Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

Suppose your 18-year-old daughter was about to be launched into the world of courtship. You’ve raised her to be the best wife and mother she can be. She is beautiful, wise and loves God with all of her heart. For some reason, however, you are afraid that she will not be able to capture the heart of a truly noble man. Having a successful courtship that leads to an early marriage is important to you because you don’t want to see your girl’s heart broken or for her to end up an old maid. So you decide to settle for less than the best. You encourage that young man who only attends church once in a while to court her. He uses a little profanity, but he is nice enough around you, at least. He does come from an important family in the community and has money enough to take care of her. He is rough around the edges, but you figure your daughter can change him once he’s married to her. Besides, he makes all kinds of promises that he’s changed his ways, especially since last week, when he announced to the whole church he wants to court your daughter. He’s got a plan to provide for your daughter, if he can get a job.

They openly admit it.

Many conservatives are fearful of the thought Mitt Romney might win the Republican nomination. In Iowa and elsewhere they have been frantically doing their best over the last year or longer to find, recruit and groom the right anti-Mitt: Herman Cain, Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, Rudy Giuliani, Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour, John Thune, even Governor Rick Perry of Texas and Jon Huntsman. (I don’t think anybody recruited Thaddeus McCotter, but he briefly threw his hat in the ring, and had it handed back to him on a paper plate).

During this primary season, fear has become a major motivating factor.

It shows great fear when the ability to beat Romney is the first criteria for voting for an alternative Republican someone. Republicans are so divided and so many voters are undecided, there is no way to know who can win and who can’t.  It is a bit like predicting who will win the Super Bowl in 2016. A few people might guess right, but that doesn’t mean they know. Usually your own candidate is the only one who can beat the other guy. This applies to both primary (caucus) voting and the general election.

Others will say that electing Romney would be worse than re-electing Obama. I don’t think they believe that either. Romney may, in their opinion, be more liberal than other GOP candidates, but he is not more liberal than Barack Obama. How can you say that Armageddon will begin if Obama is re-elected, and then suggest Romney will only make things worse?  Fear, that’s how.

This doesn’t mean a conservative should vote for Romney, only that they should not be afraid of him. If he wins, God has placed him there.[1]

It should be noted here that fear can also drive one directly into the camp of a candidate as well. Many Romney supporters make claims that “only he can save the country[2] with his brilliant mind and his great business expertise. That is fear; it certainly isn’t a trust in God. No one can save the country, unless God wants to save the country: not Mitt Romney, not Ron Paul, not Mike Huckabee, sweeping in on a white horse at the last moment to save the day.

A word of warning here about Ron Paul: Fear is his forte. Eventually the sky may fall. God does judge nations for shedding innocent blood, for idolatry, violating his Sabbath, and even debt. But fear is Paul’s bread and butter. He is afraid of the Feds. He is afraid of the Illuminati, and bankers, and the Council on Foreign Relations and anybody who has ever supported the U.N (unless it is considering allowing the Palestinians full membership, which he thinks is a great idea(!), because he fears the Jews[3]). He makes a living trying to appease both grandpa’s Tea Party Movement and the youthful Occupy Wall street thugs, and their pot-smoking University comrades.

As we lose our fear of God, fear of man has been taking on a more prominent role in American politics. I think John McCain won the GOP nomination in 2008 partly because Republicans were afraid of Hillary Clinton, not because they thought the Arizona Senator would make the best president. (They weren’t so afraid of Barack Obama back then; few knew much about him until after the GOP race was virtually decided subsequent to Super Tuesday.)

When Pat Robertson gave a non-ringing endorsement of Mayor Giuliani four years ago, he said that the New Yorker “was an acceptable candidate.” Can you imagine a coach saying that because he wants to win the next game, he will not use his best players?  When Christians put electability high on their list of qualifications and then don’t vote for the candidate or candidates that best represent their view, they are voting out of fear. It is an admission of defeat. We should vote as if we were the ones doing the hiring, rather than trying to calculate how to vote based upon electability or how it might affect the other candidates.[4] If I could change only one thing about our system, I’d ban all pre-election polling, forcing people to vote on the merits of the candidate. Pollsters have become our false teachers and prophets. It is a form of soothsaying, which the Bible condemns. Our duty is to do what we believe is right: in this case vote for the best candidate, and leave the consequences to God.

We are not required to tell other people why we rejected other qualified candidates for only Christ goes into the voting booth with us, and to Him alone we give account. Perhaps if more Christians did this, we’d get better Godly leadership in the civil realm.

A large number of Christians have pledged to vote for Newt Gingrich, even though they do not believe he is the candidate that best represents their views and would admit he often endorses pro-abortion candidates.[5]  Even people who trade in principle, commonly abandon it in the face of fear. On December 7th, radio talker Steve Deace suggested that some Christians have been using a pagan view of voting:

“We debated who could win instead of who should win. We supported candidates with positions, and not candidates with convictions.”)

He then offered an alternative, making a great case for Michele Bachmann:

There are several good candidates running, and I’m still an undecided voter myself. There is one candidate running whose worldview lines up almost completely with my own. This is also the only candidate that doesn’t have a YouTube’s greatest hits of flip-flops, tough-to-justify endorsements of pro-infanticide RINOs, a comfy couch moment with Nancy Pelosi, nor any hint of scandal. That candidate is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Bachmann didn’t cave on the debt ceiling fiasco, she didn’t cave on the unconstitutional (illegal?) TARP, and she’s never caved on life and marriage when it came time to go on record as a lawmaker.

So did Deace endorse Bachmann? No, he violated his own articulated principles by endorsing Newt Gingrich, who had “a comfy couch moment with Nancy Pelosi”, and has endorsed many, many pro-abortion politicians and would have voted for TARP.

2012 appears to be similar to 2008. A few evangelical leaders, like the late Paul Weyrich, one of the founders of the Moral Majority, later regretted not joining the Huckabee campaign. Here is a first-hand description of a post-election meeting of evangelicals that included Weyrich and Michael Farris, a homeschooling advocate and leading Huckabee supporter:

The room–which had been taken over by argument and side-conversations–became suddenly quiet. Weyrich, a Romney supporter and one of those Farris had chastised for not supporting Huckabee, steered his wheelchair to the front of the room and slowly turned to face his compatriots. In a voice barely above a whisper, he said, “Friends, before all of you and before almighty God, I want to say I was wrong.”

In a quiet, brief, but passionate speech, Weyrich essentially confessed that he and the other leaders should have backed Huckabee, a candidate who shared their values more fully than any other candidate in a generation. He agreed with Farris that many conservative leaders had blown it. By chasing other candidates with greater visibility, they failed to see what many of their supporters in the trenches saw clearly: Huckabee was their guy.[6]

The same thing is happening this time around. Michele Bachmann ought to be “our guy” and the most natural fit for Christian voters, but fear of Romney (or Obama) restrains them from doing what might be pleasing to God.


[1] “He removeth kings, and setteth up kings” (Daniel 2:21).

[2] This is the hubristic rallying of every candidate running for president these days.  The country can’t survive without them. They are the only conservative. Blah, blah, blah.

[3] http://www.lewrockwell.com/spl3/ron-paul-palestinian-statehood.html

[4] I am reminded of 2008 when we were told that a vote for Huckabee was really a vote for McCain.  I asked back then if that meant a vote for Romney was really a vote for Huckabee? Or did I have to vote for Hillary to get my Huckabee vote to register for the Huck? Maybe if I vote this time for Thaddeus McCotter it will actually be a vote for Pat Paulsen. If I vote to eat at McDonalds does that mean I really want to go Wendy’s?

[5] In recent years, Gingrich has endorsed DeDe Scozzafava and Meg Whitman over pro-life alternatives. Rick Santorum has done the same thing, endorsing Christie Todd-Whitman and Lincoln Chafee, for example. Rick Perry endorsed the most pro-abortion Republican in history last time, Rudy Giuliani. And, of course, Romney endorsed Meg Whitman and still refuses to admit he was not pro-life in the past and still believes that abortion is okay if the mother was a victim of rape.

[6] http://conservativetimes.org/?p=1815

20 comments
  1. Ron Paul is honest and consistent. There really is a lot to be afraid of, but it’s not what the cable news tells us to be afraid of. Muslim extremists and terrorists are not to be feared – loss of our rights as Americans under god is what we truly have to fear.

    1. “loss of our rights as Americans under god”

      And what would those be? (Scripture and verse, please)

    1. Since there is certainly no ideal candidate this time around (each one has some serious flaws), there is definitely room for differing opinions.  What I don’t get is why some who claim to be God-fearing are endorsing Gingrich at this point.  Oh, wait a minute, yes, I do–fear.  😉

    2. I have hesitated to post my concerns about Santorum, but as I look closer and closer at his record, I am concerned that he has endorsed a large number of pro-abortion candidates both personally (Lincoln Chafee, Christie Todd Whitman) and through his PAC.

      During the beginning of the AIDS crisis the slogan was “If you sleep with somebody, you are sleeping with everybody they slept with”

      If a candidate knowingly endorses a pro-abortion candidate, he is responsible for the votes that person casts or decisions they make.Last night, in a phone call with me, a Santorum Senate staffer admits that Santorum supports those candidates because they are friends and he must work with them on legislation.

      Might I suggest that putting friendship above doing the right thing is the what we tell our children to avoid: peer pressure.  I am not confident he will only appoint Justices that are pro-life, especially if his friends have anything to say about it..

      1. Wow David, a totally misplaced concern, and frankly I think that is a low blow since one of his top concerns as a Senator was life. You wouldn’t be behind Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government would you?

      2. Shane, how do YOU explain all of Santorum’s pro-abortion endorsements?

        I’d be behind ICLG all the way, if I knew who they were. 

      3. No you wouldn’t, they’re cowards.  I’m not going to go through them one by one, but I will say this.  You need to know the context and the candidates in each race.  It’s easy to be black and white in terms of endorsements, but in reality many of the races are pretty gray.  Also some of whom you label pro-abortion, may not be pro-abortion.  Whitman for instance, I don’t believe that is a fair assessment of her.  With Lincoln Chaffee were their any prolife candidates in that race?  In Rhode Island?  I highly doubt it.

      4. All you people talking about shut that doesn’t matter. Somone let me know if I’m the only one thinking about n.w.o and Marshall law.

      5. David, perhaps it’s because Santorum realizes that one has to govern in a world where not everyone shares one’s exact same views? Pure ideologues don’t govern well.

  2. I find it hard to understand why Mitt Romney is even in contention. By any conservative standard, he is not qualified to be President. His vaulted business expertise is not in running businesses or creating jobs. Take a serious look at what Bain Capital does. And by any standard, his only government experience is as the Failed Governor of a liberal state. He is the one who gave MA same sex marriage, usurping power he did not have through the constitution. He can also take credit for the $50 abortions under Romneycare. Why don’t we reject him completely as a candidate. He doesn’t stand for anything we consider important. to used David’s analogy, he is the neighborhood bully boy, getting his way no matter who else gets hurt in the process. If he came looking to date my daughter, I would greet him with a 7 mm, rather than give him the keys to my house.

  3. The fact that the liberal Republicans of Massachusetts like Romney care is no evidence that it is a conservative program.

    1. Hahahaha! People like the program so they must be liberals! That’s the no true scotsman fallacy.
      Many of the ideas enacted were also promoted by conservative think tanks and have been bouncing around conservative circles for a decade or two. I suppose what soured their appeal most recently among the GOP seems to have been Obama’s push to enact a related plan nationally.

      Let’s face it, the GOP leadership had about a decade after Clinton’s efforts tanked to develop and promote a set of health care objectives. And they punted. But ideas like individual mandates, elimination of pre-existing conditions for coverage, supplemental support for low income families and flexible movement among private providers were brought up as solutions at the Heritage and Cato. Romney helped get that through at the state level. And guess what — Massachusetts has far broader, more comprehensive coverage than any other state. If a working, well-liked program that met its objectives for the good of its people (and particularly the poor) has to be pooh-poohed as something ‘liberal’ well, your not really making a good case for your style of ‘conservative’.

  4. i agree that polling causes a lot of mischief, just like soothsaying. In fact, even the long-term weather forecast (as harmless as it may be) can be used in this way as well. I find myself looking at the weather forecast much more often than I should, for instance.

    I just wanted to say one thing about electability.  It should only come into play once your candidate reaches a certain threshold.  IOW, let’s say you have 3 candidates that, for the most part at least, meet your important criteria.  If you find them all to be fairly close on your main criteria (i.e., you don’t have a standout there), but one stands out in terms of electability, then I think it’s OK to let that criterion be the “decider.”  But when a candidate does not meet your main criteria, then voting for him or her mainly because of electability (assuming you have better candidates still available) is wrong IMO.

  5. ‘Death panels’… Seriously? What do we have now with insurance companies denying claims and kicking people off who get sick? I call that privatizing profits and socializing costs because the state covers all who show up in emergency rooms unable to pay. That’s among the worst means of covering health needs.

    If everyone is in the same pool you still have competition: Competition to provide best services for the best costs. Playing fields always change but competition is not eliminated.

    1. I take it you didn’t actually read the article, yet. If a private insurance chooses not to cover a particular illness I can choose another company. If the government requires it or says that it will not pay, and they have the power of the pistol, there will be no choice.

      1. I’m afraid you don’t understand the details, David. Under the MA and Federal system, the government only sets the baseline requirements. These are not single-payer plans nor are they single-provider. They do nothing to say that you can’t purchase a more expensive plan nor does it limit different insurers (including private plans) from providing additional coverage in their packages. In fact, they’re expected to compete by distinguishing themselves from other plans and one key way is to offer different ranges of services in addition. Some might appeal to those with children, others for the old or middle-aged. Others might have particularly good coverage for particular afflictions in which they specialize. Private plans are already forming health care exchanges in anticipation that they can deliver competitive plans.

        Today, if you’ve got a pre-existing condition that your provider won’t cover, what other insurance company will cover its treatment at less than exorbitant fees, if then? If you’re on the private market as a single-user, you’re out of luck (or significantly out of pocket). What happens today is that you go deep into debt and your friends & family put a picture of you and a description of your illness on a coin cup at the local 7-11. Or maybe they hold a 5K race to raise money.

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