Jane Chastain is a Southern California-based broadcaster, author and political commentator. Despite her present emphasis on politics, Jane always will be remembered as the nation's first female TV sportscaster, spending 17 years on the sports beat. Jane blogs at JaneChastain.com. She is a pilot who lives on a private runway.More ↓Less ↑
Much has been written about the gap between religious and non-religious voters. Those who regularly attend religious services are more likely to vote for Republican candidates, and those who rarely or never attend religious services are much more likely to vote for Democrats.
No surprise here as the Republican platform reflects deeply held biblical values, and the Democratic platform does not.
The 2012 election was no different. Pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage Barack Obama lost among white evangelical Protestants and white Catholics. Nevertheless, more than 21 percent of the self-described “evangelicals” voted to re-elect this president, and that was enough to put Obama comfortably over the top.
While the Electoral College ultimately decides presidential elections, it appears that Obama’s margin in the popular vote was about 3 million votes. However, the number of self-described “evangelicals” who voted for Obama was around 6.4 million. You can do your own math.
While one may self-identify as Christian or Catholic, he or she may only occasionally or never attend church services, pray, read the Bible, etc. However, those who self-identify as evangelicals take the matter of religious observance seriously.
While there is no hard-fast definition of “evangelical,” generally they are Christians and Catholics who, at the very least, 1) believe in the centrality of the conversion or “born again” experience in receiving salvation; 2) believe in the authority of the Bible as God’s revelation to humanity; and 3) have a strong commitment to evangelism or sharing the Christian message.
So, what were these 6.4 million evangelicals who voted for Obama thinking or were they thinking at all? How did they square this circle?
How could they vote for a candidate who supports the wholesale killing of the most innocent among us when the Bible condemns the shedding of innocent blood?
How could they vote for a candidate who wants to dilute marriage by including unions between two men or two women when the Bible calls this practice an abomination?
No, you cannot legislate morality. However, in the last few decades, in our states and in this nation, we have legislated a lot of immorality.
There is no such thing as a value-free law or a value-free piece of legislation. Every bill that is passed and signed into law represents someone’s set of values. If we as evangelical Christians aren’t voting for candidates who support our values, somebody is.
In a democratic republic such as ours, the people who work the hardest are going to have their views expressed in the laws of the land. Laws impact behavior. That’s how it works!
Sadly, most pastors are not adequately preparing their flocks to be “salt and light” in the world. Yes, they read the Bible and they speak in generalities but they don’t address the moral issues that are being debated in the public square.
Maybe they don’t know how to begin, but more likely it is because they are afraid of offending some of their parishioners. The Bible – with its moral absolutes – is offensive to those who prefer to make up their own rules and are “playing church.”
A pastor’s job is to speak the truth in love and hold up God’s plumb line. It is a job that should not be taken lightly. In James 3:1, the Bible warns, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethern, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgement.”
Mitt Romney is a Mormon, not a Christian, but he is a moral man, and the difference between what he supports and what Obama supports could not be more dramatic.
There is no question that economic issues played a big part in this election as they should have. For far too long, this issue has been given little attention in the church, even among pastors who speak out on other issues.
Well, stealing is a moral issue, and taking our money under false pretenses and using it on things that are not constitutional is stealing!
Obama has put us hopelessly in debt, another issue strongly condemned in the Bible. His answer to our financial crisis is to keep spending, redistribute wealth and increase taxes.
While some see this as compassionate, they have not be educated on the difference between welfare and old-fashioned Christian charity. The former is cold and impersonal and leads to dependency. The latter is voluntarily given in love and leads to productivity.
Let’s be clear: This election was not won at the ballot box. It was lost in the church.