by John Hawkins | November 2, 2007 6:00 am
“A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous, they cannot be subdued, but…once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” — Samuel Adams
In recent years, there has been a concerted effort to drive God from the public square and his followers from the political process. Oh, don’t get me wrong, Christians are still welcome to mouth politically correct platitudes and vote for whoever says a few nice words about Jesus, but if we actually support policies and candidates based on our religious beliefs, the anti-Christian secularists start tut-tutting and slinging cliches.
We’re told that you can’t legislate morality. Newsflash: almost all of our laws are based on morality. Better that it be Christian morality than secular morality.
We’re told that we have “separation of church and state.” However, that phrase, which was torn out of the context in which it was used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists, has been regularly used as a slight-of-hand to deny Christians the religious freedoms we are guaranteed under the First Amendment.
We are told that we need to keep God out of politics. Unfortunately, whether Christians are interested in politics or not, politicians are interested in us. They’re interested in denying Christians our First Amendment rights, preventing Christmas songs from being sung in school, and they’re interested in codifying practices no Christian should support, like abortion, gay marriage, and using public schools to promote deviant sexual and moral practices to our children.
Put another way, Christians may want to stay out of politics, but politics isn’t going to stay out of the domain of the church. Since that’s the case, we need more Christians involved in politics, not less.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we’re all going to agree. In fact, even amongst conservative Christians, it sometimes seems as if the only thing that two Christians can agree on is that the third Christian is wrong about something.
Then, when you start putting liberal Christians into the mix with conservative Christians — well, don’t even get me started. It’s hard to believe that people who share the same faith can have so many wide-ranging political differences on even the most basic of issues.
Yet and still, both political parties and the country as a whole are better off to have Christians, particularly Christians who take their faith seriously, participating in the process and letting their faith help guide their decisions.
Granted, social conservatives can come across as a little too preachy and the whole “we’re going to form a third party if we don’t get the candidate we want” approach that some advocate is completely counter productive, but there would have never been a Reagan Revolution without the Christian Right. Furthermore, given all the complaints we hear about our culture as is, imagine what a moral sewer this country would have degenerated into without conservative Christendom rising up to stand for what’s right.
In the Democratic Party, Christians have much less sway, but their civilizing influence has helped keep the radical atheists from running the party and staging an even larger attack on Christianity, tradition, and the moral foundation of our country. That being said, it would be great if more liberal Christians had the moral courage to stand up to their fellow travelers on the Left on the frequent occasions when they mock people who are serious about Christianity.
Naturally, not everyone would be pleased to see a larger, more forceful Christian contingent entering politics. But, those who argue that Christians have a negative impact on our political process because they tend to be “overly concerned” with morals or family values are engaging in an act of hypocrisy.
Just as the people who attack our troops as being thugs and mercenaries are only capable of doing so because of the blanket of protection provided by the very soldiers they attack, people who sneer at Christians are only capable of doing so because of the Christian ethics and morality that have permeated American culture since the time of the Founders.
America has been and continues to be a great nation because we are a good nation that is populated in large part by a fundamentally decent, Christian people. If Christians step back and allow the bastion of freedom, decency, and opportunity that this nation represents to be squandered, God may forgive us, because that’s what He does — but something precious, a birthright that should belong to future generations of Americans, will be lost from the world.
Last, but not least, if you take one thing away from this column it should be this: if those of us who believe in the Lord simply shrug our shoulders and abandon politics to the secularists, then we should not be surprised when our government pursues secularist policies and imposes upon us laws that contradict our most cherished beliefs.
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