Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Christian Right and Rick Perry

Perry at "The Response" : Glorifying God?
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For the record, the leaders of today's Christian Right have a miserable track record of political "ministry" by any metric, except that of giving themselves continued access to the smaller and smaller circle of Republican big-wigs who will still pretend to listen to them.

This is not to say some of them are not doing good work, it's just not in the area of backing candidates for office who will really deliver on the right issues. Maybe it comes from a shallow understanding of how to apply the scriptures to government (though even they do not err so badly as the religious left does). I don't know. I just know they have backed the wrong horses for a long time and gotten little to show for it. Since they don't seem willing to learn from their outrageous blunders, perhaps its time they stepped aside and saved the Christian community on the right the embarrassment of being in the same philosophical ship they ride.

Consider the American Family Association. They are a great work. I have the highest repsect for Dr. Wildmon and what he has done outside of politics. I used to be a member. I went to one of their confabs in D.C. They are great at boycotts. They have some fine radio programming that is often right on the issues. They are miserable at picking politicans to back. In Arkansas, their own state associate tried to tell them the truth about Mike Huckabee. They wound up disaffiliating their own state associate (who had been laboring for years) in order to prop up the Huckster. I think most of the nation blames them in part for foisting on us the disaster that was the Bush administration.

Now they are about to do it again. It's clear that, though they won't come right out and say so, that they want Rick Perry, the tough-talking Texas Governor, to be the Republican nominee for President. They even had a high-profile public prayer event which prominently featured Perry so that he could "out-christian" the rest of the field. And many of the flock are lapping it up, figuring if Perry is the guy leading the prayers in the stadium surrounded by the preachers that got us into this political mess then he must be the guy that Christians are supposed to back.

I find that very sad that our Christian leaders are so defiantly opposed to the direct teachings of the Lord Jesus Himself. Matthew Chapter 6 "1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven......... 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

While I don't think they understand what the Scriptures say about the role of government, there is no missing the intent of this passage of scripture. In light of this, their actions surrounding "The Response" can only come from willful disregard of Christ's teachings in order to advance a political goal. No lasting good will come from that.

I really believe that they mistakenly think that the Christian position is that the central government should have the role of punishing people for anything that God disapproves of. Thus left and right are fighting for control of a virtually unlimited central government so that they can impose their wishes on the populace. The populace is understandably uncomfortable with both visions for their future.

The Scriptures show that God does not think much of a strong central government (1st Samuel Chapter 8). When the people tried to make Jesus just such a political King, He went and hid Himself, preferring a Kingship won one heart at a time and submission to His moral code on a voluntary basis. While in Romans we learn that Government does have a God-appointed role of bringing wrath on evil-doers, the whole scope of scripture shows us that just because He disapproves of something does not mean that He wants the central government to punish people for doing it. This is true even in the Law which none of us can keep, how much more then since grace has fulfilled that Law?

6 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Let me say that I and others attempted to communicate with AFA on these types of issues. Unfortunately they did not even see fit to give a form-letter response to they points I raised. Even a politician would have done that much, especially since I have in the past been a donor.

5:56 PM, August 21, 2011  
Anonymous Rick said...

Does Rick Perry endorse or has he ever passed legislation that would be deemed anti-Christian?
Should the Christian Right endorse someone like Ron Paul that is for legalizing drugs at the federal level? Is that the Christian policy to support?
Admit it Mark, you are a supporter of Ron Paul and nobody the Christian Right throws their support behind, other than Paul, will make you happy.

4:15 PM, August 22, 2011  
Anonymous MArk said...

Rick anyone who had Paul's views on the role of government would be acceptable to me. It is not the person Ron Paul, it's his policies. The person has lived it so long though, that I can trust he means it- unlike Rick Perry talking about the Fed in a negative way for the first time in his life.

What scriptural basis do you have for your implication that the federal drug laws are the "christian" position? I know we are not supposed to do mind-altering drugs, but where in the law was there ever any civil penality authorized for it? And again, it is the FEDERAL drug laws Paul would get rid of, leaving the states to set their own standards. That's what I want, not California setting our standards.

What Perry tried to do with Gadrasil (through executive order as an end run around the legislative branch) as a favor to his big pharma friends is an example of an unchristian act. He has since admitted it was a mistake, but it is one Ron Paul would have never ever made.

His position on these premptive wars is unchristian. Google Ron Paul and "Christian Just War Theory" to learn the classical Christian position for when war is justified.

Using emenient domain to transfer the property of a bunch of private little guys to a few giant private corporations is unchristian and against scripture. He did that with the Trans-Texas Corridor. Again, he failed (for now), but Paul never would have tried it because he does not believe in using the goverment to force property transfers from one private owner to another, even if they are big donors.

I wish I had time to go on. My point is that I am picking candidates on substance, not hair. There are policy reasons I don't like Perry. And there are policy reasons I do like Paul.

11:39 AM, August 23, 2011  
Anonymous Rick said...

Mark, just to pick on you, isn't the Trans-Texas Corridor an interstate? Emenient Domain isn't unusual in any industry that requires Right-of-Way. Could you imagine a country without highways, sewer lines, water lines, electric lines oil and natural gas lines.......

3:14 PM, August 23, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

In this case it was going to be a toll road contructed and operated by a Spanish company. Emmininet domain has its uses, when the majority of the public in a political unit want a PUBLIC utility or highway. In this case, Texans don't want this thing, a few big players in NY and London do. A bunch of guys in Spain do. The private company toll aspect of this basically means the government is taking property from one private owner and giving it to another.

7:09 AM, August 24, 2011  
Blogger Michael Collins said...

James Madison, Father of the Constitution, vetoing a bill for more roads like the Trans Texas Corridor deal:
"I am not unaware of the great importance of roads and canals and the improved navigation of water courses, and that a power in the National Legislature to provide for them might be exercised with signal advantage to the general prosperity. But seeing that such a power is not expressly given by the Constitution, and believing that it can not be deduced from any part of it without an inadmissible latitude of construction and reliance on insufficient precedents; believing also that the permanent success of the Constitution depends on a definite partition of powers between the General and the State Governments, and that no adequate landmarks would be left by the constructive extension of the powers of Congress as proposed in the bill, I have no option but to withhold my signature from it, and to cherishing the hope that its beneficial objects may be attained by a resort for the necessary powers to the same wisdom and virtue in the nation which established the Constitution in its actual form and providently marked out in the instrument itself a safe and practicable mode of improving it as experience might suggest."

6:05 AM, September 03, 2011  

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