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Christians aren't perfect, just easily kept on the political plantation

November 12th 2005

Christians aren't perfect, just easily kept on the political plantation

Christian Plantation

Organized and aggressive Christian involvement in American politics over the last 30 years has resulted in more centralized power, elected officials that are more opened to "support" from corporate business entities, powerful individuals who rely on deceit and vindictiveness as political strategies, election campaigns that focus on little more than personal attacks, fiscal profligacy, and a foreign policy that has earned an international reputation for arrogance and warmongering.

One wonders to what amoral depths American government would have sunk if candidates Christians had supported were not in power.

The mass of Christians whose votes catapulted the Republican Party to America’s pinnacle of political power carry the burden of having their faith associated with Republican abuses of power. The burden is intensified since Christians were almost universally unified in their disdain for the moral lapses of Democrats in their waning days of power. Those offenses, so they claimed, were due to the secular liberal philosophies that have pervaded Democrat Party processes.

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What belief system, then, carries the responsibility for encouraging the controversies engulfing the Republican led government? Supporters of the Republican regime would have Americans believe that the liberal press is behind scandals engulfing the government. "The big media's agenda in this can be discerned from the saturation coverage they gave (former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney Scooter) Libby's indictments and the short shrift given to indictments of several members of the Clinton Administration," Cal Thomas, a highly regarded Christian columnist, recently wrote. Thomas went on to compare the indictment against Libby to those during the Clinton Presidency in an obvious attempt to prove that Democrat liberals are experts in corruption. The only term lacking in Thomas’ rationalization was a reference to a "vast left-wing conspiracy".

The problem with Thomas’ assessment comes from a review that Pat Buchanan, no liberal he, gave to the process that indicted Libby. Wrote Buchanan, "In contrast to Congress, Pat Fitzgerald came to Washington and did the job he was assigned to do. He carried out his mandate, but refused to go beyond it. He indicted for what he believed were violations of law, not violations of ethics – and only on the charges he believed he could prove beyond a reasonable doubt. We need more public servants with this kind of conscience – and conscientiousness."

Buchanan, by the way, has been credited with declaring a culture war in his speech to the 1992 Republican National Convention when he said that the coming contest between former President George H.W. Bush and then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was an, "election...about much more than who gets what. It is about who we are. It is about what we believe. It is about what we stand for as Americans. There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself."

Who, then, is right about the nature of problems facing officials who have climbed to power with the help of Christian political support? Or is it more reasonable to wonder if Christians can actually be misled to support politicians who will abuse their power and fall to the temptations that infect government with corruption?

American government has become dominated by a handful of centrally located political celebrities who can escape any direct scrutiny by their constituents. This detachment from those who give them their jobs allows them the freedom to be what they want and claim to be what their supporters desire. Job security for them demands little more than a routine "tickling of the ears" on regular elections cycles.


America, however, needs models of integrity and humility. These are qualities that are proven through intimate observations of individual lives, not noble claims from campaign speeches. Many Christians have forgotten this notion as they have blindly trusted America's top political party to protect and preserve their interests. Recent political polls that seem to suggest that the Republican leaders cannot even protect and preserve the best interests of the Republican Party only compound insult with injury for conservative Christian voters.

The GOP catapulted to political majorities throughout America with promises of reducing the influence of the federal government in our daily lives, restoring fiscal responsibility to government, and removing corruption and spin doctoring from the political process. More than a decade of their control has proven these promises empty. This does not mean the goals are not achievable. It does mean that a political organization clearly devoted to absorbing power unto its centrally organized leadership is highly unlikely to pursue them with any urgency or forthrightness.

This suggestion leaves Christian activists with an interesting dilemma: Do they act on their own to reestablish the principles and virtues that they believe can restore stability to this nation and its communities, or do they pass that responsibility on to a national political organization with a record of violating those principles?

From here the question does not seem too difficult to answer.


By Bob Strodtbeck
Bob Strodtbeck has been writing editorial commentaries since 1993.  He has professional experiences in pharmaceuticals, radio, and education.  He has also served as a church elder in an Orlando congregation where he has made his home since 1986.rvstrodtbeck@peoplepc.com

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Keywords and misspellings: Christian right rite christain conseravtive conservative 

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:47 PM