Article VI Blog

"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

United States Constitution — Article VI:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Whispers See Print, Evangelical Republicans Asunder, Blame The Christians, and more…

Posted by: John Schroeder at 06:42 am, December 10th 2009     —    3 Comments »

On Monday we said:

Rumors emerged in whispers last week that Santorum and or Thune may be contemplating an actual attempt and not just floating trial balloons.

So what should appear in print this week?  Well, later Monday:

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum told ABC News that he is examining a run for president in 2012. He says he is “absolutely taking a look.”

And Wednesday:

While most of the 2012 GOP presidential buzz is focused on a group of former and soon-to-be former governors, Sen. John Thune is increasingly being viewed as the Capitol’s most likely White House contender.

Yes, our ear is that close to the ground which is why you should be reading Article VI Blog at every opportunity.

Why, you might wonder, would these gentlemen be looking at this now when the field is already pretty full of presumptives?  Because, frankly…

Republicans, Especially Christian Ones, Are Tearing Themselves Apart looks at a new poll that indicates “a major divide within the Republican party.”  The poll points out that a “Tea Party” candidate would beat a Republican one.  That could explain some moves we have seen amongst some of the presumptives this week.  We have contended almost from Day One that Palin is not running.  Some still insist.  But be that as it may, a hat tip to EFM for this from Chris Cillizza:

An astute Fixista flagged a fascinating interview that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gave to conservative talk radio host Lars Larson last Friday in which she appears to leave the door open to a third party bid for president in 2012. Asked by Larson whether she would consider running as a third party candidate, Palin said: “That depends on how things go in the next couple of years.” Larson told the 2008 vice presidential nominee that answer “sounds like a yes” to which she responded: “If the Republican party gets back to that [conservative] base, I think our party is going to be stronger and there’s not going to be a need for a third party, but I’ll play that by ear in these coming months, coming years.” Which, to the Fix’s delicate ears, sounds like Palin leaving the door wide open. As we have written before, Palin is not — and never will be — a candidate of the Republican establishment. Given that, and the unpredictability she demonstrated in her stunning decision to resign as governor over the summer, no potential avenue to the presidency should be ruled out.

Third Party Sarah makes a weird sense to me.  She’ll never win because third party candidates never do.  If Teddy Roosevelt could not pull it off, Sarah Palin sure cannot.  But her behavior is far more in line with Ross Perot than it is with somebody seriously considering a party run.  But remember what Perot accomplished – Bill Clinton.  Come to think of it, third parties are losers not just for the candidate.

Which bring us to Mike Huckabee who is reported by Politico:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee believes that trying to build a big tent Republican Party will “kill” the conservative movement.

Uh, Mike – you’re entitled to your opinion and all, but there are not enough conservatives, well at least your type of conservative, out there to win a national election.  It’s simple math.  He is quoted:

“Conservatives are conservatives because they have convictions, and convictions aren’t preferences,” Huckabee said. “You’ll change your preferences. Your convictions are what you’ll die for.”

Well, that is certainly prophetic since death is precisely what will occur – in the form of never holding office.  And see, here’s the thing, if your dead, who’s there to try and move the ball forward?  Two steps forward, one step back is still one step forward.  Two steps forward and die trying to hold them means your opponent is no longer opposed.  It’s called strategy.

But Mike is far from alone in this sort of thinking.  The Manhattan Declaration has proven divisive, which is just incredibly sad.   Here are three blog posts on the matter that are great starting places:

What’s the debate about?  Well, in a word “theology.”  The primary concern for many is making common cause with Roman and Orthodox Catholics who, in the view of the usual suspects, are as heretical as the dreaded Mormons.  It is interesting, if not funny, because the theological divide between Catholics and Evangelicals is a gnat’s hair compared to the distance-between-galaxies divisions between Mormons and Creedals and illustrates the futility of injecting theology into essentially political situations.  They are arguing about definitions of “gospel” when the point is doing what we can to minimize abortion and prevent same-sex marriage from becoming the law of the land.

In the end, it is a statement about the state of Evangelical Christianity for those that have these concerns.  For them, religion IS theology, which is a narrow definition of religion indeed.  What’s sad is that their theological insistence in the end makes the world worse since it prevents them from participating in an alliance, thus weakening it, designed precisely to make the world better.  One is almost forced to ask, “What good is a form of Christianity that makes the world worse?”  (I can think of a number of good things about Evangelicalism, I’m not trying to say it’s bad here – just suggest some careful self-examination.)

It makes one wonder if Rick Warren is not smarter than we might otherwise think.

Meanwhile, Christianity Remains In The Crosshairs

The Supreme Court is giving us a hearing on an important one.  I am getting really tired of hearing that Christianity is ‘discriminatory.’  Besides, discrimination is a great way to enforce that which is wrong but should not be criminal.

Speaking of which, the secular left wants to blame the economic downturn on us.  I guess if the Supreme Court will not grant them a victory, they’ll shun us.  Which frankly is the way it ought to be.  Being a Christian is no more  a crime than being gay.  Yes, we get to shun back – that’s how the game is played.

But if you ask me what is most dangerous to religion, I will tell you this.  The story reduces the religious to a political interest group.  Just as religion is more than theology, so it is more than political stances.  We keep reducing ourselves to insignificance when religion should be most significant and powerful – just a different power than we find in government.


Posted in Reading List | 3 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

Recently Posted:

« The Quiet Weekend – Sort Of  |  Polls, Mormons In The News, Hatred – All That And More »