Christian & Pro-Choice
May 22, 2011
Throughout the most recent elections in this country we have seen a number of news stories regarding the candidates take on “moral issues”. Political parties have chosen candidates based on the candidates’ stands on these topics. Voters have cast their ballots according to which candidate they believe has views similar to their own. One of the most hotly debated topics in the moral arena is the issue of abortion rights. Conservative Evangelical Christian leaders, labeling themselves and their organizations the “Christian Right”, have sought to portray pro-choice ...view middle of the document...
4). Because abortion was viewed as critical to the “erosion of the sanctity of human life”, diverse groups of Christians, including those formerly at odds with one another, joined forces to influence political agendas.
Though Falwell and the Moral Majority introduced the Christian Right agenda into the political arena, the Christian Right organization of the 1990s almost completely ingrained that agenda into the Republican Party. According to an article by Mark Rozell and Clyde Wilcox (1996, p.2-3) the Christian Right movement of the 1990s placed more of an emphasis on politics and adopted a more “moderate face in order to win elections”. In this way, these organizations focused less on individual salvation and sought to enforce Biblical principles through law and policy changes. The Christian Coalition of Virginia, for example, advances its dogma through local school board, city, and state elections (Rozell & Wilcox, 1996, p. 4). On the national level, groups like the Christian Coalition and Focus on the Family provide assistance to local or state-level groups in terms of mailing lists to potential candidates and political scorecards to registered voters. In an effort to appear more moderate and gain broader appeal, the modern Christian Right movement attempts to downplay more controversial aspects of their ideology and focus on issues that can be spun as “family friendly”.
But What Does the Bible Say?
Jesus stated in John 18:36 that His kingdom was not of this world. Rather than trying to change the laws of His time, Christ focused on changing the lives and thinking of individuals. It would have been easy for the Son of God to coerce people into following Him through mandates or decrees. However, that was not the way He conducted His ministry. When questioned by the Pharisees about paying taxes to Caesar (Mark 12:13-17), Jesus’ reply insinuates that there is and should be a difference between the assets of the world (that which belonged to Caesar) and the possessions of God. In acknowledging the separation of the two, Christ gives Christians an example to follow in the area of politics. As it applies to those things which go against Biblical principles, the law of this world should not be the authority over the lives of Christians. Regardless of whether or not an issue is deemed legal, the law of God should be the overriding authority for all those that claim to follow Him. It is also noteworthy that Jesus did not impose laws against those who did not follow Him. Romans 1:16 states that it is the power of God that brings salvation to those that believe, not adherence to conditions set by men or government.
More than Conservative
The views of the Christian Right, despite their desire for mass appeal, cannot be defined as merely conservative. In her 2005 article, Sabrina Ramet defines conservative as simply being “opposed to change or inclined to conserve established values” (p. 433). A better word to describe...