It is no secret that the Democrat party is unfriendly to Christians. It is also no secret that the mainstream media (that votes by an order of 8 to 1 or more for Democrat candidates) is no friend to Christianity But in America’s two party dominated political system that leaves only the Republican Party left to consider. So is the Republican Party a friend to Christians? The unqualified, unmitigated answer to this question is a resounding no. Though the GOP certainly has more identifiable Christian politicians within her, a party, it has grown so increasingly hostile to Christianity that it can no longer be called a friend. That’s right. The GOP – that old, grand party that led the charge against slavery and women’s suffrage and fought for civil rights and once the rights of the unborn – is indeed no friend to Christians.
To effectively analyze the current state of Republicans, we have to look at not just what the party says it stands for but what it does. The ideological pillars of the Republican Party that Christians have found to be the most appealing and endearing, are the party’s stance on abortion and traditional marriage. Though there are many Christians warm to free market ideals, smaller government and low taxes it is abortion and traditional marriage (formerly known as family values) that has been the glue that has bonded Christians to the Republican brand for more than 42 years. Yet these issues have fallen by the wayside over the last 25 years. Christians have only been paid lip service in terms of actually legislative pushes as the Establishment has convinced its base that embrace an issue like abortion or traditional marriage will result in more failed bids to capture the White House – though no candidate since Reagan actually campaign on either issue. Instead, the Republican party has fallen silent as the unsavory winds of capitulation have swept down from the mountainous heights of Lincoln or Reagan into the squishitude morass of a party that is trying to be all friends to all people no matter the unprincipled cost.
And most notably in this sea change, is what isn’t. It is the party’s sudden and methodical distancing of itself from Christians who actually do take a stand on biblical principles including bakers, florists and photographers who have their livelihoods and homes threatened and have been subjected to government fines and public shame for refusing to serve at or for gay weddings. Neither has then been no outcry from the Republican Establishment for Christians having been bullied or marginalized for their stands on abortion or for trying to advertise or organize in favor of pro-life messages. Sadly, the best you will hear from any national Republican is a few lines on a cable news segment, a quick speech on the House or Senate floor or the increasingly rare piece of unserious legislation calling for the end of late term abortions.
One thing I have always admired about liberal advocates is their tenacity. They will organize and rally for causes they deeply care about. They will act and organize for movements they care for and will suffer the cost of their convictions. But the same can’t be said of Republicans. There are no organized rallies for Christian causes, or big dollar support for their interests and this is largely because pragmatism is easier. Long-term, pragmatism isn’t a better sell, but it is certainly more expedient and convenient and the Establishment has bought in completely to the idea that expediency under the white flag of compromise is going to lead to success whereas it’s produced only stinging defeats even during a favorable political landscape. It’s also true that unwavering conviction will put a politician’s future at risk, but true conviction breeds sacrifice and sacrifice breeds meaningful changes when it is done in a peaceful and respectful manner. But sadly, you won’t find Republicans coming alongside Christians as we wrestle with our faith and love for Jesus as we live out our convictions in the public square. We will continue to suffer and we will be the ones to sacrifice but we will certainly do it without any support from a party that pays us lip service for our votes – that is, the prototypical presidential election cycle pandering to our concerns with each four years that win or lose will lead to no more than lip service as our nation continues to blot out the Gospel and its implications in the Christian’s daily life.
Though true meaningful change has and always will lie with the conviction of Christians. Jesus told us that cling to him means suffering and persecution, and we have undoubtedly had it good in American. But the point of all this is that we would do well to remind ourselves, that we Christians have no friend in either political party no matter how much one feigns to pay its occasional respects to our convictions.