The GOP's Christian problem
By Alisa Craddock
As the disillusioned moderates in the Republican Party realize that their hope of bipartisanship in the new administration was, alas, another cotton-candy promise, destined to melt into nothingness on the silky tongue of President "Yes We Can", "The One We Have Been Waiting For", you would expect that those moderates would abandon their foolish efforts to bargain with the devil. You would think they would realize that a return to solid Conservative principles is the only way our party will revive. But, no, the GOP is still split, in my view, between Free Market Social Libertarians, and authentic, principled Conservatives, who the former regard as relics--a millstone around the neck of the party. If only they could get that pro-life and pro-family agenda off the platform, the party would draw in all those dissatisfied social liberals and moderate atheists who want to bask in the economic bliss of a free society—free markets and free morals. Without morality, the party could appeal to greed and fear, and that would bring enough of the social liberals over to our side. But why wouldn't they want to attract principled voters?
Most of us who voted for George W. Bush watched our social agenda die, nickled and dimed to death with token (and impermanent) measures, while the legislature sat on its hands and refused to move on those issues near and dear to social conservatives. It became apparent after some time that the party is not serious at all about these issues, they just (individually) feign passion about them to get elected. Obviously, there are some who truly are passionate, and I don't want to disparage their good efforts, but it is our party that has most betrayed us by keeping those issues in its plank only to keep the Christian Conservative base on board, but then refusing to advance them in the legislature. We can at least thank President Bush for giving us two excellent Supreme Court Justices in John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
But Terri Schiavo happened on his watch, too (during his brother's term as Governor of Florida, and while its current governor was attorney general, to boot), and that is a sad foreshadowing of what kind of social policies are coming down the pike. There was a chance to do what was just and right, but Terry died anyway, and not just died, was starved and dehydrated to death. If government health care becomes a reality, you can expect to see more of that as the government decides, based upon return on investment, how health care funds are allocated. Euthanasia is inevitable, and when the public shudders in horror and beats its breast long and hard over the barbarity of it, then the "merciful" alternative of a lethal injection will be substituted for the agony of dehydration. Soylent Green, anyone? Just a sample of what "civilization" will be like without its moral compass.
Crist, who recently selected the liberal James Perry (endorsed by Planned Parenthood and Equality Florida, the leading gay rights organization in that state), to fill a vacancy on the Florida Supreme court, in lieu of Alan Lawson, whose selection was aggressively sought by conservative, pro-family groups), was enthusiastically endorsed by the GOP to compete for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Mel Martinez. So the GOP has tipped its hand about where it is headed.
Is it even possible for things to change? Does one not get the impression that the GOP is banking on the fact that people will be so distraught over the broken promises and failures of this administration, and the quadrupling of debt created in only three months in office, that they'll vote for the Republican candidate, whoever he is, and we'll take it because the alternative is tyranny. And so they'll remake the party to be more "diverse" and welcoming, hoping to bring in enough "new blood" that it will make up for the Christians who sit out the election. But wooing new constituencies brings the problem of honoring promises to those constituencies or you lose them. But then you lose the rest of your base for violating their sacred and cherished principles. So I guess the strategy is, they'll let the Democrats do the dirty work of dismantling what's left of our Judeo-Christian pro-life, pro-family culture—change which will be virtually irreversible, once it is instituted, unless it spawns a bloody uprising. That would, of course, ultimately play into the hands of those determined to shape a world according to secular ideas of "peace" and "harmony"—the word our culture uses is "diversity".
But "diversity" is merely a euphemism for the government's plan for enforcing ideological conformity and promoting apathy through nullification of any standards or values, so that the people can be controlled—white Christian people, primarily—who the Democrat party, and this Administration most especially, have decided are the enemy. The "Enforcers" are, among others, Janet Napolitano, who is readying her anti-conservative machine at the behest of the President, along with FCC Chairman Michael Copps, who is, at this moment, beginning the strategic implementation of "localism" measures to force broadcast stations to offer programming more "responsive to the needs and interests of the communities that they are licensed to serve" (quoting the 2007 FCC Proposal). That proposal included the suggestion that localism would "give aggrieved listeners (read minorities, homosexuals, women, leftists of any other stripe) 'more straightforward guidance' on 'how individuals can directly participate in the license renewal process?' Now if the implications of this aren't clear yet, let me provide an analogy. How many times have you heard or read a story where one individual complained about a prayer during a public function, and that one complainer stopped everyone else from being able to pray, though the majority of the participants wanted an invocation? This is no different. The door is being opened for those who don't like conservative viewpoints to come forward as "victims", and where there is a victim, we just have to find a way to make sure no one else gets "victimized." Conservative radio stations will be forced to alter their program content in order not to hurt the feelings of minorities, or else lose their broadcast license. And this is how the Left will silence the political viewpoints (and watchdogs) of the Right. Typical Dictatorship tactics.
There is another downside to alienating the Christian Conservative base? Without them, without their solid, sensible, salt-of-the-earth good sense, there will be no one to tell the bubbleheads in Washington that they are off course. Christians know how to be selfless. They know about "the greater good", that what "I" want is not always in the best interest of the community and culture as a whole. They know about meekness. But they also know how to be principled and uncompromising on things that are clearly right and wrong. But the politicians don't live in the same world the rest of us do. The deny the wisdom of our Founders who understood that our rights are God-given, that the best defense against tyranny is small government and gun ownership, and the best judge of what is best for a man is the man himself, and that their job is to protect his freedom to make his own judgments.
Bad decisions based on experimental "truths" will lead to political disaster as they compound. If the GOP wants to be more "welcoming" and "diverse" it is setting itself up for disaster. Because "diversity" recognizes no standard, no right and wrong, no collective values. Diversity is a disease, and "tolerance" is its symptom. G. K. Chesterton, the great English writer, philosopher, and Catholic convert, used to say that "Tolerance is the virtue of the man with no principles." More to the point, tolerance and "objective truth" are at opposite sides in the war for the souls of men.
The GOP has never been about people. It is about principles. Those principles allow people to be free, to flourish, to live and breathe and have their being, to strive and succeed, and reap the rewards of their God-given talents or the fruits of their labor. Right now our party has succumbed to the temptation of this Age—to make it about "me" rather than about what it stands for--the objective political truths that our forebears laid out, and that have stood the test of time, because they are grounded in Godly Truth and sound reason.
Remember that old adage, "As the Church goes, so goes the country"? The GOP would do well to look at the recent history (the last 50 years) of the Catholic Church to see the results of losing focus on the vertical (worship that is directed to God) in favor of the horizontal (worship this is between man and man, and as such becomes about us and our feelings and individual expressions). The problem with that sort of worship is that it is narcissistic and self-centered, about me rather than about God. Within the Church, various individuals and factions are trying to recreate the Church in their own image. Feminism, homosexuality, communism (or socialism), democracy, even pro-abortionists, vying each for their own agenda. This is the "Spirit of Vatican II" or so it is called, but that's not what it is at all. It's the world trying to recreate the Church in its own image, and it has weakened the Church in areas where the Bishops are weak, opened her to heresy, scandal, and terrible sin, and has rent her into two camps, one "progressive", one faithful to the traditions and teachings—the principles—of our faith. And just like in the political world, the "Progressives" demonize those who support our traditions, and treat them with contempt. Why, because a return to those principles would nullify their power and their ungodly agenda, just as a rising Conservatism would threaten the dictatorial ambitions of the Left.
But Tradition's star is on the rise, both in the Church, where there is renewed interest in the sound teachings of our faith, where increasing numbers of faithful are returning to the Latin Mass and seminaries that teach it are filling up with young men eager to live lives of heroic virtue, while the party faithful of America are rediscovering the U.S. Constitution in the wake of the government's power grab. How is the Left able to do this? Because they have been fed a diet of complaints and crises and "diversity" and "tolerance", and no one knows what is right and what is wrong anymore, and, as John Paul II said, they are at the mercy of those with the power to create opinion. Now, more than ever, the People need objective truths to steer their course, like a guiding light in the murky darkness of social and political chaos. Without our bedrock conservative principles, the GOP is confused, purposeless, and ineffectual Without our principles, we have no light to shine in the dark.
Alisa Craddock is a columnist and activist in the culture war, a convert to Catholicism, and describes herself as a Christian Libertarian. She may be contacted at alisa.craddock at hushmail.com.
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