var _gaq = _gaq || ;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’); s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
Election Day is upon us and Right Wing Watch is reported that James Dobson is freaking out about yet another election:
Shirley and I were married on August 27, 1960 and two months later we voted for the first time in a national election. And I’ll tell you, from that time to this – and we’ve been through a lot of elections – I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that was more significant than the one we’re about to experience, even though it’s not focused on a presidential election.
Horrendous decisions have been made during these past two years and that nation is at a crossroads right now that could bring further ruin … I don’t know how to say it differently. If I could get down on my hands and knees and beg people, if that would help I would do it because this time it’s now or never. If we take the wrong path with the issues that are on the table today, I don’t think we will ever recover as a nation.
Conservative Christians fear for this country and its future (that should be read as their privileged position in this country). They seem uncertain as to what the answer is. Do they vote? Do they pray? Do they just scream a lot and stomp their little feet?
Glenn Beck favorite David Barton has reached back into Old Testament times in his own approach, producing a 9-minute-long video to explain to Christian voters that if we want God’s blessings we better be righteous. Now will God judge our righteousness? Through our public policies, of course.
We’re to seek righteousness first, and dozens of Bible passages affirm that a nation’s righteousness is determined by its public policies, by how well those policies conform to God’s standards. We love to sing “God Bless America,” but if we really want God to bless America, we’ve got to give him something to work with.
For Christians, voting is not a right, it’s a duty. It’s a stewardship that we owe to God and it’s a stewardship for which we’ll answer directly to him. One day we’ll stand before him and he’ll say “what did you do with that vote I gave you?” And we’ll have to answer.
Righteousness must be the issue. It must be the measure to define what we’re for politically and what we’re against. And each of us will answer to God not only for whether we voted, but for how we voted, for what issues drove our vote.
If we stand before God and He says “why did you vote for a leader who’s attempting to redefine my institution of marriage and who wills the unborn children that I knew before they were in the womb?” If He asks us that and our answer is “Because that leader was good on jobs and the economy,” He’s not going to accept that.
So to votes and prayers we can add threats of hellfire and damnation. Don’t vote because you love God but because you’re afraid of him.
It’s safe to say conservative Christian figures are pulling out all the stops. But will their efforts bear any fruit?
It is hard to see how they can tip the election. There aren’t enough of them. The closer we’ve come to the election the more strident and exclusive they’ve gotten. Their hateful, bigoted attitudes shrink the GOP tent; they don’t grow it.
Chuck Colson is thinking about a new third party, for social conservatives. I think this is a good idea, a little tent for a small group that thinks the future of America revolves around a few carefully cherry-picked socially conservative positions. You will notice that while the Book of Leviticus condemns homosexuality it also condemns the eating of pork. When the Religious Right begins to make eating a BLT one of its social issues they will at least finally be displaying some honesty. Until then, it will remain the party of social hypocrisy. In either case, they will still be wrong because the Constitution says you can’t legislate religion.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.