Principles, Not Partisanship

Members of all political parties (here in the U.S., at least) like to baptize their ideas and policies with moral justification, sometimes quoting the Bible and/or claiming that Jesus promoted the same thing they do. (President Obama recently did precisely that when explaining his stand in favor of same-sex marriage.) And, often, the intent to do good is indeed there. But, is that enough?

With this in mind, I present for your consideration a brief excerpt from the first chapter of the new book Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It’s Too Late by James Robison and Jay W. Richards:

Dem donkey vs GOP elephant boxing“A popular bumper sticker says, ‘GOD IS NOT A REPUBLICAN… OR A DEMOCRAT.’ The statement is certainly true. God isn’t a member of any political party. Hope doesn’t ride on the back of an elephant or a donkey. The Bible and Christian theology don’t provide a detailed blueprint for public policy. No biblical text tells us if we should prefer an income tax or a sales tax, a direct election or an electoral college, a president or a prime minister. Faithful and well-meaning Christians disagree about politics and will do so until the Lord returns in all His glory.

Still, conflicting ideas about politics and economics can’t all be right. Some policies contradict basic Christian principles — even if Christians support them. Some Christians in previous centuries tried to justify chattel slavery from Scripture, but they were wrong to do so. Today, some Christians think there is a right to abortion that the law should protect. Their view flies in the face of the moral truth, almost two thousand years of Christian teaching, and the Founders’ firm conviction of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life comes first.

Other policies have a good purpose and are based on a sound moral principle, but don’t work because they aren’t well thought out. You might believe that since we should care for the poor (a principle), Congress should raise the minimum wage to $100 an hour (a policy) and then everyone will be rich (a purpose). But the policy won’t work the way you believe it will. It will create massive unemployment.

In general, a good public policy will apply a true principle in the right way. That means that if we want to help people, if we want policies that allow people to thrive, then we need to know not just moral truth but economic truth as well.”

These points are well worth considering, especially as we try to evaluate what policies will best serve our nation and let our elected officials know what to support. I think I’m gonna have to read this book….

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