This blog was begun after the election because of what the results revealed. But it has been perceived as being a desire to win elections by converting people to Christianity. Wrong perception.
Obviously I have not been adequately articulate. Hey, I’ve only been a published writer for 30 years, I’ll get it eventually!
So here is a quick post of clarification.
I see the widespread Republican losses Nov. 6 at the national levels as a leading indicator of a needed revelation. Election day pulled back the curtains on several issues. The biggest: The country is not Christian and anyone who thinks otherwise is detached from measurable reality. Secondarily: Christians can and do delude ourselves about where our nation stands spiritually. I’m not sure that part has fully sunk in yet.
We do not have political parties based on religious affiliation, fortunately. But the parties do reflect religious affiliation. And the party that by far gets the most votes from evangelical Christians — those who believe the Bible is true and Jesus was who he said he was and try to act accordingly — is the Republican Party. According to the exit polls, 80% of evangelicals voted for Mitt Romney.
So in that sense, the Republican Party is a leading indicator of the evangelical Christian community’s political participation — which is important in a democracy. (When broadened to anyone who calls themselves a Christian, often because they go to mass on Christmas or to the same church their parents went to or whatever, the distinction remains, but is no longer strong. God alone knows the hearts, but the definition of a Christian is not attending mass or attending church or doing good deeds. The definition is in the Bible — what Jesus says about himself — which is why believing the Bible is true is kind of important.)
So the clock-cleaning Republicans absorbed nationally, against all expectations among evangelicals and conservatives, revealed the state of Christianity. Retreating. Weakening. Losing its foundations.
However, and this is big, we are not Western Europe, either. Not by a long shot. According to the Atlantic Monthly, the evangelical vote was 27% of the electorate Nov. 6 — the highest it has ever been — noting, however, that the turnout was down. This means that Christians did their part at the ballot box. (Whether we do the rest of the time is the very big question.)
Again, if Republicans are the leading indicator, there are these facts: 30 out of 52 governorships are Republican. Republicans control 26 state legislatures and Democrats 16. The rest are divided. There are more legislators that are Republican nationwide than Democrat by 53%-47%.
The nation is clearly divided and electorally confused.
Take for instance Florida, where I live. The state is dominated at the state level by Republicans, who have held the governorship this century and have veto-proof majorities in the Senate and House. The Democrats in Tallahassee are almost irrelevant, the domination is so strong. Yet the state went for a Democrat president the past two elections and re-elected a Democrat U.S. Senate member.
Like I said, confused.
I think the confusion stems from the remnants of the Christian foundation colliding with the building blocks of a new, progressive, non-Christian or anti-Christian foundation. But the Christian foundation is not completely dismantled. It is only weakened. Nor is the progressive foundation completely laid. It is still in process. The future of the country — and therefore, the well-being both spiritually and physically of its citizens — hangs in the balance of which foundation the next half-century will be built upon.
So then, to be clear, do I want people to become Christians so Republicans can win elections? No, no and triple no. Double-down on the triple no! Clear? That political party simply acts as a sort of proxy by which we have one measure of Christian fervency.