How Could A Christian Vote Democrat

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Professor Keith Drury, of Indiana Wesleyan University, penned an article in 2008 explaining his reasons for voting primarily for the Democrat ticket. He has several specific points which he believes show that a traditional Christian belief system will tend to support the Democrat ideology more so than the Republican.

I disagree. (Well, that’s the news today, folks!)

The Caveats

Keith begins with the points where he agrees more with the Right:

Free trade

I believe in free trade because I do not worry about what is “best for America” but what is best for all of the world’s people—that is the Christian view I think.  On this issue I often fall in with the Republicans, and disagree with the protectionist inclinations of many Democrats.

Fiscal conservatism

I see this stance based on a doctrine of stewardship…  I believe it is unwise to go into debt to live high now then make future generations pay the bill—whether to pay for welfare, for a war in Iraq, or for a tax cut giveaway to the wealthy (or even middle class). Generations ought to pay our own bills—I think that’s biblical, or at least good Christian sense.

Opposition to special rights for homosexuals

I believe it is wrong to deprive gay Americans (or Americans who commit adultery, get divorced or otherwise sin) of their civil rights—such a fair access to housing or jobs. But I reserve the right of religious organizations and churches to hire whomever they want to based on whatever lifestyle issues they consistently practice.

Opposition to abortion

If I was a one-issue voter and abortion was the only issue I’d vote Republican.  But I have other issues to consider, and I honestly don’t think the Republicans actually deliver much on this issue…what they deliver most is rhetoric.

The Argument

Then Keith gets into the meat of his argument, the points where he believes the Democrat party more closely aligns with his understanding of Christianity and the instructions of the Scriptures.

First up is the environment.

…if we truly believe God created the snail darter and spotted owl how could we be so casual about the death of something God purposely put on earth?  Can I so lightly destroy the Creator’s creation?  And this does not even get into the pro-life aspect of the environment—pollution kills people…slowly but they are just as dead as a fetus when it does its work. I am a radical environmentalist because I believe God is creator of everything we have and we should to care for it like a gift. On this issue I have much affinity with the Democrats—my only complaint is they don’t go far enough.

There problems here are several. First it is private ownership of property that best protects and preserves the environment.  This is an immutable fact, that people care for and practice stewardship of that which has value to them, personally. It is not selfishness or slavish allegiance to the almighty corporation to speak the facts. In societies where people have not owned property, there has always been excessive waste, extreme pollution, and all the attending problems. In societies where people own property and have sovereign right over that land you find sustainable forestry, attempts to prevent natural disasters such as wildfires, gardens and preserves and protected wilderness.

Second, the leadership of the Democrat party is no more environmentally minded than your opinion of the leadership of the Republican party. It is a historical fact that those leading the environmentalist movement are socialists who have found a group they can champion who cannot protest. The goal of modern environmentalism is the enforced government control of the means of production and the enslavement of any and all people under the heel of communist master minds in the hope of creating a worker’s paradise. The Nazis were incredibly environmentally conscious in their propaganda, turning being green into a religious paradigm. The goal is the enslavement of people, rationalized, this time, by the plight of the spotted owl.

Next, the poor.

Caring for the poor is not an option for anyone who takes a serious reading of the Bible—it is a demand and even a test of whether I am really a Christian… I still don’t want the church to do it all. Why?  I think rich non-Christians ought to pay their fair share too.  When I pay my taxes I pay them like I pay my tithe—some of that money fulfills Christ’s command to care for the poor.   Democrats help me fulfill this command of Christ far better than most Republicans do…

The problem here is one of responsibility and internal consistency. First, all God’s commands regarding are to the Church and to Christians. He does speak to the political nation of Israel regarding treatment of the poor, but this is during the time of their Theocracy, when they were directly ruled by God, and something Keith says earlier in his argument may help clarify this distinction. “In my tradition (the holiness movement) we don’t expect unsaved people to live holy lives,” Keith says. This is perfectly acceptable. The world is not to be expected to think or act like Christians are commanded to act. It would be the height of folly on our part to expect the unrepentant and the unredeemed to act as thought repentant and redeemed.

Second, Keith, you can’t have it both ways. Either it is the church’s responsibility or it is not. Or it is individual responsibility or it is not. I don’t pretend that non-Christians cannot be generous and well-intentioned. Many of them are, and in ways that would put many Christians to shame. But the commands of the Bible are directly applicable to individual Christians and the Church. Any shirking or enforced sharing of that responsibility is wrong.

Third, doesn’t Keith sound a little selfish there? “I think rich non-Christians ought to pay their fair share too.” Are rich non-Christians directly and personally responsible for the poor among us? And if God did not exempt the Christian poor from the command to give, and in fact clearly and explicitly praises and encourages the giving from want more than the giving from ‘got’, why should we exempt the non-Christian poor from such a responsibility? After all, the poor in America are only relatively so, and are in fact wildly wealthy relative to their counterparts the world over.

Finally, a distinct difference between a politically-Right view of alms and a politically-Left view of alms is the source of the responsibility. I am responsible for doing what I can to alleviate the condition of those God has called me to serve. To the best of my ability and with appropriate and applicable due diligence to ensure wise use of those resources I have. This gives me two sub-responsibilities, that I produce resources I can share of, and that I do so wisely, with the stewardship Keith praises in his fiscal conservatism. A politically-Left person, such as Keith, sees alsm as a responsibility of the Government. God will not judge governments before His eternal throne. He judges people, their hearts, intentions, and actions. You, Keith, are responsible before God for how you gather and spend your resources for the benefit of your fellow man. You are not responsible for how you spend your neighbor’s resources to help his fellow man.

Read part 2.

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5 thoughts on “How Could A Christian Vote Democrat”

  1. I found your website, and I enjoy your logic, though I disagree with your conclusions. I do have some questions, however.

    1.) When you say, "First it is private ownership of property that best protects and preserves the environment. This is an immutable fact, that people care for and practice stewardship of that which has value to them, personally. … In societies where people have not owned property, there has always been excessive waste, extreme pollution, and all the attending problems. ", do you have any examples?

    2.) On the issue of taking care of the poor, are you saying that medicade, unemployment, and food stamps are unhelpful to this country? Or are you saying that these programs could and should be run more efficiently by private organizations, such as churches and non-governmental organizations?

    I am not a christian, and therefore I may be missing something, but I was raised in a Christian household and hold to the morality of loving my neighbor and turning the other cheek, so I don't think it's the theology that's messing me up. Can you clarify these for me?

    1. Stuart, thank you for the comment and clarifying questions. In response to your first question, the best examples of excessive waste, extreme pollution and all their attending problems are found in marxist/socialist/communistic countries. Or those countries where ownership of property is difficult to attain and most property is controlled or owned by the government "for the people". It boils down to the fact that what people don't own, they won't care for.

      A more visible, American example, would be to note where the most trash is in your city? I find the most trash in my area is around the abandoned warehouses and boarded up businesses where no one cares about how clean the sidewalks are.

      Government or communal ownership of property does not result in (has never resulted in) sparkly clean workers paradises, but in polluted trash heaps.

      Regarding care of the poor. The single most indicative factor of poverty is single-parenthood. Government policies that economically encourage single-parent families act toward the further destruction of those families and the enslavement of future generations in deeper and deeper levels of poverty.

      Look also at the extension of jobless benefits. Sure you won't be able to afford you $150 per month cell phone plan and your full-coverage auto insurance if you work at Starbucks instead of the corporate office you'd prefer to work at, but the benefits to the economy, your own self worth, and your ability to manage your income and live within your means are infinitely greater there than if you were to stay on unemployment benefits for 2 years. Not to mention, you'd be making money instead of taking the money of those who are still working or, like me, were laid off themselves and chose not to remain a drain on society.

      As you say, it's not the theology that you weren't getting. I probably didn't take enough time to explain as clearly the various points I was trying to make.

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