This article about Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson and their supposed influence on the voting patterns of "religious conservatives" made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. One reason it made me sick is that there is some truth to it; those men do have influence in national elections. The other reason it made me sick is that they shouldn't have such influence. I'm a Christian, as those men claim to be, and I suppose I ought to take them at their word, and I know that our identification with Christ ought to supercede other affiliations or values we have, but practically speaking I find I have little in common with them. To me, their endorsement of a candidate would be a reason for suscpicion, not support.
Also, in my experience, there are more and more "religious conservatives" that hold something closer to my outlook than that of the "three kingmakers." If the community at my church is any indication, the people that are becoming Christians are not older, socially conservative, authoritarian, and antagonistic to non-Americans. Rather, new Christians are predominantly 20/30-somethings, culturally savvy, suspicious of unchecked power, and recovering from the brokenness of the broken promises of the absolute value of "personal freedom." Like me, most of these new Christians don't believe that the Gospel of grace, freedom, and love ought to lead to politics of shame, fear, and self-protection. Yet, neither are we satisfied by those whose primary political platform is that they are against whatever Falwell, Robertson, and Dobson are for.
Clearly it's much easier for the political establishment to maintain the status quo than think or work outside the box. That means that one party is going to pander to those three men and the relatively large voting bloc in which they have attained prominence. And the other party is going to pander to their opponents. What would be amazing is if somebody would realize how many of us live somewhere between those two camps. One problem is, many (maybe most) of those in the middle don't vote, or at least not regularly. Of course, when one's main goal leading to election day is figuring out who you can at least begrudgingly tolerate voting for, it's pretty easy to just ditch the whole thing. Thus, it would be a high risk move to actually find out what's important to those of us in the middle and what our ideas are for pursuing those values. And, who knows if taking that high risk would lead to a high reward. Would we really vote after all? But, I dare somebody to give me (and us) someone to actually vote for.
boon-dog-gle: (noun) work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
free: (adjective) provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment.
"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."