In my last post I lamented the fall of Conservatism. So with the title of this post and the content of my previous post I bet you think you are going to get a good dose of classic right-wing talk. Not exactly. Part of my effort to build a new attractive conservatism is coupled with my research into culture, who makes it, how its formed, etc. As a Christian - I have been taking these findings and crossing them with what the Bible presents in terms of making culture. Throw in an election and you get a real mess. Surprisingly, enough the Focus on the Family letter from 2012 gave me the mental clarity to get it all out. However, I want to be clear, I am not affirming the letter nor am I condemning it. It is extreme in its premise, but presents some real possibilities (maybe in 20 years not 4) based on real trends that one should consider. The following is coming from a Christian point of view.
I have really been sole searching regarding this election. It has caused me to rethink how I feel about America and re-evaluate my role as its citizen. It has made me look deep into the the teachings of Christ and question if I am living in a way that reflects His power in my life - and what that means to America.
I have come to this conclusion: It is the role of government to protect the institutions that form culture and society. That is all. Notice: my premise is not government forms culture.
Let me give some detail:
1.) Moral: Abortion and same sex marriages are moral issues. These are not political issues. Governments' job therefore in regards to these two issues is to keep it's hands off either way. If corporations want to provide benefits to same sex couples - then they should be allowed to do so, not forced to do so. While I abhor abortions - you can't make them illegal - you'll just drive the behavior underground and endanger more people than you'll help. These are moral issues and need to combatted on another non-governmental level. (So what do I do with murder - well that falls under issue 3)
2.) Social: Caring for the poor, disabled, addicted to drugs, etc. Jesus clearly aims this at the Church. It is the responsibility of Christians to care for these people. If the Church is dropping the ball then we will be condemned for it. However, the void of the Church does not mean that government should pick up the slack. (a key point to consider here - if the Church fails at this, and government doesn't do anything - then a likely outcome would be the collapse of that culture - maybe that is the point). I would say Social Security, welfare, health care, medicaremedicaid and even education all fall in here. Any social program should be being handled by the Church.
So if moral and social programs are off the table - then what is?
3.) Security - and I'm not talking preventing 9-11 security. I'm talking more of a protection type. Government's role is to protect institutions that create culture and society - not to create those things themselves. It creates an environment where building culture is encouraged, and it protects the abilities of the entities inside of a nation to do so. Sometimes this protection may take the form of defense against exterior threats but that should be used judiciously and sparingly. The Bill of Rights creates ground rules for protecting the creation of culture as well as anything of which I can think. (So, murder - destruction of life inhibits the ability to create culture).
So to get back to the title of the article Why I won't be voting for Obama. . . . His agenda is mostly social, some moral, and done at the expense of culture making ability - clearly things I'm at odds with in my voting paradigm.
What does this mean for Christians - well instead of bickering over Obama and McCain - we should be organizing and mobilizing to carry out the cultural commission given to us in Genesis, the Great Commission, and practicing the Sermon on the Mount - aka building culture. Not separating from it or judging it, but building it - building culture and society.