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For 11 years I wrote a regular column for the Chalcedon Report, which is edited by the Rev. Andrew
Sandlin. And during this time, in the Report, there was no group
attacked and critiqued with more vehemence than conservatives and the
modern conservative movement. Thus, I was shocked and appalled to see
Sandlin’s WND
column

in which, of all things, he was, as a “conservative,” making the case
for George W. Bush as president. For example, in the Report in July of
1999, Sandlin said, flatly:

“Conservatism loses, will always lose, must always lose, because it
is in the nature of conservatism to lose. Conservatism is not interested
in a full-orbed Biblical Faith, but in restoring yesterday’s liberal
gains. … Conservatism denies the authority of Scripture and Biblical
law … and thus (is) destined eternally to ride in the caboose of
progressive liberalism’s great train of progress (i.e., moral
degeneration).”

In the January 1998 Report, Sandlin said that “modern conservatism is
nothing more than Enlightenment liberalism in less fully developed
form.”

“… modern conservatives,” he wrote, “simply adore liberalism, so
long as it is the liberalism of a quarter century ago,” saying also,
“The inherent premise of modern conservatism is the diligent quest to
die a cultural death just a little more slowly than liberalism does.”
And: “Modern conservatives … lack any objective, authoritative anchor
on which to base conclusions or their agenda. … For conservatives,
only slightly less than for liberals, adherence to Holy Scripture as the
infallible Word of God and its application to all areas of life is
abhorrent. Like modern liberals, modern conservatives are not interested
in truth, and they consider any affirmation of an absolute truth to be
dangerous.” What Sandlin said is needed is an “an explicitly Biblical
Christianity” which offers “the only comprehensive life system.”

And in the September 1997 Report, Sandlin said that “if, therefore,
somebody today concludes that modern ‘conservatism’ is nothing more than
undeveloped liberalism, he may be forgiven for his galling
perceptiveness,” that “by and large, conservatism in the main is
undermining orthodox
Christian religion.”

Well, amen, Brother Sandlin. Preach it, friend!

I agree with all these criticisms of modern conservatism. But, if you
really believe what you have said, why are you writing only as a
conservative with nothing at all said from an “explicitly Biblically
Christian” perspective? Why are you making a case for Bush (rhymes with
mush) and totally ignoring the “explicitly Biblically Christian”
candidacy of Howard Phillips, and to a lesser extent the presidential
candidacy of Pat Buchanan?

I don’t get it.

And your case for Bush is pathetic. I never thought I would see you,
of all people, arguing, solely pragmatically, on the basis of a
candidate’s “electability” and mindlessly repeating such platitudes as
“winning is all about capturing the middle.” Ugh! Your saying this,
incidentally, reminded of what the late Rep. John Ashbrook, R-Ohio, used
to say: “The only thing I’ve seen in the middle of the road is a yellow
stripe and dead skunks.”

And since when have Bible-believing Christians given such primary
importance to “electability” and “winning,” as if politics was the
end-all and be-all? Do we not believe that God is sovereign, not
“politics”? Of course. So, why are you sounding like the late Green Bay
Packers Coach Vince
Lombardi who believed that winning was the only thing that mattered?

You say, regarding Bush, that “it won’t do to say that we shouldn’t
vote for the lesser of two evils.” But, why not? The lesser of two evils
is still evil. And Bush is “evil” in the sense that, though he may be a
born-again Christian (and I hope he is), there is no evidence whatsoever
that he has the slightest idea how his faith must shape his politics or
public policies, or what limits Scripture places on civil government.

In fact, there is evidence to the contrary. In a Nov. 2, 1999, talk
in Gorham, N.H., titled “The True Goal Of Education,” Bush said we must
encourage clear instruction in right and wrong. But, “I am not talking
about schools promoting a particular set of religious beliefs. Strong
values are shared by good people of different faiths, of varied
backgrounds. … It is noble when a young mind finds meaning and wisdom
in the Talmud or the Koran.”

In addition, the April 3 New York Times quotes Bush as saying, “I
won’t close down the Department Of Education.” And there is much more
recently about Bush that is extremely worrisome from a Christian
perspective. Slowly but surely, in a supposed move to “the center” to
get elected, Bush is revealing that he is mush on some very important
issues. The March 30 Washington Times reports that in Newark, N.J.,
Bush, “reaching out to women and centrists,” spoke warmly of that
state’s governor, Christine Todd Whitman, who is pro-abortion –
including
partial-birth abortion which is infanticide. The Associated Press says
that Bush suggested that support for abortion rights wouldn’t
necessarily disqualify any potential running mate he might pick.

Said Bush, regarding abortion, after he and Whitman toured a school:
“Good people can disagree on the issue, and I understand that I’m
standing here with a friend of mine. We disagree on some (?) aspects of
the issue. That doesn’t mean we can’t be pulling for the same thing,
being on the same
team, and I respect Governor Whitman’s views and I respect her as a
person.”

Well, now. Too bad Whitman doesn’t respect the innocent, unborn baby
in the womb as a person! There’s no way a person can be “good” (which
Scripture defines as godly) and favor the legalization of murdering
innocent, unborn babies. And there’s no way a good person could respect
such deadly views. Impossible.

In another N.Y. Times story it is said that Bush has invited a group
of homosexual Republicans to meet with him at the governor’s mansion, “a
development that stood in contrast to his longstanding refusal to meet
with the Log Cabin Republicans, a leading gay organization.” The Times
says this “hints at the Governor’s desire to project a more moderate
image in the general election than he did in the primaries.”

Says Bush, in a pathetic attempt to rationalize his courting of these
sodomites and lesbians: “This is a different time. The campaign is
over. It’s important for me to unify our party, and I welcome the gay
Americans who support me. …” Charles Francis, a homosexual public
relations consultant in Washington, D.C., whose brother has raised funds
for Bush for years, says Bush is now more eager to meet with homosexuals
than during the primaries: “George and I were talking a while back and
he said, ‘Why don’t I hear more from gay conservatives?’” The April 8
Washington Times quotes Bush as saying he has members of the Log Cabin
Republican Club on his campaign team and “I’m proud to have their
support.”

Ah, but Bush is better than Al Gore you say. There are “substantive”
differences between the two. Well, yes, but, of course, your observation
presupposes Bush will keep, as president, what promises he makes as a
candidate — a highly questionable assumption. But, for Christians the
parameters are not Bush vs. Gore. No way. This is a political version of
moral relativism. The standard for Christians is this: How does Bush
measure up according to Scripture? And I believe that when this is done,
seriously, and he is “weighed in the balances” he is “found wanting,” to
put it charitably (Daniel 5:7).

Finally, and incredibly, you say that as “conservatives” (speak for
yourself, friend), by supporting Bush, “we are buying time to maneuver,
so that 25 years from now we may not need to support a presidential
candidate with Bush’s convictions (or lack of them).” But, this makes no
sense. If
Christians sell-out now by supporting Bush the only thing this
demonstrates is that we are suckers.

You conclude by saying, “We may lose slowly with Bush, but losing
slowly leaves time to start winning.” But, again, this is incoherent. As
a Christian, I am no longer interested in “losing slowly.” The only
thing “losing slowly” does is teach us how to be effective losers. As
Howard Phillips has often said, “In order to achieve victory one must
first seek victory and have a plan for victory.” And from a Christian,
biblical perspective — the only one I care about — George W. Bush has
no such plan.

I close with a quote we Bible-believing Christians love and quote
frequently.

“Stonewall” Jackson’s chaplain and chief of staff, Robert L. Dabney,
said of the secular conservatism of his time over 100 years ago: “Its
history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive
party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling,
but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the restricted
novelty of yesterday is today one
of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only
in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be
forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution,
to be denounced and then adopted in its turn.

“American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism
as it moves forward to perdition. It remains behind it, but never
retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt
hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency
is not hard to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism
of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It tends to risk
nothing serious for the sake of truth.”

Today, with George W. Bush, modern conservatism and the Republican
Party, this is more true than ever. To paraphrase that old, famous 1928
New Yorker cartoon, you may say that Bush is broccoli, and we Christians
should eat it. But, I say it’s spinach, and I say to Hell with it.

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