Reflections on how Christians help each other to grow and mature in loving God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love their neighbor as themselves.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Values Voters?

The so-called “Values Voters” held a convention in Washington, DC last weekend. All the Republican presidential candidates showed up (were the Democratic party candidates invited?) to plead their cases as to why he was the one who most deserved their votes. It seems none of them received a clear majority. Surprisingly, the guy who won the straw poll, Mitt Romney, is not even a Christian.

What I find most troubling about this group and the event, judging from what I’ve read about it in the press and seen online and on television, is the two issues that “Values Voters” hold up as their litmus test: abortion and gay marriage. They are looking for a presidential candidate who will do all in his power to overturn Rowe v. Wade and support a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

My question is “Why are these two issues the most important?”

I find troubling that a group of people who identify themselves as evangelical Christians identify these issues as the ones they are willing to live and die by. I’ve not heard, seen, or read about anyone from this convention say anything about alleviating poverty, making sure that all Americans have access to health insurance and quality health care, addressing the global AIDS pandemic, or the immorality of preemptive war. I heard nothing about seeking to align their vision for America with Jesus’ vision for life in God’s reign (see Matthew 5:1-7:29 and Luke 4:18-19).

The values of these so-called “Values Voters” seems to me to way to narrow and ideological for a group that also identifies themselves as followers of the Jew from Nazareth, crucified and risen one Jesus Christ. It seems to me that his values encompassed the whole of human life and all people. His values especially centered around the needs of people who are poor, sick, and outcasts. They are the ones with whom he explicitly identified himself (Matthew 25:31-46). And yet, the so-called “Values Voters” had nothing to say about them.

I don’t understand. It seems to me there is a major disconnect with the values of Jesus Christ (the reign of God) and the so-called “Values Voters.”


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