I find it disconcerting that the political candidates running on Judeo-Christian values and championing social conservatism/family values tend to be the angriest and most disrespectful toward their opponents.

Is anger by Christ-followers and other social conservatives at our political class, cultural decline, and religious discrimination in America justified?  Sure!  I’d be worried if there wasn’t angst about the moral decline we are experiencing.

But when running for public office you are running to represent ALL the people in your district and you usually need 50% plus 1 to win.  From my experience, I believe you can be outraged at the circumstances you want to change as a public servant while running a respectful, effective campaign.

The angriest constituents will generally flock to the angriest candidate but the vast majority of constituents would prefer to support a candidate that seems to transcend negativity and who champions principled AND pragmatic ideas.

I find it interesting that Jesus knew his entire life that the authority to execute Him lay with the Roman authorities yet he didn’t disparage Cesar or the Roman government in his sermons or parables.  He had plenty of harsh words for church leaders, though…

Is our faith in public policy or the sovereignty of God?  Is our faith in getting evangelicals elected or in the transformational power of God to save individual lives?  Are we patriotically participating in the American Republic or are we turning government into an alter we demand God to work upon?

Just my humble observation for the month…

Cross-posted at the Goranson Family Blog

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  1. Eric,

    I see what you are saying, concerning the demands that we lay on God as to where He should work.

    I do believe that God wants us to be salt and light in the world, working to reform the government is a part of that. The issue that Judeo-Christian conservatives often face is that the package that our message is wrapped in does not appeal to the very people who would ordinarily support what we stand for. Here in Virginia a few years ago we had a gubernatorial race where the Republican socially conservative candidates sought to call out his liberal Democratic opponent on the social issues. At the end of the day it was the socially conservative Republican who was attacked for his negativity.

    In the 2009 gubernatorial election, our candidate presented a well-rounded message, that put conservatism in a positive light, and despite the establishment of the GOP saying the contrary, he did discuss social issues, but when he did he wrapped it in a winsome package. That is a model for the future.

  2. Steven – thanks for the comment. I fully agree. I work in public policy and wish more believers (especially loving and tactful ones) did too. The trick is to be involved in our Republic without putting our faith in the political class or the political system to effect cultural change in an of itself.

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