Letter to a Christian Republican Friend
From a Christian Independent Friend
by Everett Wilson
November 2, 2008
Thank you for sharing with me.
I write as a citizen, not as a preacher. That is to say, it would be illegitimate for me to assert the authority of the Word of God on specific political convictions. The arguments in a secular and free nation must stand on their own merits. I strongly disagree with the theocrats. The only safe ruler in a theocracy is God alone, without human advisers. In the meantime, we have pledged ourselves to a Constitution, and as a citizen I will try to live by its rules.
For several reasons I do not see politics as you do, but you may be comforted that I no longer identify with the Democratic Party, for the same reason that I have never identified with the Republican Party--both have an easy willingness to sacrifice principle for political advantage, not only in theory but in practice. The case in point is the willingness of the Democratic leadership of Congress to exchange their anti-war position for Republican support of domestic proposals--in other words, both parties said (for the sake of money) "I will let you do what I believe is immoral and wicked, as long as you let me do what you believe is immoral and wicked." A plague on both their houses!
I will vote for Obama not because he is a Democrat or a Christian but because I believe he is the major candidate with more of the qualities the Presidency requires--not those of priesthood or creed, but of civilian, non-pacifist constitutional authority in a nation that still values liberty, even though it doesn't always understand the implications of it.
Military leadership is not the same as civilian leadership, nor is membership in a legislature of 100 people the same as executive leadership. Besides, nobody can prepare in advance prepared for the Presidency, so we can't pick one on the basis of resume. (If the resume were the whole story, Sarah Palin would not be on the ticket. This is nothing but surmise, but I wonder whether McCain had privately given up on winning, so chose Governor Palin to give her national prominence for a future campaign.)
Neither can we pick one on the basis of what a candidate of either sex or party believes is right during a campaign. The White House is not a campaign rally. Campaign promises are broken on both left and right mainly because the one elected did not know as much as he thought (or pretended) he knew during the campaign. That affects all parties. An elected person who never sees this will crash and burn, hopefully not taking too many people with him (usually, though not always), during his first and only term.
I have sent along separately one of my columns from a few weeks ago. I largely stopped writing about politics during Bush's second term, but I finally broke in these last months--not to elect Obama, but to assert some realism into the flood of cynicism, idealism, and entertainment that especially marked this campaign. The quality is not necessarily worse this time, but it is as bad in many cases and the quantity is horrendous.
There are millions like me, but we largely go unheard because we are not much fun. Besides, I said earlier that whomever we elect, we'll probably get Roosevelt--someone who will do what he's gotta do to try to save the country. We are already in that phase now. The new president's re-election will depend on how successful his attempts are, and how much support Congress will give him.
As you can tell, I am speaking broadly about points of view, not about the specific issues that you addressed so thoroughly. Sometimes the devil is not in the details, but in the perspectives from which we are studying them.
About the Author:
Everett Wilson was an evangelical before evangelicalism was the right wing of the Republican party.
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