It is a truism that Christians are trusting to a fault. I must acknowledge my own vulnerability to this weakness. The money I have lost and pain I have suffered at the hands of people I trusted are inestimable. When it comes to politicians, however, one would hope for more discernment. Alas, such is not the case. It could even be argued that modern Christians put more trust in their politicians than they do their preachers.
A recent Washington Post article boldly states that President Bush is the "de facto leader" of the Religious Right. It states, "Christian publications, radio and television shower Bush with praise, while preachers from the pulpit treat his leadership as an act of providence." Former Republican presidential hopeful, Gary Bauer, even declared, "A man of God is in the White House."
Another recent report said, "Conservative Christians say their support for President Bush remains strong, although it's based more on the president's religious beliefs than any of his stands or policies on their top social issues." In other words, it does not make any difference what Bush does; he gives them the talk they want to hear.
Given this foolish infatuation with religious rhetoric, it would appear that conservative Christians owe Jimmy Carter an apology. Remember that Carter won the presidency on the strength of his Christian profession. By the end of his first term, however, conservative Christians enthusiastically supported his opponent, Ronald Reagan. Why? Carter betrayed conservatives on things like gay rights and big government spending. In those days, conservative Christians were more interested in a politician's walk than in his talk. No more.
Today, the president can embrace gay rights, big government spending, and even pagan religion without consternation or criticism. He can ignore the U.S. Constitution and trample the bedrock principles of self-government without even so much as a whimper. He can support embryonic stem cell research, promote unconstitutional trade deals, and call for the creation of a "hemispheric family" and "international order" with Canada and Mexico without the slightest opposition. He can ignore abortion (even partial birth abortion) and even participate in the cover-up of Clinton and Reno's criminal conduct without a peep of protest. As long as he "talks the talk," he remains the darling of the Religious Right.
However, the Religious Right is wrong! Blind loyalty to Bush is causing the Religious Right to lose both its credibility and its clout. It has become just another bought and paid for lackey for the entrenched political establishment. Like the old prophets who had sold their souls to the corrupt kings of Israel, conservative Christians today have sold their souls to the gods and generals of the Republican Party.
The Religious Right was a powerful force when it stood foursquare on the principles of morality, honesty, and constitutional government. Today it demonstrates none of that. "Where are the Jeremiahs and Ezekiels?" you ask. They are inside the palace lying on the soft bed of compromise. They wanted a seat at the table so badly they were willing to eat the leeks and garlic of political Egypt to get it. As a result, the Religious Right is as weak as a shaven Samson.
© Chuck Baldwin
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