Voting Republican with a Clear Conscience

Now that Mitt Romney is the official Republican nominee for president, it’s time I shared a few thoughts on why I believe I can support him. As many of you know, he was not my first choice. He wasn’t even my second or third. In fact, as the primary season began, I pointed to two people as non-starters for me as the potential Republican nominee: Donald Trump and Romney.

During the primaries, I had flirtations with a couple of the candidates before settling on Rick Santorum as my favorite. My reasons for supporting Santorum were his basic Biblical worldview and his well-reasoned philosophy of governing. When the primaries ended, I had to come to grips with the reality that Romney would be the choice.

His deficiencies remain, as far as I’m concerned. I suspect he’s not a genuine conservative philosophically—that he doesn’t have a settled, principled position—and even though some will not like this, I am not enamored with a Mormon in the White House. I’m one of those who sees Mormonism as a deviation from Christian orthodoxy. However, a number of our presidents have not been Christians, despite their public avowals of faith. What’s worse, a Mormon or an adherent to a radical liberation theology that pictures Jesus as little more than the first Che Guevara? We already have that in our current president.

Yet while Romney is not my ideal candidate, he does represent a political party that is much closer to my ideals. Generally, the Republicans want what I want: basic moral values that emanate from Biblical roots, revealing itself through opposition to abortion and in favor of traditional marriage; the government limited to its proper functions; a free market economy; a national debt brought under control; a strong foreign policy stance that stands by its allies and has no problem recognizing its enemies. This is the vision of the role of government that I wish to see implemented.

Some say the Republicans are no different than the Democrats. I disagree. The platforms for the parties spell out the clear distinctions. Others, more nuanced, insist that Republicans are the lesser of two evils, but since they are evil as well, it would be wrong to vote for them. These are the purists who claim that you can find a political party with no hint of hypocrisy and devoid of evil. I say that’s impossible in this world. Wherever men congregate to make politics, disagreements, envy, egocentrism, and all sorts of evils will arise.

If I turn to the Libertarian party, for instance, what I see is a group with which I can agree on free-market issues but not on the social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Pure libertarianism is not Christian; rather than liberty, it promotes license in some instances. While there may be a minor party out there with which I could align, I want to support a party that has a chance to turn Obama and the Democrats out of power completely. The only party that can accomplish that is the Republicans.

You see, I don’t expect utopia from any governmental leadership. If Republicans take control of both the White House and the Congress, I will be able to find policies they are promoting with which I disagree. But they will not lead us down the same path the Democrats have taken. They will not embark on a national healthcare scheme; they will not push abortion on demand; they will defend genuine marriage; and if they know what’s good for them, they will start digging us out of our fiscal disaster.

Romney’s choice of Ryan as his VP has made my decision more palatable. Ryan, I believe, is the real deal when it comes to realizing we are on the edge of a precipice and must reverse course immediately. I agree with Romney’s first decision—his choice of a running mate. I hope it portends well for future decisions.

Supporting a third party, especially the Libertarians, may draw enough votes away from the Republicans that we will be subjected to another four years of a radical presidency, years from which we may never recover. I’m not violating my conscience by voting Republican; I’m following my conscience. In politics, you rarely get the luxury of voting for someone who is precisely what you want. You have to go with the best you can get with a party that actually has a chance to win.

I compare this to the issue of abortion specifically. Personally, I want all abortions to be declared illegal. No innocent lives should ever be taken. Yet I will support any measure that reduces the number of abortions. There are those who won’t support what they call “halfway” measures; they want all or nothing. They will get nothing. And the abortion rate will continue unchecked.

I vote not to achieve perfection, but to move the political culture closer to the Biblical ideal. Any movement away from what we now have is a movement in the right direction. That’s why I can vote Republican with a clear conscience.

The New Zeitgeist

I’ve been thinking more about how Christianity and the absolute morality it embraces are experiencing a new, and more vociferous, round of condescension. The culture’s disdain for what are usually termed traditional values seems to be increasing. As I told one of my classes this past week, what was considered basic morality forty years ago is now criticized as hateful. I’m not the only one noticing this:

In the entertainment portion of our culture, one doesn’t have to search long and hard to find the new “zeitgeist.” We are preached at from almost every television program that homosexuality is not only permissible, but that anyone who opposes it is either hopelessly backward or evil. How many shows celebrate saving sex until marriage compared with the number that assume everyone lives together before marriage? When was the last time you witnessed a strong Christian portrayed as a model for how one should live rather than as a bigoted hatemonger? Do you remember when you didn’t have to be bombarded with vulgar language, particularly before 10:00 p.m.?

We’ve come a long way out of many closets in the past few years. As a result, politicians have become bolder in their pronouncements against traditional morality. For the first time in my lifetime, a major political party is set to endorse homosexual marriage. When the Democrats hold their convention next week, reports are that they plan to spend a lot of time advocating the right to abortion and same-sex marriage. They think we’ve reached that tipping point in our society when pushing for those measures will actually increase their likelihood of victory. They’re going to make a big deal over the artificially trumped-up/imaginary Republican “War on Women.” How many will see past that hypocrisy?

Will this really help the Democrat ticket? If it does, we are in worse shape as a nation than I thought. Naturally, I’m hoping that tactic backfires, but I’m only cautiously optimistic.

I’ve stated this before, but it bears repeating: Christians need to come to grips with the fact that we’re not necessarily a majority anymore. We are quickly becoming a despised minority group subject to increasing pressures to conform to the modern zeitgeist. If we continue to resist, we will be hated. Yet we were told in advance this would be the case. This happened to the One we follow as well. As He told His disciples shortly before his crucifixion,

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “A slave is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. . . . All these things they will do to you . . . because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also.

The reason the prevailing culture of the time rose up against Jesus was because He revealed the sin in their hearts. If we are steadfast in pointing out the sins of our culture, it will rise up against us also. We need to be prepared. As the apostle Paul told Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

I teach and write with the hope that we’re not that far gone yet as a culture, that a semblance of Biblical thinking may still remain and can be fanned into a flame once more. But if I am wrong, and the hostility toward the Biblical worldview has become so dominant it cannot be reversed, I will continue nonetheless. God has called us to faithfulness, and my purpose for living is to please Him by doing His will, regardless of the results. He looks at the heart and rewards accordingly. He’s seeking a faithful army that will remain steadfast. As His word abundantly demonstrates, He always works with a godly remnant. I want to be part of that remnant.


The Akin Agony

Now that most of the known universe has chimed in on Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin, I’ve decided it’s my turn. My procedure for commenting on events is often to allow the dust to settle a little bit so I can get the true lay of the land. I’m always concerned about rushing to a judgment before I have a full grasp of the facts and fallout. Enough time has passed since Akin became a household name; it’s time to say something.

Akin, who is a current congressman from Missouri, has a solid conservative voting record, even on pro-life issues. His opponent, the incumbent senator Claire McCaskill, takes the opposite view on almost everything Akin stands for. On that basis alone, I would be only too happy to see her replaced by someone like Akin.

Yet Akin ruined his challenge to McCaskill in that TV interview when he used the term “legitimate rape” and then went on to say that a woman’s body had mechanisms to stop the rape from becoming a pregnancy. I don’t know if he was simply referring to the stress that a woman in that situation would undergo, which might prevent implantation, but the way he phrased it came across as unintelligent and indefensible. He has since apologized for the inappropriate use of the term “legitimate,” as if any rape could be called legitimate. He has also backtracked on the medical comment. Yet the damage done was substantial.

Nearly every Republican, from Romney and Ryan, to commentators like Sean Hannity, have urged him to drop out of the race. Their concern is that McCaskill, who was considered political toast before this blunder, might now be able to waltz back into the Senate for another six years. Akin, though, refused to step down. Here’s where it gets illogical. He claims it’s the liberal media that are trying to get him to call it quits, when in truth it’s the conservatives who are pressuring him. Not only are they concerned with the Missouri election, but they see this as a black mark for the pro-life cause. Conversely, the liberal media would love it if he stays in the race; he would then hand the seat to McCaskill. Akin says he’s standing on principle, yet his stand is going to hurt the principles he seeks to support. He has made it more of a personal redemption issue than one of greater principle.

Like most conservatives, I have critiqued how quickly Republicans seem to abandon people when they should be defending them. However, in this case, Akin’s presence on the ballot is a drag on all other Republicans. He needs to understand that.

This is sad because I believe Akin is probably a decent man who wants to do the right thing on the issues. His votes are needed. But he has lost his effectiveness for the causes he believes in. He should step down.

The most galling feature of this entire episode is that Joe Biden has said so many foolish things that he should be dumped as vice president. Yet he will remain on the Democrat ticket. And then there’s the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. who is the polar opposite of Akin on the issue of abortion. President Obama believes in abortion at any and all times. He even, as an Illinois state senator, fought against a bill that would have required doctors to provide life-sustaining treatment to any baby born alive during an abortion. Obama instead said those babies should be left alone to die.

Akin will now be sent to the land of political oblivion. Obama will remain in the White House [at least for a few more months]. While Akin brought on his own demise, he is not an evil man, but someone who wants to save innocent lives. Yet the one who seeks death for infants “accidentally” born alive is allowed to continue in the highest civil office our nation bestows upon a person. It’s a travesty.

Crossing a Line

The latest report on the upcoming Democrat convention is that the committee working to draft the policy platform for the party has included a plank putting the Democrats squarely on the side of same-sex marriage. Apparently, there was no real disagreement from anyone on the committee; it was the unanimous opinion that same-sex marriage should be enshrined as the law of the land. This was inevitable for a progressivism that has left Biblical morality on what it considers the ash heap of history.

I’m not shocked by this development. Once you begin to wander from the solid basis of eternal law, everything is eventually permissible. What this does, though, is put the Democrats on record as the first major political party in America in favor of abortion on demand and the destruction of traditional marriage, which is also the destruction of the family.

As President Obama has said so often: “Let me be clear.” If you now vote for a Democrat, you are promoting the slaughter of innocent children [over fifty million by the latest count] and the perversion of the God-ordained gift of sexual relations within marriage.

For anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian, this is antithetical to all you profess to believe. This is the rejection of the Word of God as your moral standard. This is a denial of the Lordship of Jesus Christ in your life.

It hurts to write those words. I am not the ultimate judge, but I do have a responsibility before God, even as all Christians do, to be a watchman and declare when the enemy is approaching. In this case, the enemy is in the gates.

Perhaps it’s time for a simple reminder of the Biblical teaching on homosexuality. The clearest passage is from Romans, chapter one, and reads as follows:

For this reason [rejection of God and His truth] God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, . . . and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Those who are not Christian will reject these words as “bigoted,” but those who still say they are following Jesus as Lord and Savior must take them seriously.

Christians can have political disagreements. While I believe it is contrary to sound Biblical teaching to advocate Marxist/socialist economics and to put the government in charge of areas that God never intended it be given such authority, Christians who push for those things are, in my view, deceived but not heretical. They are not unchristian, especially since they often are acting out of concern for the poor. They are simply being foolish because those policies ultimately destroy everyone, the poor included.

But when anyone claiming to speak for Christ says it is fine to support those who have no conscience in the murder of millions of babies and who pervert basic Biblical sexual morality, a line has been crossed.

Christians are to be the moral exemplars for a nation. How can we fulfill that mandate when we ally ourselves with moral abominations?

If we go along with the immoral drift of our culture, how are we any different from that culture?

If we don’t stand for truth, who will?

Gendercide & the Democrat Party

I have two related items today. Both say a lot about the culture of death in our society and the participation of Planned Parenthood, President Obama, and congressional Democrats in that culture. These stories no longer shock, but they are revelatory nonetheless.

One organization, Live Action, has been very successful in exposing Planned Parenthood’s worldview and activities. Live Action has taken video cameras into Planned Parenthood offices and caught personnel making outrageous statements. It happened again this week. A pregnant woman associated with Live Action went into a PP office and asked for an ultrasound. The purported reason? She wanted a boy, she said, and if the ultrasound showed a girl, she would go ahead with an abortion. The PP employee saw no problem with that and never tried to convince her otherwise.

This goes beyond mere abortion [as if there is anything “mere” about it—ever] and allows the decision to be made based on the gender of the unborn child. It’s called sex-selection abortion, and it’s one step closer to the nihilist state. A better term would be “gendercide.” Abortion itself is the taking of innocent life; gendercide makes that despicable action even worse.

The publicity generated by this incident led Planned Parenthood to dismiss the employee and simply say she was “rogue.” That’s what they say every time they are exposed. Other employees in previous stings were apparently “rogue” also and were fired. At what point, though, does “rogue” describe the organization itself? What we are seeing is the scapegoating of individuals who have been caught being faithful to the Planned Parenthood agenda.

Item #2: Live Action has been coordinating with Republicans in Congress to try to do something about Planned Parenthood’s baneful influence on our culture, and to ensure that all federal funding to this organization is cut off. Republican leaders in the House scheduled a vote yesterday for a bill that would ban gender selection in abortions. Immediately, Planned Parenthood raised the alarm, and its political allies rallied to its side. President Obama came out against the bill; then when the vote was taken, all but twenty Democrats refused to support the ban on gendercide.

The bill did get a majority, but it needed 2/3 of the House to approve because it was brought to the floor under a rule that limited debate. I don’t know the entire rationale for taking this route with the bill, but even if it was for political purposes, it was successful in that respect. It put the entire Democrat party on the side of sex-selection abortion.

As Republicans pointed out, Democrats have trumped up a “War on Women,” and have accused Republicans of waging it. But what could be more of a war on women than an abortion policy straight out of communist China, where this kind of selection already is allowed, with unborn girls as the target. Who’s waging the real war on women?

The lines are clearly drawn in this battle for life. If you say you are a Christian and you support the Democrat party, I would hope you would stop and think about those with whom you have chosen to ally in politics. Do you really agree with sinful actions such as this? Does gendercide reflect the heart of God?

How to Make an Award Meaningless . . . or Worse

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award given to American citizens. It should be reserved for those who have embodied the quest for genuine liberty, and who have warned against threats to that liberty. That’s why President Reagan gave one of these medals, posthumously, to Whittaker Chambers, a man who put his personal reputation, his career, and possibly even his life, on the line when he revealed what he knew about the underground communist network within the U.S. government. That’s what this medal is supposed to signify.

President Obama has made a mockery of this award. Yes, I realize that the president has the prerogative to award this to whomever he wishes, and political beliefs are going to influence those choices, but sometimes a line is crossed. Let me talk about three of this year’s recipients.

Very few people have ever heard of Dolores Huerta, but conservative commentators lit up the internet yesterday with information about Huerta the president cleverly chose not to share. Here are some highlights:

  • Honorary Chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the U.S. and the principal U.S. affiliate of The Socialist International
  • Professed Marxist
  • Believes the War on Terror is really a war on immigrants
  • Board member for the following radical groups: Feminist Majority, Latinas for Choice, the Center for Voting and Democracy, and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [the name sounds good, but it’s another Media Matters-type organization]
  • In 2006, she said, “Our theme will be: Republicans hate Latinos”

Giving a medal of freedom/liberty to an avowed Marxist is the ultimate in oxymorons. The two couldn’t be more opposed. Yet what this reveals is that the president himself holds the same views. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be honoring her.

Another recipient was former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Now, what could be wrong with honoring a man who served on the highest bench in the land? That would only make sense, right? Superficially, yes. But the philosophy Stevens brought to the Court was of the farthest-Left variety. He even gave an opinion on a partial-birth abortion case that said to deny a woman the “right” to have her unborn child put to death while being birthed would be to deny her “liberty” to make such a decision. Stevens said nothing about the right of the unborn child to have liberty. The unborn child didn’t matter at all to him. His concept of liberty is radical licentiousness. Licentiousness is a rather long word; let me simplify it: sin. So now we have a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner who won’t even protect the life of an unborn child at the very point of birth. This is tragic . . . and laughable, if one can truly laugh at the plight of innocent children.

I’m not aware of the list of recipients over the past years, but I’m sure Stevens is not the only pro-abortionist who has been so honored. It’s just that in this case, his decisions have made their mark on an entire nation. His influence was not indirect, but direct. He is one of the reasons we still fight the fight against partial-birth abortion. Giving him a medal of freedom is hypocritical at the least; an abomination might be a better term.

Another recipient was singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. This one is almost comical to me. Weirdly, as befits his persona, Dylan showed up to receive his award wearing sunglasses. Well, you know, those White House lights are pretty bright. One may be tempted to ask just what Dylan has done to deserve this award, and to be placed on the same pedestal as Whittaker Chambers. I’m certainly asking.

I grew up in the sixties. I remember Dylan and his songs quite well. The songs were all of the protest variety. Some are catchy, even though the sentiments expressed are classic left-wing. I can understand why people may enjoy some of his songs. It’s more of a stretch to imagine anyone enjoying his voice—nasal, whiny, strange.

Let’s be honest: Obama gave Dylan this award because he likes the protest movements of the 1960s and sees Dylan as a symbol of the counterculture. Obama still lives in the spirit of the 1960s; that’s where he is most at home philosophically. It reminds him of his own Marxist tutors and the influence of radical activists like Saul Alinsky.

One commentator jokingly suggested the real reason Obama thought Dylan deserved the award can be seen in light of his own autobiography, which reveals our president as a regular pot-smoker in his youth. Perhaps, the commentator noted, he really liked one of Dylan’s songs better than the rest: “Everybody Must Get Stoned.”


If you want to know what kind of president we have—what his underlying beliefs are, and how he wants to transform this nation—all you have to do is look at his choices for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His choices diminish the meaning of that award, even as his presidency demeans the office itself.

American Morality: The Latest Survey

The Gallup organization has just released its newest survey of Americans’ moral values. One needs to look no further than this survey to comprehend why our culture is changing. I know people may be tired of hearing Christians bemoan the state of morality in society, but from a Biblical perspective, it’s obvious we’re in deep trouble, and this could signify the death of our society eventually. Here are the highlights:

  • The survey shows that 52% of Americans now find homosexual relations as morally acceptable. This is why taking a strong stance against homosexuality elicits such politically correct outrage. I also heard this week that another poll indicates this number has risen since the president verbalized his support for same-sex marriage. Whenever civil government takes sides on an issue, it can also influence the culture. In this case, those who are morally confused find solace in accepting the new morality because the government says it’s okay.
  • Sex outside of marriage is just fine say 59% of our fellow citizens. Well, why not? If you follow the cultural trend as showcased in the movies and television programs, it’s simply a fact of life. Rarely do you see anyone resisting sex at any time with anyone prior to marriage. I remember when dating didn’t used to be associated with an active sex life. It used to be, well . . . dating. Now the assumption is that dating is inextricably linked with sexual relations, and that it would be “puritanical/Victorian” to believe otherwise.
  • How about having a baby outside of marriage? The stigma for that has nearly disappeared with 54% not finding anything wrong with it. Yet the bad effects of absentee fathers is well documented. About 70% of all children born in the inner cities are without fathers. How’s that working out?
  • Remember when doctor-assisted suicide was endorsed only by the likes of Jack Kevorkian? Now 46% of Americans see no problem with it. This is moving us slowly toward acceptance of euthanasia.
  • Stem-cell research from human embryos finds support from 59%. This is distinguished from overall stem-cell research, which is becoming increasingly successful using adult stem cells. In spite of that, 3 of 5 Americans don’t object to harvesting unborn children for their stem cells, even though there’s no need to do so scientifically. This whole argument for using embryonic stem cells has always been a cover for promoting abortion.
  • So this leads logically to the statistics on the moral acceptability of abortion. How are we faring on that issue? This is one of the brighter spots of the survey, which indicates a trend against viewing abortion as moral. Only 38% say they favor abortion. That’s certainly movement in the right direction, while we seem to be drifting away from Biblical standards in other areas. Yet it’s still sobering to realize that nearly 4 of 10 Americans don’t find the taking of innocent human life as repugnant.
  • Fully 69% find divorce to be moral. There are some gray areas here. I do believe there are some Scriptural grounds for legitimate divorce, but I know most of those surveyed aren’t taking Scripture into consideration. They just like the idea of an easy path to break a vow. Again, we are experiencing the sad effects of this lax approach to what should be a lifelong commitment.
  • There’s another category that should help balance most of this sorry list, but I’m afraid it’s not what it appears to be. It should be encouraging to discover that only 6% of Americans believe it’s okay to have an extramarital affair, but here’s where we find a dichotomy between what people say and what they do. While 92% indicate they believe this is wrong, there’s a large segment of that 92% that violates what it says it believes. Hypocrisy is another factor in our moral degeneration as a people.

Government is not the solution to this current state of affairs. All government can do is try to set moral boundaries. If people, by and large, don’t believe in those boundaries, no law will suffice. That means it all comes back to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only the good news about how to restore our broken relationship with God can bring people out of moral darkness and into His light. Our primary task remains: teach and model Biblical truth.