What cologne you gonna go with? London Gentleman, or... wait. No, no, no. Hold on. Blackbeard's Delight.
Some decisions are more difficult than others, especially if you don't want to sting the nostrils ... even in a good way.
But what looks to be difficult is answering the question, who a Christian should root for in the next presidential election?
Is there a clear cut "good guy" or clear cut party that loves Jesus? Some might have you think so, particularly if they see one party as the only one who is pro-life, whether than be seen as in favor of them before birth or taking care of them after birth. I wrestled with some of these issues in the past, but it may become more convoluted this time around.
There are 2 things you should never talk about in polite company, religion and politics. But have you noticed their frequent intersection on the eve of the 2008 political season? Have you noticed that the personal faith of the candidates has been in the news repeatedly?
We have politicians talking about religion and the religious talking about politics.
In the past, most candidates (even on the right) were hesitant to make faith a major campaign issue. There was an aversion to candidates who might let religious morals impact identity and actions. Yet, even among Democratic hopefuls we are repeatedly hearing about how vital and vibrant their faith is and how it shapes who they are (e.g., Hillary Clinton & Barak Obama).
Have we realized that one cannot separate what one believes from what one does? Have politicians realized the importance of faith issues in choosing a candidate, noting the impact the “religious right” is said to have had in the past 2 elections?
This election also has a blurring of the stereotypes. The Republicans want to be seen as “compassionate conservatives” and they are not a uniformly pro-life party. Some Christians who have been historically Republican are wrestling between the likes of Rudy Giuliani, who is pro-choice and for homosexual rights, and Mitt Romney, who is pro-life and for “family values,” but whose Mormon faith causes some concern.
Yet, don't assume the Republican party will necessarily "cater" to the evangelicals, as some have warned. Perhaps they assume/presume the support of the religious right, confident they won't vote for a Democrat seen as extreme (e.g., Clinton or Obama).
Throw in other Republicans and Democrats who speak openly to the importance of their personal faith, and the less informed voter will struggle. Sound bites won’t be enough. Party loyalties aren’t what they once were. Competing values may make for some “strange bedfellows.”
Candidates will want to appear as moral people grounded in a “Christian” faith of some kind, but avoiding the (subjective) labels of “fanatical” or “extremist.” Expect faith to be a significant issue, particularly in the primaries as candidates try to anticipate the role faith plays in your politics. Regardless of personal faith and party affiliation, this election may certainly go down in history as being determined by the faithful.
What role does (your) faith play in your politics? Do you have to vote for a Christian? Have you resigned yourself to the lesser of the 2 (or 3 or more) evils?
Who would you like to see get your party's nomination?
A little self-disclosure. I'm a conservative, but a Barry Goldwater type, who would probably go Libertarian, except for the pragmatist in me. However, after becoming a Christian "pro-life" (i.e., anti-abortion) became my primary issue.
That being said, I've been rooting for a guy who's not even officially thrown his hat into the ring, that would be Fred Thompson. Already seen as a viable candidate, he's suffered some attacks from his (potential) opposition. I take that as a good sign of Fred's potential.
As such, you can chalk this up as another blog for Fred.
This former TN senator is widely known now due to his role on the show Law & Order. I've never seen the show, but I was pretty happy with the last few actors the Republicans have rolled out, particularly the Gipper.
Some Fred info for your viewing/voting pleasure:
On the issue of abortion Thompson was unequivocal: "Prolife." Asked if he supported overturning Roe v. Wade, Thompson was equally unequivocal: "I think Roe v. Wade was bad law and bad medical science And the way to address that is through good judges. I don't think the court ought to wake up one day and make new social policy for the country. It's contrary to what it's been the past 200 years... That's what happened in this case [Roe v. Wade]. I think it was wrong." Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.143-144 Jun 3, 2007
Appoint strict constructionist judges
As President, Thompson would appoint strict constructionist judges like the man he helped through the confirmation process to the position of Chief Justice, John Roberts. Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.162 Jun 3, 2007
Has never been pro-choice despite 1994 news reports Some news reports from Thompson's 1994 campaign classified him as pro-choice. Thompson confesses to being perplexed over the confusion about his position on the issue: "I have read these accounts [about me being pro-choice] and tried to think back 13 years ago as to what may have given rise to them, although I don't remember it." But, he adds: "I was interviewed and rated pro-life by the National Right to Life folks in 1994, and I had a 100% voting record on abortion issues while in the Senate." Planned Parenthood gave him a ZERO rating because of his pro-life voting record. NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) gave him an "F" rating when considering potential vice-presidential candidates in 2000.
Ultimately, however, Thompson is motivated on the issue from a personal level, not just a legalistic or moralistic viewpoint. He has said the issue "means more'' to him now because he has had two children in recent years. "I have seen the sonograms of my babies.'' Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.159-160 Jun 3, 2007
Voted YES on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions. Vote on a motion to table [kill] an amendment that would repeal the ban on privately funded abortions at overseas military facilities. Reference: Bill S 2549 ; vote number 2000-134 on Jun 20, 2000
Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions. This legislation, if enacted, would ban the abortion procedure in which the physician partially delivers the fetus before completing the abortion. [A NO vote supports abortion rights]. Status: Bill Passed Y)63; N)34; NV)3 Reference: Partial Birth Abortion Ban; Bill S. 1692 ; vote number 1999-340 on Oct 21, 1999
Voted YES on banning human cloning. This cloture motion was in order to end debate and move to consideration of legislation banning human cloning. [A YES vote opposes human cloning]. Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)42; N)54; NV)4 Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on motion to proceed to S. 1601; Bill S. 1601 ; vote number 1998-10 on Feb 11, 1998