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Thoughts From a Conservative Christian


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I Am A Conservative Christian,

And The Religious Right Scares Me, Too

By Chuck Baldwin

The Covenant News ~ December 15, 2004

 

For those readers who are unfamiliar with my biography, let me here provide a thumbnail sketch of my conservative bona fides:

 

I attended, graduated, or received degrees from fundamentalist Christian schools such as Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan, Thomas Road Bible Institute (now known as Liberty Bible Institute at Liberty University) in Lynchburg, Virginia, Christian Bible College in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida.

 

I am currently in my thirtieth year as the Senior Pastor of the Crossroad Baptist Church (Independent) in Pensacola, Florida. I was the Executive Director of the Florida Moral Majority in the early 1980's. I was an active member of the local Christian Coalition.

 

I have marched and protested against abortion clinics. I have led several pro-life rallies and even led our church to construct A Memorial To Aborted Babies. I have conducted small and large (some drawing crowds numbering in the thousands) pro-life, pro-family rallies and meetings in the Pensacola area and in many towns and cities across the state of Florida.

 

When Ronald Reagan was running for President, I helped Dr. Jerry Falwell register more than fifty thousand new conservative voters in my state. I have attended White House functions with former President Reagan and former Vice President George H.W. Bush.

 

I supported and defended Chief Justice Roy Moore and his fight to display a Ten Commandments monument at a pro-Ten Commandments rally in Montgomery, Alabama and even on national television.

 

I am an annual member of the National Rifle Association and a life member of Gun Owners of America. I have been the featured speaker at several pro-Second Amendment rallies.

 

No one can honestly question my commitment to pro-life, pro-family, conservative causes. That being said, the Religious Right, as it now exists, scares me.

 

For one reason, on the whole, the Religious Right has obviously and patently become little more than a propaganda machine for the Republican Party in general and for President G.W. Bush in particular. This is in spite of the fact that both Bush and the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., have routinely ignored and even trampled the very principles which the Religious Right claims to represent.

 

Therefore, no longer does the Religious Right represent conservative, Christian values. Instead, they represent their own self-serving interests at the expense of those values.

 

It also appears painfully obvious to me that in order to sit at the king's table, the Religious Right is willing to compromise any principle, no matter how sacred. As such, it has become a hollow movement. Sadly, the Religious Right is now a movement without a cause, except the cause of advancing the Republican Party.

 

Beyond that, the Religious Right is actively assisting those who would destroy our freedoms. On the whole, the Religious Right comports with those within the Bush administration and within the Republican Party who, in the name of "fighting terrorism," are actually terrorizing constitutional protections of our liberties.

 

The Religious Right offered virtually no resistance to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the passage of the Patriot Act, or the recently created position of National Intelligence Director. Neither did the Religious Right offer even a whimper of protest as President Bush and Republicans in Congress created a first-ever national ID card in the new intelligence bill, which eerily has more in common with early Twentieth Century German and Russian intelligence institutions than anything envisioned by America's Founding Fathers.

 

Another disconcerting feature of today's Religious Right is its attempt to Christianize political entities which it supports and to demonize political entities which it opposes. This trend is especially scary.

 

When people are told that they are voting "Christian" by voting for Republican Party candidates, it is being intimated that they are voting non-Christian by voting for any other candidate. This is not only silly on its face, it is downright dangerous!

 

I don't remember anyone saying people voted "Christian" when they elected the outspoken Christian candidate, Jimmy Carter, President. Yet, Carter, in his personal life, demonstrated as much, if not more, Christianity than does George W. Bush. If you recall, Carter even taught Sunday School in a Southern Baptist Church while President.

 

However, in spite of the fact that President Bush and the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., have repeatedly supported copious unchristian (not to mention unconstitutional) programs and policies, Christians act as if Bush and his fellow Republicans have ushered in the Millennial Kingdom.

 

More than that, the Religious Right appears to believe that G.W. Bush is the anointed vicar of Christ. But instead of wearing the garb of a religious leader, he wears the shroud of a politico and a military commander-in-chief.

 

As such, in the minds of the Religious Right, Bush's war in Iraq is a holy crusade. America is fast taking on the shape of the old Holy Roman Empire and President Bush is quickly morphing into a modern day Caesar.

 

The willingness of the Religious Right to give President Bush king-like subservience is easily seen in the way they demonize anyone who dares to oppose him. This is very unnerving.

 

Are we heading for a modern day religious inquisition, this one led not by the Catholic Church but by the Religious Right? Are we witnessing the type of marriage between Church and State that America's founders originally feared?

 

I used to believe that liberals were paranoid for being fearful of conservative Christians gaining political power. Now, I share their trepidation.

 

Of course, the sad truth is, neither George W. Bush nor the Republican Party in Washington, D.C. represents genuine Christian or even conservative principles. If they did, they would take their oaths to the Constitution seriously and then neither liberals nor conservatives would have anything to fear, for the U.S. Constitution protects the rights and freedoms of all men.

 

Unfortunately, when the seed of Bush's unconstitutional policies come to fruition, it will produce large scale fallout economically, socially, and politically. And sadder still will be that, instead of blaming Bush's infidelity to constitutional government and conservative principles, people will blame Christianity and conservatism itself. The result of this miscalculation will doubtless be a massive tide of support for more and greater unconstitutional government, but only under a different name.

 

 

Chuck Baldwin

chuck@chuckbaldwinlive.com

Chuck Baldwin Live

http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com

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This would seem to be a confirmation of the fact that the Church of Republicanism (aka God's Own Party) and Christianity, even in its conservative manifestation, are not one and the same thing. Which should be obvious to any close observer, who can easily discern that the G.O.P.'s real object of worship is Mammon. Jesus is the last person they'd be interested in following. After all, he was just a penniless, itinerant Jewish preacher whose friends were almost all from the working class, or worse, and who spent his time with the poor and meek. What's that got to do with the country club set (and its legion of wannabes)? After all, if Jesus came back today he'd probably be a volunteer at a detox center on Skid Row, and not a member of the Petroleum Club living in a River Oaks mansion and playing golf with Ken Lay! What on earth would a Republican have in common with a bleeding-heart Jewish liberal like Jesus who wasted his time helping poor people who had no chic or clout? God's Own Partiers have come a long way, baby, and don't have either the time or the inclination to mingle with (let alone help) the people they consider life's losers. Of course, when the Judgement Day comes, they may come up more than a little bit short in the redemption department, but they'll be in good company in that red-hot resort where they'll be able to spend the rest of eternity wondering why they didn't end up in the heavenly Ritz. . .

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Tri:

 

You've got it pegged. The members of the so-called "Christian Right" seem to be, in the thinking of the late Clarence Jordan, "admirers", not "disciples" of Jesus.

 

 

In 1942 God told Clarence to start living the way Jesus wanted him to, so he and his wife and another couple moved to a farm in Americus, Georgia, and called it Koinonia, which is the Greek New Testament word for "communion." or "community." They started trying to do something about rural southern poverty. They practiced racial equality and integration in the Deep South in the heyday of the Ku Klux Klan. They were pacifists in the middle of the Second World War. They lived communally when the Cold War against Communism was gearing up, and they chose to live a very simple life during history's greatest expansion of consumer materialism. They got firebombed, shot at, vandalized, cross-burned, persecuted, prosecuted, threatened, excommunicated, boycotted and nearly driven out of Georgia.

 

One of the things they needed a lot of was legal help, so Clarence went to his brother Robert, who was a lawyer, and asked him to represent Koinonia Farm. Robert said, "Clarence, you know I can't do that. You know I'm going into politics. If I represented you, I'd lose everything. It's different for you."

 

Clarence said, "Why's it different for me? You and I were baptized and joined the church on the same Sunday when we were boys." (These guys are Baptists. They weren't babies when they got baptized.) "The preacher asked us both the same question, 'Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?' I said, 'Yes.' What did you say, Robert?"

 

Robert said, "Clarence, I follow Jesus up to a point." Clarence said, "Would that point by any chance be the cross?" And Robert said, "That's right. I follow him to the cross, but not on the cross. I am not going to get crucified."

 

And Clarence replied, “Then I don’t believe you are a disciple. You’re an admirer of Jesus, but not a disciple of his. I think you ought to go back to the church you belong to, and tell them you’re an admirer not a disciples.”

 

Robert later got elected a State Senator, and eventually he became a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia. Clarence just went on being Clarence Jordan.

 

Among the current punditry of the Christian Right, ala Falwell, Robertson, Dobson and others, you sure don't hear much about helping the poor, forgiving enemies, turning the other cheek. When you wed relligion with nationalism, which is what we're talking about, you pretty much come up with a new form of fascism. Now it looks like even some of the Christian conservatives are having some second thoughts on what things are coming to these days.

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Thanks for an interesting insight into a little-remembered utopian community.

 

I think calling God's Own Partiers "admirers" of Jesus is, well, awfully Christian of someone. By their actions it's clear they don't admire Jesus or his message. In my book, at least, "lip service" and "admire" aren't synonyms, not even remotely. And that's what the leaders of the KKKrischin Reich do for political and economic gain: pay lip service to Jesus. In reality and in deed, they reject Jesus completely. They definitely don't want to let true Christians anywhere near their holy-of-holies (carefully hidden behind the door of a bank vault). Otherwise, people would find out that there's no cross to be seen in the Mother Church of Republicanism, just two giant images of Mammon and a Golden Calf. x(

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