was a perfect choice for christian voters. Obama does have more of a heart for the helpless poor and sick, yet Romney seemed to have more of a heart for the helpless unborn. I too wrestled with this very decision.

    • Frank

      The problem is that the poor and marginalized have the opportunity to be helped but the unborn who have been killed can never be helped. They are dead.

  • Marsha Lynn

    I’m right there with you. Are there enough of us to form a new party?

  • NeartheEdge

    Much thanks for your article.

    I can only repeat, in brief, what I believe evangelical christianity has to sort out:

    Our moral values are directed almost exclusively with one single issues, sex, which is hardly mentioned throughout the Bible.

    Yet, citing Mary’s song, the moral crusade is directed at speaking truth to power – a constant theme in Biblical history.

    How have we become so short sighted?

    If, say, the fight for abolition of abortion-on-demand was won, what effect would that have? In my view, this would produce a lot more unwanted children living in the poverty, the same poverty which is statistically the reason they were conceived in the first place.

    On the other hand (as evangelicals and catholics of 19th) we attacked the causes of poverty – the pirate capitalism of the Mitt Romney variety, namely, breaking up companies and outsourcing work, tax evasion/avoidance (which is stealing from the poor), predatory banking economics, etc, etc, what effect would that have?

    Again,In my view, this goes some way toward rebalancing wealth distribution which simultaneously attacks the cause of unwanted pregnancies and therefore reduces abortion, while obeying more fully what is at the heart of the gospel – good news for the poor.

    • Drew

      “In my view, this would produce a lot more unwanted children living in the poverty, the same poverty which is statistically the reason they were conceived in the first place.

      I’m sorry, but killing children because you think they will have a bad life is not a Christian viewpoint.

      • NeartheEdge

        “I’m sorry, but killing children because you think they will have a bad life is not a Christian viewpoint.”

        But nor is actively supporting an economic system which perpetuates poverty a Christian viewpoint. Yet I hear hardly anything from evangelicals against fraudulent foreclosures (for instance) perpetrated by the usual suspects – one of whom was running for President. Greed – which is next to idolatry – has apparently been given an evangelical pass in the USA presumably because God is so het up about sexual deviancy.

        Presented with an epidemic, the sane thing to do is find the cause as well as treat the symptoms. The cause of a large proportion of abortions is directly linked to poverty hence the Christian thing to do is attack poverty..no?

        • Frank

          Yes and no. Poverty is a moving target and compared to the rest of the world everyone in the US are not poor. If fact we are so privileged that people, even Christians, allow over 21,000 innocent unborn children to be killed each week mostly due to reasons of convenience so that why can comfortable and to put out.

          So yes we should care for those who are in need and suffering but we should allow the slaughter of the unborn to continue in the meantime.

          • Frank

            Sorry for the typos.

            “so that they can be comfortable and not be put out.”

        • 22044

          NeartheEdge,
          With all due respect, put up support for your irrational accusations…or go pound sand.

        • Drew

          At least you admitted I was right before changing the topic. I’m glad we can agree that murdering people preemptively is a bad idea.

          The rest of your post is off-topic and political, but I will still attempt to address it.

          First, there is no such thing as “fraudulent foreclosures.” There are very isolated cases where foreclosure proceeding were due to errors, but this is human error, not depravity. If you blame banks for foreclosures, you have to ask yourself why people took out loans they could not repay. Personal responsibility is a lost art in America, and it is typical of liberals to ignore the fact that fundamentally foreclosures happen because borrowers do not pay.

          Second, I agree poverty needs to be addressed. However, we can also make abortions more difficult to obtain. Even if we reduced poverty abortions would still occur. Supply and demand… we can reduce the supply as well as demand.

          Third, there are some Biblical concepts that are difficult to legislate and should not be legislated in a free society. Greed is one of those. You say tax avoidance is stealing from the poor. Really? Tax avoidance is legal; if it is illegal, you end up in jail. Do you pay more taxes than you have to, Near? Do you skip deductions you are entitled to or do you send extra checks to the IRS? If you don’t, then you are a tax evader as well. The truth is that we tend to focus on, tend to legislate, the easier and more clear truths and work from there.

          • NeartheEdge

            I’m not sure I admitted anything, or changed the subject. The Bible doesn’t isolate sex as a single issue, it is bound up with the whole of human experience, isolating it is the fundamental mistake of evangelical christianity.

            However, to answer your points:

            I beg to differ on your remark that there’s no such things as fraudulent foreclosures. There is plenty of evidence of mis-selling (fraud) which ended badly for the the purchasers. Personal responsibility is all well and good, but faced with an industry hell bend on maximising profit and all ethics flies out the window, with predictable results. The idea that everyone acts rationally all the time would render advertising as completely useless. it’s a myth which is exploited wholesale by a predatory financial elite. Who is the more culpable here, the purchaser or the fraudster?

            Of course abortions (both natural and otherwise) will occur even with more equality. My argument is: rather than expending so much preaching on the evils of abortion – there isn’t a woman in the world who consciously prefers abortion as a solution – the church should address more earnestly the evils of inequality. We will always have the poor, Jesus knew that and addressed it, as did the early church as a fundamental part of their mission. Poverty, says Ghandi, is the worst form of violence.

            Tax: Tax avoidance maybe legal but is it ethical? Who made it legal? I haven’t knowingly avoided or evaded tax. On that issue I prefer the words of Christ (paraphrased): “do the extra mile!” We’re supposed to be people of carefree faith since Jesus said God knows our need, releasing us to be super generous.

            On responsibility (and not changing the subject that much) there is evidence to suggest that the US militaries’ use of depleted uranium munitions has and is causing horrendous birth defects (missing arms legs) in both Iran and Afghanistan. is there any news of this in the US?

          • Drew

            We are going to disagree because you have a liberal and somewhat secular worldview. However, I think we can both learn from each other in this discussion. On my end, I hope you learn about personal responsibility and think more deeply about the role that government should play in Christianity.

            I understand liberalism abhors personal responsibility and sees all institutions as inherently evil. In your world, all borrowers are “purchasers” and all banks are “fraudsters.” However, where is the fraud? Fraud is a crime that is prosecuted. Every borrower signed papers and knew exactly what the terms of their mortgages too. You had folks making up incomes, taking out 0% mortgages, taking out loans to pay for their down payment for their mortgage, taking out the biggest homes they could (and couldn’t) afford, getting ARM’s, trying to flip homes, getting balloon payments and trying to refinance or flip… you get the idea. The only fraud, if you will, is banks failing to protect borrowers… from the greed of borrowers.

            Unfortunately, you are uninformed about abortion. Just as increasing numbers of folks do not see homosexuality as a sin any longer, folks do not see abortion as a sin. Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Party think abortion should be easily accessible without any restrictions, regardless of ability to pay, and that it is a safe, legal “medical procedure.” When you refer to abortion as a “safe, legal medical procedure” that should have no restrictions on it, you clearly do not see children in the womb as having value. Half the battle in the abortion debate is to get people to realize that life in the womb is precious.

            I’m glad you admitted you take advantage of all deductions offered to you and you do not send the IRS extra money. So does Mitt Romney, so does Barack Obama, so does every U.S. citizen not in jail.

          • NeartheEdge

            Thanks Drew, it’s been an education.

            Since all things to do with the unborn is the non-negotiable, highest priority of the church, we should oppose all things that threaten that life. The use of depleted uranium munitions is likely (but not yet proved) to be the cause birth defects. You are sure to join me in opposing their continued use:

            “Birth-defect rates in Falluja have become increasingly alarming over the past two years. In the first half of 2010, the number of monthly cases of serious abnormalities rose to unprecedented levels. In Falluja general hospital, 15% of the 547 babies born in May had a chronic deformity, such as a neural tune defect – which affects the brain and lower limbs – cardiac, or skeletal abnormalities, or cancers.

            No other city in Iraq has anywhere near the same levels of reported abnormalities. Falluja sees at least 11 times as many major defects in newborns than world averages, the research has shown.”
            http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/30/faulluja-birth-defects-iraq

          • Drew

            Your debate tactic of avoiding and changing the topic is wearing thin.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            Drew, I normally quite enjoy your musings, but comments like “I understand liberalism abhors personal responsibility and sees all institutions as inherently evil”, seems wildly inflammatory. Not to mention, a really unhelpful generalisation and frankly untrue.
            I have many friends and colleagues who would identify themselves as “liberal”, who also manage their own financial affairs and who are even working for corporations.
            I think Near is raising a few valid points that give me pause for thought. If reducing abortion is on our radar (it is mine), legislation, historically is ineffective. What does effect abortion rates is economic safety, circumstances and stability. How we create that space for folk is a worthy discussion. I presently tend to lean toward a more economically wet position. That is, keeping corporations in check with their behaviour, and providing assistance to the poor. I’ve not always been here, but recent research tends to steer me this way. I understand the call for personal responsibility, but I believe that the current situation makes that extremely difficult or even impossible for those currently in poverty.
            Social mobility in the USA is currently lower than any time in the last 100 years, and is one of the lowest in the western world.
            I heard a speaker say recently “As things stand today, if a poor or middle class American wants to live the American dream, they should move to Denmark” :)

          • NeartheEdge

            Thanks David. Couldn’t agree more.

            Abortion is an evil. If I’ve got my interpretation correct, part of the cause of that evil is “the love of money,” not some evil, but all evil. Money is a cultural commodity which tends to accumulate in few hands by accident as well as design. This aspect of money – and the havoc it creates – is so well know, laws in most cultures throughout history were designed to ameliorate it’s effect – see Leviticus.

            What’s instructive for me is Jesus’ attitude to the woman caught in adultery. She had personal responsibilities – but did she have much of a choice? This is also true of the woman at the well; how much choice did she have given the culture she was in? Jesus condemns the sin but is compassionate to both, he knew full well that the sin was the as much the result of culture and money (often central) to that.

            Hence attributing abortion wholly to a personal failing is at best short-sighted. It’s surely as much a cultural failure which implies we’re all partly responsible – we are our brothers keeper. Fixing the abortion crisis does mean addressing money as a first priority. simple.

          • Drew

            No, abortion is due to the depravity of man, nothing more, nothing less.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            I agree that it is due to the depravity of man.
            The question is, if we are to offer any legislation to reduce it, what depravities should we legislate against? As I’ve suggested above, making abortion illegal is historically ineffective, making the world physically and economically safe is effective.
            Having said all of that, there is a good discussion to be had about what we want our laws to stand for. A good argument could be made that even though outlawing abortion is ineffective, we want our laws to reflect values that we see as important…effective or nay.

          • NeartheEdge

            Ageed.
            David and Drew:
            I’d be interested to know your opinion on the jubilee laws.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            Like them a lot. It would be an interesting thought experiment (maybe real?), to try them out in the west. I wonder how the world would look if people could only borrow as much as they could repays in a set number of years (say five?), or the loan would automatically be forgiven?
            There are a number of places where generational loans are becoming the norm. I wonder how that actually contributes to societal wealth?

          • NeartheEdge

            My understanding of the Jubilee laws is, first and foremost, God’s desire for his people to be unique among the nations. Mosaic laws covered interpersonal, family, tribal and financial governance. It’s the latter of interest here and it also points at God’s heart for his nation.

            His nation was to be free of the societal ills which are common features of most- if not all- societies, especially that of perpetual poverty and it’s brother, class(ism).
            Upper, middle, lower and underclass are commonly institutionalised in most ancient and present day societies. One class rises and dominates and a common feature of this dominance is the necessary corruption of law(s) and distortion of religious and ethical values in order to perpetuates what comes to called “God given” positions in society, with the lowest class often the financial (taxes) and sexual (homo/hetero) prey of all the others. see the Hindu caste system as an example only – Hindus are no more at fault than any others.

            The depravity of man indeed!

            Perfect equality in not possible in a fallen world but the Jubilee laws was intended as a first class (forgive the pun) safeguard against perpetual poverty (and class-ism) for everyone within the then Hebrew fold. It forbade the rise of one group above the other, maintaining equality over time, by the use of debt forgiveness and reparation as the principle mechanism. The resulting society would have been a beacon of light to the world. “The Hebrew God as the true God” would have been SEEN in their society of brotherhood and justice.

            Anti-poverty Churches movements and serious secular economists are looking at ways to implement debt forgiveness mechanisms for our current economic woes.

            Take home message: God hates inequality; It destroys morals (both of the exploiter and exploited) and deepens sinful outcomes (including abortions) inherent in man.

          • Drew

            I was responding to Near in the context of what he said and stand by what I said. If you look at the mortgage crisis and put 100% of the blame on banks, while ignoring the greed of borrowers, you’re clearly beholden to political rhetoric and not to actual facts. I agree there are liberals that are exceptions to the rule, but Near upheld the stereotype in this instance by blaming “evil” corporations rather than irresponsible individuals.

            If you want to change the topic, yes, I support tax reform that either limits deductions or raises rates for the wealthy while extending tax cuts for the middle class.

            Back on topic, you need to read what I wrote. I’m not promoting a magic bullet. I mean, saying that you’re going to reduce abortion by solving poverty is like saying you’re going to reduce death by world peace. Pretty ambiguous goal, once that has been reached in the history of humankind, don’t you think? I think legislation is a piece of the puzzle, spreading the Gospel so that people become Christians and follow what the Bible says about the value of life, improving the economy would all be good steps.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000699994198 David Reynolds

            Totally agree with your final statement, with the possible modification of “disciples” instead of “Christians”…but I’m just being picky :). As a Christian I’ve often made choices that don’t reflect well on Kingdom values.

            I also agree with the personal responsibility rhetoric, although I think that there has been an element of desperation and misplaced trust in financial institutions doing the right things that may also have been at play. Accordingly, I think that some banks and corporations have been quite evil. in playing to that. I don’t imagine you would dispute that.

            Many would call you liberal for advocating raising tax rates for the wealthy, or limiting deductions. I should add that I agree with you on this point.

            I do disagree with your abortion/world peace analogy, there are numerous studies showing that economic safety effects abortion rates. There has also been a study recently released showing that making abortions illegal has no, or even negative affect on reducing abortion. Accordingly, the most effective way to reduce abortion rates seems to be to provide an economic safety net, particularly for the poor…..and for people to meet Jesus and become His followers as you have rightly pointed out.

            Thanks for clearing things up for me.

          • keith

            David you must be in never never land. You need to visit the subsidised housing around here. The condo’s are nicer than my double wide. The cars in the lots are mostly new and they buy the best money can buy when it comes to food. You are in a dream land buddy. The “poor” that you are referring to are the very “poor” among us. There are homeless, ‘poor’ people who need help however there are a vast amount of people who are on the govt tit and make up the majority of those who are NOT poor. Jesus’ defintion of the “poor’ isnt Americas poor. We have a reality problem with people like yourself and I would ask you if you ever used Schedule A to itemize your taxes?? lol I bet you have.

        • keith

          Republicans are foreclosing on poor people??? LMBO how rediculous. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debocle was caused because of bleeding heart, unrealistic, people who MADE lenders loan money to those who couldnt afford the home to start with. The more you people try and fix the supposed inequality the more you piss money away and skew the system to the point it is now…..unsustainable. Why cant you understand that there will always be POOR among us as Jesus said. Is it that hard for you to understand? Also, please tell me scripture that says to take care of the “poor” with cable tv, air conditining, cars, cell phones, paid housing, enough food stamps to eat better than most who work??? Please point that out to me sir since the poor in Jesus day were homeless at the city gates…………. Amazingly distorted view of the gospel and a misrepresentation of the real world.

        • keith

          Republicans are foreclosing on poor people??? LMBO how rediculous. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debocle was caused because of bleeding heart, unrealistic, people who MADE lenders loan money to those who couldnt afford the home to start with. The more you people try and fix the supposed inequality the more you piss money away and skew the system to the point it is now…..unsustainable. Why cant you understand that there will always be POOR among us as Jesus said. Is it that hard for you to understand? Also, please tell me scripture that says to take care of the “poor” with cable tv, air conditining, cars, cell phones, paid housing, enough food stamps to eat better than most who work??? Please point that out to me sir since the poor in Jesus day were homeless at the city gates…………. Amazingly distorted view of the gospel and a misrepresentation of the real world.

    • 22044

      Sorry, but short-sightedness has nothing to do with being pro-life.

    • Frank

      And this ignorant attitude will ensure that over 21,000 innocent unborn children wil continue to be killed each week mostly due to reason of convenience.

  • Jonathan

    Is it sort of self appreciation to say, “I agree.” :) I agree. (Pat myself on the back)
    —-
    No seriously love as someone else said, “The honest tone.”

    • Jonathan

      or this one “on point.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Westerman/1531760045 Chris Westerman

    Obama has a ruthless quest for power. He did not come to Washington

    to make something out of himself but rather to change everything,

    including dismantling capitalism. He can’t be straightforward on his

    ambitions, as the public would not go along. He has a heavy hand and

    wants to level the playing field with income redistribution and

    punishment to the achievers of society. He would like to model the USA

    to Great Britain or Canada .

    • Questioning

      Wow, he’s gonna do all that in the next 4 years? At best you have bought into lies and misinformation that others have told you, at worst your spreading lies and fear, ie sowing the seeds of discord. The Bible says some things about that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aubrey.ducker Aubrey Ducker

    I am always amazed when “Christian Politics” is reduced to Abortion Rights. A full study of the Bible leads many to differeing conclusions on when “Life” begins. Prior to Roe v. Wade, many religious organizations, did not have such absolute beliefs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randall.hembree Randall Hembree

    …another writer with a good list of sensible alternatives that ignores the elephant in the room, military spending. Over half our nations resources are devoted to “defense” (really “war”), and we need to pare those expenditures before cutting safety net programs such as Social Security, unemployment benefits, Medicare, and Medicaid, which are minor compared to the massive defense budget.

  • keith

    I read your disagreements with Romney, Bush, Palin etc. Basically you pointed out that Romney changed his positions during the campaign. My question to you is if in fact you are in denial about Obama? He changed his opinion about Gay Marriage, He stated that if we raise the debt ceiling it is a ‘sign of failed leadership’, he said ‘no taxes on those $250k or less, he said you could keep your own healthcare plan etc etc etc. In fact some of these werent changed positions, they were just flat out lies. Im sure you are one of the ones who are white and seeking approval of our black brethren. Printing things like this doesnt make them any more endeared to you my friend, it just leads to attitudes like Detroits City Council member who calls on Obama for a ‘Quid Pro Quo just because they voted for him. Entitlement slavery has permeated every crevice of our land. It is a plague that we will never come out from under because people refuse to tell the truth for fear of rebuke from the pc crowd. You had it right the first time and then you changed to vote for a the ‘black plague’ The irony is he is 1/2 white but eyt carried 96% of the black vote…….and 44% of the white vote….lets see…which one looks more racist to you? Im sure its the 44%. Paul Ryan didnt obstruct Obama because he just wanted to be a pain in the rectal region. He opposed him just as almost half the country did because he is bad for this country, still has no answers, and has an agenda that will destroy life as you know it. While you believe he has a mandate I suggest to you that without the 47% that dont pay taxes he would be run out of this country on a rail. End of Story

  • Albert J. Fergusson

    I would like to hear more from the author as to why he believes “The brouhaha about removing “God” from the party platform … is cause for great concern.” I am more concerned about whether policies in platforms are consistent with the widest range of biblical values. Like the author, I share “a healthy regard for the way politicians will try to say what different audiences want to hear …” But like the great prophet Bob Dylan, I am also skeptical of politicians who say “With God On Our Side…”, whether we got that in writing or not.

  • Timothy Lemoine

    You my friend are either a provocateur or naive – and when I say naive, I mean ignorant. When I say ignorant, I am not speaking metaphorically, but in the literal form. Your wordy, redundant, long-winded regurgitation of the “issues” is intellectually, philosophically, and theologically bankrupt.

×

TRENDING: Could Your Evangelical Church be Called a Cult? >>

Read previous post:
shutterstock_119558467
The Dangers of Evangelism

BY: CHRISTIAN PIATT -- I understand the basis of evangelism. There are lots of scriptural bases for doing it: making...

Close