Why I am a Christian Democrat by Ellen Painter Dollar
Posted in the Kennett Forum
#1 Nov 4, 2012
Why I am a Christian Democrat
October 17, 2012 By Ellen Painter Dollar
A friend recently watched, helpless and aggrieved, as her husbanda philosophy professor at a conservative Christian universitywas pummeled online for co-writing an essay with a fellow professor on why they will not vote for Mitt Romney. Many readers claimed to be disgraced, disgusted, and just plain flummoxed as to how professing Christians could argue against voting for Romney on the basis of economic policies that, in the professors opinion, are detrimental to our nations poor.
These dissenting commenters argued for a government focused primarily on defense, for fair economic policies that let people keep what they earn, for the governments absolute inability to help poor people anyway, and for making abortion the primary measure that Christians use to evaluate candidates platforms. A clear subtext underlay all of these arguments: Real Christians vote Republican, and the faith of anyone who doesnt vote for Romney is suspect, because they have failed to put Biblical values above political, economic, and social concerns.
I am a Christian, and a registered Democrat who will vote, again, for Obama on November 6. Id like to refute this most dangerous subtextthat real Christians vote Republicanby explaining, in broad terms, why I am a Democrat.
I am a Democrat because, in many churches (including mine), being a Christian Democrat is not an oxymoron. None of us practice a pure faith. Our faith is always influenced by both the Christian and wider cultures in which we live. I have spent my whole life worshipping in churches that lean left, where being a Christian and a Democrat is neither remarkable nor unusual. But conservative evangelicals, and to some extent the media, continue to put forth the fallacy that a Christian voter is a conservative evangelical voter, equating the evangelical subculture with the wider church. Underlying this fallacy is an assumption that anyone who fails to see a straight line connecting their faith tenets to the Republican party platform must have an insubstantial, lip-service faith corrupted by cultural influences. This assumption is dangerous, but mostly, its just wrong.
I am a Democrat because I understand that theological conservatism and political conservatism are two different things. I am theologically conservative, meaning that I believe all that stuff in the Nicene Creed about the virgin birth and the resurrection. Especially the resurrection. But theological conservatism and political/social conservatism are entirely different things. Jesus was not conservative or liberal, and the idea that Jesus would identify wholly with either of our political parties is ludicrous. But Jesus was radical. Jesus turned the values of his world and ours (giving priority to the pursuit of wealth and comfort, might makes right, individual success over the common good) upside down. I am not radical enough for Jesus (most of us, regardless of party affiliation, arent), and I certainly dont think the Democratic Party platform is radical enough for Jesus. But as a follower of the incarnate God who put the last first, whose ministry focused on those on the margins of his culture, I align myself with the political party that most consistently puts the interests of marginalized Americans on their national agenda.
I am a Democrat because I daily appreciate the ways in which government improves individual lives and the common good. I harbor no illusions that our government is,.....SEE MORE AT http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ellenpainterdoll...
#2 Nov 4, 2012
I can not, and will not support a party that lies , spins and deceives the truth and turns their heads to those in need like the Republican party has turned into.
#3 Nov 5, 2012
I enjoy your post (writing), and I always stand and applaud with great pride and spirit because we live in a great country that not only allows free speech, but has been only one of the many great successes our great nation. In saying that, I do disagree with the parts of your post, and, I would just like to humbly and respectfully respond.
1. The issue of the current economic status of the United States is disgraceful and due to our nations poor economic status, our standing and influence in the world has diminished if not actually disappeared. I do not fully and/or solely blame President Obama. Our nations debt has been repeatedly added due to simply over spending by our government. That is just a matter that is simple and true. However, President Obama has added 6 trillion to our dept since he has assumed the office ob the leader of our nation. This is just a fact, and it is the absolute truth.
2. Our nations defense MUST be a priority. One of the main responsibilities of our Government is to ensure that America can defend itself from any and all attacks. President Obama has cut the defense budget and our armed forces have been reduced. This is simply the truth. Rest assured, America will be attacked on her soil again, and, we must be ready to respond to all threats and stop the threat. This is simply the truth. It will happen. It's just a matter of when. We MUST have a strong military.
3. Providing for the poor. Although I am proud to live in a country that provides programs for the poor and needy. However, it is not the Government's job to give hand out after hand out, and entitlement after entitlement to person(s) that have made is a life style and not temporary assistance until the person(s) can get back on their feet (so to speak). I have worked in virtually every diverse society throughout the U. S. and all I have seen is person(s) brutally abusing the system and actually bragging about it. Many groups have simply made it a life style. I have dealt with and encountered MANY person(s) that are receiving disability monies, and, they are most certainly not disabled. I have a plethora of evidence to support this. It is very disheartening.
4. Of course American base their opinion and decision on candidates on the issue of abortion. Abortion is wrong. Please refrain from the same talking point of espousing on rape and/or incest. Look at the research. Compare the numbers, or lack of.
I am sorry that the professor was attacked to making his remarks. But it is great that we live in a country that allows for your voice to be heard, and also for the voices of those that appose the other beliefs and/or philosophies. I also applaud that you speak and stand for what you believe in. I have taken the time and did all of my own researches. I have read, listened, watched, and researched everything that I could. My conclusion is that President Obama has hurt our nation in so many ways. I am not even attempting to change your mind or try to persuade in any way. I have just really educated myself on the politics of our nation. I'll be honest, I am scared and worried for my children and the world that they will be facing ahead. I will be voting for Mitt Romney. And, who ever is elected as our President, I pray that they seek the wisdom and guidance of our Lord God Jesus. That is the only way our nation will recover and survive. God Bless You.....everyday.....in every way.
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