“We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” – Benjamin Franklin

Why do conservative Christians condemn and desert one another?

In my 25 years as a pastor, founder and president of a nonprofit organization, BOND, conservative activist and a leader in the tea-party movement, I have seen an incredible amount of infighting and division among conservatives. It’s being played out in the spheres of politics, faith and personal relationships. Here are a few case studies:

Establishment Republicans dislike the tea party because they are unwashed outsiders or, as John McCain described them, “hobbits” with pitchforks. Tea-party candidates come to D.C. to downsize big government. This is a threat to the political power brokers.

For that reason, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to crush them. McConnell and his ilk recently ran a coordinated campaign with Democrats to defeat tea party-backed Mississippi Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel.

Establishment Republicans helped disseminate flyers into black communities, portraying McDaniel as a “tea-party racist.” So much for Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment.

But we’re not just talking about warfare between elite Republicans and the tea party. This infighting is happening even within the tea party itself.

Liberal groups may disagree on nine out of 10 issues, but they can unite around a single issue or candidate. This is not always the case with the tea party.

You’ll find some of the best Americans involved in the tea party, yet they too are fractured. Tea-party groups are split over how they’ll be perceived by the media if they take a position, for instance, on social issues.

Conservatives outside the tea party are also betraying and attacking one another.That is what happened to former six-term Republican Missouri Rep. Todd Akin.

I recently had Akin on my radio show to talk about his story and his new book, “Firing Back.” Akin ran against incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2012 and was viciously attacked for his “legitimate rape” comments.

Explaining his views on abortion in cases of rape, Akin basically said that it’s rare for a woman to get pregnant from a rape. And the rapist should be punished – not the baby.

The left jumped on him and used him as a poster child for their “war on women” lies.

It’s no surprise that the left attacked Akin, after all. Most of them support abortion on demand. And it’s no surprise elite Republicans attacked, too. But to my amazement, many conservatives criticized and deserted Akin.

When a conservative stumbles, why is it that our side rebukes them even before the liberals do? Are conservatives trying to prove that they’re not hypocritical like the left?

Liberals and Republicans attack conservatives, and then conservatives attack each other! This lack of forgiveness among conservatives is destroying us from within. It’s causing our outspoken and bold fighters to be overly cautious and even withdraw from the fight. As a result, the left’s voices are growing while ours are diminishing.

Conservative Christians are also at odds over religious doctrine, and this is causing a major rift.In 2012, Mitt Romney lost his presidential bid in part because too many Evangelical Christian voters stayed home. Even though the choice was clearly between a morally decent man and an evil man, many could not bring themselves to vote for a Mormon.

The split over Christian doctrine is hurting our ability to stop the left’s godless agenda.

As Christians, we don’t have to agree on everything, but we should come together and support virtuous men and women.

The division has also crept into the churches.The lack of backbone among many Christian pastors is leaving church members disillusioned. Many are frustrated with the pastors, and they’re jumping churches to seek the truth.

Recently we had a young family come to my church and express interest in joining. The father was unhappy with his previous church because the pastor would not speak out on abortion, same-sex marriage, etc. I told him that I didn’t want him leaving that church while he was angry and asked him to talk to the pastor. I told him that after speaking to the pastor, if his family still wanted to join my church, they could do so.

I wanted this man to try and resolve his issues. Otherwise, he would transfer the anger he had toward that pastor to me, and that helps nobody.

If we don’t resolve our differences and unite in these perilous times, our adversary will surely wipe us out.

How do we turn things around?

First, we must stop attacking one another. People make mistakes, and we have a responsibility to forgive. That doesn’t mean we can’t correct each other, but we shouldn’t pounce on good people based on the lies that liberals say about them.

When we unite in truth, we will draw good people back into the fold. We will be stronger – and we will stand united for faith, family and freedom.

In his book, “Firing Back,” six-term congressman Todd Akin describes in eye-opening detail what it is like to be an unapologetic conservative in a town dominated by media bullies, backroom bosses and liberals of either party.

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