Since our nation’s inception, faith and politics have been intertwined. Debate has often centered on which side of the aisle is right or wrong in the eyes of God. In 2004, Christians turned out to vote as issues such as homosexual marriage, partial-birth abortion, stem-cell research and gun rights took center stage. However, the last two election cycles have shown that a lack of attention towards certain issues can stifle the Christian turnout.
Is this all important group poised to return to the polls after more or less sitting on the sidelines for the national election that swept Barack Obama into the White House?
Since January, a growing political rift has opened up over issues such as the controversial Ground Zero mosque, gay marriage and abortion provisions in the new healthcare legislation. And the growing concern among Christians that their religious freedoms are threatened by far-left media outlets, political leaders and wacky academic standards may also mobilize Christian voters this fall. These contentious issues have prompted some pundits to predict that once again moral values will play a key role in this year’s elections.
But if the election instead focuses on economic issues, as many expect it to, will Christians turn out to vote? Do faith-based voters feel as strongly about issues such as the size of government and tax rates as they do about abortion and gay marriage.
The answer is a resounding yes.
The plurality of Christians believes in a fair society. This belief transcends the atypical stereotype that moral-values voters only go to the polls when prominent biblical issues are at play. In fact, many people of faith believe that far-reaching government intervention is what prompted America to accept the idea of allowing legislation promoting abortion on demand, gun control, and homosexual marriage, not to mention laws that will shift the nation away from capitalism and towards socialism.
Christians recognize that a hard shift towards socialism will usher in a variety of despotic laws, including restrictions on gun rights and freedom of speech, lighter abortion regulations, sweeping gay marriage initiatives and a continuation of severely regressive economic policies.
Understandably, many values voters are worried that an even bigger and more liberal government will mean an all but certain end to a lot of faith-based programs that started under President George W. Bush.
This year, issues like the economy, jobs and government spending could very well be the rallying cry for Christians.
God bless America.
Ashley Stinnett lives in West Virginia, where he serves as an adjunct college instructor, writer, media and public relations consultant, public speaker and political commentator. He is a registered member of the West Virginia Associated Press, and is a nationally syndicated columnist. He is the author of the new book, “Grasping Appalachian Conservatism: How Not To Be Mistaken For A Latte Liberal.”