Video: Are young Christians getting alienated from the GOP?

posted at 12:41 pm on October 8, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Matt Lewis and I have a colloquy on that subject at The Week, but before we get to that, Matt made his regular appearance on Morning Joe to discuss his column.  Are the hardball tactics pushed as an answer to the tactics of the Left pushing idealistic young Christians out of politics altogether? If so, both Matt and Joe Scarborough point out the danger to Republican ground games:

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In his original column, Matt argued that pressure to use the demonizing tactics of the Alinsky rules against those who deploy them on the Left will lead to disillusionment among Christians, who will see the tit-for-tat tactics as anathema to their faith:

This is not a new dilemma. After experiencing a religious conversion, William Wilberforce nearly left the dirty business of politics, but was convinced to use his position in Parliament for good. And indeed, he lived to achieve his life’s work of ending the British slave trade. To pull this off, Wilberforce relied on some hardball political tactics. But one could argue that his end justified any parliamentary trickery and cajoling required.

If you’ve seen the film Lincoln, you’re familiar with the kind of horse-trading this required. Wilberforce is proof that spirituality and political involvement are not mutually exclusive. But for every Wilberforce, there are countless other men and women who have been dragged down by political involvement.

Plus, things have changed. People have always made exceptions to their moral code in times of war, and what is politics but a bloodless #war. But today, the warfare is asymmetrical. It’s done on Twitter and at political rallies. The line of demarcation between “civilians” and political operatives has vanished. And the fighting never stops.

It’s only natural that, once in the fight, conservatives would want to fight fire with fire. Once the other side ups the ante, to engage in unilateral disarmament is to surrender. We see this playing out right now during the government shutdown, where, in an effort to make sure the public feels as much pain as possible, the Obama administration is erecting “barry-cades” to keep people out of open-air memorials to World War I and World War II veterans. Conservatives responded by taking a page from Alinsky, who said, “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon,” and mocking them mercilessly. This is effective, but once your game is mockery, it’s hard to avoid descending into bitterness.

For Christians, political involvement has a way of breaking bad. The real danger is that over time, it has a coarsening effect, and that our political ranks and church pews alike will be filled full of Walter Whites who will do anything to achieve their goals. They are wise as serpents, but no longer innocent as doves. For what shall it profit a man if he should win the election, but lose his soul?

Actually, mockery of actions has a tradition in Christianity that goes all the way back to Scripture.  The parables in particular tended to mock the authorities of the time — especially the Pharisees and Sadducees — for their hypocrisy.  The problem is when the attacks turn bitterly personal, a line that is difficult to discern in the heat of debate over policies and tactics, especially on social media.

In my column at The Week, I answer Matt that the bigger issue for the GOP for Christian activists is their incompetence at messaging, which leaves the strong impression that their policies have no room for the poor and afflicted.  And this is as eminently fixable as it is unfortunate, I argue:

The Republican Party, and the conservative movement for that matter, may at some time lose younger Christians, but it won’t be because either push the use of Alinsky-style tactics. They’re more likely to lose them through marginalizing the goals of Christians and producing candidates who make hash out of their arguments. …

There is an even larger problem that both columns miss, which is that not all Christian activists are necessarily conservative. Christians of all political stripes know that their calling is to assist the poor and the afflicted, not to ignore them or even put them at a disadvantage. Republican policies could be arrayed to those ends by supporting properly regulated free markets shorn of scale-tipping government intervention and rent-seeking regulation by the biggest players in markets, policies which create jobs and raise the standard of living for everyone. Reform of safety-net programs can mean refocusing resources on the truly poor and afflicted while incentivizing the able to find work and contribute, and especially emphasizing the immoral theft of future generations through heavy borrowing to pay for this generation’s benefits.

Here again, the Republican Party and conservatives should have an advantage through their overlap on social issues, but the rhetoric on the so-called 47 percent alienated plenty of them last year. Mitt Romney stumbled into that trap with an explicit reference to those who supposedly pay no federal taxes, and both the GOP and conservatives spent months defending the argument. Coming from a man of extraordinary wealth, the impression left is one of dismissal of those in need, which was indeed unfortunate for a man as personally generous as Mitt Romney.

The GOP had a great opportunity to change that narrative last year. Rep. Paul Ryan offered a reform of the Medicare system with careful, rational arguments based on subsidiarity, voluntary associations, and a balance to ensure that the needy would not be left on their own. Fiscal conservatives didn’t like the longer trajectory of deficit reduction, preferring Rand Paul’s approach of simply cutting off funding for most of these programs across the board, embracing Ryan belatedly when Romney added him to the ticket. Romney then held Ryan back from evangelizing on those policies, which wasted an opportunity to argue for the broader Christian vote.

I wrote about this extensively after the last election, but there hasn’t been much movement in that direction. When the Republican Party crafts its policies to fit the entire Christian mission, young Christians will rush to help put those plans into action — but that won’t happen while the GOP messages on the 47%ers. Hopefully, Paul Ryan will put more effort to regain his leadership role in crafting that approach.


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Comment pages: 1 2

In their defense, the GOP fully supports the group’s gay marriages.

rogerb on October 8, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Young? Might want to expand your search a bit wider.

reddevil on October 8, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Then it is time for the young Christians on the Right to hike up the skirt, Sally, and learn how to play dirty.

I fully realize our Lord advised to turn the other cheek. But He died up on the Cross so that we would not have to. That which allowed Him to save our mortal souls is also that which causes him to be a poor political example…

JohnGalt23 on October 8, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Well since young people don’t vote (Christian or not) — “what difference does it make”?

SunSword on October 8, 2013 at 12:47 PM

What would Jesus do for $500.00 Alex.

Bmore on October 8, 2013 at 12:47 PM

There is no conflict. All Republicans have to do is do what they were elected to do: small government, fair taxation/debt REDUCTION, and conservative social issues. There, that wasn’t so hard, if you have a spine and strategic leaders.

plaidsheetman on October 8, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Feds: US adults are dumber than the average human

How do they think Obama got elected?

Resist We Much on October 8, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Christians are not called to be “Moderate”.

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

Rev. 3:16 (ESV)

kingsjester on October 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Scarborugh and Lewis? Give me an effin break, Ed.

Blake on October 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Everybody with a spine and half a decent list of principles is being alienated by the GOP.

nobar on October 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Recompence

Bmore on October 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

The GOP is alienating almost everyone in their coalition. Why should “young Christians” be any different?

besser tot als rot on October 8, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Everybody with a spine and half a decent list of principles is being alienated by the GOP.

nobar on October 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Oh, you mean people don’t like having Mitch McConnell calling them “traitors” for believing in the Constitution?

tetriskid on October 8, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Young? Might want to expand your search a bit wider.

reddevil on October 8, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Yes – I’m a middle aged Christian who’s disenchanted with RINOs.

Christians are not called to be “Moderate”.

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

Rev. 3:16 (ESV)

kingsjester on October 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Many young Christians get this. Many others don’t.

22044 on October 8, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Like Limited Government Conservatives feel……we have a party (the gop) that TALKS BIG, walks wittle bitty.

The gop leadership just sucks.

PappyD61 on October 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM

When the Republican Party crafts its policies to fit the entire Christian mission, young Christians will rush to help put those plans into action — but that won’t happen while the GOP messages on the 47%ers

Establishment Republicans have no interest in Christians or, more specifically, the social issues that Christians inconveniently drag up amid the faux compassion of amnesty and other agenda items of the “moderates.”

Happy Nomad on October 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Oh, you mean people don’t like having Mitch McConnell calling them “traitors” for believing in the Constitution?

tetriskid on October 8, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Or wacko birds by a senile liberal who has long ago sold out to the forces looking to destroy this nation.

Happy Nomad on October 8, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Are these the same young Christians who are for ghey mirage and “Climate Change”?

The problem isn’t the GOP. It’s their educators.

budfox on October 8, 2013 at 12:57 PM

The problem is when the attacks turn bitterly personal, a line that is difficult to discern in the heat of debate over policies and tactics, especially on social media.

Not difficult at all. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are not bitterly personal. Attacks on them are. Nor, really, are there many in the GOP that are bitterly personal (not to say that the Democrat’s PR firm – the press – doesn’t try to frame it that way). Except people like Peter King, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, etc. – and only against those in their own party.

besser tot als rot on October 8, 2013 at 12:57 PM

The entire dilemma rests in the inability of both sides to understand incrementalism. It is also bereft of a political reality which has somehow become an anathema to many Christian Republicans- compromise.

Politics is a dirty business and not a place for people whose sensitivities are easily offended. That is simply a historical fact and if Christians, of which I am one, expect politics to somehow bend to their complete list of sensitivities- expect to be sitting out of the game for a long time.

Stated Democrat Party principles are not in keeping at all with Christian values. They are absent of existential value, preach a culture of dependency and attempt to destroy the word of God wherever it lives. Given that repertoire, it is harder for me to understand why there is a single Christian in that party.

The Christian view will only be prevalent in politics if people come to the process consistently and articulately, to express their views and make their vote count. Becoming alienated or sitting on the “side” is a sign that not only have you lost the argument, but your position is untenable to the party.

Marcus Traianus on October 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Are these the same young Christians who are for ghey mirage and “Climate Change”?

budfox on October 8, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Yeah. I thought this article was going to be the same old stupid song and dance about how the GOP needs to be like the Democrats (on social issues) in order to win. Instead, it’s a new song and dance about how the GOP needs to be like the Democrats (by capitulating to them) in order to win.

besser tot als rot on October 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Establishment Republicans have no interest in Christians or, more specifically, the social issues that Christians inconveniently drag up amid the faux compassion of amnesty and other agenda items of the “moderates.”

Happy Nomad on October 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Establishment Republicans have no interest in anything except their own personal wealth and power.

besser tot als rot on October 8, 2013 at 1:01 PM

You know, one of these days I’ll stop reading this tripe
altogether….yet again it is ALWAYS A DANGER to Republicans.

Can’t turn off anyone, ya hear!!!

I pretty sick and G*d Damned tired of hearing how Republicans
will offend or turn off this group, or that group…

..if these “groups” can’t have their feelings harmed
in any way, then let them vote Democrat….at least then,
they’ll be happy to know their “leaders” changed their
stance from the week prior…..

ToddPA on October 8, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Scarborugh and Lewis? Give me an effin break, Ed.

Blake on October 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Amen!

tomshup on October 8, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Yeah. I thought this article was going to be the same old stupid song and dance about how the GOP needs to be like the Democrats (on social issues) in order to win. Instead, it’s a new song and dance about how the GOP needs to be like the Democrats (by capitulating to them) in order to win.

besser tot als rot on October 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Bingo.. And when they ask Scarborough’s position on any thing; I just tend to tune it out anyways.

Besides, youth is for the young and gullible. I was pro-gay marriage when I was 21, and that was looooong before it was acceptable to be pro-gay marriage. Then I woke up to the reality of the motives behind the movement, and the fact that children deserve a mom and a dad. Growing older and having children changes your political ideology and your priorities.

melle1228 on October 8, 2013 at 1:05 PM

OT, But COME ON!

Families of 5 Soldiers killed in Afghanistan this past weekend are being denied benefits to bring them home and prvde for burial. (on MSNBC radio now).

Leadership…facepalm

can_con on October 8, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Scarborugh and Lewis? Give me an effin break, Ed.

Blake on October 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Yes, tell us more about Christianity Matt Lewis.

tetriskid on October 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM

I think I know some of these young Christians that are being referenced. The political rhetoric is not the issue. The ideological underpinnings of these individuals is.

aryeung on October 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM

The Republican Party, and the conservative movement for that matter, may at some time lose younger Christians, but it won’t be because either push the use of Alinsky-style tactics. They’re more likely to lose them through marginalizing the goals of Christians and producing candidates who make hash out of their arguments.

This is true. Because people in the conservative movement don’t like government and consider it, at best, a necessary evil. Thus, any conservative with two or more functioning brain cells goes into the private sector. So, your A- and B-level conservatives will form their own private sector companies and work at high opportunity jobs. Your C- and D-level conservatives will try to work at a high opportunity job, or will work diligently at the maximum potential job that they can get. Your F-level conservatives will fail at all of this because they are way too incompetent for the private sector and will have to fall back on the only available jobs left – those in the government. (And, once they’re there, they are seduced by the trappings of power and become just another arm of the statist behemoth – an inept, incompetent one.)

besser tot als rot on October 8, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Establishment Republicans have no interest in anything except their own personal wealth and power.

besser tot als rot on October 8, 2013 at 1:01 PM

True. But what establishment Republicans “stand for” is completely fungible based on political pragmatism. There was a time when there were some givens including God, the Constitution, and traditional values. Now the establishment is all for rewarding illegal aliens, legalizing pot, curbing opposition to abortion, and screaming at Republicans that actually try and limit the size of government. Win or lose in 2014, I predict new GOP leaders in both the House and Senate because the real right is fed up with the Quisling political class.

Happy Nomad on October 8, 2013 at 1:09 PM

So the GOP’s solution to keeping young Christians is to increase the welfare state and not fight back. Yet there isn’t one WORD in here about the GOP’s utter indifference to abortion and the value of life, to the point where it’s virtually ignored by the party.

Have you ever MET any young Christians other than through the NYT’s parody of them?

Darin on October 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Remind the young Christians

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.

And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.

First you must remove the Alinskyites from power.

faraway on October 8, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Ed, what in the hell are you talking about? Look, I point alot of people in this direction but if you can’t remember who started this sploosh to begin with.
The boy king constantly pointed out the haves and have nots and what was fair according to Karl Marx. Then out of sheer arrogance, they handed Mitt the win with both hands “exposing” the obvious; the 47% “with no skin in the game” and he fumbled it like the bencher he always was.
Could have took B’s talking points and shoved them right up his backside, but Mitt punted. Weak rino play.

onomo on October 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

The Democrats will never forgive Christians for the abolitionist movement.

John the Libertarian on October 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling

So, get all Chuck Norris on the folks selling ObamaCare.

faraway on October 8, 2013 at 1:16 PM

The entire dilemma rests in the inability of both sides to understand incrementalism. It is also bereft of a political reality which has somehow become an anathema to many Christian Republicans- compromise.

Politics is a dirty business and not a place for people whose sensitivities are easily offended. That is simply a historical fact and if Christians, of which I am one, expect politics to somehow bend to their complete list of sensitivities- expect to be sitting out of the game for a long time.

Stated Democrat Party principles are not in keeping at all with Christian values. They are absent of existential value, preach a culture of dependency and attempt to destroy the word of God wherever it lives. Given that repertoire, it is harder for me to understand why there is a single Christian in that party.

The Christian view will only be prevalent in politics if people come to the process consistently and articulately, to express their views and make their vote count. Becoming alienated or sitting on the “side” is a sign that not only have you lost the argument, but your position is untenable to the party.

Marcus Traianus on October 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Well stated.

I remember Christians being told in the 80s this same thing. We were told that playing “Sunday school” wouldn’t work in politics.

I was told in the 90s that it was not Christian to criticize Clinton since he was the ruler. They did not recognize the distinction between lex rex and rex lex.

Jesus ran the moneychangers out of the temple with a whip. Christians need to do the same thing.

As far as “young” Christians are concerned: give them something to fight for and they will. They need to be taught how to defend the truth and not be seeing how much milk they can drink in an hour before they puke.

davidk on October 8, 2013 at 1:17 PM

CAVE-TO-THE-DEMS BREAKING NEWS ALERT!!

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama called the top Republican in the GOP-controlled House Tuesday, telling Speaker John Boehner once again that he won’t negotiate over reopening the government or must-pass legislation to prevent a U.S. default on its obligations.

In the second week of the partial government shutdown, Obama’s call, revealed by Boehner’s office, came as the speaker softened the tone of his rhetoric in remarks to the media and as Democrats controlling the Senate planned to move quickly toward a vote to allow the government to borrow more money by raising the statutory limit on the federal debt.

The gods of the media (Associated Press) have spoken and YAHOO NEWS is reporting in their banner.

PappyD61 on October 8, 2013 at 1:17 PM

So the GOP’s solution to keeping young Christians is to increase the welfare state and not fight back. Yet there isn’t one WORD in here about the GOP’s utter indifference to abortion and the value of life, to the point where it’s virtually ignored by the party.

Darin on October 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM

I think that young Christians are defined by a lot more than their stand on abortion.

Happy Nomad on October 8, 2013 at 1:17 PM

An additional note: my 6 young Christian kids are getting alienated by the GOP alright. And not for the idiotic reasons set forth by Lewis. (What happened to him? He used to occasional put out some insightful columns – that rarely, if ever, happens anymore.)

Ed is more on point with the reasons, but only partially. GOP incompetence on messaging is certainly a problem. But, I think that it is more of a symptom than the cause. The GOP is bad at messaging because they don’t actually believe in their message, and wouldn’t take any steps to implement their message even if they were successful in selling it. (And because GOP politicians, generally, have IQs in the bottom quintile of the population.)

besser tot als rot on October 8, 2013 at 1:17 PM

The Democrats will never forgive Christians for the abolitionist movement.

John the Libertarian on October 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM

That should be a bumper sticker.

besser tot als rot on October 8, 2013 at 1:18 PM

The Democrats will never forgive Christians for the abolitionist movement.

John the Libertarian on October 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM

A lot of truth hidden in that statement.

davidk on October 8, 2013 at 1:18 PM

What nonsense. First off: Theology from Morning Joe? Please.

No, the problem, if there is a problem, with young Christians “leaving the GOP” is not a political one but a spiritual one. Churches have compartmentalized their messaging to include nothing but spiritual concerns having no connection with present day reality, political or otherwise, and those spiritual concerns are increasingly of a strictly elementary nature.

When you go into most Churches these days, at least here in the Northeast, you’d think that everything was hunky-dory and life is beautiful all the time because “I have Jesus”. The main emphasis seems to be on “praise and worship”; elevating these elements to a level of importance that Scripture never does, followed by a forgettable sermon of introductory spiritual lessons that most have heard over and over again since their introduction to Christianity. There is little to no explication of just how the situation we now find ourselves in, humanly, politically, culturally, or otherwise, finds its connection to the truths exposed in our Faith.

As a result, young Christians can not see how their faith is relevant to their actual lives in this world and, at a certain point it no longer provides meaning to them and they drift to other things that require their attention.

The problem isn’t that young Christians are leaving the GOP; the problem is that they are leaving the FAITH.

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

The main focus of Christianity is spiritual. These young Christians are already denying their Christianity by embracing lifestyles that are contrary to what is taught in the New Testament. Their social activism will not erase their spiritual error. Get it together spiritually and then reach out to help in the other areas. They need both.

Rose on October 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

While I was president of my college’s chapter of College Republicans, I tried to increase our membership by tapping into the large Christian movement at the school, who had been turned away by the manner in which the club was run by my predecessor. The membership had become almost entirely of the “frat-guy Republican” type, the kind who are only Republican because their parents owned fortune 500 companies. These people don’t care about helping the poor, they don’t care much about abortion (in fact many were pro choice, because that makes it easier for them to sleep around and party college-style). They only care about big business and helping themselves get rich. The kinds of people who jokingly list themselves on Facebook as being Enron interns and list Gordon Gekko among their idols with profile photos in which they wear expensive suits emblazoned with Romney 2012 buttons and big cigars in their mouth (Yes, I really do know plenty of people like this) aren’t the kinds of Republicans who make the Republican party look very attractive to the Christians on campus. I tried my best to change the image of the club, but was completely unsuccessful.

vegconservative on October 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

The GOP leadership is hostile to Christians, just like their liberal brethren in the beltway bubble. They view Christianity as a primitive backward superstition that they give lip service to during the Holidays, to get the rubes’ vote, but ignore the rest of the time.

Iblis on October 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

I think I know some of these young Christians that are being referenced. The political rhetoric is not the issue. The ideological underpinnings of these individuals is.

aryeung on October 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Should have read the thread first. You put it better than I could.

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

not all Christian activists are necessarily conservative.

Well, I know people who call themselves “Christian” but who continue to support the party of unrestricted child murder, s0d0my promotion, and general lawlessness. Child sacrifice, ie; abortion, is the high holy sacrament for the Left. And it’s defended as rabidly by Liberal “Christians” as it is by Liberal Atheists. And as John MacArthur once said, the only way to reconcile homosexuality with the Bible is to totally deny two things: the Old Testament and the New Testament.

And it was those ‘non-Christian activists’ (50% Roman Catholic and 45-50% Evangelical Christian) who voted for Mr. Obama and returned him to the White House.

“2. A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, But a fool’s heart at his left. 3. Even when a fool walks along the way, He lacks wisdom, And he shows everyone that he is a fool.”
Ecclesiastes 10:2-3 (NKJV)

oldleprechaun on October 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

That should be a bumper sticker.

besser tot als rot on October 8, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Another one: Democrats will never forgive Republicans for freeing the slaves.

John the Libertarian on October 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

When you go into most Churches these days, at least here in the Northeast, you’d think that everything was hunky-dory and life is beautiful all the time because “I have Jesus”. The main emphasis seems to be on “praise and worship”; elevating these elements to a level of importance that Scripture never does, followed by a forgettable sermon of introductory spiritual lessons that most have heard over and over again since their introduction to Christianity. There is little to no explication of just how the situation we now find ourselves in, humanly, politically, culturally, or otherwise, finds its connection to the truths exposed in our Faith.

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Don’t want to offend someone.

davidk on October 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

The GOP has long deserted Christians on the alter of secularism and the pursuit of their 30 pieces of silver. Their mantra of refusing to deal with the very social issues that have taken apart the cultural and yes, the economic fabric of our nation, are really not important to the money centered elites.
When a Christian recognizes the obvious and hears the recurring spittle hurled regularly by the fiscal and libertarian wings of the party, they get the message, as well as watching the encroaching persecution by a Godless society that is now following the early stages of the German scapegoating of the Jews.
The GOP seems to not mind Obama’s deliberate attack on religious conscience and the default target, the Roman Church, never mind its discontinued battle to save the lives of the unborn so vehemently pursued as so much medical fodder by the God-hating left.
I recall no GOP repulsion at the Democratic conventions’open booing of God. I hear no arguments, even minor ones, that our dignity and all our rights that are recognized (not granted) in the Declaration of Independence as coming only from Nature’s God are what is in jeopardy in Obamacare–just their default economic mantras, which frankly are one big reason their Oromney rich Mr. Etch-a-sketch candidate failed big. As if the masses addicted to free lunches and lust are going to listen to boring economic lessons.
My advice to serious Christian is to vote the GOP secularists out at every turn and put in good people of character and principle who understand that money is secondary to life and freedom.

Don L on October 8, 2013 at 1:26 PM

When the Republican Party crafts its policies to fit the entire Christian mission, young Christians will rush to help put those plans into action — but that won’t happen while the GOP messages on the 47%ers.

It isn’t the job of the US government or the Republican Party to ‘fit the entire Christian mission’. For that matter, it isn’t the job of the US government or the Republican Party to help the poor and afflicted. That’s your job and my job and the job of any of those who profess the Christian faith, and while it’s certainly in our interests (and our right) to advocate for pro-life and pro-family issues we feel strongly about and do all we can to elect those who reflect our beliefs and represent our interests, this is a political fight, and like all political struggles, it has wide-reaching moral ramifications, some with religious aspects, some not.

When confronted by a pack of godless neo-Marxist authoritarians who would destroy our Republic and steal our freedoms, I don’t think it is morally right to refuse to join the fight because one is squeamish about the means by which the battle is waged. Sorry if their delicate sensibilities are offended, but you can’t win if you don’t play. These ‘Young Christians’, whoever they are, need to lead, follow, or get out of the way. Attempting to sway people who are agonizing over a false dilemma is a waste of time and energy best spent elsewhere.

troyriser_gopftw on October 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

not all Christian activists are necessarily conservative.

Well, I know people who call themselves “Christian” but who continue to support the party of unrestricted child murder, s0d0my promotion, and general lawlessness. Child sacrifice, ie; abortion, is the high holy sacrament for the Left. And it’s defended as rabidly by Liberal “Christians” as it is by Liberal Atheists. And as John MacArthur once said, the only way to reconcile homosexuality with the Bible is to totally deny two things: the Old Testament and the New Testament.

And it was those ‘non-Christian activists’ (50% Roman Catholic and 45-50% Evangelical Christian) who voted for Mr. Obama and returned him to the White House.

“2. A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, But a fool’s heart at his left. 3. Even when a fool walks along the way, He lacks wisdom, And he shows everyone that he is a fool.”
Ecclesiastes 10:2-3 (NKJV)

oldleprechaun on October 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

And these are the one (I. e. Ron Sider) who describe falsely themselves as evangelical and to whom the MSM run to get points of view that reinforce the liberal agenda.

davidk on October 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM

And it was those ‘non-Christian activists’ (50% Roman Catholic and 45-50% Evangelical Christian) who voted for Mr. Obama and returned him to the White House.

Sorry. Should have been “…Christian activists…”. Proofed it twice and still fouled out.

oldleprechaun on October 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM

It isn’t mockery when you let a man speak for himself and he sounds ridiculous, churlish and childish all at the same time.

You don’t have to mock Obama or the Leftists to get them to do this: they are doing it to themselves.

ajacksonian on October 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

And these are the one (I. e. Ron Sider) who describe falsely themselves as evangelical and to whom the MSM run to get points of view that reinforce the liberal agenda.

davidk on October 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM

And of course, don’t forget Anthony Campolo.

oldleprechaun on October 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

It isn’t mockery when you let a man speak for himself and he sounds ridiculous, churlish and childish all at the same time.

You don’t have to mock Obama or the Leftists to get them to do this: they are doing it to themselves.

ajacksonian on October 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

But those who can read between behind the statements of the left need to explain what the left really means.

davidk on October 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Actually, mockery of actions has a tradition in Christianity that goes all the way back to Scripture. The parables in particular tended to mock the authorities of the time — especially the Pharisees and Sadducees — for their hypocrisy. The problem is when the attacks turn bitterly personal, a line that is difficult to discern in the heat of debate over policies and tactics, especially on social media.

Well said, Ed. I agree. This is something I struggle in keeping a rein on my comments.

INC on October 8, 2013 at 1:38 PM

And these are the one (I. e. Ron Sider) who describe falsely themselves as evangelical and to whom the MSM run to get points of view that reinforce the liberal agenda.

davidk on October 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM

And of course, don’t forget Anthony Campolo.

oldleprechaun on October 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Yep.

davidk on October 8, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Hot Air needs more Matt Lewis and MSNBC … we just don’t have enough of it!

/s

JR on October 8, 2013 at 1:39 PM

And these are the one (I. e. Ron Sider) who describe falsely themselves as evangelical and to whom the MSM run to get points of view that reinforce the liberal agenda.

davidk on October 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Do I ever agree!

INC on October 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I thought this thread was going to be about the hostile secularism in the establishment GOP and their wish to toss out social conservatives at every turn.

BKennedy on October 8, 2013 at 1:41 PM

When you go into most Churches these days, at least here in the Northeast, … There is little to no explication of just how the situation we now find ourselves in, humanly, politically, culturally, or otherwise, finds its connection to the truths exposed in our Faith.

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Surprisingly, that is generally what I have found, even in Virginia. More surprisingly, in California it is the opposite.

besser tot als rot on October 8, 2013 at 1:41 PM

The greatest problem with young Christians is that some are not Christians!

Others are weakened through lack of hearing strong biblical preaching and living out biblical teaching. So they drift into picking up muddled thinking and sinful living. They are confused on the role of the individual Christian and the church in ministry as well as the roles of church and state.

Wilberforce is a great example of a man whom God called and used to fight a very specific evil through politics. Each Christian has a different sphere of influence and different work in which we are to be faithful.

INC on October 8, 2013 at 1:45 PM

I’m somewhat confused as to what the issue is. I have not heard of “young” Christians having a problem with the GOP or politics in general.

Christians know their enemies are everywhere, whether in politics or out of politics. Christians have enemies in the Church for pity sake!!

As a Christian, do you think I don’t know 98% of the GOP is the enemy of Christianity???

This war between good and evil has been since Adam & Eve.

To these “young” Christians, I would say this:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God..”, not the GOP or man.

bluefox on October 8, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Hot Air needs more Matt Lewis and MSNBC … we just don’t have enough of it!

/s

JR on October 8, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Don’t forget those great Conservative sites like Politico, Daily Beast and the N.Y. Times!!

bluefox on October 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

The kids have discovered there ain’t no different between democrats and republicans. They are 2 sided of the same coin. GubRmint is nothing more than a monopoly of force, and neither party has a problem with the thuggery. They only have a problem when their guy isn’t doing the loot’n.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on October 8, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Sorry, it is impossible to be a Christian unless you are a true-blue conservative.

Pablo Honey on October 8, 2013 at 2:02 PM

davidk on October 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Simple enough: they want government to have complete control over your life and for each individual to see government as god.

They want everything that is Caesar’s AND everything that is god’s, both.

That is what you get when you strip out the vituperation, the invective, the special pleading, the victim card, the race card, the war on women card… take the deck away and they are still there demanding more power for government and for you to be a slave to it and smile accordingly.

I thought that Christians would be able to see that and understand what is going on when Christianity is mocked and destroyed in the MFM and the political Left and their own Priests and Pastors say nothing on it. You get your emotions played with when you fear government and the media: yet you have god granted ability to reason and use sweet reason against those manipulators.

Sweet reason is far better than getting emotional: it drives opponents bonkers until they begin spouting enough so they say what they really mean. In less than a year just doing that with trolls here has stripped them of their facade of civility and shown just how cold and ruthless they are. Mockery? Well laughing at them for their lack of reason isn’t mockery. It’s hard to mock those who descend into irrationality and want to fling hatred and invective about them claiming those they attack seek to inflict misery, while they are only inflicting misery on themselves for being unable to accept that some people simply disagree with them on rational grounds.

I’ll leave thinking up new ways to try and degrade others to those who are degrading themselves by doing so. It is not mockery to point out that they are doing so. What they are trying to do is work their hatred up to a point where they seek to find an excuse to violence. And the best Alinsky tactic is just to tell the plain, unvarnished truth about those who oppose you as they can only lie and get themselves mired deeper in lies until that is what their life becomes. Why go to mockery and degradation when the truth will serve just as well and be much simpler to get out?

ajacksonian on October 8, 2013 at 2:10 PM

The problem isn’t that young Christians are leaving the GOP; the problem is that they are leaving the FAITH.

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

I’ve been in the churches that you spoke of & it’s true. Saving Faith is just the beginning, as a seed that’s been planted. As the seed needs water and sunshine, so the new Christian is like Paul described in I Cor…”babes in Christ”

They need to grow! “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…” II Peter 3:18a

Most Churches today don’t teach or admonish their people to not only read the Bible, but to study it. And that imo is one of the biggest problems in Christianity that I see today. They lack even the fundamentals of their Faith.

bluefox on October 8, 2013 at 2:13 PM

No, the problem, if there is a problem, with young Christians “leaving the GOP” is not a political one but a spiritual one. Churches have compartmentalized their messaging to include nothing but spiritual concerns having no connection with present day reality, political or otherwise, and those spiritual concerns are increasingly of a strictly elementary nature.
Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Totally agree (with your whole post).

I think, in part, it’s because of the tax implications of churches speaking out on political issues–or at least that’s one thing that hastened the arrival of the current mess. Now, lots of youngish Christians feel it’s “wrong” for the church to speak out on those issues, and even without that tax threat, they would balk at political speech coming from the pulpit.

But it’s not only that, of course.

In the hipster church culture of today, no one is allowed to stand for anything–except being nice. There is a shocking tolerance of not just sin but evil–and a naive belief that niceness will win everyone over. All anyone has to do to impress these Christians is say the right “nice” words and appear to support the right “nice” causes; meanwhile, traditional/biblical values/standards/wisdom are automatically dismissed as being judgmental and mean-spirited.

There are some young Christians leaving the GOP for the right reasons: because the Party no longer stands for conservative values and has taken up the self-destructive practice of selling out on principles for the sake of popularity (not actual votes, mind you–just good mentions on news shows). But those aren’t the ones turned off by discussions of the 47%. The ones turned off by discussions of the 47% are the wishy-washy, no-one-should-ever-feel-guilty-for-anything-but-being-judgmental people (some young, some not so young) who seem to have good intentions in wanting to “love their neighbors” but who are willing to sacrifice any truth they find “mean” or simply inconvenient.

butterflies and puppies on October 8, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Oh, the hilarity.

It’s amazing how Republicans allegedly “playing dirty” turns off these so-called “Christians”, but Barack Obama calling people murderers and terrorists does not.

This is nothing more than pig leftists trying to rationalize how they are “Christian” when in fact they worship Barack Obama and the welfare state as their gods.

northdallasthirty on October 8, 2013 at 2:27 PM

It’s amazing how Republicans allegedly “playing dirty” turns off these so-called “Christians”, but Barack Obama calling people murderers and terrorists does not.

northdallasthirty on October 8, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Yep.

butterflies and puppies on October 8, 2013 at 2:31 PM

bluefox on October 8, 2013 at 2:13 PM

butterflies and puppies on October 8, 2013 at 2:26 PM

It would probably be more accurate if I had said, not that they are leaving the Faith as much as it is one of never being allowed to really UNDERSTAND the Faith. In ALL it’s implications, not just the elementary doctrines.

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 2:32 PM

You mean even the Christians are figuring it out? Hey, amazing….

HB3 on October 8, 2013 at 2:34 PM

And as John MacArthur once said, the only way to reconcile homosexuality with the Bible is to totally deny two things: the Old Testament and the New Testament.oldleprechaun on October 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

I had not heard that before, but it’s true. It’s difficult for one to say they are a Christian and deny the Word of God. One doesn’t get to pick which Scriptures they believe and reject others.

Some doctrines are difficult to understand but we accept them anyway.

How many things outside of Scripture do we not understand? Speaking for myself, many:-)

bluefox on October 8, 2013 at 2:38 PM

I thought this thread was going to be about the hostile secularism in the establishment GOP and their wish to toss out social conservatives at every turn.
BKennedy on October 8, 2013 at 1:41 PM

They wouldn’t be so quick to do so if enough young Christians knew what the dynamics were. There is no fear of doing so because they sense that the Christians are increasingly being disarmed philosophically.

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 2:40 PM

My advice to serious Christian is to vote the GOP secularists out at every turn and put in good people of character and principle who understand that money is secondary to life and freedom.

Don L on October 8, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Good advice. And in addition, support those that are fighting to defend our lives and freedom that are in office now.

bluefox on October 8, 2013 at 2:47 PM

I see this as yet another reason for a split within the Republican party neocons vs conservatives.
For the Christians it’s where do you draw the line. You encourage businesses to bring back jobs now done overseas. Yet by doing this you impoverish these 3rd world countries. Businessmen are all in for “the bottom line.” Yet they need to maximize profits to stay out of bankruptcy. I remember a story of an old man, devout Christian. He pulled out in front of some hot head. The guy beat the hell out of him. Yet the old man didn’t press charges because “we must turn the other cheek.”

mike3121 on October 8, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Anyone who reads various Manosphere blogs knows that one of the biggest problems in American Christianity is the Feminization of church – Protestant and Catholic. I don’t think of American Christianity as Conservative, although there are obviously many good Christian Conservatives (I say this as one of the dreaded house atheist-cons). I actually rue the slow destruction of traditional Christianity in this country, but except for Southern Baptists, Pentacostals, Church of Christ and other very fundamental Christian churches, Christianity has not been a truly reliable vote-getter for Conservatives.

King B on October 8, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Sorry, it is impossible to be a Christian unless you are a true-blue conservative.
Pablo Honey on October 8, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Nonsense. I’m not a Christian because I’m conservative; I’m conservative because I’m a Christian.

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Nonsense. I’m not a Christian because I’m conservative; I’m conservative because I’m a Christian.

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Thanks. I was about to tell Pablo that he had the cart before the horse:-)

bluefox on October 8, 2013 at 3:05 PM

The country has come to be in the mess it’s in because of what Paul said in Romans chapter 1:18-32,

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[a] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[b] unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

The country has reached a point that the truth is “judgmental” and telling someone that they need to change to get out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves is unkind. No one will change until they realize they must. The kids coming out of most churches have been poorly trained and they are not able to face the idiots in the academy who are more than happy to tell them overthrow the truth and adopt the foolish superstitions of credentialed morons like Dawkins, or Chomsky.

Quartermaster on October 8, 2013 at 3:17 PM

…having children changes your political ideology and your priorities.

melle1228 on October 8, 2013 at 1:05 PM

…which could explain the left’s obsession with “abortion rights.”

Sockpuppet Politic on October 8, 2013 at 3:18 PM

I actually rue the slow destruction of traditional Christianity in this country, but except for Southern Baptists, Pentacostals, Church of Christ and other very fundamental Christian churches, Christianity has not been a truly reliable vote-getter for Conservatives.

King B on October 8, 2013 at 2:59 PM

I tend to agree since I’ve seen this also. It’s not only in voting, but in internal Church matters. Not speaking out where error is present, whether in the pulpit or teachers. This belief of not rocking the boat or causing division may be at the heart of this attitude. Years ago I heard someone say that division is good when truth has been distinguished from error.

Christians should think of voting in the same context. How can they stand or support that which is good if they don’t vote against that which is wrong?

bluefox on October 8, 2013 at 3:22 PM

A lot of Christians get their view of Jesus from treacly interpretations of the scriptures, and do not get how caustic and sarcastic the King of Kings was. He called his king Herod “little fox”, which in the parlance of the day is to emphasize his sneakiness and preying on the weak. It also meant “not a man”. Jesus asked his disciples if they were “so dull”. Jesus publicaly declare that “no one would” do something that a prominent figure had just done, thus mocking whoever it was.

So yes, for traditional, treacly Christians, who were never taught the ridicule of Isaiah or Ezekiel, ridicule seems a disconnect from Christian behavior. They probably can’t read the sarcasm in Paul, either. I’m not a big Rebuke guy, but I can’t help but notice that a lot of modern Christians forget “Rebuke” part. Not as if not rebuking a choice they can make, but as if rebuking itself were no part of Christianity.

So it really isn’t ridicule that should be a disconnect from Christianity, but our disconnect with Alinskyan tactics has to be the disingenuousness of it all. We should ridicule what is ridiculous, not make ridiculous what we do not agree with.

Also, Christian ridicule can never be as final as theirs, that’s (in my mind) is the different between a rebuke, with ridicule, and judging.

Axeman on October 8, 2013 at 3:36 PM

The kids coming out of most churches have been poorly trained and they are not able to face the idiots in the academy who are more than happy to tell them overthrow the truth and adopt the foolish superstitions of credentialed morons like Dawkins, or Chomsky.

Quartermaster on October 8, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Don’t know if you’re familiar with the statistic or not, but roughly 75% of youngsters who are raised in conservative Christian homes walk away from the Christian faith after completing four years in the average university. My daughter attended one of the best known conservative Christian universities in the country. From her description of what went on there, it was no different than what her contemporaries experienced in secular schools. Examine the numbers of abortions for cities where Christian and secular schools are located. The percentages for young women from Christian vs secular schools are virtually the same. I’m convinced that the primary reason my daughter is part of the 25% is that when she was growing up, she watched me frequently studying Scripture. It’s amazing what those little eyes see when you don’t know their watching. And if any of you have little ones (or not so little ones) still living at home, take the hint and get with the program. They ARE watching you, and they will imitate what they see.

oldleprechaun on October 8, 2013 at 3:37 PM

As a young Christian, I’d say one thing that discourages me about the GOP and some Republican politicians and the Christians they associate themselves is the immense cruelty toward gays.

Don’t get me wrong: I have a Biblical view of these things, but I don’t see any other person engaging in any kind of other sin being mocked, ridiculed, and accused the way the GOP treats gays. Were are the protests against cohabiting? This is much more widespread than homosexual sex, yet this is the thing that gets all of the attention and focus.

I think the GOP preys on the cultural discomfort with it with Christians, and that’s wrong. We’re supposed to reach our world, not get frustrated with it!

It hurts the church, not just with gays, but with their friends.

The country has reached a point that the truth is “judgmental” and telling someone that they need to change to get out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves is unkind. No one will change until they realize they must. The kids coming out of most churches have been poorly trained and they are not able to face the idiots in the academy who are more than happy to tell them overthrow the truth and adopt the foolish superstitions of credentialed morons like Dawkins, or Chomsky.

Quartermaster on October 8, 2013 at 3:17 PM

People need Jesus. Plain and simple. If they receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit will lead them to change.

joshleguern on October 8, 2013 at 4:11 PM

There is nothing worse than a Christian that pays lip-service to their faith,except when an entire political party does it!Buh bye,GOP!

redware on October 8, 2013 at 4:46 PM

I’m not sure anybody believes in anything anymore. The current response to all things is to compromise everything including your value system. This country is terminally ill.

rplat on October 8, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Thanks. I was about to tell Pablo that he had the cart before the horse:-)

bluefox on October 8, 2013 at 3:05 PM

He likes it that way.

CurtZHP on October 8, 2013 at 5:07 PM

As a young Christian, I’d say one thing that discourages me about the GOP and some Republican politicians and the Christians they associate themselves is the immense cruelty toward gays.

They’ll tell you they’re just following and living scripture, and that you aren’t.

Good luck with that!

Good Lt on October 8, 2013 at 5:22 PM

As a young Christian, I’d say one thing that discourages me about the GOP and some Republican politicians and the Christians they associate themselves is the immense cruelty toward gays.

The narrative of the oppressed and put upon Western homosexual is…a MYTH.

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 5:31 PM

The narrative of the oppressed and put upon Western homosexual is…a MYTH.

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 5:31 PM

As is the narrative of the oppressed Christian in America.

Good Lt on October 8, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Mitt Romney stumbled into that trap with an explicit reference to those who supposedly pay no federal taxes, and both the GOP and conservatives spent months defending the argument

Might have mattered with precinct captain types but I didnt see it on the ground. No one brought it up but they talked all the time about the nation going to hell

Fiscal conservatives didn’t like the longer trajectory of deficit reduction, preferring Rand Paul’s approach of simply cutting off funding for most of these programs across the board, embracing Ryan belatedly when Romney added him to the ticket.

This too had little traction at the supermarket line or with my religious buddies

Romney might have affected the Lunz panel, but non political religious people I was dealing with (pentacostal, catholic, independent protestant) tuned out.

Romney failed to prove he had something for them. Cutting taxes on savings interest? Who has savings?

Some of my religious friends didn’t even vote. Some have given up and are waiting for the Rapture. You have to practically do Christian intervention to get them back on earth, to do God’s will.

Problem: the stance of the RINOs on abortion, gay marriage etc and their disdain for religious on these subjects

Believers understand if something like gay marriage passes, kids will be taught it in school

The distaste of GOP honchos for the religious belief on these issues, makes the GOP look like a friend of the anti Christ. You should be willing to defend the right of the religious to not rent their church hall for a gay wedding. They wont, They cant. So why vote?

entagor on October 8, 2013 at 5:51 PM

People need Jesus. Plain and simple. If they receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit will lead them to change.

joshleguern on October 8, 2013 at 4:11 PM

It’s funny that you say that, because believing that gays can change is increasingly considered an intolerant belief about homosexuals. Believing that repairative therapy works is equally as repressive, in the eyes of some.

Axeman on October 8, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Good Lt on October 8, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Whose interests does the dominant paradigm now favor over the other?

Cleombrotus on October 8, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Ed, why is it that goverment is thought to be the one to help the poor. Scripture puts that on the individual, and by extension the Church. But the church sold its soul on that a long time ago.

Crusader on October 8, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Thanks for all the insightful and thoughtful comments.
I agree with Cleombrotus that too few young Christians know what their faith should entail, which makes it impossible for them to discern good from evil.
Although there is room for principled and legitimate disagreement on the political means to a desirable end, the leadership of both parties too often use unprincipled means to reach undesirable ends.

One thing that would help tone down divisive rhetoric and encourage Christian participation in politics is to stress the difference between the leadership and the membership of the parties, analogous to that between the Union leaders who pursue goals not desired or approved by their members (as revealed by the decline in membership and the flight of members released from legal servitude to the unions).

Many good people, Christian or not, belong to both parties. Many are LIV who do not have any idea what their leaders are doing. Most are misled and uninformed because their news sources are so radically biased (on the left and the right) and fail to present all the information needed to make a real choice among political options.

Many know about some things their party leaders are doing that they don’t like (albeit “through a glass darkly”), but decide to go with the “devil they know” because the other party is “so much worse”.

That’s a hard judgement call.

The problem is when the attacks turn bitterly personal, a line that is difficult to discern in the heat of debate over policies and tactics, especially on social media.

One way of discerning between those who have honest,conscientious opinions which deviate in some way from gospel principles, and those who are malicious proponents of evil is to look at their response to criticism.

I like a test I lifted from Sherri Dew (CEO of Deseret Book, and former second counselor in the LDS Church’s General Relief Society presidency), which is similar to Ed’s point: when you question or challenge them, do they explain their beliefs with civility, or do they get mean?

And if those who are following gospel principles become malicious, that drops them off the bandwagon immediately.
So, I try to monitor carefully which side of the line I fall on.
* * *
Bumper Sticker: It is not discussing religion and politics that causes problems, it is the discussion of Church and State.
* * *
On the other hand, if you are

… tired of hearing how Republicans
will offend or turn off this group, or that group…
ToddPA on October 8, 2013 at 1:01 PM

remember this:

“It’s a rev0luti0n — we have to offend somebody!”
–John Adams, 1776

AesopFan on October 8, 2013 at 7:04 PM

People need Jesus. Plain and simple. If they receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit will lead them to change.

joshleguern on October 8, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Wise words for a young Christian.

bluefox on October 8, 2013 at 10:15 PM

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