Politics is a Duty For People of Faith
April 24, 2002
by Dennis Lombard
Too many of us believe what Ed Dobson, co-author with Cal Thomas said in Blinded by Might, the book published well over a year ago and still reverberating in political and religious circles.
What did they say? On page 171, they claimed: "Politics is a necessary evil." Donít believe it! Nothing could be farther from the truth. Politics is not "soiling our clothes," as some super-spirituals claim, but "shedding our light"; a plain and simple Biblical command.
It seems that Dobsonís and Thomasí book is misunderstood to a considerable degree, but the book nonetheless conveys a message that Christian involvement in politics is not all itís cracked up to be. Dobson lists, in Chapter 12, ten "theologically flawed statements" that purportedly all "Religion Right" people espouse. Iíd like to object to at least half of them:
First, I prefer to call myself a moral conservative, not "Religious Right," a derogatory term coined by the media. I am neither "religious" nor "right" all the time, nor "right" of center, whatever center is supposed to be.
Dobson goes on to say that we whom he lumps together believe America has a Most Favored Nation status with God. This is a cynical misstatement of what we do believe. MFN is a "dirty word" much bandied about, usually in reference our questionable trade policy toward China. What I do believe is that America was founded on a lot of Judeo-Christian principles, agreed to even by the deists and agnostics among the Founding Fathers, and that their dedication has been blessed (not "favored") by God - just as God blesses any nation that honors Him. Only in recent decades have we begun to unravel those Judeo-Christian principles and roots, and by the way begun to lose that blessing.
He says we say "America was a Christian nation," and "We must reclaim America for Christ." Nobody I know but a few radicals believe America ever remotely resembled a theocracy. What most of us believe is that at one time in our history, Biblical values and beliefs were widely held, respected, and protected by the Constitution. Now they are "fair game" for any agnostic media, governmental, or educational pundit; reviled and even shot at.
We have the God-given freedom to object to that, to fight for our values, and to participate in formation of public policy every bit as much as any atheist or agnostic - especially when our values far more closely resemble those on which our nation was founded.
He says we say "We need to return prayer to the public schools," and "We kicked God out of the public schools." First of all, we did not have public schools to begin with. Schools were privately organized by parents in communities and government helped but did not hog control of them. In short, they were like charter schools, even more free from government. So what if people prayed in them! That was a constitutionally protected right and a value that parents wanted in their schools. And yes, we ought to restore prayer in schools, it is beneficial, it is a popular parental value, and it is not establishment of one church over any other faith. The need has become painfully, bloodily obvious. And we need schools that are less and less "public" and more parent-run.
As for kicking God out of anywhere, of course we canít, Ed Dobson! God is like the 50-ton elephant who sits down for lunch anywhere he pleases. But what we do believe is that we have kicked out truth and respect for God. One can get an "A" in high school or even college or graduate level American History courses and never learn that the Pilgrims thanked God on that first Thanksgiving, or that several spiritual revivals have shaken our nation in the past.
In our politically correct universities and lower schools, white European-descent males such Abe Lincoln and Tom Edison are grossly downgraded or eliminated from history. That is bigotry of the worst sort! And virtually every social movement in American history has been born out of Biblical faith and values.
The trend in some evangelical circles to trash politics as too dirty to touch has got to stop. Get real, Christians, we are commanded to be light and salt to the world and politics is dirty only because we have neglected it! I love Alan Keyesí definition of politics, as anything a good citizen does to build his community and help his neighbor. Thereís nothing un-Christian about that!
© 2002 Home Times Family Newspaper
Dennis Lombard has been a community newspaper editor since 1972, and is currently editor and publisher of Home Times Family Newspaper, a traditional conservative monthly which he founded in 1990. He resides in Lake Worth, Florida with his wife, Mary, and they have seven children, 13 grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Home Times, soon going weekly, serves Palm Beach and Martin Counties in Florida and the nation by mail subscription, covering world, national, and local people and issues, home and family, arts and entertainment, and religion, all with a traditional conservative worldview. For a free copy call toll-free: 888-439-3509 or go to http://www.hometimes.org.
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