A comment in response to a post on Dean’s World brought me back to this subject. Here’s the comment:
” I keep thinking the old-guard Christian Dems- Catholics and Baptists come to mind- and wonder what they think of their party now.”
This is something I’ve often thought about. The Republican/conservative/religious right believes you don’t solve a problem by throwing money at it. They believe the Federal government isn’t capable of being an effective solution. But what do you call the hundreds of billions of dollars the US spends on defense each year? I’m certainly not opposed to defense spending, but defense is simply another Federal program. When a military base is kept open because it’s closure would have a negative effect on the local economy (and don’t kid yourself; the local demonstrations we see when the Base Closure Committee visits are orchestrated as surely as any protests), that’s welfare, not defense. We have no need for hundreds of military bases scattered around the country, but we keep them open anyway. The churches should take care of the poor? Sure, I agree, but the reason the government got involved is because the churches failed to do this. And they still fail. Look at your local church budget. I fought this battle in a church I once attended. The money spent to build and maintain our temples of holiness far, far, far exceeds moneys spent to help even the local poor. Do we need church buildings? Yes. Do we need them as fancy as we build them? I think not.
However – however – I don’t really blame the “religious right” for moves such as this. They certainly have the right to push their ideas for solutions to our problems. You read your Bible, you contemplate the light God has given you. I do the same. We come up with different solutions, based on the same source of information. God made us all different. Where I place the blame is on people like me who try to live as Christians, and who tend to believe in “liberal” solutions – i.e., a strong Federal role in environmental protection, because we are stewards of God’s world; who see that the government of a country as
rich and blessed as the United States, a government of, by, and for the people, could and should ensure that children have a solid roof over their heads and a decent diet. Quite honestly, I couldn’t care less about people who refuse to work, who want to exist on public dollars without contributing anything to society. But I haven’t seen a solution that punishes them without also punishing the children that live with them. “Right to life” implies more to me than just picketing clinics and screaming slogans – a child that is born is a child that
must be clothed and fed and housed. And if the parent won’t, or can’t, provide for that child, *we must*! The Federal government is admittedly a poor channel as presently constituted, but it’s the only game in town if we want a consistent response throught our nation. So in my mind, to “feed my sheep” as Christ commanded, we must have a strong Federal role. But, (returning to where my point was originally going) Christian liberals have failed to speak up, and offer alternatives to a system that has obviously failed to produce the desired results. Many “Christian” liberals have wasted energy and testimony by chasing issues that appeal to many liberal agendas but cannot be defended as Christian issues, to the point that they are scarcely recognizable as Christian. *These* are the people I blame – where once they defended civil rights from a
scriptural basis, they now defend it from what seems to be humanist principles. Where once they proclaimed “This is my Father’s world”, they now proclaim Gaia. And we shouldn’t stand idly by while the Democratic Party is threatened by a humanist agenda that is too often actively hostile to Christians.