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Gods of Fear and Yesteryear

October 31st, 2010

David Barton, an evangelical Christian minister and Republican political activist from Texas, warns the god-fearing:

For Christians, voting is not a right, it’s a duty. It’s a stewardship that we owe to God and it’s a stewardship for which we’ll answer directly to him. One day we’ll stand before him and he’ll say “what did you do with that vote I gave you?” And we’ll have to answer.

Righteousness must be the issue. It must be the measure to define what we’re for politically and what we’re against. And each of us will answer to God not only for whether we voted, but for how we voted, for what issues drove our vote.

If we stand before God and He says “why did you vote for a leader who’s attempting to redefine my institution of marriage and who wills the unborn children that I knew before they were in the womb?” If He asks us that and our answer is “Because that leader was good on jobs and the economy,” He’s not going to accept that.

One has to wonder if, a century and a half ago, a similar minister in the South preached to his listeners that when they stood before God and defended their voting record, he would ask why they voted for a leader who would redefine his institution of slavery and wills that people of one race may marry with people of another.

Remember, such were the ways of the time; just as he claims that marriage as it is legally defined today is God’s “institution”–the Bible, of course, says differently, but who’s paying attention–so did many preachers in the old South proclaim that slavery was ordained by God in the Bible–something that actually could be defended a lot better.

There were undoubtedly people back then who voted for slavery, being warned by people like Barton that they would go to hell if they voted against God’s will like that. Today, people like Barton would tell you (at least I hope) that trying to enslave others is wrong and that would lead you to hell.

So, what happened to the people who enslaved others a century and a half ago believing it was God’s will? Did God reward them for doing rightly, or did he punish them, sending them to the fires of hell? Or did God change his mind and judges people differently now?

As a result, one has to question the whole idea of whether we should listen to preachers who arrogantly claim to know what God will or will not send us to hell for. Try instead to phrase the question from different perspectives and see how it comes out:

If we stand before God and He says, “why did you vote for a leader who would deny to all the institution of love and remove my mandate of free will, allowing all to choose the righteous path for themselves?” If He asks us that and our answer is, “Because some preacher told me so and he scared me,” He’s not going to accept that.


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  1. Troy
    October 31st, 2010 at 14:31 | #1

    Religion really adds a lot to the voting experience.

    It’s a chance to be a martyr, to vote against your own personal interests and for God’s.

    Who doesn’t want to sacrifice themselves for God when called?

    Republicans love collecting the votes of single-issue voters — so easy to appease at so little cost to them! And I can understand the attraction for saving other people’s little babies, preventing other people from legally growing &/or getting high on pot, and stopping the state from recognizing gay peoples’ same-sex partnerships as equal to traditional opposite-marriages.

    Also, there is a VERY high correlation between 社会主義 and godlessness:


    “Whites in the South” Demographic support of the Republican presidential candidate:

    1972 76%
    1976 52%
    1980 61%
    1984 71%
    1988 67%
    1992 49%
    1996 56%
    2000 66%
    2004 70%
    2008 68%

    Without Fundamentalist bloc there wouldn’t be the the conservative coalition set on retaking the House and within 1-2% of taking the Senate.

    Patchwork Nation has this chart.

    Compare with http://www.electoral-vote.com/

    Fundies and pro-wealth conservatives are a marriage made in hell, but it’s enough.

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