D’Souza and Grudem on the 2012 Election and Christians in the Public Square

As it gets closer to the 2012 elections, I get more concerned that, despite Romney’s gains, Obama may still win. They are in a statistical tie, and it could go either way. Yet many conservatives, libertarians, and independents are still either undecided, or they plan to vote for a 3rd party, or they just want to “sit this one out”. But, that would NOT be the wise thing to do. Simply “making a statement” does no one any good, if your preferred candidate can’t get elected. (I wrote another post earlier this year discussing this in more depth: Practical Vote vs Conscience Vote: Don’t Throw It Away.)

Bible wrapped in American flagI just came across the video at the bottom of this post (h/t Andrew Morrison), in which Pastor Jack Hibbs talks with Dr. Wayne Grudem (respected Christian theologian & author of Politics According to the Bible) and Dinesh D’Souza (noted conservative political commentator and author) about the upcoming election(s) and, more generally, about Christians being involved in the public square, which includes politics and exercising our right to vote. Hopefully, responsibly. It’s only a little over 20 minutes, so I hope you’ll check it out. But, I wanted to highlight a couple quotes — exhortations, really, to their fellow Christians.

First, Dr. Grudem addresses a concern about Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, which makes some Christians uncomfortable enough to possibly keep them from voting for him, despite the alternative. Maybe they think he will try to remake the U.S. into a Mormon nation? I don’t know. (I wrote about this concern, too.) Grudem is a conservative evangelical, so no one can accuse him of being a religious pluralist or not being aware of the serious theological differences between the LDS and historical, orthodox Christianity. But, I think his observations are valid and his approach is fair, pragmatic, and biblically-sensitive, proving that they aren’t mutually exclusive.

“I look back in the Bible and I find that, not just for the nation of Israel but in secular nations, God seemed to use people of all different religious backgrounds to care for His people. Like, the Pharaoh in Egypt who gave the Jewish people good land to live in in Egypt. Or, Cyrus, king of Persia, who sent the Jewish people back home from exile to their homeland. Or, the Roman Empire that gave Paul the freedom to travel throughout the Roman Empire and gave him the protection of its laws. And, in American history God has used [individuals] like Benjamin Franklin, who wasn’t a born-again Christian but did great good for the country. So, my answer is, we’re voting for a President, not a pastor. And, yes, I think, surely, if a Mormon has views on moral and political issues that are consistent with the Bible, then go ahead and vote for that person.”

D’Souza addresses another popular complaint — one that I am, frankly, tired of hearing. It goes something like this: “I hate both candidates, and I’m sick-n-tired of having to vote for the ‘lesser of two evils’. So, I’m gonna vote for _______, ‘cuz he’s the only one who makes sense. He may not be able to win, but I refuse to support the other so-n-sos with my vote. I have to vote my conscience!” Well, to be fair, I can sympathize. But, it’s shortsighted and unrealistic. D’Souza gives the following friendly admonition:

“Politics is about the lesser evil. Look, in WWII we allied with Stalin, a bad guy, because another bad guy, Hitler, posed a greater threat. That is the real world. You sometimes ally with the bad guy to get rid of the worse guy. And, so, that to me is not ‘compromise’. That is achieving as much good in the world as it is practically possible to achieve. And if you’re so morally pure that you’re not willing to play that game, your side will always lose…. If Christians are active in the world and exercise their influence, the world will move a little bit more in the Christian direction. And if Christians abstain from the world, the world will pull more strongly in the opposite direction.”

Look, I’m not thrilled with our choices, either, but waiting for the “perfect” candidate is just not dealing with reality. We have to work within the system, as it currently is, with the candidates that realistically have a good chance of being elected. You may not like everything Romney and/or Ryan have said or done in the past or say they will (not) do if elected. You may not agree with their theological views — Mormon and Catholic, respectively. You may think that they — or the GOP in general — are just as bad as their Democrat opponents. (I strongly disagree, but that’s another discussion.) But, all things considered, Romney/Ryan have a lot more pluses and a lot less minuses on their side of the ledger than the Prevaricator/Failure-in-Chief and his “progressive” cronies.

So, even if getting Romney/Ryan into the White House only stems the tide and keeps the U.S. from getting further in debt and less safe — virtually guaranteed if Obama and the Left stay in power –, then we come out better for it. If you want someone more _________ in charge, then get out there and drum up support for your 3rd-party guy/gal. (The Ron Paul campaign did a great job of this, though even they realized Paul needed to “play” Republican; it just wasn’t enough.) If you can gain enough momentum, maybe in a few years you’ll have a realistic shot at the Oval Office. For now, though, get a clue!

Or, as my Facebook friend, Stan McCullars, summed it up:

“To my conservative friends: get off your buttocks and vote for Mitt Romney. A no vote is a vote for Obama. A vote for a third party candidate is a vote for Obama. Don’t vote for Obama. He supports everything that’s wrong with America: abortion, so-called gay marriage, socialized medicine, dirty politics, government bailouts of companies, freeloaders, etc…”

Got it? No second term! Vote NObama!! Vote Romney/Ryan!!

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