Here’s an interesting tidbit from Rick Scarborough (who, on his website has a section entitled “Patriot Pastors“) as he endorses Mike Huckabee for President:
“[Our goal is to get] people who love Jesus to register and then vote their values – not as Republicans nor Democrats – but as follower and sons of God and Jesus Christ. If we can get them to do that and then present to them what the candidates believe, I just happen to believe that the majority of them will vote right.”
So, what exactly is like to “vote right”? Who’s standards will we employ? Who’s values? Does the Sanctity of Life value limit itself only to the unborn? Or does it extend to those facing the death penalty? How about the millions of children living in poverty or the 1.35 millions children who are homeless on any given night? Are their lives sacred? Are they included? If we’re going to vote “pro-life”, let’s vote truly pro-life.
How about stewardship? Do we see care for the environment and political fiscal responsibility as Christian values?
So, back to Mr. Scarborough’s quote, how indeed do we “vote right”?
I’m an evangelical Christian and I am angry with Mr. Huckabee. That a frontrunner for the Republican nominee for President would send a Christ-centered Christmas message paid for by his political action committee is distasteful and hypocritical. In his own overtly political advertisement he levels the charge that there are too many political ads.
I’m extremely skeptical of Huckabee’s motives. In order to boost his credentials in the eyes of Christians who only seem to care about electing someone exactly like themselves, he tells us what many of us want to hear. This is shameless pandering to voters. It tells us nothing for which he stands, only that he is the best candidate because he celebrates the birth of Jesus. Come on! Please get this right, I want no generic winter holidays (although I might swing for a “Happy Festivus”); it’s Christmas time and there should be no shame in celebrating the birth of our Lord. But please don’t celebrate it in order to schmooze voters; when you do this, you play right into this accusation against Christians: that we will vote for someone simply on the basis of their Christianity, regardless of whether or not he or she is a capable leader.
I’m tired of this. And I’m not the only one. In several interviews with both churched and unchurched persons (conducted by one of my graduate seminary classes), people equated with failure the tendency of the Church to align itself with the Republican Party. For too many Christians, to be Christian is to be Republican. As the US Church, we have a lot of ground to make up because of this unholy marriage between conservative Republican politics and Evangelical Christianity. We’re strange bedfellows and we’re the only ones who don’t see it.