Though many Christians will proudly display “I voted today!” stickers, I’d wager many of them would rather tell you their weight than divulge they voted Republican. To be Christian and Republican – or part of the dreaded Religious Right – means you likely “cling to your guns and religion”; have married God and country; hate gays; and have the compassion of a drill sergeant. However, to be a Christian Democrat implies that you’re sophisticated; nuanced in your political and theological views; relevant; compassionate – and generally, more enlightened than your conservative counterparts.
Yet, there’s nothing enlightened about being a Christian Democrat. Truth is, despite Christians’ best efforts to reconcile the Christian worldview with liberal politics, the two simply don’t mix. And, though I’ll admit the Religious Right hasn’t always represented Christ well, the planks and ideology of the Republican Party remain largely consistent with the Christian worldview. Plus, Democrats don’t have a monopoly on compassion. In fact, I’d argue their policies generally hurt the people they intend to help. So, I’m not a bit ashamed to identify as a Christian and a Republican – and here’s why you shouldn’t be ashamed either.
I’m not ashamed to be a Christian Republican because Big Government robs individuals of their God-given freedom.
God created humans in His image and gave them the freedom to regulate their own lives. This freedom is essential to our spiritual and moral development. Yet, when government becomes too powerful and over-functions, it threatens this freedom. As Ronald Reagan astutely noted, “As government expands, liberty contracts.” In just the past six years, our expanding government (federal and local) has impinged on our personal freedoms by requiring private companies to pay for contraceptive coverage; collecting phone records of private individuals; and forcing Christian businesses to provide services for gay weddings.Often I hear Christians who lean Left argue that Big Government is necessary to provide some good for society. This is a Trojan Horse if there ever was one. A government that imposes its will on citizens to do something right will also impose its will on citizens to do something wrong. Governments are comprised of people and are as sinful and fallen as we are. This is why the only good government is a limited government.
I’m not ashamed to be Christian Republican because I believe traditional families should raise children, not the state, nor newly-defined families.
God designed one man and one woman to be joined together in marriage and for that union to produce and rear children. Not only is this model biblical, it’s also been the basic building block of every thriving society mankind has ever known. Republican policies respect this principle; Democratic policies do not.
The Democratic Party believes that family can be defined in a myriad of ways, including homes headed by two daddies or two mommies. Democrats also believe it takes a “village” to raise a child. Families need government help and oversight from cradle to grave. This is why President Obama just last week called for more taxpayer-spending on pre-school. This, he said, would prevent moms from having to leave “the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life.” This, according to President Obama, is “not a choice we want Americans to make.” As a Christian, I respectfully disagree. Moms making a lower wage is undesirable. But even more undesirable are children raised and nurtured by the state as opposed to moms and dads.
I’m not ashamed to be a Christian Republican because welfare doesn’t work and it strips people of their dignity.
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, declared war on poverty. And, in the past 50 years, U.S. taxpayers have spent more than $22 trillion dollars on anti-poverty programs. Despite this extravagant spending, which doesn’t include Social Security or Medicare, the poverty rate has remained essentially the same, around 14 percent, for the past 45 years.These welfare programs don’t work because they’re not biblical. Scripture clearly teaches a progression for meeting one’s material needs. First, one should look to himself, then to his family and then to the church. For example, 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” And, in 1 Timothy 5:4, the Apostle Paul instructs that no widow with children or grandchildren should be aided by the church. Instead, her family members “should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family.”
Nowhere in all of Scripture does it indicate that civil government should provide for the poor – and certainly not in an ongoing, long-term manner. Doing so simply enables people to remain in a situation that’s degrading to them. Republicans understand that sometimes withholding help is more compassionate than extending it. This is something Benjamin Franklin understood too. “I am for doing good to the poor,” he said, “but I differ in opinion about the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”
I’m not ashamed to be a Christian Republican because I believe taking other peoples’ money is stealing, regardless of your motives.
Many Democratic policies, from graduated income tax to the Affordable Care Act, are essentially wealth redistribution. Liberals often appeal to Christian charity to support these acts. And certainly, Scripture upholds individuals giving generously to those in need. However, nowhere does Scripture endorse a third party coercively taking money from those who earned it honestly and giving it to others, regardless of the recipient’s need.Scripture also doesn’t support the notion that everyone should have an equal amount of goods. In fact, the parable of the talents indicates just the opposite. God gives talents to people in differing quantities. They then either use those talents wisely or squander them. However, when gross inequities result, God doesn’t even the balance. In fact, He does just the opposite: He takes the only talent from the wicked and lazy servant and gives it to the faithful servant who already has 10!
I’m not ashamed to be a Christian Republican because I believe in the sanctity of human life.
Democrats claim to care for the “least of these.” Yet, they support and even fund the slaughter of approximately one-million babies every year. They also support and fund fetal stem cell research, which requires the destruction of human embryos.
I fear we Christians have become numb to this mind-boggling horror. How can we possibly align with a party that says it “unequivocally supports” a woman’s right to an abortion? How can we vote for candidates who will continue providing more than $540 million per year in tax-payer funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s top abortion provider? I’ve heard the argument that Democrats want to make abortion rare by providing better medical care. Quite frankly, those arguments ring hollow. Whatever government legalizes and funds will increase.
Ephesians 5:11 says, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness” and do not be partners with those who do evil. For this reason, I will never join a party that supports abortion.
Lastly, I’m not ashamed to be a Christian Republican because I believe Christianity is a worldview that directs every aspect of life.
In her article, “Why I am a Christian Democrat,” Ellen Painter Dollar argues that “our holy scriptures are not always consistent when it comes to details, even such important details as the character of God (Did the same God who called the little children to him really mastermind the murder of every first-born son of the Egyptians?)” So she argues, when considering political issues, the only biblical directives we should follow is “Love God. Love our neighbors as ourselves.”This reveals a shockingly low view of the Bible and of the Christian faith. As I’ve already demonstrated, the Scriptures actually have a lot to say about political issues. That’s because Christianity is not just a religious belief, it’s a thorough worldview that informs every aspect of life. As Nancy Pearcey writes in Total Truth, “God is not just the Savior of souls, He is also the Lord of creation. One way we acknowledge His Lordship is by interpreting every aspect of creation in the light of His truth.” This means even our politics must submit to the Lordship of Christ.
Sadly today, many Christians have put Scripture aside and are simply doing whatever is right in their own eyes. I’m not saying all Christians who identify as Democrats are doing this. Certainly, no party aligns perfectly with the Christian worldview. And, I respect believers who have done their homework and have arrived at different political convictions. But, I’m convinced the reason we Christians hold such divergent views on politics isn’t because Scripture is so hopelessly ambiguous; rather, it’s because many Christians have failed to study the Scriptures and adopt a thoroughly biblical worldview. To be honest, with very few exceptions, the Christians I know who view Christianity as a worldview, not just a belief, identify as Republicans. But, don’t take my word for it. Be like the Bereans in Acts. Search the Scriptures and see if what I’m saying is true.