Friday, February 8, 2008

You Ever Dance With Romney in the Pale Moonlight?

Enough is Enough
I had stopped writing on this blog for quite some time. If there’s one thing that can bring me out of a five month blog-writing-hiatus, it’s an election year. Like anyone, I have opinions about what’s going on in America right now.

Whether your opinion supports a specific candidate or your opinion falls along the lines of “I don’t follow politics because a) I don’t understand it, b) politicians are all the same, c) I’m too lazy to care about who is running the country I live in,” you still have an opinion. So do I.

I’ve been closely following this race of who’s who in the bout of being president for about a year and a half. I watched as candidates announced the beginnings of their campaigns, and I’ve watched candidates gracefully bow out one-by-one.

Ignorance is Super
After last week’s Super Tuesday voting day, we’re now left with four serious candidates to choose from as the nominee for the democratic and republican parties in the general election – Obama (D), Clinton (D), McCain (R) and Huckabee (R) (and Ron Paul (R)).

(Note – for the record, I am supporting Obama. This entry may not sound like it to some people, but I am. I’m also a Christian. This entry may not sound like it to some people, but I am.)

By my estimation, Huckabee (R) is still in the running because of the Christian conservative votes in the recent primaries. He used to be a pastor and uses his faith as a platform in this race. So he connected with people who look to vote for someone who uses their faith as a platform to be the president of the United States – which (unfortunately) is a lot of people.

Be Careful What You Pray For
Mitt Romney is not a Christian. He’s a Mormon. He was running for president as part of the Republican Party. He’s no longer in the race. He suspended his campaign this week because he had a disappointing (for him) turnout in the polls and voting booths at Super Tuesday.

Before he left, Romney was considered by many conservatives to be the “most conservative candidate” of the candidates remaining.

Conservatives are hesitant to get behind McCain because they think he’s too liberal. But McCain is the front runner and the imminent Republican candidate when it comes time to vote in November. So he’s all they got.

Why did Romney leave? I read an article from the New York Times, and according to Timothy Egan, Romney left because of this.

Egan writes, “Blame Christians. By significant margins, in poll after poll, in vote after vote a solid block of evangelical Christians said they would never vote for a Mormon.”

Explain Yourselves
To evangelical Christians:
NEVER?? So if the candidate had views and opinions and policies that best represented your beliefs on how a country should be run, but they were Mormon, you wouldn’t support them?? Ever? Even if it means you throw out the guy you consider the best representative of your party for a guy that you question whether he’s even a conservative?

I’m so tired of this unwritten rule among Christians (or maybe some super-christians will argue that it is written) that if you’re a Christian, you must vote for a Christian candidate to lead a country full of non-Christians. Brilliant. It happened in 2000, 2004 and it’s happening now. This rule got George Bush elected. It kept him in office. Now look at yourselves.

Forget about Christianity preaching financial responsibility and peace – let’s keep the guy who started two wars and created the country’s greatest deficit ever. Forget about Jesus Christ pleading with followers to love our enemies, let’s elect the guy invades countries without a real distinct cause or direction. Nevermind what the Bible says about suppressing our pride and selfishness, let’s invite the guy back to the White House who “stays the course” no matter how many wise and in-touch people are telling him that his selfish agenda is aimless and costing the lives of thousands of people – including Americans. Forget about all of this when voting for a candidate because at least he reads his Bible, goes to church and believes in God.

The Point
The personal religious beliefs of a president should not be at the top of the list of criteria we’re counting when we go to vote. It shouldn’t even be in the top ten. Just because someone believes in God does not mean they’re the best fit to run this country.

Educate yourselves on the issues and needs of this country. Form a belief for yourself and what you deem is important for this country to have. Then vote for the person that best parallels what you find. Is it really important to have a Christian in the oval office? Is that a dire need for this country to have? Is it so important that you’ll neglect the candidates that best represent your party’s values for other candidates that are questionable?

I didn’t even like Mitt Romney. He was actually my least favorite candidate throughout the entire race. I thought he was arrogant and didn’t have the proper direction when it came to fix the problems we’re facing with our suffering economy. I didn’t think that his approach to resolving the war in Iraq was sufficient. He changed what he stood for so often that I think he had no idea what he finally stood for. I don’t think he would have made a good president. I don’t think McCain will either.
But this is not about them. It’s about why we as voters do what we do. I’m not trying to tell you who to vote for. I’m just trying to tell you that personal religious beliefs don’t best represent a country full of millions of people who don’t believe the same as you. I’m trying to tell you that there is so much more to a country and a presidential race than the religious beliefs of a candidate.

There is something wrong when people go to the polls and already know they’ll never vote for someone who believes in a different God. That’s selfish and does not have the best needs of the country at the forefront of our minds when we act like that.

Settle Down Everyone
Please, evangelical Christians – stop. Just stop. Stop screwing everything up. You’re making the rest of us Christians look bad. You’re justifying the critics and skeptics who say Christians are crazy, ignorant and out-of-touch. Please stop.

…Or I’ll just have to continue writing on this blog.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, you sound so angry. I don't believe Christians vote for someone just because they are a Christian, at least I hope not. But I do believe that Christians look at a candidate who with the same value systems - That's not always someone who says they are a Christian. I think it's too bad that Replubicans and democrats have labels on them that somewhat defines them in people's eyes, such as "liberal" "Conservative" "christian" and "non". What happens when one is a liberal Christian...where does that person reside on the issues. You're lumping Christians into a group, sounding almost as bad as the conservative christians themselves.

Danielle said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Tyler. And it's been a huge frustration of mine for a while now. Great post. You just earned yourself a consistent reader (when you do post, that is :)).

-Danielle Caver (the former Danielle Christian from Samford)

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