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Does Christian support for the GOP erode Christian influence over the culture?

January 4th 2006

Does Christian support for the GOP erode Christian influence over the culture?

President Bush

Republican election candidates have won positions of political power due largely to almost monolithic support from Christian voters.

The GOP has not had to work hard to attract these voters. Its only viable political opposition, the Democrat Party, has embraced causes that defy almost every moral tradition that once defined Western Civilization. Consequently, Republican candidates only have to question such phrases as abortion on demand, same sex marriage, and social liberalism to appeal to the sizable Christian voting block.

A strange political contradictions has emerged during the ascendancy of the GOP and its socially conservative Christian supporters; while those who stand to defend America's moral traditions have gained institutional political power, individual immoral behavior has become acceptable on a social level.

 
 
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Abortion on demand continues unabated. Recreational sex has supplanted baseball as America's past time. The flippancy of heterosexuals toward sexual restraint has validated demands of gay rights advocates. With that validation, along with increasing financial demands of a consumer-based, materialistic economy, families are being redefined and homes that were once considered dysfunctional are now the norm.

Perhaps the diminished influence of Christian moral principles on individual behavior suggests that Christians are not taken seriously because of their political loyalties. A very strong case can be made that unrepentant support that Christians give the GOP--especially conservative Christians--has earned them a reputation of being duplicitous at best and hypocritical at worse.

Christian voters made their power felt on a national level in 1994 with their support of "The Contract with America". The GOP, during that campaign strategy, addressed major concerns that conservatives and Christians had of the federal government in general and of the Clinton Administration in particular. The "Contract" proposed to limit the size and intrusiveness of government, restrain government spending, balance federal budgets, and begin to restore a balance of powers between state and federal governments.

Christians and conservatives were further disturbed by proposals of the Clinton Administration that threatened to take control over every American's private life. Clinton health care initiatives threatened direct federal authority over the delivery of medical treatment. As part of the plan, each citizen would be required to carry a "Health Care Security Card" that was little more than an national ID system that even monitored individual travel.

The plans of the Clinton Administration to control travel based upon demand for medical services was particularly odious because of President Clinton's frequent junkets on Air Force One. The price tag of those frequent trips, so conservative talk radio celebrities joyfully reminded their listeners, were paid by American taxpayers.

Christians and conservatives have helped the GOP to hold power for 12 years in Congress and five years in the White House, but none of the concerns of Christians or conservatives have been reversed. Federal deficits, driven by spending on new domestic programs, have been nearly double those prior to GOP control of the White House, state legislatures are burdened with implementing increasing numbers of federal programs as well as carrying their costs, and the Republicans are initiating their own health care entitlement program. The national ID system that enraged the right is being foisted upon Americans through state drivers' licenses. President Bush's frequent and sometimes erratic penchant for taking Air Force One for rides makes former President Clinton seem to be a homebody.

 

In effect Christians and social conservatives express their political indignation, it seems, based upon the partisan label that is attached to an office holder or a program. If, for example, a Democrat seeks to establish an identification data base on every citizen it is evidence that government is becoming "Big Brother". If Republicans do the same thing, it is being done for our own safety. During the Clinton presidency, Rush Limbaugh frequently declared that Democrats expect to be judged for their intentions--upon what, then, are Christians and conservatives judging GOP transgressions against historically accepted conservative governing principles?

Is America in a moral and cultural slide because Christians, through their unquestioning political loyalties, have adopted a relativistic belief system. If the various business practices and statistics showing divorce rates and their causes among Christians are closely investigated, then would the relativism move from faith into practice? Therefore, if Christians expect those with whom they disagree to be more loyal to their principles than are they or their political heroes, why should the neighbors of Christians consider moral limits relevant to their desires?

Jesus spoke frequently of caring for neighbors. Based upon Jesus ministry focus, maybe those who live in "Red States", for the sake of the nation they claim to love, should be feeling a greater devotion toward people in their immediate influence rather than those whom they help to move to Washington, D.C.

 

By Bob Strodtbeck
Columnist
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:  politics poletics democrat demoncrat republican repub comentary commentary Irac


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