Screw the Lilies of the Field; Vote Republican!

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Rush Limbaugh's brother David–the Ozzie Canseco of pundits–has had it with so-called Christian Republicans such as former Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.) who question the religious right's role within the party of Lincoln. In his latest col, DL argues that religious Reps should belly up to the electoral equivalent of Golden Corral's all-you-can-eat (and then some) buffet and "feast, not fast, on politics."

[Christian conservatives] have as much right—indeed an obligation—to influence policy consistent with their worldview as any other group. If not Christian conservatives, who will stand up for the unborn? Who will stand up for traditional marriage? Who will better stand up for originalist judges and religious liberty?…

Secular forces are not planning on withdrawing from politics. They don't believe in leaving their worldview out of their policy advocacy, their governance or their law making. How can responsible Christians even consider unilateral surrender? And why are they always asked to make the false choice between their politics and their evangelism? They can and should do both, with vigor.

More here.

Biblical rejoinders to Limbaugh's argument that politics should be a first-order priority for Christians here, here, and here.

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  1. “[Christian conservatives] have as much right — indeed an obligation — to influence policy consistent with their worldview as any other group.”

    Sure they do. Unfortunately for Republican partisans like the Limbaugh’s, many of them have decided that voting Republican, at least for now, does absolutely nothing to influence policy consistent with their worldview.

    In fact, staying home and letting the Republicans get trounced in order to remind the party how dependent they are on Chirstian conservatives is a political act, and one that is much more likely, in the long run, to ensure that at least one party takes the Christian Right’s agenda seriously.

  2. Frank Stallone
    Clint Howard
    Stephen Baldwin
    Ashlee Simpson
    Aaron Carter
    Haylie Duff

    I think I like Haylie Duff comparison best. David Limbaugh is the Haylie Duff of bloviation.

  3. As a Christian and American, I think it would be great (and thus I would be more active in politics) if I could have an actual choice in voting other than: Giant Intrusive Party A that will spend money we don’t have on lotsa stuff vs. Giant Intrusive Party B that will spend money we don’t have on some slightly different stuff (though 85% of it will overlap with Party A’s planned spending).

    Of course the policy issues are a little more divergent than that. For example, party B would have invaded Iraq with a slightly different strategy.

  4. The thing that’s struck me about guys like David Limbaugh is that while they claim to be Christians, any amount of listening to them or reading their columns reveals them to be spiritually bankrupt. They don’t seem at all interested in the tenets of Christianity, they just realize like Karl Rove does that lip service is required because the GOP needs their vote.

  5. As much as I disagree with Limbaugh’s philosophy, I cannot disagree with the thrust of his argument here: if you take ideas seriously, you do have a right (and some might say obligation) to fight for those ideas in the public sphere. I am not going to look up obscure points in the Torah, Bible or Qu’ran (or L. Ron Hubbard’s OT III) and say “Gotcha! DL’s a hypocrite!”

    Not being a Christian, his fidelity to Christian mysticism is utterly unimportant. What IS important is how his ideas compete with mine in the light of reason.

  6. [Christian conservatives] have as much right — indeed an obligation — to influence policy consistent with their worldview as any other group.

    Translation: Christian Conservatives have as much right to use the coercive force of the state to impose their view of morality on the populace as any other group.

    Let’s start by being clear about what these people’s goal is. From there, the rejoinder is fairly clear (to folks who value liberty): Conservative Christians do have the same right to use policy to impose their worldview as anyone: none.

  7. The thing that’s struck me about guys like David Limbaugh is that while they claim to be Christians, any amount of listening to them or reading their columns reveals them to be spiritually bankrupt.

    For once, I sort of agree with you, Dan T. However, I think your second point is overstated. Evangelicals truly belive that their system of morality, and the infinitude of rules and judgements that follow from it, make them virtuous. That’s all well and good, but it has very little to do with what the historical Jesus taught.

  8. For once, I sort of agree with you, Dan T. However, I think your second point is overstated. Evangelicals truly belive that their system of morality, and the infinitude of rules and judgements that follow from it, make them virtuous. That’s all well and good, but it has very little to do with what the historical Jesus taught.

    True, I guess what I was trying to say is that there is a difference between people who devoutly hold beliefs that I may disagree with and guys like the Limbaugh brothers who are cheerleaders for the institution of Christianity without really being members.

  9. Dan_T- Fair enough. That much I’ll agree with.

  10. You know, I think this country is more religious than we like to believe. Just thinking about my family and the people I work with, I know a good number of quite religious people. They aren’t all conservative by any means, but I do think a lot of them have the feeling that the Democrats are more likely to be anti-religion on general principles than the Republicans.

    Personally, I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Maybe it is right this minute, but the parties switch this type of voter every few decades and probably will again. Of course, the “Christian vote” may be to the Republicans what the black vote is to the Democrats for the near term. There’s also the bleedingly obvious point that a country that largely describes itself as “Christian” must have a large number of Christians on either side of the aisle.

    joe, I tend to think that the Christian right will turn out because of their antipathy to the left, not out of pleasure with the right. I’m thinking of my late grandfather, who was nowhere near pleased with the government but was pretty strongly anti-Democrat, because he saw them as depraved, soulless, commie-lovers, etc. I don’t hold with that view, of course, but I don’t think he’s atypical of that sort of voter. Despite the media and pundit position on this election, I think the key is Democratic turnout, not Republican apathy. The worst possible thing for the Democrats in my mind is their current belief that the House is in the bag. If it’s a done deal, why bother voting? Since I want the House to go, please remedy that situation muy pronto 🙂

  11. If Government is the enemy that screws up everything it touches, why would one want government involvement with religion?

  12. Somebody here agrees with me?

    I need to work on my game…it’s slipping! 🙂

  13. Pro Lib,

    Maybe. But this time around, Christian Conservatives aren’t just lacking in enthusiasm for the Republicans, but are actively hostile to them.

    Also, they’ve had very recent experience with voting against the Dems, and see that it’s gotten them nothing.

    I don’t think it’s apathy – I think withholding votes is an active strategy to advance their long-term political influence by increasing their clout in the GOP. I predict that there will be towns all over America where the Republican candidate for sewer commissioner gets move votes than the Republican candidate for Senate.

  14. my late grandfather…was pretty strongly anti-Democrat, because he saw them as depraved, soulless, commie-lovers, etc.

    I think the relationship ‘twixt Democrats and Commies in the minds of Republicans is destined to be an increasingly abstract and irrelevant comparison mainly for 2 reasons.

    1. Communism is increasingly irrelevant and fear of it has largely been seen as overblown.
    2. Policy-wise, Democrats look less like Soviet boogeymen (not that they ever did in the first place) and more like Europeans.

    To most folks, Democrats don’t look particularly “lefty” these days. And to a lot of the Christian right, Republicans DO look like manipulative liars.

    I like David Kuo’s message, but even he doesn’t represent a lot of the Christian right and has, in fact, taken a lot of heat from it. But he has shined a light on just how many in the Republican ranks have used and abused the Christian right’s fealty.

    Plus there are a lot of divisions going on these days with some evangelicals becoming more pro-environment, more committed to fighting poverty and other areas usually anathema to the Conservative Republican agenda.

    So I don’t agree with Pro Libertate that the Christian right will turn out simply due to their dislike of the left. I’m sure some – maybe even a lot – of the Christian right will show up. The question really is, will enough of them show up.

  15. joe, that’s a possibility, that they’ll do a “Behold what we can do to you” this election, but that’s difficult to coordinate. I don’t really know what’s going to happen. I am secretly–well, not so secretly–pleased at the growing disenchantment one sees in voters, though.

    As far as the Christian right showing up, although I think they are an important bloc for the GOP, let’s not forget that they are a minority. It is simply not true that the GOP is the “Christian party” and the Democrats are not. It’s demographically false, and it is, in practice, philosophically false as well. That doesn’t mean that that bloc doesn’t get a ton of rhetoric directed its way and isn’t catered to way out of proportion to its size, but that’s politics for you.

  16. You know, I think this country is more religious than we like to believe. Just thinking about my family and the people I work with, I know a good number of quite religious people. They aren’t all conservative by any means, but I do think a lot of them have the feeling that the Democrats are more likely to be anti-religion on general principles than the Republicans.

    I’ll agree with this, but I think it’s also less religious that the evangelical believe. Probably 99% of the people I’ve known on my life are least nominally Christian, but very few of them seem to really adhere to the tenets of their faith. Even the Evangelical kids I knew in college would still go out and behave in ways they deemed “sinful”.

  17. “It is simply not true that the GOP is the “Christian party” and the Democrats are not. It’s demographically false, and it is, in practice, philosophically false as well.”

    I see enough “Nobody died when Clinton lied” bumperstickers in my church parking lot to support your assertion.

  18. I can’t wait till the election is over so we can start obsessing over the (next) election. The election “season” is a myth. Now it’s all election, all the time.

    Wasn’t there once a time between elections when politicians and citizens alike actually debated competing ideas? When was that? Or is that a myth as well?

  19. David,

    No argument here. A large majority of us are “at least nominally Christian”, with some significant percentage of that group being deeply religious. This is the type of information that is really, really hard to pin down. Few people are shouting their atheism, agnosticism, or even their nominality from the rooftops, after all.

  20. ed,

    It’s now a sport. With the same kind of media coverage, terminology, and importance of results. There are even box scores.

  21. Fundies should break from the Republicans, form a third party, and run Roy Moore for president in 2008.

  22. An interesting point.

    Seculars want people to be free to chose how they want to live.

    Christians deeply rooted in politics want to remove choices and make everyone live by their rule.

    God wants us to have freedom of choice, or I should say God GAVE us freedom of choice. We will be judged by our choices. Those who choose correctly will be rewarded. You may chose to sin and you may be forgiven. With respects to politics the seculars are more inline with the tenets of God than Chirstians that want you to live their way by force of secular law.

    I have no problem with God’s laws, it will be up to God and no one else to judge me, or hold me accountable to those laws, the Bible sez so.

    To force everyone to live under God’s laws by reducing God’s laws to secular laws is an obstruction for us to prove to God we are willing followers. To me, that is interfering with God’s plan.

  23. Don’t forget Joey Travolta.

  24. David Limbaugh is the Haylie Duff of bloviation.

    Admirable, but as I’ve considered a few other choices – Brian Doyle Murray & Ashley Simspson among them – I’m going with Kevin Dillon.

  25. TrickyVic,

    That’s the way I see it, too. If you’re a theist, then the only way the world can possibly make sense is if it’s a testing ground with free will. Otherwise, God is a meanie. He certainly has the power to make us behave any way He wants, so the fact that we’re allowed to choose makes it hubristic indeed to try to impose standards on people down here. Speaking of hubris, the idea that anyone knows the mind of God to such precise detail should attract a thunderbolt or two, as well.

  26. if the religious right were actually made up of guys like danforth, i think the religious right would actually be a net good for this country.

    as it is, a reasonable, intelligent, accomplished and conscientious christian like danforth gets called out by none other than limbaugh’s brother?

    dude, who the hell are you?

    danforth has been a strong supporter of the stem cell initiative in MO. i’m sure most in the religious right now view him as a heretic.

  27. Charlie Murphy

    Nick

  28. Don’t forget Christopher Ciccone

  29. Who was that asshole who said “my kingdom is not of this world” anyway?

  30. If not Christian conservatives, who will stand up for the unborn? Who will stand up for traditional marriage? Who will better stand up for originalist judges and religious liberty?

    Like my third grade teacher used to say – “Will you people please sit down!

  31. “Few people are shouting their atheism, agnosticism, or even their nominality from the rooftops, after all.”

    Why should they, when they can just post on Hit and Run?

  32. Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, Fidel…

  33. You can’t force people into Heaven at gunpoint.

  34. Hat tip to Daze. Who could forget Joey’s seminal work in Night of the Wilding and Beach Babes from Beyond? Good times, good times…

    David, I’ll see your Casey Affleck and raise you with either Rory or Kieran Culkin. Your choice.

    mk, good call with the Madonna sib, who I’d totally forgot about. Since you went with the musical thing, I’ll give you Dannii Minogue.

    Nick, Nick, Nick. Charlie Murphy (aka Blackness) is by far the funnier of the Murphy’s. He is America’s greatest living storyteller and has superb acting chops perhaps best evidenced by his nuanced portrayal of Buck Nasty.

    madpad, you’re not just wrong, you’re crazy wrong! Kevin Dillon rocks so fuckin’ hard on Entourage. I think you meant Chad Lowe.

  35. Stevo Darkly,

    “You can’t force people into Heaven at gunpoint” is exactly right. In fact, by doing so, you’re subverting God’s will and will go. . .

    TO HELL!!!!!!!!!! ??

  36. Since the devil can quote scripture to his own purposes, ….

    And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

    1 Samuel, chapter 8, verse 18

    More of Dave L’s counterparts:

    Charlie O’Connell.

    Ron Gallagher (aka Gallagher II.)

    Larry Lieber.

    Kevin

  37. Jim Belushi.

  38. Rachell Pfiefer.
    Pretter than Michelle Pfiefer but would have a hard time competing against a mannuqin.

  39. “Screw the Lilies of the Field; Vote Republican!”

    Shake some dew off your personal lilly. Right now!

  40. madpad, you’re not just wrong, you’re crazy wrong! Kevin Dillon rocks so fuckin’ hard on Entourage. I think you meant Chad Lowe.

    My initial reaction is to say,”No. Jeremy Piven rocks on Entourage. Kevin Dillon just needs to shave.”

    But since every individual on the Entourage cast rocks harder than Chad Lowe, I’m gonna give you this one, de stijl.

    Pro Libertate, on the other hand, needs to be taken out to the woodshed for suggesting Jim Belushi has not yet proven himself as a singular talent out fom under the shadow his spectacularly talented (but doomed) brother.

    John had less than a decade of notoriety that burned like a nuclear road flair and was gone much too soon. Jim, a lesser talent maybe but, unlike most of the other also-ran schlubs mentioned on this thread, has been able to carry over a dozen films and a current hit show for 5 years. I’ve also hear his performance on an ER episode was downright Oscar-worthy.

    I’m gonna give Jim Belushi a pass.

  41. madpad,

    True. A lesser light but not a loser. Though he’s not even close to his brother as a comedic talent. Well, he’s better now, being alive, I guess.

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