Monday, February 25, 2008

"How Would Jesus Vote?" Liberalism and privatization of faith

The title "How Would Jesus Vote?" isn't from a Washington Post article written by a conservative, Christian evangelical, but a self identified liberal evangelical.

The story is a justification, without giving any basis, for why a self identified evangelical can vote for a candidate with whom they fundamentally disagree with on the great moral and social issues of the day like abortion and homosexual marriage.

I think the fundamental question, which the author doesn't address, is how should one's faith implicate how and for whom one votes? What issues are of paramount importance and which aren't? And if the paramount issues aren't paramount in your thinking has a person in effect privatized or neutered the implications of his or her faith?

It also points out how the postmodern mindset, e.g. truth is privatized or relativized has infected so many Christians. To simply say, I'm an evangelical (or whatever) and I can vote for whomever I want, doesn't cut it.

For instance, is abortion on the same moral plane as a low income program? Is homosexual marriage on the same level as an early childhood education program?

The author Amy Sullivan seems by implication to say yes. But is that a morally defensible position? I think not.

Is not protecting human life of more importance than funding a specific welfare program? I think it is for a number of reasons. First, the protection of human life is fundamental. A welfare program in the US is not dealing with a life or death issue. We don't have people starving on the streets. Second, might that government program in fact be counterproductive, e.g. discouraging work and personal responsibility; what we saw with welfare programs until welfare reforms of the 1990s. Thus this program may actually do more harm than good.

Sullivan seems to be saying, my faith justifies me voting for candidates who diametrically oppose my deepest moral convictions but that's OK.

I frankly don't believe that's morally justified or OK.

The tenor of the article is "Accept me into your political club and I'll keep quiet about my moral beliefs. Just don't reject me." In essence, she's placed politics and acceptance ahead of truth and what's right.

This is shown by her example of the governor of Colorado. We'll vote for you for governor as long as you don't act on your pro-life views.
That same fall, an antiabortion Catholic Democrat, Bill Ritter, won the Colorado governorship after convincing his party's activists and donors that a pro-life politician need not be actively anti-choice.
Where is the salt and light in this politician's moral convictions and religious beliefs? There is none. His religious faith has no public significance or consequences for an important moral position he holds. Yet the Bible is very clear about the connection between one's faith and actions. You don't believe what you say you believe if you're unwilling to act on them.

1 comment:

Troy said...

I couldn't finish reading after:

"A welfare program in the US is not dealing with a life or death issue. We don't have people starving on the streets."

I don't know what America you live in, but will have millions hungry in this country, I am CERTAIN at least some have died. Only a fool would think otherwise.

Protect the unborn and allow the living to die, not what jesus would do, but what modern day Christians do.

You money changers will be thrown out of heaven right after you fail to get through the eye of a needle...