Should Evangelical Christians only and always vote for Republican Party?
Prayer and Voting
Learning to agree on Essential Issues and disagree on non-essentials
During high school, I was taught the importance of participating in the political system. I was a serious Christian who desired to cultivate my relationship by learning as much as I could from different pastors, teachers, Christian television programs, radio programs, reading books, churches, reading books, etc. By listening to all these programs and resources, I came to believe that Republican Party was the ideal party for all Christians because they tend to uphold biblical ethical issues, particularly, the issue on abortion. Among all these resources mentioned, it seemed that the most recurrent agreement on abortion is for Christian to exercise God-give rights to always vote for Republican candidates.
On Christian radio programs, they always supported Republican Party and encouraged people to vote biblically, meaning to vote simply on abortion issue. People always spoke well of all Republican candidates and they seemed to present to audience the idea that Democratic Party or Democratic candidates were not honorable and how they tend to be anti-Bible values. These attitudes from these people were not one-sided in discussing the issue on Abortion. There were some Democrats who could not find any positive thing to say about Republican Party and they seemed to speak negatively about Republican candidates and Presidents.
My voting practices were influenced by Christian beliefs. I am proud of how I voted on certain issues that I believed in and adhered to. Later, I gained more understanding about the Bible by getting deeper understanding in Christian theology. I came to recognize the philosophy of many Christians who used their position on abortion as ONE ISSUE FITS ALL ISSUES. In order words, they strongly believed that all Evangelical Christians must and should only vote for candidates who were Pro-Life. According to this point of view, Christians should be mainly concerned about protecting the unborn and how all other issues are less relevant. Recently, I had a conversation with Christian Brother who seemed to be passionate and eager to convert me into the “ONE ISSUE FITS ALL ISSUES” philosophy. This brother’s reasoning was “ONE ISSUE FITS ALL ISSUES” was biblical. He meant that since the value the unborn is supported by God, therefore, this require every Christian should be one-issue (Pro-life on abortion) driven. In addition, he argued how I needed to look at the Republican Party belief statements because they support biblical beliefs. He was passionate when he expressed how these statements lined up with the Bible. I will analyze this argument later, but for now, let us talk about the relevance of unborn babies.
From the beginning of Genesis to Revelation, biblical writers explain the significance of unborn and how God values, cherish, love, and appreciate all zygotes, embryos, and fetuses. The Bible continues to emphasize how God is the author of life in the womb and not the mother, how God knows the future of the unborn children, how God value all beings starting from conceptions. When Christians articulate the view that we need to protect human life such as zygotes and others, this is honorable stand. The idea of protecting human life reminds me of the two courses I completed this summer, which were Family-Marriage and the introduction to Sociology. These are footnotes to explain my reaction to the following video documentary.
It was my first time watching the documentary “It is Girl.” It was interesting and informative to know some of the practices occurring in India and China. I was astonished to learn how mothers intentionally caused the death of unborn and infant babies in India. There was no sense of remorse, guilt, and empathy deriving from those mothers. They were proud to get rid of baby girls they labored to bring into this world. I have always been careful of not to judge other cultural beliefs without being reasonable. The idea of judging means that we evaluate an issue and arrive at ideals that transcend all societies, cultures, and people. It seems that the concept of ethnocentrism may influence us not to take objective stands on some issues. Some people would argue that we cannot make a moral judgment against India’s mass extermination of girls because each cultural values, beliefs and attitudes were different. This type of thinking or reasoning could be described as relativistic attitudes. I think that people use this rationale because they do not want to acknowledge moral values that transcend all personal and external worlds.
A profound quote, in the documentary, illustrated the importance of preserving, valuing, and loving all human beings from unborn to adulthood: “The right to existence is human rights.” Women did not give life nor had the right to end a life. I felt it was arrogant of some women to claim to be the source of human life or human beginning and justified ending innocent right of unborn to existence. In India and China, women were socialized and compelled to either demonstrate hateful attitudes toward unborn girls or suffered for having girls. The common denominator between these cultures and other societies was all societies had constructed beliefs that appeared to embrace human rights, but they ended up contradicting their pursuit of human rights. Many countries knew about U.S. being the leader and example of pursuit of human rights. Living in the U.S., people expressed emotional attitudes such as anger, sadness, disappointment, etc, when they watched “It’s a Girl.” We tend to view activities and behavior in India and China as appalling and violation of human rights because we have judicial system that seeks to uphold the promises of embedded in the 14th amendment, 1868 in the constitution of United States of America. I want to argue that the same human rights that were violated in India and China reflected how U. S. continued to demonstrate the same disrespectful, unloving, and lack of compassion toward all human zygotes from conception, trimester period, and six months of pregnancies.
The solution to all these types of problems around the world and in U.S. is for all societies to change its conceptual thinking and beliefs to fight for the rights to existence of all unborn human beings and fight to value the conceptions of all human beings. We need to begin to move from fighting for superficial rights (that continue to cause human beings to be wicked and unloving) to authentic human rights (which force members of societies to think critically and value all types of human beings). It seemed that people wanted to fight for the cause of human rights, but when it came to personal decisions, they wanted to deviate from the ideals of human rights. For example, some people in U.S. wanted to bring change to world by voicing, participating, and demonstrating, and protesting. However, when they were challenged to fight for the existence of all human beginning consisting of zygotes, trimester fetuses, they suddenly argued for the rights of mothers to have control of their bodies. Mothers having control of personal bodies were insignificant compare to right to existence of all human beings.
I think that many people make statements that make other people feel and think of them as supporting great human idea. These attitudes and statements are politically correct nuances that do not really hold water idiomatically. As society, if we wanted to pursue human rights, we must be willing to engage in self-introspection, self-analysis, and self-evaluation to transform our beliefs and ideas internally and externally. Again, the importance of unborn babies is understatement.
I think that the philosophy of “ONE ISSUE FITS ALL ISSUES” allow some Christians to construct this belief to avoid helping the poor in society. Many issues exist in the political systems and they want to undermine the significance of other issues. Is the life of unborn more important than adult life? I would argue that both lives are equal before God. We cannot limit our passion by only supporting the unborn; we need to support other causes of life because both elements are equal before God. This leads me to discuss Jesus Christ perspective on the issue on “ONE ISSUE FITS ALL ISSUES.” In Matthew 22:15-22, Jesus Christ was tested by people with impure motives. They designed experiment with hypothesis of bringing negative change (dependent variable) in Jesus Christ by formulating sophisticated and manipulating questions (manipulating independent variable). It is interesting to notice that the leaders collectively thought out specific question to ask Jesus Christ. Some would say that they were experimenters. Then, they instructed their students or followers to do the dirty job of trying to cause Jesus Christ to sin and become imperfect human being and God. This pattern is similar to what goes on today in research students. These leaders enjoyed the stressed free environment by brainstorming ideas and possibilities. The students came to Jesus Christ excited thinking that they were intelligent and how they were going to make history by undermining the divine status and sinless status of Jesus Christ. Here was the question and the response of Jesus:
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.17Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18But Jesus, aware of their malice, said ,“Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Before the question was asked, they used two superficial or fake positive reinforcements. The first was they acknowledged that the teaching of Jesus Christ was accurate and real from God. In a sense, they thought by letting Him know how great his doctrines were, somehow, Jesus Christ would internalize such positive reinforcement; thus influenced Him to become distracted from their real reason for approaching Him. In addition, they wanted Jesus to feel that He was objective and how He was not influenced easily by anything. In verse 17, these people wanted to know Jesus Christ’ s opinion with their question. This really revealed that the two positive reinforcements given to Jesus Christ were filled with deception. After acknowledging how awesome Jesus Christ was and how He was doing the will of God, they were not ready to embrace Jesus’ answers as the only truth, but rather they wanted His opinion among many opinions.
17Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
This question was to create great conflict between Jesus Christ and social institutions, which would motivate citizens to hate, mistreat, belittle, disrespect, devalue, etc., Jesus Christ. As I thought about this question, I considered it to be one of the major devices used by societal institutions and social norms to be at odds with an individual. These people supposedly seeking knowledge from Jesus to help them take certain direction with their money. Under Caesar, citizens were required to pay taxes and this was a form participating in the political system. The following showed how Jesus Christ answered the question.
Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (v.21).
So far we have been dealing with the subject of “ONE ISSUE FITS ALL ISSUES.” Those students who asked the question got it from religious leaders. They only wanted to know that if paying taxes to Caesar was the right decision. Christ Jesus was omniscient; therefore, He commanded them to give to the government or Caesar. Participation in the political system was encouraged by Jesus Christ. In the 21st century, Christians need to be involved in all issues on the ballot.
People who hold to “ONE ISSUE FITS ALL ISSUES” argument need to examine this scripture. Paying taxes to the government is one issue and paying or giving to God is another issue. Proponents of “ONE ISSUE FITS ALL ISSUES” would argue, in relating to general concept in this paper, that the only thing that matters the most is the obedience to God in the area of giving. In other words, paying taxes is somewhat less important, but how giving to God fits all issues. With this reasoning, they reduce the importance of having a balanced perspective and participating in all social issues. In the case of analyzing the response of Jesus Christ, supporters of one issue fits all are only concerned about the part of the bible that only displays God’s love for the unborn without examining the whole counsel of God. In our political system, many Christians tend to take one issue fits all approach on abortion just like giving to God approach fits all giving.
Jesus Christ embraced the premise that there were other issues of importance in life. The people asking the question were only concerned about one issue-giving or not giving to Caesar’s government. They were educated about different alternatives to paying taxes. Citizens contributing to taxing system were not the only thing they should do; rather, they needed to consider all options: giving to Caesar and giving to God. Both are equally important and equally significant in the eyes of God. Matter of fact, it is God’s will to participate in the political system (government economy) and the spiritual system (church economy).
If Jesus would have responded solely yes to the question pose to him, He would have sinned hypothetically. Because He would have communicated to those people that the act of paying taxes was one issue fits all philosophy of giving. Christ Jesus was omniscient of their minds and thoughts, He rejected the idea of paying taxes only to Caesar. In the synoptic gospel, Jesus gave some examples that indicated the importance of considering all issues. One example was when He taught people to love God with all their hearts, minds, soul, body and strength. In this instance, loving God is one aspect of honor and worship. On the other hand, Jesus emphasized the significance of loving our neighbor. As one can see, the issue of loving God does not fit all issues of love in human terms. How many times people claim to love God and mistreat their neighbors or other people? Ideally, loving God with our beings should yield the manifestation of fruits of loving neighbors, but in reality this is not always the case. The issue of loving neighbors does not fit all issues of love either. People can help other people by providing for their needs, but those acts of love are honorable in the insight of human beings, but not before God if human good deeds are done without asking heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for forgiveness and by embracing Christ Jesus’ imputation of righteousness. It is important to point out that good deeds are honorable and wonderful gestures before human beings and please do not misunderstand this point.
The purpose for discussing the topic whether Christians should always vote for Republican Party based on abortion is to generate conversation among people and especially among followers of Jesus Christ. Some Evangelical Christians have overwhelmingly strong conviction on one issue fits all issues. I love and respect their passion and they are my brothers and sisters in Christ. There are some Christians, on other hand, who want to explore all issues and pray and allow God to lead them. We need to respect and appreciate believers and not segregate or disrespect other believers because they disagree on non-essential issue in the body of Jesus Christ. All believers in Christ need to mature and not adopt some attitudes of non-believers of Jesus Christ. That is, I notice that when those who are not followers of Jesus Christ disagree with Christian essential doctrines, they try to persecute, insult, assault, abuse, mistreat, isolate, hate, etc. Christian should not conform to the world (how non-believers behave toward believers), but to be transform by renewing our minds by having the mind of Jesus Christ. I predict that some Evangelical Christians will have subliminal or indirect bad attitudes towards me because they have adopted the attitudes of non-believers of Jesus Christ. However, I am praying to my heavenly Father to help them grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and may God also help me to continue to mature in my walk in Christ.
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- The purpose for writing and discussing the topic is to generate conversation among people. As people, we want to please God in every way possible. Some of us might feel strongly about certain issues than others and it is okay. Individual or citizen must pray, seek God, and make decision by voting. By Christian terminology, salvation is not group decision; it is God's grace working in the heart of an individual to be receptive to leading of the Holy Spirit.
- We should not vote merely because of a group; but rather, we should follow how God saved us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Let us pray, let us seek, and as God leads us, may we follow diligently.