An October 12 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that conservative Christians have lost their political power and influence. The article stated, "Their interest and their influence fading, Christian conservatives are struggling to regain the power that not long ago helped Republicans elect a president and win control of Congress."
The article continued, "Since Bill Clinton left the scene, Christians have retreated from elective politics, no longer stirred to anger by a president they abhorred, and frustrated by their inability to enact laws barring abortion and permitting school prayer. In 2000, an estimated four million Christian conservative voters sat out the election."
There is no question that the political clout and influence wielded by conservative Christians is but a shell of what it used to be, and there are definite reasons why this is so.
The reason those four million Christian voters stayed home from the polls in 2000 is because they knew that G. W. Bush was not a true conservative and once elected would do little or nothing to promote and secure the conservative agenda - and they were right.
Not only has Bush not faithfully fought for conservative, constitutional principles, he has actually shown himself to be just another big spending, big government liberal. Bush has promoted the homosexual agenda every bit as much as did his democratic predecessor. He has increased the size and scope of the federal government to levels not seen since Lyndon Johnson. He is in the process of expanding federal law enforcement powers to a degree no previous president, liberal or conservative, dared try.
Despite the fact that Communist Chinese military leaders gleefully took credit for the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Bush continues Clinton's risky, even treacherous, policies toward the bloody butchers of Beijing. Just recently, he brought the United States back into membership with UNESCO. The list is endless.
Furthermore, instead of uncompromisingly championing conservative principles, Christian leaders have chosen to support Bush no matter what. As an example, where once Pat Roberson assailed the president's unconstitutional faith-based initiatives, he now holds his hands out to receive money from them. Christian leaders across the board cheered when Bush became the first U.S. president to authorize stem cell research. On issue after issue, they have either remained mute or have actually applauded this president as he compromised or abandoned both the Constitution and the conservative agenda. Grassroots conservatives rightly feel betrayed. As a result, Christians have little confidence in President Bush, the Republican Party, or their leaders.
One does not have to be a seer to predict that the numbers of Christians staying home from the polls in 2004 will eclipse the four million who stayed away in 2000 - and why not? They really don't have a candidate or a cause in either major party.
One would think this would be cause for concern within the Republican Party. It's not. They believe they can win by attracting conventional Democratic supporters, and maybe they can. With such a strategy, however, even if Republicans win, Christian themes will continue to lose.
There is still hope, albeit a glimmering one, for people who believe in Christian principles and limited government. They must do what they did back in 1994: stand and fight for principle not political parties.
There are yet millions of people across this great land that yearn for a return to constitutional government. Most of these people also share America's historic Christian values. However, right now they have neither a leader nor a platform to support. The army is still there; they just don't have a general. If one should appear, the power and influence that Christian conservatives once enjoyed could be quickly rediscovered - and that is what both major parties are afraid of.
© Chuck Baldwin
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