Saturday, August 11, 2012

An Evangelical-less Election, What Will We Do?!

American evangelicals, a group I find less and less in common with each day, find themselves in a pickle. 

Did I mention that your church is the Whore of Babylon?
With the choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate Evangelicals find themselves in an interesting situation. Choosing between a ticket featuring a Roman Catholic (Ryan) and a proud member of a cult (Romney) versus a ticket of another Roman Catholic (Biden) and someone who was a long time member of a liberal black liberation theology "church" (Obama). What is not found anywhere on stage is anyone who would hold to anything resembling Evangelicalism at all. In contrast to the years when tickets featured Baptists like Clinton, Gore and Carter, Episcopalians like George H.W. Bush and Methodists George W. Bush and Dick Cheney this year gives Evangelicals no one of a comparable faith tradition.Interesting factoid, Richard Nixon was a Quaker. Huh.

I think it puts many Evangelicals in a predicament. There is not a guy running that they would share a church pew with on Sunday. With no one running that many of us would consider "going to church with", who is "our guy"?

Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe we can see this election for what it is, a secular fight over secular issues. Important issues perhaps but not issues that are Gospel related. Sure one ticket is far more pro-life when it comes to abortion but that same ticket is far more pro-war as well (although the current administration seems to have found the power of the commander in chief to it's liking). This election cannot be framed like the Bush v. Gore or Bush v. Kerry elections of siding with God's guy. That is a good thing.

Anyone who knows me knows that I consider political issues to be important. I find that many policies that purport to "help the poor" and save the middle-class are in fact a means to control people and trap generations of families in permanent poverty. I also see many of the "security" related issues to be little more than a pseudo-conservative means of spending money and keeping power while waving the flag of patriotism and invoking a variety of bogeymen to frighten voters into unlimited military spending that eventually goes to preemptive wars, hardly a "Christian" position.

All of that aside, I think we are entering a period of time when a candidate being religious is going to mean less and less to an increasing proportion of the voting population. I am hopeful that this will help sever the ties between "the church" and Caesar. Time will tell but I know that we are in the midst of a unique political race that is going to change the way we view politics. I am hopeful that the change will be for the best.


Arlan said...

I would be happier if I could agree with you. Let's see if I'm wrong, but as far as I can tell most of the political action of proclaimed Christians adapts to "lesser of two evil" dichotomies, and so will always manage to exalt somebody as more godly than that other sinner.

Anonymous said...

Considering my general opinion of the usefulness of politics to achieve Kingdom goals, I give a whole-hardy amen to that to whether or not I'll share a pew with them...sure I will...but then, I'm not exactly a typica "evangelical"

Fred Shope said...

I'll bet that there will be some evangelical leaders who will find a way to present the Republican ticket as God's choice for America and the only Christian choice.

Arthur Sido said...

Arlan, that is mainly true although when George W. Bush ran there was less of a "lesser of two evils" vision and more of a sense that he was the "Christian candidate"

Robert, since I reject the use of pews at all neither would I but I certainly would be happy to have a cup of coffee with any of them!

co_heir, you are correct and it is already being framed that way.

John Mureiko said...

In response to co_heir, and anyone else interested. I heard about this article maybe a month ago; made me sick to my stomach. Make sure you take note of the author.

Fred Shope said...

It's all about prosperity. Jones seems to be saying that if America can just become prosperous and moral again, it will turn "back" to God. I wonder what Paul and most of the followers of Jesus through the centuries would have to say about that.