In the aftermath of the lost election, Republicans are looking to assign blame. Apart from the obvious reasons such as an unpopular war and an economic meltdown, more than a few conservative journalists have suggested that some of the cultural positions of the party are influenced too much by Christians. In fact, some go as far as to suggest that unless the Republican party distances itself from outspoken Christians, it may never win an election again. Here is a couple of articles that demonstrate what I am talking about.
And, if you go reading on many conservative blogs and forums, you will see similar sentiments expressed. Over at Little Green Footballs, for example, the mere favorable mention of intelligent design will get you banned, and at Free Republic, a forum I visit daily, Christians are routinely ridiculed and insulted on the many evolution/creation threads. And there have been quite a few that agreed with the position of the columnists above…conservatism is not nor does it need Christianity or God.
In typical post-modern fashion, it seems as if the anti-Christian conservatives don’t want to deny Christians their right to believe or even live according to their faith, but argue that it should be confined to their personal lives and environment. It is also argued that it reflects true conservatism, which is portrayed as a political philosophy which allows the maximum freedom to individuals without interference of any sort from government, regardless of their social moral position, and that the installation of Christian values in government is contrary to that principle.
Prior to the elections I poised the question Is this election a referendum in the culture war?
There is no doubt that over the last few decades, Christianity has increasingly been marginalized from society. Education, entertainment, government and art have become God-free zones, with Christian principles either notably absent or even actively denigrated. And in the wake of the election, the culture referendum has shown that those active influences have taken their toll. In fact, the toll seems to be so severe that even some on the conservative side are calling for the removal of Christians and their voice from the party. So that in future, at the cost of Christian input, the Republicans may win again.
Of course, lost in this forest of political analysis and post-modern cultural decay, is the whole question of how we wish our society to function. The basis of most Western law is from the Judeo-Christian tradition, more politically incorrectly known as the Ten Commandments, paraphrased in the words of Jesus, treat others as you yourself wish to be treated. (The whole “love God with your heart, mind and soul” thing seem to have disappeared from that). For a society to function properly and fairly, there needs to be laws and those lwas need to be fairly enforced. The purpose of government is to make those laws. In a democracy, people choose representatives to go and make laws that they will be happy to live under. And whatever the majority of people see as important, that is what we end up with in the law-books. (At least in theory)
The point is that regardless of who is involved, laws will be made and institutions empowered to enforce those laws. And to think that those laws will be made in a vacuum, in the absence of some guiding principles is simply naive. So to suggest that all manner of principle apart from “no government interference” should be absent from Washington is born from either desperate ignorance or alternative motives. Since I don’t believe in that type of ignorance from any thinking person, the answer is that some other motives are at play here. Those motives, as postulated in my referendum discussion, flow from a desire to remove all that is Christian from public life, and confine it to some area safely out of the way of general society.
The Bible is not silent on government. It states the purpose of government to be the arbiters and enforcers of justice. In cases such as murder, theft and rape it is pretty straight forward, no-one likes to be the victims of those crimes and wish to see the perpetrators punished. But a good many other issues are a lot more opague, such as abortion, homosexual marriage, non-invasive sexual issues, environmental issues, divorce and education. What does justice look,like in those issues?
In the absence of a moral compass, how can we be sure that the laws of the land are indeed just? Against which standard do we wish to judge that? The founding fathers spoke about inalienable rights endowed by the Creator to each person, which include justice. In the absence of a Creator, what rights do we have, and what measure of justice can we use? And is it not the obligation of the people to live by and deal out justice by the standards of the One that gave us those rights? Many will say no, and want to set their own standards. The disastrous results of such an attitude taken to its extreme can be seen across many dictatorships, with millions dead.
There is no greater truth than that of God. To suggest that those who espouse that truth be silenced is arrogant and short-sighted. And that is especially true for those whose principles and standards are born from that truth, whether they wish to know it or not.
The Republican party may well end up silencing the Christians within their ranks, and end up swapping them out for those who are uncomfortable with outspoken Christian leadership. But it is a little hypocritical to do so, and will ensure the one thing that the supporters of such a move want to apparently prevent, and that is the Republicans will not win another election based on true conservative principles, those principles the founders espoused.
Banish God at your own peril. For the long-term consequences are written in history for all to see.