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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Poor Christian Voter

There are few things that frustrate me more than the poor Christian voter, the single-issue, myopic, ill-informed vote-bomber who casts his vote as carelessly as the United States casts its bombs upon the heads of other nations. More often than not, this one issue is the demonstrably inhumane act of abortion. Christian aversion to this practice leads swaths of na├»ve Christians to vote for whatever candidate promises with the most fervency to bring about a federal ban on the practice of abortion, no matter the shortcomings of all his other proposed policies. Worst still, however, is the Christian voter who, by parity of faith, believes it is his or her obligation to superimpose specifically Christian values on an increasingly secular nation, despite a long history of the dangers of Christian power. The earliest stages of the commonwealth of the United States attest to the founders’ fear of any religion taking the reins and centralizing power. Patrick Henry and James Madison exchanged fiery rhetoric over the issue of whether or not Christianity should be the new nation’s official religion – to the political and legislative exclusion of all other religions. Madison’s informed fear was that such an act would create precedent for the spiritual and political tyranny that the American Revolution had just unfettered them from.

Fortunately, Patrick Henry was defeated and the people of the commonwealth adventured a new frontier of religious liberty and the free exercise thereof. But too many Christians are eager to toss aside the liberties championed by our forebears in exchange for war-mongering politicians who soil the constitution with unconstitutional wars, disenfranchising the citizens of other nations and even the citizens of our own nation—politicians who with wanton indifference cast aside what were once the sacred and inalienable rights of its people, in order to legislate the assassination and indefinite detainment of the very citizens they are sworn to protect. But, we’re assured, these same politicians will veto any law that seeks to enable abortion or allow for gay marriage.

There is something fundamentally wrong with Christians who seek to legislate against the crimes that their sons and daughters are committing. Christians need to stop expecting the government to enforce the values that they have failed to instill in their children! We ought not to expect the government to do what the Church should have been doing all along. Real change is not effected by forcing others to adhere to values they do not agree with; real change comes by transforming the hearts and minds of individuals—by working to change the moral fabric of society. Let us be different from the world and not try to force the world to kowtow to Christian values – making an inquisition out of our legislature. Christianity was its strongest and most pure in times where it was stripped of all power, where martyrs were the seeds of the Church. Christianity was at its weakest and most deprave when it ascended onto the throne, and through power, clerical and judicial, soiled the good name of the Gospel and left infamy to the devices of its future enemies.