Where do we draw the line between promoting our Christian beliefs and promoting a Theocracy? Where does Christianity belong in our party?
If you want to start a good fight in our party, bring up religion.
Right now, our party is divided into two main camps – Those that want to strongly promote Christian principles and beliefs as part of our platform and those that want to remove all connection with Christianity from the party.
The former are not religious zealots that have no understanding of the Constitution or the 1st Amendment. The latter are not unfaithful Christians and Secularists that are opposed to Christian beliefs.
The former typically quote Howard Phillips and his desire to have a political party that would restore the United States to a Christian Nation. The latter quote John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who stated that a single religion could not dictate the policies of the government and that we needed to be a country that supported all religions.
I don’t feel that it has to be an all or nothing argument. If you refer to my previous article regarding compromise and politics, I think that there is a way for both sides to come together and work towards our goals.
The issue is in the Preamble of the party’s Constitution, our by-laws, and in the principles that we promote. All of them place a very heavy emphasis on Jesus Christ, God, and the Bible. That leads to the question of whether they are statements of the beliefs of the majority of the members or are they proclamations of what our politicians intend to promote when placed in positions of power. The real issue is not about what will really happen, but of the public’s perceptions of what will happen. Are they turning away from us because of the language that we use?
The short answer is “Yes. They are turning away because of the language we are using”. The long answer is – “They are turning away because no one is explaining what we mean by our references to Jesus Christ, God, and the Bible. We expect them to understand what we mean. We leave too much to misinterpretation and allow others to provide explanations for us.”
In the spirit of coming together as a party (“Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall”), I would like to propose a compromise that will allow us to keep those things that we hold dear but also ensure our party is not perceived to be one that wants to subvert the First Amendment.
I don’t mind the language that we use in our preamble, bylaws, and principles. I actually like them being there. I think they are bold statements made at a time when Christianity is being ridiculed and censored. I am happy to keep them exactly as written. What I don’t like, however, is that we don’t explain what we mean by those statements and offer no clarification of our intentions when it comes to religion.
For instance, what does it mean that we want laws that comply with Biblical Principles? Does that mean that every person has to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior? That is a Biblical Principle (in fact, the most important one).
What does it mean when we state that we want to restore the United States to a Christian Nation? Does that include passing laws promoting Christianity? Does it mean that we will pass laws against Jews, Muslims, and Atheists because they are contrary to Christian beliefs? To me, this is the problem. Where do we clearly address that? We infer it when we talk about the First Amendment and our dedication to the Constitution. We have a statement that states we support religious freedom. Those, however, do not adequately address the concerns of someone who is reading the documents without any background information about us.
Because we don’t say anything, our enemies do. They actually say a lot. They are very quick to fill in the gaps we leave for them. They fill them in with insinuations and accusations that we are religious bigots and that we want to establish a de facto state religion by promoting Christianity above all religions and that we intend to pass laws that support our Christians beliefs.
So, if you want to keep the Christian references in our documents, then we need to ensure there is no misrepresentation or misinterpretation. We need to be clear, very clear, about what we mean, how it applies to those with other beliefs (both as members of our party and as citizens of our country). We need to define what we mean by Biblical Principles and how they apply to non-Christians. We need to clearly state what a Christian Nation would look like to us and how our party would be involved if they place our politicians in positions of power. Most importantly, we must boldly and strongly declare that all religions are welcome in our party and all will be assured the same rights and opportunities of our Christian members. If we cannot practice religious tolerance and promote religious freedom in our own party, we don’t stand a chance of convincing Americans that we won’t apply those same prejudices when we are elected.
I have two reasons for wanting to keep the Christian references in our documents and neither of them has anything to do with the strength or fervor of my beliefs. I want to keep them for political reasons and as a way for us to get voters.
The first reason has to do with our First Pillar – “We are committed to restoring honesty, integrity, and accountability to government”. If you had to choose a group of people that would most likely keep that obligation, where would you look? For Americans, that would be within the Christian faith. While it does not mean that only Christians are honest, honorable, and people of integrity, you have to admit that Christians are seen (as a whole) of people who are honest and trustworthy.
The second reason has to do with the attacks on Christianity by Secularists with government backing. They have used the First Amendment to attack anything and everything Christian. They often apply double standards that don’t apply to other religions but do apply to Christians. The First Amendment clearly states that government shall not promote a religion, but our government routinely does promote a state religion. It is Secularism. They call it science and they call it “facts”, but it is actually a philosophy of beliefs. As such, the attack on Christianity using Secularist ideology is a violation of the First Amendment.
As a party, we need to be the party that stands up to these attacks and state that hunting season is over on Christians. Just because we are the dominant religion in America does not mean that we have to live under a different set of rules and that our religious beliefs are no less sacred or worthy of protection as anyone else’s.
Therefore, if we take our statements and tell the world that we purposely put them in there to support the religion that 80% of Americans and our members identify with, it takes on new meaning. We state that we are not ignoring other religions, but simply showing support for a religion that is under attack by our government and other belief systems (Secularism, Atheism, etc.).
With the clarification of our Christian proclamations and by taking the lead as the defenders of Christianity in America, we can gain support and confidence from the voters about our intentions and show what we are the party that is worthy of their trust.
I feel that we can accomplish all of our goals, including restoring American to its Christian roots and making America a Christian Nation again, by taking this approach vice trying to use our party as a platform for pushing Christianity on Americans.
Is this worth compromising for? Would you be willing to meet halfway on this issue and finally put our division behind us? Can we use this “Great Compromise” to finally start moving forward in making this the most prominent party in American politics?
Please give me feedback and comments.