If Christians consistently stand together, and vote together, we can teach the major political parties that anyone who wants to win an election will have to please the Christian voters.
This is not the conventional wisdom. Throughout the Republican National Convention, assorted pundits proclaimed that the GOP would have to move to the left. The party can only have a future, the media nabobs nattered, if they run national candidates who embrace abortion and gay rights.
There they go again: dead wrong.
Moribund for 50 years, the GOP became America’s majority party by embracing conservative ideals — reversing the uncontrolled growth of government, restoring military might, and regenerating the nation's moral tone.
No group of voters has been more supportive of this movement than Bible-believing Christians. If Christians continue to vote as Christians — which usually means a ”conservative” vote — their influence on the conservative movement will continue to grow.
Taken for Granted?
By voting so predictably for Republicans, do Christians invite the GOP to take them for granted? Would the party reach out for pro-abortion, pro-sodomite, Big Government votes while depending on a compliant Christian vote to stay in power?
It’s hard to see why Republicans would risk alienating the most loyal section of their conservative power base, although some have accused them of doing so. Winning elections can become an end in itself, and ideals can fall by the wayside.
But we’re promoting Christian principles in government. We don’t vote Republican because we have a fixation for elephants. If a Democratic candidate — for instance, Georgia's Zell Miller — did a better job of promoting Christianity in government than his Republican opponent, we would vote for the Democrat.
We must make it known that we support candidates, of whatever party, who stand for protecting our right to express our faith publicly, who will defend marriage and the family, de-secularize the public schools, abolish the abortion industry, and cut back on the power and the intrusiveness of government. We can support any Democrat who supports these principles.
What If They Don’t Give Us a Choice?
What should we do when both parties run liberal candidates, leaving us with no one to vote for?
Elections are never that simple. During presidential elections, there are also candidates running for Congress, governorships, and state legislatures.
It is vital for us to participate in those elections by supporting state and local candidates who adhere to Christian principles. In Massachusetts, for example, pro-family Democrats run against anti-family Democrats. We must elect the pro-family candidates. There is very little a liberal president or governor can do, if he is hampered by an aggressively conservative legislature.
Are We a Minority?
America is not “a Christian country,” some say. If it were, Friends would not be a hit TV show, a third of our children would not be born out of wedlock, and there wouldn’t be over a million abortions a year.
But if America is not a Christian country, it’s even less a liberal country. In a poll cited by Micklethwait and Wooldridge, 41% of respondents described themselves as “conservative” while only 19% said they were “liberal.”
Sizeable majorities of Americans want to display the Ten Commandments publicly, reserve marriage for one man and one woman, and teach Creationism in public schools, according to opinion researcher George Barna.1 Furthermore, Barna found, “...there are tens of millions of Americans who would go as far as supporting a Constitutional amendment to declare Christianity the official faith of the United States.”
Given this much public support, why should we allow secular humanists to dominate the national agenda?
Many of the people watching Friends and having babies out of wedlock rarely bother to vote. America's voter turnout seldom tops 50% nationwide.
This means that politically active minorities wield power out of proportion to their numbers: 25% of the total electorate is half of that 50% who vote.
A Voter “Market”
By voting consistently for Christian principles in government, we establish ourselves as a political “market.”
If Democrats continue to lose national elections, they’ll be tempted to abandon their liberal base. Why weld oneself to teachers’ unions, homosexual militants, and socialists if these people can’t get you elected?
Contrary to what the pundits tell us, it’s not the Republicans who will have to change, but the Democrats. To compete for the Christian vote, they’ll have to become more conservative themselves. And that may pressure the GOP to stay conservative.
We don’t decide the fate of our country; God does. We are commanded, by God, to spread the Christian message (Mt. 28:18-20) — which we can do, in part, by electing Christian candidates — and set an example by living Christian lives.
God will do the rest.
1. See the July 26, 2004, Barna Update, “How ‘Christianized’ Do Americans Want Their Country to Be?” ( www.barna.org).