Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

3/09/2007

HWJV—How Would Jesus Vote?

The folks at The Barna Group just completed a survey looking at what they call The God Gap as they ask how faith effects party politics. The study found that on matters of faith, rank and file Republicans and Democrats differ little. The study found in part,
The eight most significant differences were almost exclusively in the domain of beliefs and commitment, rather than the arena of behavior. For instance, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to strongly assert that the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches (57% versus 40%); twice as likely to believe Satan is a real spiritual entity (33% versus 17%); more likely to reject the idea that good works can earn salvation (35% versus 23%); and more commonly describe themselves as absolutely committed to Christianity (61% versus 48%).

Another gap relates to the proportion of born again Christian voters aligned with each party. In Barna studies, a born again Christian is defined based upon a person’s religious beliefs - rather than their use of the "born again" term. Overall, 51% of Republicans have spiritual convictions that qualify them as born again Christians, compared with 38% of Democrats.

However, since Democrats outnumber Republicans among registered voters by a 10-point margin (31% to 41%), the born again vote balances out. This means that, if the 2008 election were held today, among born again voters, 37% would vote as a Democrat, 38% would be entering their ballot as a Republican, with the remaining born voters being unaffiliated.
The study's author noted, "Keep in mind that many Christian voters are increasingly skeptical of being played for political purposes." The full text of the study is online here: The God Gap? The faith of Republicans and Democrats

I maintain my earlier stance that God is neither Republican nor Democrat. I wrote in a religion column, The Pulpit vs. the Taxman that,
Personally, I feel that my views on whom I vote for are not for public broadcast. I do what I expect all people of faith do in voting. I say my prayers and then cast my votes. I know that faithful Christians often disagree on the best candidate and this is just fine. This side of the kingdom of God, no earthly power is going to get it all right all the time anyway. And God will work in and through any person of any background and will work in spite of any person of any background. This is not to say that for whom we vote is of no consequence, but to say that we can not and will not usher in heaven on earth no matter who lives in the governor’s mansion or the White House. However in hindsight it is clear the church did not speak up loud enough or strongly enough against Hilter and Mussolini and it ushered in hell on earth for millions.

This is why the church must be able to speak out against injustice. The Bible casts a different understanding of the world. It is an upside down view of life in which the least are the greatest and the last are first. Jesus says (in Matthew 25:31-46) that the judgment at the end of time will have everything to do with how the least are treated. Are the needy fed, clothed and comforted? If not, then we will have some explaining to do. So the church cannot hand over all its rights to speak against injustice even if that means dancing the thin line that sometimes separates politics and religion.

I don’t have to stump for any candidate to speak up for those who are hungry, naked, sick or in prison. But I do need to be able to speak plainly to the ways in which we as Christians have a responsibility to seek justice in the here and now. We do this knowing that no candidate, no political party, and no government will ever be so godly that it will not need someone to speak up for those with no voice or whose voice is going unheard. And there is no legal basis to tax that constitutionally protected speech.
peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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3 Comments:

  • At 3/09/2007 11:29 AM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    Come on, everyone knows that God the Father is Republican (He does a lot of smiting), Jesus the Son is a Democrat (we all just need to love one another) and the Holy Spirit is Independent (New Ager).

    Here a few others:

    Abel - NRA material
    Cain - Green Party and a vegan
    Abraham - Definetely AARP material
    Noah - PETA, Save the animals, let the people learn to swim
    Moses - Definetely Republican but could have used a good GPS
    Joseph - Rainbow Coat of Many Colors Coalition
    Sampson - Anti-Steroid Party

    Any other ideas? These are all lame attempts at humor, please don't take offense.

     
  • At 3/09/2007 1:00 PM, Blogger Robin D. said…

    WHAT A HOOT!

    The survey was certainly not scientific as it had a lot of problems.

    Maybe there was a greater number of Traditional Christian reponses from the Republicans because Muslims, Buddist, Jewish, Hindu are more likely to be Democrats?

    Just more fodder for those who call us Democrats a bunch of Pagans. (Right Kenny?)

    LOL, ;)

     
  • At 3/09/2007 9:49 PM, Anonymous kenny said…

    The non-Republicans are probably more popular because they throw better parties. Right, D-R? :)

     

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