It’s easy enough to say it now, but I didn’t see Kerry winning this election against George W. Bush. Kerry held too many positions on a number of issues that made it too easy for his opponents to characterize him as indecisive. Even though I feel the course is wrong, Bush has been steadfast in pursuing it. I felt enough people were sufficiently scared of the prospect of another terrorist attack that Bush would win for that reason.
In reading the press from 11/3 onward, it appears that most people who voted were motivated not by fear of terrorists, but by “values”. Amendments against “gay marriage” drew many people to the polls. As a Christian, a Seventh-day Adventist, someone reading this might think I would be happy about that. Instead, I am sad. If there is anything this election confirmed for me, it is that a politician can win votes by merely paying lip service to being a Christian, particularly if they are born-again. It seems to me that there was scant evidence of this Christian faith exercised on the trail. For months and months we were subjected to all kinds of attacks and distortions of the opponents’ records, if not by the principals, then those who work for them. I’m still looking for the passage of scripture where it says it’s acceptable to have someone speak on your behalf to lie about your opponent in a race for elected office. Our politicians rail against “gay marriage” and talk about protecting the sanctity of it. Those of us who believe in God are sadly mistaken if we believe that any government can make anything sacred. What sense does it make to entrust governments who invented “common law” marriage and “no fault” divorce to defend marriage? How unfortunate that a few invocations of God’s name or a familiar hymn should be a substitute for competence.
This election is another step in the sad trend toward the mixing of government and religion. The purpose of churches is not to act as agencies of government. Rather than spend time and money pursuing federal funds or acting as part of any “faith-based initiative” from the White House, those of us who believe ought to be doing what we can to share our faith. We should have a positive impact on the communities we’re a part of. Government funds nearly always come with strings attached. They can force church ministries to “secularize” their messages. It’s far better to forgo those funds and share faith openly. Government funding of church ministries is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
We should see by now that politicians can’t be depended on as any sort of guide for moral leadership. I think things would be a lot better if we tried to be better examples to others in our own lives.