Sunday, January 22, 2012

WIll you Vote for the Unwinnable, the Pagan or the Serial Adulterer?

Note: I am making a couple assumptions in this post about my readers:

  1. You're a protestant Christian
  2. You're a Republican 

So who are you going to vote for in the Republican primary? Using the most recent primary, we start with the least number voted for to the highest. Let's talk about Ron Paul.

Ron Paul
I categorize Ron Paul as unwinnable. Sorry to all of you Tea Partiers and Ron Paul rebels. Paul is not winnable. The Democrats will slam him as a racist, mock him for his fiscal policy and ignore his foreign policy. Very few people interpret the constitution as Paul does.

Rick Santorum
I like Rick, except for the fact that my spell check wants me to spell his name as "sanitarium." He seems like a nice guy, he's got "fire in the belly," but who is he again? So what he won Iowa. He doesn't have the ability to slither through politics like a snake, and he'll get eaten alive by the press. Hence, he's also unwinnable.

Mitt Romney
The big question, do you vote for a pagan?

Some people will say that Mormonism is a sect of Christianity though by definition it is not a part of Christianity. In one sense it is like saying Islam is a sect of Christianity. (Which, by the way, some people did see Islam as being a part of Christianity in it's early days. Read this book to see.) The key qualification for a religious group to be a part of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is the core. I know this is a vague and broad definition but even on this broad definition Mormonism is excluded. Mormons do not hold Jesus Christ to be a central figure. Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong on this.

That said, can you vote for a pagan? Your philosophy of voting determines your answer. Do you vote for someone based on his policies and track record or do you include other stuff in your decision. This includes one's cultural background and religion. Where you land on this spectrum will help determine whether you can vote for Romney or not.

Even if you do consider one's religious background in your decision, there is another question that must be answer. Ought you not vote for someone who comes from a differing religious background? Your answer depends on how strictly do you hold to the principle of voting for someone who is like you. If you hold to it strictly, you are going to vote only for someone of your own denomination. If you are loose then you can vote for someone who is of a differing background, like Romney. Voters are somewhere along this sub-spectrum. On one end you have people who vote strictly for those who are like them. On the other end you have people who vote loosely for people who could or could not be like them.

Newt Gingrich
Last and least in terms of his public moral record, Newt Gingrich. Okay, so isn't this the guy who took a vacation to the Greek Islands WHILE running and his campaign staff quit on him? How is he still running? More importantly, Gingrich divorced two women and is on his third marriage. Also, he committed adultery while leading the impeachment against Bill Clinton for Clinton's adulterous affair.

Gingrich's actions are immoral on multiple levels. First, divorcing and marrying, twice. Second, committing adultery. Third, being a hypocrite by going after another adulterer while not himself resigning. So, do you vote for Gingrich? Your answer will depend on how important you think one's personal life is. I personally don't think one can be ethically sound and vote for Gingrich if you believed Clinton ought to have stepped down after his adulterous affair, and/or you hold marriage to be sacred.

My Concluding Thoughts 
I must say, it is a tough call. I personally can't vote for Gingrich. It is possible that I could vote for Romney, and I could vote for Santorum. Though, I need to be convinced he can handle the press. Sorry Paul, maybe another year.

I believe a Christian does have room to vote for a non-Christian in an American election. I don't think there is a Biblical requirement to vote for a Christian. I say that with hesitancy. I would love to hear people's thoughts on this one. It would be interesting to hear an argument for why Christians ought to vote only for Christians.

This is a tough spot for Christians to be in. With that said, think carefully for you will have to give an account for your vote on judgment day. May God have mercy on us all!


  1. There is another thing that you did not really touch on that is important that is how a person says there religious beliefs affect there political decisions. For Ron Paul it is vary little, for Rick Santorum I don't know how much he says it will but through my research I think it will effect it a little more then Paul.

    I think there is enough good things in these four men to make one good candidate who can win and get us out of the mess we are in. and hear is my take on them Ron Paul on budgetary issues i.e. cut spending now, Rick Santorum on moral issues and how the government should act on them, Mitt Romney's private sector experience most notably his leadership in relation to the Slat Lake City Olympics, a cross between Ron Paul and the other three candidates on national defense, and last but not necessarily least Newt Gingrich ability in debating.

    I think the Christians are vary hesitant to vote for people who are not Christian because of they would rather vote for someone who they believe is at the vary least moral, but both Bill Clinton (Southern Baptist) and Newt Gingrich (Roman Catholic, formally Baptist and Lutheran) claim to be Christian. I would prefer to vote for someone who believes in Christ's kingship over the nations but in my life time there has not been a nominee who does, and in my book there is no difference between a christian candidate who doesn't and one who doesn't believe. But Mormonism I have a problem with there belief in continuing revelation as a whole they have done several complete reversals in there teaching and Mitt Romney has in his political leanings on some big issues so there is nothing to make me believe that he won't do it again.

  2. Hey David! Good thinking and writing on a topic that by this point in the election can be overwhelming. Not sure I agree precisely with all your positions, but I really appreciate you drawing sharp moral lines w Mormonism and serial divorce and adultery. Be sure you read "The American Leadership Tradition" by Olasky. He takes the position that a leader's activities in regard to moral purity prove a fairly reliable indicator of his behavior in office.

    Your argument against Paul seems pragmatic.

    I would quote from the Reformed Presbyterian Testimony(which guides us as an official declaration of the Church). RPT 25.15 says that "the Christian, when such action involves no disloyalty to Christ, ought to be involved in the selection of and to vote for civil rulers who 1) fear God; 2)love truth and justice; 3)hate evil, and; 4)are publicly committed to scriptural principles of civil government. (Ex. 18:21; Deut. 16:18; 2 Sam. 23:3; Rom. 13:3).

    A more challenging statement comes in 23.17
    "The Christian must profess publicly and the Church must witness, that Christ is the Ruler of every nation. Whatever the official action of the civil government of a nation may be, the Christian in his civil actions must always exhibit his loyalty to Christ. The Christian must reliquish every right or privilege of citizenship which involves him in silence about, or denial of the supreme authority of Jesus Christ."

    My conclusion is that we have so "subjectivised" Christ's rule over the nations (thanks in part to Bartian neo-orthodoxy) that confessional churches struggle to assert in any public way the Lordship of Christ. This is something I think younger ministers need to wrestle with and address in the form of open letters, letters to the editor, and such.

    We definitely have FOUR sinners running for office. Still unsure what I will do.

    I am grateful for the roadmap comment in 25.2 that "A true recognition of the authority and law of Christ in national national life can only be the fruit of the Spirit's regenerating power in the lives of individuals."

    May the Lord grant a wide-spread and national repentance of individuals and a turning to Christ by the thousands and millions.

  3. Thanks for posting on this! I am thankful for being a citizen and having the responsibility to vote. I find Romans 13 and Luke 20 helpful in thinking about our government.

  4. What a nice, sticky subject that is very worth bringing up. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know all that much about politics, but I will venture to say that logically it doesn't make sense to vote for someone solely on their religious/moral convictions without considering their political competence. A clueless, Christian politician can cause horrendous consequences even with the purest of motives. But we also don't want someone with a singed morality leading the country either. It's a balance. But when in doubt, the first place to turn is always prayer - God's logic is much higher than our own.


Thank you for your comment, I'll review it as soon as I can!