This morning I received this email from a “born-again” reader:
“Why are you still politically liberal since becoming a born again Christian? I was once liberal. But when I was born again, I believe the Holy Spirit changed many of my views to those that I think are the norm for all who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.”
Well, for the record, I’m neither liberal nor conservative. Depends on the issue. I imagine some of my opinions might qualify as conservative; I know many of them make the “liberal” cut. Call me a conservative democrat. Call me a liberal republican. Better yet, don’t call me at all—especially if you want to talk politics.
But the emailer’s point is interesting. Because most Christians are politically conservative, right? But I always figured that has as much to do with culture and regional history as it does anything else. At the moment I became a Christian, I didn’t think, “Sweet! Now I know how to vote!” But apparently this reader’s conversion experience did lead him to start voting differently than he had before he was a Christian.
Does anyone out there really believe that voting Republican and/or Tea Party is a natural, inevitable consequence of being Christian? Because if it is, then wouldn’t that mean that any Christian who doesn’t vote Republican/TP is less of a Christian—is less “indwelt” by the Holy Spirit—than is any Christian who does?
Isn’t saying, “If you’re a Christian, then this is how you should vote,” the same as saying, “Insofar as you don’t vote as a Christian should, you fail as a Christian.”?
And isn’t that the same as saying, “I’m closer to God than you are.”?
And isn’t that about as offensive a thing as it’s possible to say?
Bottom line: Show me someone who’s sure what political party God belongs to, and I’ll show you someone so dumb they shouldn’t be allowed to vote.