taking the words of Jesus seriously

Not all Republicans are evil, but the leadership of the Republican Party in the state of Pennsylvania has questionable morality. With a Republican governor and a Republican Legislature a bill was passed that requires all voters in the November election to have some government-issued photo ID. Generally that means a driver’s license. Since 18 percent of the voters in the city of Philadelphia do not have a driver’s license or another form of photo ID, they are likely to be kept out of the voting booths. When it’s time to vote for a president, this will, of course, take the franchise away from a large segment of the population that is elderly, poor, and young. Though written by the state legislature, the Republican legislature and the Republican governor did not even try to conceal the real reasons for passing the legislation.

The head of the Republican Party, reporting at a Party convention, declared, as viewed on television, that the new legislation would guarantee that the state of Pennsylvania would belong to Mitt Romney in November. He made no attempt to conceal the fact that the purpose of the law was to take the franchise away from certain groups of people, especially Hispanic and African-American voters of the city of Philadelphia. Over all, in the state, 9.2 percent of registered voters lack photo ID. Statewide, approximately 758, 000 voters will be turned away at the polls on Election Day, and there is no need to point out that the glee evidenced by both the head of the Republican Party in the state of Pennsylvania was over the fact that a significant majority of those voters will be Democrats. Unless the state Supreme Court does something to interfere with the legislation, it is likely that Pennsylvania, which both parties admit is a crucial swing state, will be in Romney’s column the day after the elections in November.

Red Letter Christians are not supposed to be political, but it is hard to not express righteous indignation as to what Governor Corbett and his Republican legislature has done to poor minority groups in our state. It should be noted that there was almost no voter fraud in the state of Pennsylvania in the last election. As a matter of interest, there were only four reported cases of voter fraud, and in each of those cases those who were accused were proven to be innocent. Thus, this destroys any excuse that the law was passed in order to do away with voter fraud.

In contrast, there is some good news coming out of the state of Michigan. The Republican legislature of that state endeavored to pull off the same stunt as was pulled off by the Pennsylvania Republicans. However, the Republican governor in Michigan vetoed the bill for moral reasons. Rick Snyder, the governor of Michigan, surprised his fellow Republicans by refusing to sign the kind of bill that has taken the franchise away from so many Pennsylvania voters. It is encouraging to see a Republican governor put moral values above party politics.

Tony Campolo is the Founder and President of EAPE and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University. Look for Tony in your area and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: senatorhughes.com

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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