Our American-African correspondent summarizes the McCain/Palin debate...

(Tim) Despite his false statement about yours truly (his daughter does live in our house, after all, so the man knows which side of his bread is buttered), I do think the comment just made by our Zambian Mission to the World correspondent, David Wegener, summarizing his conclusions to our lengthy discussion of Governor Palin's Vice-Presidential candidacy is about right. For those of you who've given up on the Palin comments, here's what David has to say:

* * *

As best I could, I’ve tried to follow the debate that has gone on here over Sarah Palin and how we should then vote. I haven’t done very well, nor of following the thread over on Pastor Wilson’s blog, but here are my two cents.

Sarah Palin is a very conflicted woman and I feel very conflicted about her. She is a Christian, a member of Feminists For Life, a wife and a mother who is running for Vice President. You can’t be a feminist and pro-life. Islam is built on five pillars...

and feminism is built on several as well, one of them being abortion on demand. It’s not the best analogy but trying to be a pro-life feminist is like being pro-chicken but anti-feathers. You can’t really do it. Call this Conflict #1.

She’s a Christian and a feminist. I won’t belabor this. Tim and David and Pastor Wilson have written some of the most eloquent things on this topic and I can’t even try to duplicate them. You can’t be both feminist and Christian. Conflict #2.

She’s also a woman running for Vice President, possibly one day our Commander-in-Chief. Talk about women exercising authority over men. Talk about a country being punished when women rule. Talk about women in the military. How about a woman over the military? This doesn’t work at all, like being pro-chicken and anti-meat. Conflicts #3-#26, at least.

Palin is also a Christian wife and mother, vying for one of the busiest jobs in America. Who will take care of little Trig? His next oldest sister? She has trouble even taking care of his hair. Who will counsel her daughters, just when they need it most? Who will send emails and cookies to her son in Iraq? Who will support and build her husband in his life and vocation and ministry? It won’t be Sarah Palin. Conflicts #27-#45.

How should we then vote? I’ll vote McCain-Palin. Christians who vote for Obama-Biden simply know not what they do. They are voting pro-chicken but don’t realize that at the core of their being they are anti-bird. Those who go third party or don’t vote at all seem to care more about their own personal holiness and reputation then the greater good of society and babies. Sarah Palin is just as bad a candidate as John McCain, probably worse. Support them strongly and steadfastly. And do so, realizing you and I may be saying in a few years, “they did it to me again.”

* * *

About right, David, although I'd change it to "you and I *will likely* be saying in a few years..." Reminds me of Samuel Johnson's quip: "Why, Sir, most schemes of political improvement are very laughable things."

 

Comments

Those who go third party or don’t vote at all seem to care more about their own personal holiness and reputation then the greater good of society and babies

As someone voting 3rd party (for the first time), I disagree that voting for McCain is the "greater" good.

But as I was sick of following the former blog entry on this, I don't think I'll argue my case. Suffice it to say, this Conservative sees little worth conserving, and thinks any evangelical voting for McCain is doing so in blind faith.

David,

I was with you, and pretty much applauding everything you said until this point which Craig also brings up. I am voting with the long term AND the greater good in sight. I am sick and tired of being told to suck it up and vote for the Republicans one more time because the prospect is so much worse.

In the short term, the prospect is indeed very much worse - but I am also greatly concerned that a McCain presidency will leave us winning the Roe battle and being unable to fight the ensuing war.

It's nothing to do with personal holiness (as if I have any to start with!) or reputation (never had that either). For me, it is solely and completely about the long view.

Live to fight another day.

I'm looking forward to meeting your dear daughter in a few weeks!

Kamilla

"Those who go third party or don’t vote at all seem to care more about their own personal holiness and reputation then the greater good of society and babies. Sarah Palin is just as bad a candidate as John McCain, probably worse. Support them strongly and steadfastly. And do so, realizing you and I may be saying in a few years, 'they did it to me again.'"

Not only does this make zero sense (strategically, logically, you name it), but it's downright insulting. David flat out says that McCain-Palin is an awful ticket that will simply leave us feeling duped (again!) in a few years! So why is it better to be consciously duped than to consciously reject another bait-and-switch? Just HOW is refusing to be a wide awake sucker self-righteous?

It's voters like David whom I condemn. Most voters are just ignorant - they don't know how government is supposed to operate, they honestly expect better from new candidates, etc. But David *intentionally* accepts the scam!

Count me as #4 in a row on this point.

Why David would automatically assume that people who vote third party or don't vote at all are "concerned about their personal holiness and reputation more than societies and babies" is not only insulting, but it is unstable.

It has been said that "Pragmatism" is the only true American homegrown philosophy. And David has given us one more example of how pragmatism as a philosophy has leavened our Christian faith.

Really, though, the case needs to be made that it is people who reason like David who are the ones who do not care about societies and babies. They don't care because in spite of knowing the character of those who they vote for, and despite knowing that you can't get good policy from evil people, they go ahead and vote for them. David's argument in the end, is just the old, lesser of two evil arguments that we have seen trotted out over and over again.

With great sadness over the condition of the Church,

Whoa, Pastor Brett. Aren't you being a tad pragmatic yourself? You are a minister, after all, in a denomination that ordains women, right? Which is worse, to be pragmatic in the nation or to be pragmatic in the church?

Brother Darryl,

I am deeply touched by your ongoing concern for me. Perhaps if you knew a bit more about my situation you could pray for me even more wisely then you already do.

Thanks again for your kindness,

No matter who you vote for, it involves compromises. So, maybe the question should be which compromise will do the greater good? A third party vote will never elect anyone, but a vote for McCain will keep the abortionist from office.

"No matter who you vote for, it involves compromises."

This "everybody sins" argument is fitting for a universalist or an uninformed evangelical who thinks "judge not" means discernment is unbiblical. But considering you read this blog, I assume you're actually an informed, theologically sound Christian.

As such, you know that when Reformed Christians talk about voting for a "good" candidate versus a "bad" candidate, the implication is NOT that one is perfect. You should know that compromise doesn't come from voting for a sinner, but rather from voting for an apparently unrepentant sinner who will not try their best to honor honor God and His model for government more appropriately than the other candidates.

As a third party voter, I don't expect a perfect candidate. None of us do. We simply want someone who demonstrates actual dedication to trying to honor God.

Of course, along with that we get plenty of scorners mocking us for backing "unwinnable" candidates. These are the people whose political worldview is so twistedly pragmatic and untrusting of God that I question why they don't simultaneously mock Gideon, David, Elijah, and Jeremiah for being stupid enough to resolutely face down the mainstream.

"a third party vote will never elect anyone"

That line is really getting tiresome! Most conservatives I know keep repeating it. But if everyone keeps thinking that way, nothing will ever change and we may as well forget the whole thing, maybe separate completely from society like the Amish. If a movement began, maybe the Republican party would become insignificant. Or not... but it ain't gonna change until we start to think outside the box!

"A third party vote will never elect anyone."

Not only is this tiresome, but it's really ironic coming from Republican voters considering the GOP began as a third party!

Todd, you have understood my meaning and probably Daryl, also.

Kamilla, the battle won't be won in the political sphere, though a little help might come from that direction. Tim's quotation of Johnson is most apt.

Let us do evil that good may come? Oh No. Let us do evil in hopes that something good might come from those who have a proven track record of lies and repeated ineffectiveness.

Never should one be obedient and vote for a righteous candidate or withhold a vote when none is present. Oh no sir. We need to give God a hand in ending abortion. Doesn't matter that abortion and homosexuality are God's judgments on a God hating people.

Abortion is not going to end for God is not going to end it. Not yet anyway. There isn't any salt in the shaker.

David, you probably don't know me but I have admired you from afar for years because of a certain conversation you had with a family member of mine about 12 years ago in Bloomington. In my family that conversation has become almost legendary.

Like everyone on here, I agreed with you 100% until the end. Now, I certainly cede that you have lived with your family on the front lines and so I speak with great respect (I'm not sure if these other folks who've thus far posted know of you your family).

What keeps ringing in my head is what we touched on in Sabbath School recently, which was Schaeffer's Death in The City - a few quotes:

"God has turned away in judgment as our generation turned away from Him, and He is allowing cause and effect to take its course in history."

"A holy and loving God really exists, and He works into the significant history which exists. He works in history on the basis of His character; and when His people and their culture turn away from Him, He works in history in judgment ... Historic results were not just a product of chance, not merely of mechanical, economic, and psychological forces. It was God working into that history as His people turned away from Him."

"But does your Christianity end with something less than God who is there? In the teaching of your courses in Christian schools, do you believe He is there? Do you really believe He is there, or are you only living in some sort of sociological belief?"

I hate to even quote it just because I know it's no proof or anything and I end up feeling like I sound like I'm just regurgitating what I was taught in class but I'd believed it before and I have begun to believe this more and more every day in recent years.

I've had some life-changing events happen to me in the past few months. I hadn't been living by faith, but by faith I got involved in the pro-life movement which for me was very painful. I couldn't go out there and talk to these people without faith, I realize every second I talk to them that I'm so completely helpless to change anything, I get quiet and pray because that's sometimes all I can do. Lately I haven't been talking to anyone planning abortion because I've felt so frustrated.

I'm not explaining it well but if me or my wife talking to someone in front of Planned Parenthood isn't anything I'm doing but having faith that God can do good, then I can't abandon that when I vote either. I could see plain as anything for you voting for McCain-Palin could be a valid expression of your faith, but for me every time I act in faith it is by what I don't think is going to happen but what I think should happen, what I hope will happen, for God's glory, not my own. In fact, for me acting in faith usually leads to my own humiliation.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the Christian Republicans are all non-faithful, I'm just definitely feeling that my voting for McCain-Palin would be non-faith for me. I've got more praying to do but I don't think your statement that ...

"Those who go third party or don’t vote at all seem to care more about their own personal holiness and reputation then the greater good of society and babies."

is true for all of us. I know it's true for some and maybe for all of us to some extent, but I don't think you can make this blanket statement very fairly.

One way or another we need to pray a lot. Thanks for your comments, David, you've given me a lot to think about.

Oh, I agree, David - but that is also one of the primary reasons I am simply not willing to hold my nose and vote one more time for the Republicans. First, because overturning Roe is only the opening salvo of the battle. But second because the battle isn't going to be won on the political level, period.

Kamilla

David, Hmm, I rethought my post, it sounds too wishy washy for my thinking. In my attempt to be respectful I didn't really express myself well. I really have a hard time with your position because I'm with Kamilla on this, I don't think this is a political battle anymore (if it ever was), it's a spiritual one. God's people must turn back to Him, MUST trust HIM alone. I am concerned that Democracy makes us think we're in control of History but we're only significant in History when we trust in God which is not expressed when we deny him by voting as if He can't bring any but a compromise candidate to power. God will judge us through this election and He will bring the candidate we deserve - and if he can bring about His will through our sin how much more can he do it by our trusting in Him.

If I come to the decision that Palin is not a significant compromise of God's holiness (not my own filthy rags) I will vote McCain-Palin otherwise I will not. Also, I will not be told my vote was for Obama, unless his name is on my ballot, which it will not be.

Dittos to many of the above.

This is "do evil that good may abound"...and we "pietistic" types are being told we're sinners for not approving of evil ("lesser" though he be).

My vote is not being determined by how righteous I want others to think I am (because I'm not), and it is not to make myself look good (nobody knows me anyhow)...my vote is bound by God's Word and I know God would have me be a Christian in the voting booth as well as in Church and family life.

Listening to evangelicals justify the "lesser" of two evils is like listening to a drunk brag about how much his liver can take. Come November, I won't be downing shots followed by a prayer chaser "Lord, strengthen my liver!"

I'm still considering voting third party, but this whole thread confirms two things for me: I love Jesus and I love His servant David Wegener.

Knowing what happened to Jesus after He pronounced the 8 woes to the self-righteous scribes and pharisees in Matthew 23 and knowing what type of people read this blog (chiefly by knowing myself), I'm left asking if it's any wonder that everyone has singled out David's suggestion -- that maybe conservative, intellectual Christians just might have a tiny hint of a problem with hypocrisy and self-righteousness -- over which to seethe and gnash their teeth.

I don't care if David is completely wrong and crazy in his voting strategy. I'm glad he rattled our cages of personal holiness, and those who "condemn" David and argue that he doesn't "care about societies and babies" have revealed much about themselves.

Pastor Wegener -

Very well put indeed.

If the man of party #1 means to further the slaughter of millions of people and the woman of party #2 is bent on doing what she can to prevent further murders I will vote for her 10 out of 10 times.

those who "condemn" David and argue that he doesn't "care about societies and babies" have revealed much about themselves.

Adam, Bret argued when people use the line of reasoning Rev Wegener does, the case can be made that they care less about babies and society. Brett was simply turning around the same argument David W used.

I, for one, would rather not think this says anything bad about Rev Wegener's character...neither does it with Bret.

Craig,

"the case can be made that they care less about babies and society."

That's fine if that's what he meant, but that's not what he wrote.

I was also referring to Pieter who wrote that he "condemns" David.

But again, my point was not about the finer points of the argument. I was pointing out our resistance to ever having someone question our motives (we're all Christians after all, right) which your last sentence sums up perfectly.

Kamilla, the battle won't be won in the political sphere, though a little help might come from that direction. Tim's quotation of Johnson is most apt.

It is true that the battle won't be won in the political sphere but when the battle is won in the sphere it needs to be won in the political sphere will follow like Christian's vote republican. (I was going to say like night follows day but the other metaphor has far more regularity then night following day.) Until such a time that the battle is won in the proper sphere we dare not do anything that contributes to dishonoring Christ like vote for people who see the state as God walking on the earth.

This admission that Palin is as bad as McCain combined with the insistence to support McCain/ Palin steadfastly is indicative that a fey spirit on this issue has possessed someone, and I would say that if the someone saying it was the living embodiment of all the saints who ever lived.

Now excuse me... I have to go to my "seethe and gnash my teeth room." My self-righteousness and hypocrisy are so abundant I had a special room built just for seething and teeth gnashing.

It's incredible that if someone disagrees with somebody on this issue they are "self-righteous, more concerned about their reputation then babies and society, and are practitioners of hypocrisy. Are people who say such things under conviction that they strike out so vociferously?

Craig,

"the case can be made that they care less about babies and society. "

If that's what he meant, fine. But that's not what he wrote.

I was also referring to Pieter who wrote that he "condemns" David.

But again, my point was not about the finer nuances of the arguments. I was commenting on our fierce resistance to anyone calling our motives into question (after all, we're all nice Christians, right), which your last sentence perfectly illustrates.

Sorry that last comment posted twice in two slightly different versions. I didn't think it went through so I re-wrote it and posted it again.

I am really having a hard time trying to figure out who to vote for...

Pieter F

Clint Mahoney

Mark Chambers

Bret McAtee

Craig French

Phillip Pfiester

Good comments, guys -- and Kamilla!

If we want to end abortion, we have much, much more to do than vote for McCain/Palin, the long-awaited the Silver Bullet. Sounds so easy -- any couch potato can make a tremendous difference -- just pull the right lever behind the curtain! It is the Christian thing to do. To not vote for the Silver Bullet is made out to be practically criminal. I have already been told elsewhere that not voting for McCain is the equivalent of stomping on babies. Really? (And we're supposedly worried about our reputations.)

Another judge or two is going to be able to stop pagans (who have been taught from birth that they are animals) from being pagans? Are they going to allow their "consitutional rights" to be taken away so easily? Maybe Sarah Palin will outlaw homosexuality, feminism, evolution, and get prayer and the 10 Commandments back in schools, too? "No Palin, no Gain!"

Like Clint said, it isn't a political question as much as it is a moral question. "God's people must turn back to Him, MUST trust HIM alone." How much moral compromise is okay to fix spiritual issues? If there were only two candidates running, then I'd be stuck voting for one of them, but if someone is willing to go to the trouble to be on the ballot who holds higher moral principles, then to reject that man seems to me a capitulation to politics as usual. When many of our comp leaders elsewhere voice sentiments just like egalitarians, we're getting pretty liberal and in need of some repentance ourselves.

The head of the local chapter of Log Cabin Republicans [homosexuals] is interviewed in today's [Sunday's] Dallas Morning News: "Our national office says she's one of the more inclusive Republicans." He is quite enthusiastic about Palin.

The Democrats will always be up to something terrible that requires us to keep electing women to save us. What'll we say when the big tent Republicans try a pro-life 'christian' lesbian to defeat them? We'll eventually have no credibility left (if we have any already).

The overall tone of those who disagree with Pastor David is that of condescension. As if he were a man who cannot bring himself to take his faith with him into the voting booth. My friend Adam Spaetti has already pointed out how absurd those accusations look in light of Pastor David's life, and this is a good point, and it would do your hands good to remember that as you type on your keyboards.

I've heard the idea posed by both sides that the candidates available to us this year could be understood as God's judgement on our nation.

Consider this, then, when we look on Jeremiah who said:

"Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city become a ruin?"

Or perhaps you will accuse Jeremiah of faithlessness for not mustering the troops against Nebuchadnezzar.

Maybe our submission to voting for a poor candidate who could win against a terrible candidate who will likely win is an act of faith? Maybe, when November roles around, and a third party candidate is not elected (and one will not be) you could look at your subjection under Obama as a punishment for your unwillingness to subject yourselves to, yet another, Republican facade.

Adam,

I wish you would post more often. Every time you write it is wise, well worded, and refreshing!

It seems to me Dr. Mohler has it right...

http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_read.php?id=1521

Third-party people:

Why third parties over abstention? Why give credence to the system with your participation therein? Both paths would seem to demonstrate the unwavering reliance on God about which you're all talking.

I'm not trying to be sarcastic, although I sense a sarcastic tone when I read my comments to myself. I really do want to know how you'd answer these questions because, as I mentioned on the previous thread, it seems to me that the choice should be between voting McCain/Palin and not voting.

There isn't a single candidate out there that doesn't have something they believe in or they have done that would give a Christian pause. That said, nobody is worthy of your vote. But politics is politics, not church. There are no elders or deacons; the head guy is a president, not a pastor; the book is the Consitution, not the Bible; and the players rarely meet on Sunday.

Whoever you choose to vote for, you have only around two months to make up your mind, and four years to live with your decision. Thankfully, in the end, politics, unlike many sins, has a short life span.

Adam said:

> I don't care if David is completely wrong and crazy in his voting strategy. I'm glad he rattled our cages of personal holiness, and those who "condemn" David and argue that he doesn't "care about societies and babies" have revealed much about themselves.

This is a good point, Adam, thanks! I was trying to respectfully disagree with David but I hope I wasn't condemning him. Like Adam is saying, with everything we have to examine our hearts. I for one have a heart of rebelliousness to authority and I have to be sure not to cast my lot in with the anarchists. I'll be examining myself more this election than ever.

Craig said:

"It's incredible that if someone disagrees with somebody on this issue they are "self-righteous"

Craig, c'mon, we are being at least a little self-righteous, aren't we? Don't we even slightly feel like we're better than everyone else because we'll have the nerve to vote third party etc.?

The issue of this being a battle that's not in the political sphere - we must fight there but also realize that our nation wouldn't be in this state if Christians lived their faith rather than acting like this world is all there is. We can't get so entrenched in the necessary worldly battles that we forget that Christ has won the victory and it's his righteousness we're fighting for not compromise. Michael, I appreciate what you're saying - I have never truly thrown my lot in with the Libertarians because many are God haters - Republicans have to be careful not to throw their lot in with the Log Cabin Reps either.

Ben, I've been reading Jeremiah lately (because the kids had a famous painting about him in homeschooling) and I've been thinking about his position on this and it's been another thing that's making me torn. I'm pretty sure I can prove either point biblically. I haven't looked much but I'm thinking of stuff all over Judges, Kings, Chronicles etc. Off hand all I can think of is Judges 10: "you have forsaken Me and served other gods; therefore I will no longer deliver you. Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress. The sons of Israel said to the LORD, "We have sinned, do to us whatever seems good to You; only please deliver us this day." God will judge us until we turn to Him - how do we do that - by voting for ungodly men? We can't just go to the prophets and tell them to speak to God for us (though prayer from our spiritual leaders is in order) - it seems that we can speak through our actions in this election. The question is how do we show submission to Him, not more rebellion?

Ben, David et. Al, I hope you don't think I meant to be condescending to David, quite the contrary.

I've got more biblical studying to do before I can figure this one out - I'll have to stop blogging...

PS: Chantal, I hope it didn't seem like I was attacking you. I feel very strongly about this issue so I sometimes sound harsh.

Sometimes it seems very much that as Christians we've made Democracy an idol - and in Judges 10 it seems that God could be telling us, "Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen, [your beautiful wonderful democratic election] let [it] deliver you in the time of your distress."

I am a huge idolator - I thank my church family for helping me to see if I'm doing this now. I need to study if there is more evidence in scripture for one position or the other, I just know that so far the ones I remember are for my position but that may just be because my mind is geared toward rebellion against civil authority.

Craig, c'mon, we are being at least a little self-righteous, aren't we?

Below is not a response to Clint, personally...I'm using his comment as a spring board since this keeps coming up.

I'm not disagreeing with your comment (that we are a little self-righteous...heck, maybe even a lot)...but by the same token, if someone turns the question around on the first: why does it *then* prove the second person has some hidden sin of pride? Why didn't it "prove" anything when it came from the first?

You are right, though...I think we all battle pride when we have issues we stump for. Being anti-abortion, while a laudable position, is one where I find I become prideful...after all, my wife and I were told 6 years ago that if we tried to get pregnant, all kinds of horrible things could happen medically (my wife has an unexplainable predisposition to blood clots). In January, our first child was born, and by God's grace: no medical complications. There are times I think "look at how many people kill their children for what may happen...we did this in spite of being told before hand"...now that is pride, isn't it? Even after I am ashamed of this thought (a thought that came to me even before my daughter was born) I never regretted following my pastor's advice (David Bayly) of committing our marriage bed to God in faith.

Even when we do good things because of pride, it doesn't mean we need to alter our position, only our estimation of ourselves.

We are all beset with the sin of pride...let's not wield the bitter sword of guilt-manipulation for the sake of making people look bad.

Comments such as the concluding paragraph of this post aren't about sanctifying anybody as much as they're about needlessly making certain people look *worse* than "Christians" voting for Obama.

For some reason, Christians can't stay on topic and hash out ideas without accusing others of some sort of villifying sin...if a sin becomes apparent, I say definitely deal with it. If it hasn't, then I have to conclude that the one doing the villifying is likely getting worked up by what is being said and is reading evil intentions into those he disagrees with. Such is the way of internet discussion. I guess my Bible is missing the section on spiritual gifts where some men can see into the secret intentions of others based on digital data.

For once, I'd like to see Christians disagree without demonizing others on political issues. After all, most of us here agree on principles but disagree over what a pragmatic vote actually looks like. Why should we demonize eachother when we should be talking about *how these principles ought to work out in the voting booth*? Instead, we're frosting logical fallacies with "Christian" exhortation.

But why bother continuing with this? It's going nowhere, and with each flick of the keypad, I'm only proving just how proud I really am. Don't worry: I already knew it.

Craig said:

>Even when we do good things because of pride, it doesn't mean we need to alter our position, only our estimation of ourselves.

Craig, we agree. Any decision made with pride is going to be sin but that doesn't mean that either position is automatically wrong just because the holder has to deal with their pride.

I hope no one here thinks I was accusing people of the sin of lack of faith - though I know it was heavily implied. I ask forgiveness from all of you in that case. I was just trying to put forth a viewpoint people may not have been thinking about. I wasn't trying to demonize anyone.

>(Todd) But politics is politics, not church.

Exactly.

But politics is politics, not church.

Yes that's right. Jesus Christ is Lord inside these walls, but not inside those. Take off the hat with the cross on it and put on the hat with the elephant. Frankly I'm amazed at how may step children of the Reformation there are. The Law is the law....except when it isn't.

Those who go third party or don’t vote at all seem to care more about their own personal holiness and reputation then the greater good of society and babies.

I think this comment oversimplifies the views of many conservatives who won't vote for McCain.

As I said in the other thread: by supporting any old Republican because "at least he's not (insert Democrat here)", we are rushing headlong into irrelevance. Republicans know they don't have to do a thing to protect life or marriage, because they can just point to how terrible Barack Obama (or Hillary Clinton, or John Edwards, or John Kerry, or Barney Frank, or Nancy Pelosi) is.

I guess the main question for conservatives supporting McCain because Obama is such a terrible alternative is this.

Where do you draw the line?

U.S Representative Barney Frank had a sodomite prostitution ring running out of his home. If I recall correctly, Barney Frank also voted for the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

If Barney Frank were the GOP nominee, would we vote for him because he is marginally less pro-abortion than Barack Obama? I mean, sure, Barney Frank may run another sodomite prostitution ring - this time out of the White House - but at least he voted to ban infanticide!

I know this is an absurd comparison. John McCain, for all his faults, is not Barney Frank.

But I chose Barney Frank to make a point that I hope everyone here will agree with. There is a line where we will refuse to vote Republican. The question, at the end of the day, is where we draw that line. For me, that line is John McCain.

Ironically, even though the Republicans have chosen the man who will divide the party more than any other, the Democrats have chosen a nominee who is has done more to unify the Republican Party than Ronald Reagan ever did. If John McCain wins, there is really only one way to interpret the results: as a rejection of Barack Obama.

Some thoughts on Ben's comments, with all due respect.

I really don't think anyone is intending to be condescending to Mr. Wegener; if I wanted to, I could say that his or your comments are condescending too, but I'm not engaging in these discussions looking to be offended. We need to get beyond being personally offended by everything someone says that sounds a bit threatening if it's different than our own opinion. Otherwise we end up sounding like a bunch of little girls arguing.

As far as the Jeremiah texts, I don't see how your argument fits. The king of Babylon was already in office, it was a choice between submission or rebellion. The people were not voting on whether Nebuchadnezzer should be king. Our present situation is to vote for whichever candidate we believe God is leading us to vote for, after the President is elected, we'll then have to choose to submit as God has called us to or rebel.

Some thoughts on Ben's comments, with all due respect.

I really don't think anyone is intending to be condescending to Mr. Wegener; if I wanted to, I could say that his or your comments are condescending too, but I'm not engaging in these discussions looking to be offended. We need to get beyond being personally offended by everything someone says that sounds a bit threatening if it's different than our own opinion. Otherwise we end up sounding like a bunch of little girls arguing.

As far as the Jeremiah texts, I don't see how your argument fits. The king of Babylon was already in office, it was a choice between submission or rebellion. The people were not voting on whether Nebuchadnezzer should be king. Our present situation is to vote for whichever candidate we believe God is leading us to vote for, after the President is elected, we'll then have to choose to submit as God has called us to or rebel.

Thanks again, Scott. I completely agree. There must be a theoretical line, I would think every Christian acknowledges this but in reality I think few really think that we'll reach that theoretical line and thus they never pay attention to the fact that with each election they have moved that line farther and farther back.

> [Todd:] That said, nobody is worthy of your vote. But politics is politics, not church. There are no elders or deacons; the head guy is a president, not a pastor...

That said, nobody is worthy to be pastor, either.

There's often plenty of politics in church, by the way.

> [Ben quoting Jeremiah:] "Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city become a ruin?"

Remember that if Obama, the king of Babylon, is elected.

> [Clint:] I think few really think that we'll reach that theoretical line and thus they never pay attention to the fact that with each election they have moved that line farther and farther back.

Right, Clint, and that includes conservatives as much as anybody. And if somebody's personal line is crossed, they're made to look like they've voted for the worst case.

I do not agree with Mohler, Dobson, CBMW and the mass of others -- Palin on the ticket made me much less likely to vote for McCain. (Our society is one incredible innovation after another. What really do conservatives conserve, anymore?) I do not believe a mother of small children can nurture them and support her husband while running around creation keeping the world afloat. I also do not believe a woman has any business wielding the magistrate's sword or staring down global dictators. Contrary to the overwhelming majority of Christians, I think McCain copped out in choosing this "pit bull with lipstick," though --yes-- the choice will bring him many votes he wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

"I'm looking forward to meeting your dear daughter in a few weeks!"

Kamilla, are you coming to Bloomington? If so, I can hardly wait to meet YOU!

> [JD Stuart:] Why third parties over abstention?

JD, remember the Whigs? People used to vote for their candidates, and they used to win. They're gone now. Perhaps this is what needs to happen to the Republicans. But it won't happen when Christians keep relying on them to save the day. I know Christians don't believe in euthanasia, which must be why they keep the Republicans on life support. I think the Constitution Party sounds more like our founders than the Republicans, which is why I'll vote for them over abstention.

What about giving someone else a turn? The Republicans and Democrats have had enough turns. Why is the idea of a third party so foreign? Christians make it sound like it is un-American to vote for a third party, which shows me how much "faith" they put in the Republicans. We keep hearing about the lesser of two evils. What about the lesser of three evils?

There are people other than Ross Perot and Ralph Nadar running in third parties. What gets me is Christians totally write off conservative Christian men running in these parties. It is as if they'd vote for a liberal Republican before they'd consider for a second voting for a Christian brother on a third party ticket. Such men are not appreciated by Christians. I find it very odd. We let the media control us.

> Why give credence to the system with your participation therein?

It's not so much the system as it is those who're dominating it and warping it. I do not want to prolong the domination of those who are just using us. This question makes it sound like we are against the system, which I have never heard anyone here say. Unlike the vote-Republican-or-you're-a-backslider folks, I'd not give someone who felt it was right to abstain any grief that they were supporting Obama and helping kill babies.

> Both paths would seem to demonstrate the unwavering reliance on God about which you're all talking.

Except that voting for a man who fears the Lord is better than not voting, though I'd not hammer anyone that they were breaking one of the commandments for their objection to voting. Frankly, I'm tired of the American civic religion. Too much syncretism. In this case, the syncretism is greatly damaging the saltiness of the church right before our eyes -- "feminism is okay, if it might have a slim chance of advancing our cause."

Anyway, John the Baptist confronted Herod on a personal level and did not lecture him on his poor public policy. Paul dealt with personal issues with kings, too, not telling them how to fix society. Why didn't he tell Felix, Festus and Agrippa to end slavery, for example? Why did he appeal to Caesar... to be able to challenge him on Roman abuses of power?

> I really do want to know how you'd answer these questions because, as I mentioned on the previous thread, it seems to me that the choice should be between voting McCain/Palin and not voting.

Either McCain/Palin or not voting? Well, with two parties only, perhaps. I might agree if there weren't a third choice which was more Christian. If the third party candidate wasn't a strong Christian, perhaps I'd not vote. I'd be a hypocrite if I voted for Palin, because I do not believe that is a good thing for her to be doing, with all due respect to her beliefs, her femininity, her convictions, her choices, her achievements, etc.

Maybe someone else will give you some better answers, sir.

--Michael

> [Todd:] That said, nobody is worthy of your vote.

The same could be said for the voter: nobody is worthy of the privilege, but we do the best we can, flawed as we are. Thankfully, God sorts it all out, not me/us.

Ah, Pastor Bret, I guess we're all victims of our circumstances. Perhaps if you knew more about my situation you wouldn't call 2k a virus.

I ask again: where do we draw the line?

If Barney Frank were the GOP nominee, would we vote for him because he is marginally less pro-abortion than Barack Obama?

> I ask again: where do we draw the line?

> If Barney Frank were the GOP nominee, would we

> vote for him because he is marginally less pro-

> abortion than Barack Obama?

Scott, you know what they say -- it's not a church; we're not electing a pastor. They don't have to live up to any similar standards that we have to be concerned about.

I'd say forget boring old Barney, especially if he's "marginally less pro-abortion" -- how about an unknown, vivacious, 'christian,' pro-life lesbian to get the Republicans excited and capture the undecided female vote, the young vote and some of the middle of the road feminists, not to mention make history, which is always fun, until the next new thing distracts us? We've got to keep those really bad guys on the defensive however we can. Fight fire with fire, and all that. Rome wasn't burnt in a day, so let's lend a hand.

I think you make a good point -- pragmatism tends to always justify itself. Evil "A" is okay to endorse, as long as it is of a lesser sort than evil "B."

Michael,

Thanks so much for the thoughtful response! This election season is proving to be a very trying time for me, and I thoroughly appreciate your sincerity in helping me sort through some tough issues (for me).

> JD, remember the Whigs?

Well, I remember studying them, yes, although I’m not old enough to remember their reign. :)

> People used to vote for their candidates, and they used to win. They're gone now. Perhaps this is what needs to happen to the Republicans. But it won't happen when Christians keep relying on them to save the day. I know Christians don't believe in euthanasia, which must be why they keep the Republicans on life support. I think the Constitution Party sounds more like our founders than the Republicans, which is why I'll vote for them over abstention.

> What about giving someone else a turn? The Republicans and Democrats have had enough turns. Why is the idea of a third party so foreign? Christians make it sound like it is un-American to vote for a third party, which shows me how much "faith" they put in the Republicans. We keep hearing about the lesser of two evils. What about the lesser of three evils?

You might have missed my point. I didn’t mean to suggest anything about the American-ness of voting (or not) either way. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about American-ness. (I’ve cared about being a “good American,” at the expense of loving God and my neighbors for far too long already!)

> It's not so much the system as it is those who're dominating it and warping it. I do not want to prolong the domination of those who are just using us. This question makes it sound like we are against the system, which I have never heard anyone here say.

Check, for one example, that Sobran excerpt Tim provided in the first Palin thread—he makes a pretty compelling argument that abstention is the way to go, although, admittedly, he doesn’t seem to address the idea that there might be an outside-the-establishment, God-fearing Christian for whom voting is possible.

> Except that voting for a man who fears the Lord is better than not voting, though I'd not hammer anyone that they were breaking one of the commandments for their objection to voting.

Is it better? I guess that’s the real issue with which I’m wrestling here. What if I feel strongly convicted that the system as a whole--and not just the dominators/warpers, as you suggest--is broken and/or ill-suited to the Lordship of King Jesus, and that casting any vote at all is an endorsement of said system? Presupposing your next assertion, why is such a conviction erroneous?

Darryl,

Your like a stone in my shoe.

FYI ... I've nailed my anti women in office flag high to the past in the CRC. Anybody who knows me knows my conviction on this and indeed wishes I would shut up about it. As such, I fail to understand your charge of hypocrisy. But then it is not really about you thinking I'm a hypocrite. Rather it is about you've been nailed between the eyes on the virus and now you are looking for any opportunity to discredit the messanger. What can I say except ... "Don't shoot the messanger.

The fact that you took my comments as a declaration that I am a victim of my circumstances rather than an attempt to put you off in a cordial way communicates volumes about your loathing for me. Loathe away. I care not.

Here is some advice. Your crabbing this situation all wrong. I am a nobdoy. My advice to you is to just ignore the nobodies. You only hurt your cause by drawing attention to your detractors and their critiques by taking them on directly.

Looking forward to being ignored by you,

Bret

"I think you make a good point -- pragmatism tends to always justify itself. Evil 'A' is okay to endorse, as long as it is of a lesser sort than evil 'B.'"

So, were the Hebrew midwives just being pragmatic when they lied to the Egyptian authorities in order to save the lives of the Hebrew babies?

Was Rahab just being pragmatic when she lied to protect the Hebrew spies?

Would you condemn these faithful women because they violated one command in order to uphold another? Would you have done anything differently? Would you have given over the babies and the spies to slaughter so that no one could accuse you of being a pragmatist?

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