This has been getting a lot of discussion at our Facebook page. Some of you may have seen it there (I will submit it as my contribution to this discussion):
This is an actual email correspondence that took place today between a listener and myself:
There was a caller on your show saying he didn't know why a Christian could vote Democrat. I would say this to that legalistic position: I never voted Democrat until Republican Carly Fiorina laid off 25,000 of my fellow Hewlett Packard workers, destroyed the economy of Corvallis Oregon, lost $200,000 in my 401K, offered under duress voluntary severance which I used to move my first wife who had Lupus to Denver to be near her family where she died due (in my mind) to inferior medical services. I struggle with resentment since then with the practice of outsourcing, Layoffs, while CEOs make repulsive millions. To me the loss of my first Godly wife is no less moral than the murdering of unborn lives. The denial of medical coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions (to Lupus patients for example) is HIGHLY immoral as well. Anyway, that is why in my mind Republicans don't deserve Christian support any more than Democrats do.
Thanks for writing. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your first wife. I too have had a wife who died. The driver who hit her happened to be of Mexican descent. However, it never occurred to me to blame all Mexicans for my misfortune, and I was prepared to vote for a Hispanic in the last election, though that was not how my choices turned out.
I am not a registered Republican myself, but an Independent. However, I have voted, on occasion, for Republican candidates for president and Congress. This is not because I agree with everything Republicans do, but because there are usually only two viable candidates available—and often one is vowing to support policies I can agree with, and the other is threatening to dismantle decent society.
I would never vote merely as a symbolic gesture, or as a protest against something that I have suffered at the hands of someone of either party. I could see why you would not vote for Carly Fiorina, at whose hands your family suffered, when there were a variety of other alternative candidates on the stage. However, when there are only two, then one ought to put personal resentment aside and vote for the person who will improve the country in the long term for our children and grandchildren.
This is my consistent approach to political options. Last week, I was asked why I would not approve the official recognition of same-sex marriage, in view of the fact that my own marriage would not be negatively impacted by doing so. My answer was that I don't oppose or support policies based upon how they benefit or inconvenience me. As a Christian, I am forbidden to place my own interests above those of others. I oppose or support policies because of their basic moral character, and how they will impact the society in which several generations to come will have to live. The biblical command to love my neighbor as myself, or do to others what I would wish to have done to me, means that I should not pass along to future generations a society that is more morally-confused, and provides less freedom of speech and conscience, than that society which I have enjoyed all my life. My vote will always be for the benefit of future generations—never to carry out a personal vendetta.
I believe that the Christian is obliged to promote a completely just society (Micah 6:8; Matthew 23:23; Isaiah 42:1-4), and that voting is one of the means of influence that citizens of some nations have been given for the promotion of such an end. I have lived most my adult life in actual poverty (never made enough to pay income tax) while raising five children. Yet, I would never vote for any government policy that would unjustly confiscate the honestly-earned money from someone richer than myself, in order to redistribute his money to me (I who have never earned, and thus do not deserve, it). Jesus said, "The laborer is worthy of his wages." If I did not labor for the money, and someone else did, simple justice tells me that the money is his, not mine. This does not change, ethically, even if the government takes the money from him and gives it to me. It is theft, whether I take it from him at gunpoint, or do so at the ballot box.
God did not establish governments to steal the honest gain of hard-working citizens in order to give the stolen goods to undeserving people. The church, the family, and voluntary charities may redistribute cheerfully-given resources for the assistance of the poor. This does not involve any injustice, because it is voluntary. It is mercy.
By contrast, the government's enforced redistribution of wealth involves no mercy, justice, or generosity. There is no generosity in giving away someone else's money—and no justice in stealing it from its first owner. I willingly live on a fraction of my income and give twice as much to charities as the government would dare to ask from me in taxes, but I would object to the government taking from me even half of what I freely give, in order to redistribute it to causes of their own choice. My objection is on the basis of biblical Justice—not of my convenience.
Our voting can help to promote just policies or unjust ones for our fellow man and for our descendants to endure. Christian love requires that I promote justice for my fellow humans to whatever degree I may be able.
The Republicans are far from perfect, but most of them differ from all Democratic candidates in the following areas:
1) One party officially encourages murder of human babies in the womb—even extending the time of danger for such babies up to the time of birth (or beyond, in some cases); the other party officially opposes all killing of human babies;
2) One party is determined to undo the fundamental norms of God's creation of male and female, and of the divine institution of marriage (Matt.19:4); while the other party does not;
3) One party wants to overthrow the First Amendment, denying the right of free speech to those who do not support their godless agenda (thus silencing Christian protest or evangelism); the other party wants to uphold basic constitutional rights to freedom of speech and religious expression;
4) One party is racist in its rhetoric, deliberately stirring up divisions and hostilities between ethnic groups, and promoting the euphemistic Marxist ideal of "social justice," also called "identity politics"; the other party prefers harmony between, and justice toward, all individuals of every race, sex and orientation;
5) One party wants to violate the human and moral right of private property ownership (in favor of socialistic redistribution); the other is less guilty of such violation;
6) While corruption exists in both parties, one party is shot-through with corruption in all of its highest-ranking officials (as the past three years have demonstrated beyond question); the other is considerably less so.
These differences are major factors in the type of society each party wants to bequeath to our children. I believe that, historically, the world has benefited from America's following the constitutional, quasi-biblical, model (which one party would, largely, like to maintain), whereas the societies that have followed the unconstitutional deprivation of human rights (i.e., socialism, which the other party pursues) have been a bane to humanity. There have been many who tried that giddy experiment. None have produced enviable results.
I can see why there would be many Republicans for whom a Christian could not scruple to vote (I have abstained from voting in many elections due to the lack of an ethical option), yet the Democratic Party (as represented in every candidate currently running for president on that side of the aisle) represents no policy that a Christian should tolerate. Can you name an exception?
Again, I am an Independent, and not a lackey for either political party. However, we Christians must pursue biblical justice, or else answer to God for why we deprived the generations coming up behind us of the kind of society with which we ourselves were blessed.