Special to WorldTribune.com
It is time for Christians, and those of other faiths who value this nation’s unique character, to leave the Republican Party and start their very own political organization.
For decades, the Christian alliance with the GOP has failed to roll back or even mildly halt the relentless advance of liberalism. We have lost the culture, lost the traditional underpinnings of the nation and no longer have a national character we can take pride in. The Republican Party is useless for all those who are serious about upholding traditional Judeo-Christian morality.
Practicing Christians have none other than themselves to blame. For, in accepting the idea that an alliance with a broader political agenda can also secure moral aims, we have lost sight of who we really are.
In a 2004 column on the uniqueness of America, Jewish writer and talk show host Dennis Prager noted that “Judeo-Christian America has differed from Christian countries in Europe” in significant ways. “For example, Thomas Jefferson wanted the design of the seal of the United States to depict the Jews leaving Egypt. Just as the Hebrews left Egypt and its values, Americans left Europe and its values.” The innate sense of “chosenness” which these Americans shared with the Jews “is why more Americans have died for the liberty of others than any other nation’s soldiers,” Prager wrote.
As Christians, we are to place nothing above our faith. Nothing should come first. And yet, for decades we have accepted the notion that the economy comes first, health care comes first, foreign policy comes first … essentially everything except our moral, sacred and eternal principles has taken precedence. We have subordinated ourselves to the false God of the “Big Tent” GOP and in so doing have worshiped fleeting idols.
Ultimately, our core values have been trampled underfoot and we too have unwittingly participated in their strangulation.
Yet, there is clarity now. The GOP is a dismal failure. Since World War II, the size and scope of the state has grown at an exponential rate. Not even President Ronald Reagan was able to reverse its mammoth trajectory. And with that growth, our liberties have steadily receded. In the Obama years, this is now compounded with soaring budget deficits and a national debt so large we may never recover. Where is the fiscal conservatism Republicans have promised to deliver, again and again? Where is the small government they profess to cherish? Instead, we have capitulated to liberalism, leading to the gradual erosion of our individual liberties.
The Republican Party is currently searching for its soul, as it tries to understand why President Barack Obama won re-election in 2012. And in this search for the path forward, many have proceeded to sell out even more of our principles. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has told us to accept immigration reform and to go soft on the social issues. Soft from what, we have to ask? Do we go from mere mush to pure liquid? Do we move from failure to nonexistence? How much more are we to dilute ourselves in order to win an election? And at this pace, what kind of victory are we striving for if we are to win votes but only by selling out all our values?
It is far better to hold onto truth than to win without a shred of it.
Mr. Priebus’ approach is morally vacuous and strategically foolhardy. The GOP strategy to go moderate is simply not working. In successive elections, moderates have failed — Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. These candidates do not appeal to the center, as promised, while failing to galvanize the base of the Republican Party. Instead, these politicians only succeed in keeping the base at home.
Christians, in particular, are tuning out altogether from electoral politics. In 2012, had they turned out to vote in droves, Mr. Romney would have won the presidential election: 2.5 million evangelicals and millions of Catholics preferred to stay home, by contrast to 2008, rather than show up to cast a ballot in line with their core values.
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, called for a turning away from the concept of the moral majority toward the “prophetic minority” — that is, a notion that Christians will stand unabashedly for life, marriage and religious liberty — not as a political strategy but merely as a matter of defending their minority rights. This approach is to focus on individual virtue, evangelization and cultural influence rather than politics.
Mr. Moore’s “prophetic minority” is a step in the right direction. It is indeed better to aim small, have few but real adherents of Christianity who truly embody the faith in their lives, than many whose adherence is superficial. We are well to return to the example of the early Christians whose burning, deep and authentic faith inspired others to follow suit.
After all, Jesus himself was an underdog of one, who then cobbled together a committed twelve. With the help of only twelve, after several hundred years, the very one who was deemed a criminal and crucified at the hands of the Roman state, was then exalted as the leader of the one and only true religion in the largest empire the world had yet known.
This example, of small but true, is more successful than the path we Christians have embarked on in America. We have taken the opposite road of the early Christians — going large, vast and shallow rather than small, deep and utterly committed.
Christians must indeed rekindle a passion for their faith and for evangelization, as Mr. Moore suggests. And yet, we can also have a political influence with a party that is a self-professing and unabashedly Christian Party. This political organization will place religious and moral issues first, without compromise, and regardless of political calculations.
Does this mean there will eventually be a persecution or exclusion of other faiths — Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu? Of course not: Any student of American history knows there is no greater guarantee of religious freedom than when Christians are in charge of this country.
As we have seen, it is the secularists who threaten the religious freedom of all; it has been Christians who have best understood how to preserve the nation’s religious character without harming the faith of others. Adherents of other faiths are in fact likely to applaud and admire a resurgent, muscular Christian America. Those of other faiths currently share our contempt for the values of a secular state that in theory offers freedom for all but in practice has descended into cultural barbarism and perversity.
The attempt to be inclusive means Christians currently dilute themselves to the point of not standing for anything at all. It is enough.
Many will argue that third parties in America never win. Many will say fracturing the GOP only leads to Democratic victories. Both points are true but irrelevant. We are losing already. We can only go up from defeat. For if even one truly principled member of a new Christian Party is elected it will be better than 280 useless Republicans in Congress. An example of truth will ricochet manifold, in or out of office. By contrast, several hundred liars successfully elected to Congress only depresses the national character and smothers the flame of Christianity.
It began centuries ago with simple, uncompromising truth. It began with an army of one. That is the path to virtue, to national restoration and to freedom.
Let Christians act on the strength of their convictions, sever ties with the GOP once and for all and take hold of the destiny of this nation. We are its only hope.
Grace Vuoto is the Editor of Politics and Culture at World Tribune. The founder of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Renewal, she is the host of American Heartland with Dr. Grace on WTSB Radio Saturdays at 3:00. See show and archives at: the Grace Vuoto channel at WorldTribuneTV.
Dr. Grace Vuoto
Editor of Politics and Culture