Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Okay, then!

Those who predicted the GOP would avoid significant bloodshed between the Pragmatic and Primitive wings of the Republican coalition were engaging in a little wishful thinking, it seems.

Disabusing them of this illusion is Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker who, firing a shot from the side of the Pragmatics, argues that in order to repair its brand, the GOP must do nothing less than turn its back on God.

As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.

Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.

I'm bathing in holy water as I type.

To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.

Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party.


It isn't that culture doesn't matter. It does. But preaching to the choir produces no converts. And shifting demographics suggest that the Republican Party -- and conservatism with it -- eventually will die out unless religion is returned to the privacy of one's heart where it belongs.
I didn't see this coming. I knew that there would be a war between the religious and business factions of the conservative coalition, but I thought that the combat over religion would be fought with the same euphemisms they have been using to bludgeon everyone else: "values," for example.

Calling explicitly for God to be ejected from the Republican Party is something else entirely. Parker writes jokingly about facing a firing squad over her thesis. It is a slight exaggeration at most, however.

For the people to whom Parker refers as "the oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP," the Christian-themed agenda of the Republican Party is literally non-negotiable.

This was written almost a year ago at the beginning of the presidential primary season by the junior pastor of Bethany World Prayer Center, an influential Evangelical Church in Baton Rouge:

It is my opinion, and I believe the Word of God would back me up, that we should always have a godly Christian in the highest office in the land!


Where do they stand on issues such as abortion and stem cell research. Any leader who is unwilling to stand up for the unborn is clearly out of sync with the Christian faith and cannot be given any credibility in this arena of faith. Another huge issue is that of homosexuality. Do they believe or stand for same sex marriage? If so, rest assured they are not the person God has chosen for office.


There will always be different opinions but in the end the first 2 things I listed are really non-negotiable for any God-fearing Christian. These qualities go for any person running for office, not just President.
Joel Stockstill is just one pastor of one church, but he is not unique, and his beliefs are perfectly representative of the religious base of the GOP that some secular Republicans now think they can cast aside in search of a more marketable message.

These are the voters upon whom the Republicans have depended to deliver elections that they otherwise would have lost. And the only thing that got them to turn out in large numbers was the belief that the GOP really did share their values.

Pragmatics like Kathleen Parker can try to cast God out of the Republican Party if they want to, but if they think tens of millions of Evangelicals will not follow Him out of the GOP, they are mistaken.

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