“You can’t beat something with nothing,” so goes the aphorism about politics. Simple child psychology proves the assertion as true – if you are trying to get your child to stop whining about a dough-nut, distract and divert his attention onto something else. Political pundits tell us the psychology applies to politics – several left commentators have argued that Kerry lost because he offered “nothing” to contrast Bush’s “something.” My attention is not on the battle for the national landscape or how the Democrats might be able to turn some Red States into Blue States if they start offering “something,” rather my attention is on the “nothing” offered by the Right, and how we Christians ought to view the world of Conservativism.
Pessimism is the mark of the Conservative movement, both Secular and Religious. Consider, what long-term optimistic view for “our side” has any prominent conservative demonstrated in the last 140 years. The modern success of the Left Behind Series, which presupposes a continued and eventual defeat of God on the earth, is an accurate portrayal of the Religious Right’s historical view. When “our guy” Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America in 1835 he was no proponent of democracy. He almost lamented the trend, but he believed that the trend was inevitable.
Juxtapose the conservative pessimism with the liberal belief in the historic inevitability of victory. As justification for its decision requiring the Legislature to grant civil unions to homosexuals in Vermont, the Supreme Court there took notice that our Founders opened a radically egalitarian Pandora’s Box in 1776 that would lead ultimately to the dispossession of the “Aristocratic Elite” framers of our government. Name the issue: Social Security; Education; Homosexual Rights; Taxation; Guns; Crime – do you conjure up in your mind visions of assured Christian victory or historically inevitable defeat? Is your vision of the future Huxlian-Orwellian, or Christian?
Having worked in Third-Party, Christian politics for 8 years, I am subject to consistent inquiry by elders and fellow congregants in my church. When I express a vision of hope a Christian government that would no longer protect abortion, sodomy and governmental theft, the response I often hear (often from Elders) is “Oh, Scott. That’ll never happen.” One Elder even went further and told me, “so I just vote for the one who will gives me the biggest tax-break.”
After more than a quarter century with the “Religious Right” running the conservative-Christian agenda, the “main-line” pro-life movement has stopped calling for the abolition of abortion. Notice that the National Right to Life Committee and the Americans United for Life do not suggest, and the AUL boastfully discourages, any legislation that would end legal abortion in America. When is the last time you heard anyone with gravitas call for the abolition of the Federal Department of Education? Consider, E. Ray Moore of Exodus Mandate and Marshall Fritz of Honest Ed./Separation of School and State Alliance have put together two excellent programs for the reestablishment of parental control in education, but not one prominent conservative has pushed that agenda. Even within the present political fight “Same-Sex Marriage,” what federal legislator or Conservative spokesperson is calling on the States to not only refrain from granting the word “marriage” to the illicit union, but to baldly prohibit any codified rights, grants or privileges to be bestowed upon those who are openly committing a felony.
I suppose this is a tautology, but Christendom will not prevail in a culture that refuses to promote Christ. Of course I don’t expect the “world” to promote the Name above all names, the King of kings, but I (in my naiveté) did at one time expect that the Church would. Instead, we have countless leaders from the Religious Right recommending that we refrain from using that Bible or any “Christian arguments” to make our case against abortion, same-sex marriage, &c., since the five major world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism recognize and uphold that traditional value. We are told that by putting the Christian God aside, we can appeal to “religion” which is much less offense, and reach a greater audience of people with whom we would agree.
Where the aphorism, “You can’t beat something with nothing” breaks down is where it fails to take into account the power of the sword, and the American-nationalism that has replaced Christendom. While democracy is a hopelessly fickle form of government that is easily abused by the master-technician who can figure out how to get the most supporters of his view to the polls, meanwhile preventing his opponent from doing the same, the American-nationalism of the Religious Right has permitted a Wilsonian War to spread that form of government in the Middle-East. While denying the right to war with another nation because of the substance of its religion and god, the Religious Right has affirmed the right to wage war to spread a procedural form of government, as if it has some inherent virtue. The procedural form “democracy” is morally-neutral, but we will impose this “nothing” upon you with our Army, even if you have “something” that you prefer. Perhaps (perhaps?) God was correct in advising the children of Israel against a massive military build-up, lest the king unjustly use it to invade another country. God is in the business of nation building and whenever man usurps this function, he commits a sin of presumption against the Creator of the universe.
As Christians first, conservatives second, we ought to abandon our hopeless belief in ultimate failure, abandon our call to arms to establish a Christless, secular government in the Middle East, and acknowledge the Christ as the King of kings. Do you not see evidence of the assured victory Christ gave us in Matthew 28? Frankly, me neither, but let’s all follow the example of faithful Abraham and await the city which has foundations and whose builder and maker is God.
Back to The Covenant News
Covenant News | Pro-Life News | Freedom of Speech | Politics | Aboms.com | Family Topics