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Have Republicans transformed into the party of conservative Christians?

shuamort

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John Danworth, a former Republican US Senator and Episcopal Minister, thinks so and has written it all out in this article. I've bolded the points I thought were strong arguments he made.

BY a series of recent initiatives, Republicans have transformed our party into the political arm of conservative Christians. The elements of this transformation have included advocacy of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, opposition to stem cell research involving both frozen embryos and human cells in petri dishes, and the extraordinary effort to keep Terri Schiavo hooked up to a feeding tube.

Standing alone, each of these initiatives has its advocates, within the Republican Party and beyond. But the distinct elements do not stand alone. Rather they are parts of a larger package, an agenda of positions common to conservative Christians and the dominant wing of the Republican Party.

Christian activists, eager to take credit for recent electoral successes, would not be likely to concede that Republican adoption of their political agenda is merely the natural convergence of conservative religious and political values. Correctly, they would see a causal relationship between the activism of the churches and the responsiveness of Republican politicians. In turn, pragmatic Republicans would agree that motivating Christian conservatives has contributed to their successes.

High-profile Republican efforts to prolong the life of Ms. Schiavo, including departures from Republican principles like approving Congressional involvement in private decisions and empowering a federal court to overrule a state court, can rightfully be interpreted as yielding to the pressure of religious power blocs.
In my state, Missouri, Republicans in the General Assembly have advanced legislation to criminalize even stem cell research in which the cells are artificially produced in petri dishes and will never be transplanted into the human uterus. They argue that such cells are human life that must be protected, by threat of criminal prosecution, from promising research on diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and juvenile diabetes.

It is not evident to many of us that cells in a petri dish are equivalent to identifiable people suffering from terrible diseases. I am and have always been pro-life. But the only explanation for legislators comparing cells in a petri dish to babies in the womb is the extension of religious doctrine into statutory law.

I do not fault religious people for political action. Since Moses confronted the pharaoh, faithful people have heard God's call to political involvement. Nor has political action been unique to conservative Christians. Religious liberals have been politically active in support of gay rights and against nuclear weapons and the death penalty. In America, everyone has the right to try to influence political issues, regardless of his religious motivations.

The problem is not with people or churches that are politically active. It is with a party that has gone so far in adopting a sectarian agenda that it has become the political extension of a religious movement.

When government becomes the means of carrying out a religious program, it raises obvious questions under the First Amendment. But even in the absence of constitutional issues, a political party should resist identification with a religious movement. While religions are free to advocate for their own sectarian causes, the work of government and those who engage in it is to hold together as one people a very diverse country. At its best, religion can be a uniting influence, but in practice, nothing is more divisive. For politicians to advance the cause of one religious group is often to oppose the cause of another.
Take stem cell research. Criminalizing the work of scientists doing such research would give strong support to one religious doctrine, and it would punish people who believe it is their religious duty to use science to heal the sick.

During the 18 years I served in the Senate, Republicans often disagreed with each other. But there was much that held us together. We believed in limited government, in keeping light the burden of taxation and regulation. We encouraged the private sector, so that a free economy might thrive. We believed that judges should interpret the law, not legislate. We were internationalists who supported an engaged foreign policy, a strong national defense and free trade. These were principles shared by virtually all Republicans.

But in recent times, we Republicans have allowed this shared agenda to become secondary to the agenda of Christian conservatives. As a senator, I worried every day about the size of the federal deficit. I did not spend a single minute worrying about the effect of gays on the institution of marriage. Today it seems to be the other way around.

The historic principles of the Republican Party offer America its best hope for a prosperous and secure future. Our current fixation on a religious agenda has turned us in the wrong direction. It is time for Republicans to rediscover our roots.
There's a lot of truth in this article. I would love to see the Republicans shrug off the burden of the Christian Coalition and move back to what they were known for. Smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and freedom.
 

Squawker

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I would love to see the Republicans shrug off the burden of the Christian Coalition and move back to what they were known for. Smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and freedom.
I will have to think about this some, but I am not sure I agree with the article. Republicans moving to the right and less fiscal responsibility are contradictory. I think the influx of Neo-Cons has moved the party to the left. The social aspects of Danworth's article has been argued about since the beginning of time, so I am not sure that is relevant politically.
 

freedom69714

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I hope the republicans keep on pandering to the religious right for this I do pray because then the progressive can show America what these low life truly are bigots .

They do not believe in smaller government, Or less government in our lives, they only believe in more power for their party and they will lie, steal ,kill, tell you anything you want to hear , they will sell their souls , and they will sell your soul

Terri Schiavo is the begaining of the end of the consertives BYE ,BYE,
 

anomaly

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Squawker said:
I will have to think about this some, but I am not sure I agree with the article. Republicans moving to the right and less fiscal responsibility are contradictory. I think the influx of Neo-Cons has moved the party to the left. The social aspects of Danworth's article has been argued about since the beginning of time, so I am not sure that is relevant politically.
I have to completely disagree with this: "I think the influx of Neo-Cons has moved the party to the left. "

To the left? You mean, to more spending and higher taxes (as is the leftist generalization)? No at all. The left wishes to tax a bit higher, and also create social programs to help the poor. Ever since Reagan, every single GOP president has increased spending in only one area: the military. And, if you want to talk about spending, that's where it is, and that's what makes neo-cons so completely different than cons. Cons believe spending is bad, period. A noble argument, if a bit naive. Neo-cons are notorious for their excitement of the idea of empire building, hence their want for more military. Unlike cons, neo-cons are quite in favor of a US ruled world, of a US policed world. Cons are of course opposed to this.

Also, neo-cons have been in recent years much, much farther to the right on social issues than conservatives. The neo-cpns are sort of ultra conservative in this department, and currently there is a noticeable split in the Republican party between what Thomas Frank calls 'the cons and the mods' or the conservative wing (neo-cons) and the more moderate wing (old cons). This split has moved the Democratic party to third party status in much of the country.

But what is similar about both wings, and the reason they even fit together under the same party, is the economic feeling shared by both factions, and the GOP in general. Both of them are in full support of the new trend of 'hyper capitalism' globalization, union busting (starting by their hero, Reagan), anti-New Deal sentiment, and anti-socialism. Before this sounds like a completely partisan attack, let me state that the Democratic party has, for the most part, abandoned their pro-labor roots and has followed their GOP counterparts completely in supporting laissez-faire capitalist ideas. What has really happened is that the gap between Democrat and moderate Republican is completely blurred, as we can easily see that someone like Joe Lieberman could easily be a moderate Republican. The Democrats and moderate Republicans really have no difference, other than a different perspective of history.

In conclusion, for you to say that any mainstream US party has moved 'to the left' is completely false. The Democrats and a wing of the GOP have actually moved to the right, the Dems on fiscal policy, and the neo-cons on social issues. The moderate Republicans have not moved, and this has blurred their difference with their Dem counterparts, and has created, in many a Red state, only one real political race: one not between Dems and the GOP, but one between the neo-cons and the mods of the GOP.
 

JOHNYJ

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RE : Shaumort #1
Senator Danforth, a minister in the Epscopal church usa.Which has been suspended from the world wide Anglican Communion for its liberal aberations.
This constant use of the word " conservative "i n front of he word christian . Ever notice one never sees the word liberal put in fron of the word. Even though most mainline protestant christian churches are. In many cases if you want to put a word in front of the christian groups being discussed 'orthodox ' may be a lot more accurate. the liberal media thinks they can make conservative christian sound as bad as liberal. Which they have given up using.Because they know its connotation to most Americans.Hasn't worked yet.
 

shuamort

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JOHNYJ said:
RE : Shaumort #1
Senator Danforth, a minister in the Epscopal church usa.Which has been suspended from the world wide Anglican Communion for its liberal aberations.
This constant use of the word " conservative "i n front of he word christian . Ever notice one never sees the word liberal put in fron of the word. Even though most mainline protestant christian churches are. In many cases if you want to put a word in front of the christian groups being discussed 'orthodox ' may be a lot more accurate. the liberal media thinks they can make conservative christian sound as bad as liberal. Which they have given up using.Because they know its connotation to most Americans.Hasn't worked yet.
It seems to be working on you.

On a perfunctory search, I found this:
Local author examines role of evangelism in politics
Much of the criticism of the religious right comes from the left — from liberal Christians or non-Christians who chide conservative Christians for trying to impose their religion on others.
of course, according to this article, "liberal christians" aren't christians at all:
Survey Highlights Concerns with Christian Interpretation of New Orleans Disaster; Universist Movement Says Christianity Out of Touch with Reality
The survey did uncover several sermons insisting God has nothing to do with the weather. However, the rare laissez-faire theologians are no match for the overwhelming consensus of the Christian community and the Bible itself. There is a point at which liberal Christians must recognize they are not Christian at all - and that's a good thing.
I still found other references currently to "liberal christians" however:
Robert Funk, religion scholar
In the course of those studies, the Jesus think tank stirred controversy among conservative Christians even as liberal Christians applauded its scholarship for making Christianity believable and relevant in the postmodern world.
A question of creation
Darrow won public opinion. The bigotry and ignorance associated with the cause rallied liberal Christians, who believed that there was no necessary conflict between the teachings of Christianity and the findings of science.
 

SouthernDemocrat

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JOHNYJ said:
RE : Shaumort #1
Senator Danforth, a minister in the Epscopal church usa.Which has been suspended from the world wide Anglican Communion for its liberal aberations.
This constant use of the word " conservative "i n front of he word christian . Ever notice one never sees the word liberal put in fron of the word. Even though most mainline protestant christian churches are. In many cases if you want to put a word in front of the christian groups being discussed 'orthodox ' may be a lot more accurate. the liberal media thinks they can make conservative christian sound as bad as liberal. Which they have given up using.Because they know its connotation to most Americans.Hasn't worked yet.
I am an Episcopalian and that is not true. The Episcopal Church in the USA is still fully a member of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.

Socially conservative churches are fairing no better in terms of growth than more liberal churches are. The only churches that are really growing at all is the Catholic Church, and really, the Catholic Church excluding Abortion and Gay Marriage is a very liberal church. The only other churches that are experiencing any real growth are the charismatic churches and they vary from being socially liberal to socially conservative. Membership in denominations like the Southern Baptists has actually declined as a percentage of the total population.
 

steen

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Freedom69 said:
I hope the republicans keep on pandering to the religious right for this I do pray because then the progressive can show America what these low life truly are bigots .

They do not believe in smaller government, Or less government in our lives, they only believe in more power for their party and they will lie, steal ,kill, tell you anything you want to hear , they will sell their souls , and they will sell your soul

Terri Schiavo is the begaining of the end of the consertives BYE ,BYE,
And that intrusiveness of a strong state is what have them marching towards Fascism, something many, many thousands of Americans died to defend us against.
 

JOHNYJ

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RE : Southern democrat
PECUSA has been suspenede from the 2 highest administrative organs of the Anglican Communion . Many of the other provinces of the Anglican Communion have broken relations with the American province.
THe Eastern Orthodox won't even talk to the Episcopalians,the Catholics only at low levels.
The Epioscopalians have gone so far to defend their aberations they don't even sound like protestants anymore.
The New Pope seems to hink that Catholics should act like Catholics, so many groups may find themselves in trouble.
 

FiremanRyan

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have Democrats transformed into the party of radical leftists who will oppose anything the Republican party supports without ever coming up with their own solutions?

there are always extremes on both sides of the spectrum and unfortunately in todays media, they seem to have the biggest voices.
 

SouthernDemocrat

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FiremanRyan said:
have Democrats transformed into the party of radical leftists who will oppose anything the Republican party supports without ever coming up with their own solutions?

there are always extremes on both sides of the spectrum and unfortunately in todays media, they seem to have the biggest voices.
I think it would be very difficult for one to make the arguement that the GOP is not a conservative christian / socially conservative party. You are talking about a core republican constituency here.
 

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SouthernDemocrat said:
I think it would be very difficult for one to make the arguement that the GOP is not a conservative christian / socially conservative party. You are talking about a core republican constituency here.


It is scary that in the greatest country ever created , the U.S.A. that we have people who can believe something wholeheartedly, irrespective of the facts.

The GOP is absolutely NOT a conservative christian/socially conservative party.

Here's how easy it is to make that argument because it's true:

1. Republican Presidents have nominated 7 of 9 supreme court justices to the S.C., yet all fundamental liberal programs/ideas, including those of the secular left have been protected, with the one exception of the Death Penalty; which has been under assault for the past few years.

To believe that Republican Presidents and members of Congress are stupid or being fooled by court nominees is not as credible as to believe that Republicans are really mainstream moderates who "talk" conservative but ultimately choose to affirm New Deal/Great Society liberalism.

2. Every politician in the Republican Party to my knowledge ascribes to "I disagree with what she/he said, but I will fight to defend their right to say it". There has not been any real effort to ban vile speech, pornography, or even the sexuality on cable and/or regular t.v. This with Republican rule for over 10 years in Congress. The most that has been done are repeated attempts to ban flag burning!

3. Republicans have presided over the secularization of America through business over the last 5,10,20 years. Sunday used to be a day of rest and reflection on the Lord. Yet today, only Chick-fila closes on Sunday. Republicans were they truly a Christian party would advocate the return of laws that closed down businesses on Sunday.


4. President Bush takes into account race, gender, background, etc. when proposing policy and making appointments. His approach is clearly more Clinton than Reagan.


5. There are over 1,000,000 abortions each year, 90% of which occur in the first trimester, and yet Republicans at all levels , the "pro-life" party, refuse to take real steps against this like:
protest at clinics
using the bully pulpit to state clearly "abortion is murder" (if they believe it)
shut down Congress in support of the unborn



If Republicans treated abortion the way they treat tax cuts, then abortion would be eliminated or surely curtailed. Look how creative they are at finding ways to cut taxes.

We can imagine pro-choice republicans: Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Guiliani, Pataki, etc.

Now imagine pro-tax increase republicans who could be elected President.


6. Issues that matter to social conservatives and Christians are only political cards for republicans like the gay rights agenda. When Republicans need votes or better poll numbers they champion these issues. Then they disappear. Look at the progress the gay rights movement under Republican rule.

....The facts show the Republican Party has found the proper mix of code words, symbolism, and tokenism to garner Christian/social conservative votes. Yet for a generation, the country has tended on a liberal path.

I agree with that liberal path for the most part.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!
 

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Have Republicans transformed into the party of conservative Christians?
It seems republican party is getting more liberal by the day instead of becoming more conservative.I would love to see the republican party become more conservative christian.
 

SouthernDemocrat

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jamesrage said:
It seems republican party is getting more liberal by the day instead of becoming more conservative.I would love to see the republican party become more conservative christian.
In the 1960s, Barry Goldwater represented the far right of the Republican Party. Today, he would be a moderate Republican at best.
 

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craigfarmer said:
It is scary that in the greatest country ever created , the U.S.A. that we have people who can believe something wholeheartedly, irrespective of the facts.

The GOP is absolutely NOT a conservative christian/socially conservative party.

Here's how easy it is to make that argument because it's true:

1. Republican Presidents have nominated 7 of 9 supreme court justices to the S.C., yet all fundamental liberal programs/ideas, including those of the secular left have been protected, with the one exception of the Death Penalty; which has been under assault for the past few years.

To believe that Republican Presidents and members of Congress are stupid or being fooled by court nominees is not as credible as to believe that Republicans are really mainstream moderates who "talk" conservative but ultimately choose to affirm New Deal/Great Society liberalism.

2. Every politician in the Republican Party to my knowledge ascribes to "I disagree with what she/he said, but I will fight to defend their right to say it". There has not been any real effort to ban vile speech, pornography, or even the sexuality on cable and/or regular t.v. This with Republican rule for over 10 years in Congress. The most that has been done are repeated attempts to ban flag burning!

3. Republicans have presided over the secularization of America through business over the last 5,10,20 years. Sunday used to be a day of rest and reflection on the Lord. Yet today, only Chick-fila closes on Sunday. Republicans were they truly a Christian party would advocate the return of laws that closed down businesses on Sunday.


4. President Bush takes into account race, gender, background, etc. when proposing policy and making appointments. His approach is clearly more Clinton than Reagan.


5. There are over 1,000,000 abortions each year, 90% of which occur in the first trimester, and yet Republicans at all levels , the "pro-life" party, refuse to take real steps against this like:
protest at clinics
using the bully pulpit to state clearly "abortion is murder" (if they believe it)
shut down Congress in support of the unborn



If Republicans treated abortion the way they treat tax cuts, then abortion would be eliminated or surely curtailed. Look how creative they are at finding ways to cut taxes.

We can imagine pro-choice republicans: Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Guiliani, Pataki, etc.

Now imagine pro-tax increase republicans who could be elected President.


6. Issues that matter to social conservatives and Christians are only political cards for republicans like the gay rights agenda. When Republicans need votes or better poll numbers they champion these issues. Then they disappear. Look at the progress the gay rights movement under Republican rule.

....The facts show the Republican Party has found the proper mix of code words, symbolism, and tokenism to garner Christian/social conservative votes. Yet for a generation, the country has tended on a liberal path.

I agree with that liberal path for the most part.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!
I agree with you, but their talk is certainly pro-religious right. Now, I have said before that the religious right is being taken on this because Republicans, the party that in power across the board, has done nothing for them.

Moreover, anyone having ever read the Gospels of Christ, ought to know that Jesus is a Liberal.
 

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SouthernDemocrat said:
Moreover, anyone having ever read the Gospels of Christ, ought to know that Jesus is a Liberal.
Of course they read them, after all, they think they have the monopoly on Christ.:2razz:
 

shuamort

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kal-el said:
Of course they read them, after all, they think they have the monopoly on Christ.:2razz:
Well, they do have Baltic and Mediterranean.
 

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Regretably,the democratic party has been taken over by the left and turned into the party of,Death ! It is very dificult to be a christian and a democrat nowdays. The Republicans are controiled by the rich and big business,but.Moraly they are still christian.What Americans need is another viable party like the democrats that is notcontroled by the far left.
 

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Someone enlighten me as to where in the New Testament Jesus talks about the importance of having taxes,and taking from the poor to give to the rich.
 

JOHNYJ

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Jesus would have said a Plague on both your houses to the Democrats and Republicans.
He couldn't have been a Democrat because he had one brush with an abortionist named Herod and that was enough The Republicans are in the Pocket of those rich people he use to preach about. So Jesus would have to start a new party.
 

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shuamort said:
John Danworth, a former Republican US Senator and Episcopal Minister, thinks so and has written it all out in this article. I've bolded the points I thought were strong arguments he made.

There's a lot of truth in this article. I would love to see the Republicans shrug off the burden of the Christian Coalition and move back to what they were known for. Smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and freedom.

No, it hasn't.
 

shuamort

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Missouri Mule said:
No, it hasn't.
You'll have to try a complete retort to something because what you just said...makes no sense at all.
 

cnredd

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shuamort said:
You'll have to try a complete retort to something because what you just said...makes no sense at all.
I think he was just responding to the title thread...

Why he included your post is still a mystery...
 

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cnredd said:
I think he was just responding to the title thread...

Why he included your post is still a mystery...
He posted the thread. I was responding to his question. I gave it the attention it deserved.
 

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JOHNYJ said:
Jesus would have said a Plague on both your houses to the Democrats and Republicans.
He couldn't have been a Democrat because he had one brush with an abortionist named Herod and that was enough The Republicans are in the Pocket of those rich people he use to preach about. So Jesus would have to start a new party.
If Jesus were to return, I'm sure he wouldn't climb very far on the political ladder.:lol:
 
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