Holding Christians accountable
I have problems with Christians running for office who compromise their beliefs and our common faith for political gain. Just as I cringe when a non-Christian politician quotes Bible verses to play to those of faith for political gain, I cringe when Christian politicians engage in shady backroom maneuverings for political gain.
The GOP primary in Georgia is tomorrow, and Ralph Reed will find out if he will be the Republican candidate for Lt. Governor. Questions have dogged him about his dealings with Jack Abramoff and the millions he gained.
The facts are damning, and have been widely reported. In fairness, the following questions must be asked:
- In 1999, why did Ralph Reed first work against gambling legislation in Alabama (which benefited the Mississippi Choctaw tribe's casinos) only to work for legalizing internet gambling on eLottery, Inc.'s case in 2000 (which James Dobson and the Moral Majority opposed), and then back to killing gambling legislation in 2001 which benefitted the Louisiana Coushetta tribe's casino?
- Why did Abramoff turn to Ralph Reed to "bring out the wackos" to help kill the anti-gambling bills?
- Why was Ralph Reed paid through shell organizations, when in the eLottery, Inc. case, Reed's "teammate" the Rev. Louis Sheldon was paid directly?
- Why did Ralph Reed knowingly get paid from organizations he knew did not exist, directed money to those organizations, and why was he so loathe to receive money directly from casino and lottery operators?
- Why has Ralph Reed only provided a token defense, which has done nothing to dismiss these questions or any other ones that I have missed?
The Rev. Billy Graham famously will not close a door when only he and someone from the opposite gender are in the same room. Why? So no one can legitimately accuse him of impropriety and thus jeopardize his ministry and witness.
Is it scandalous of me to ask that Christian politicians act in such a manner? Does this make me stark-raving mad to ask that we as Christians hold each other accountable? Is that just too much?
I believe we need more Christian politicians, yet they must be of the upmost character as the temptations inherent in those positions can imperil our common faith. The higher the standard one claims, the more scrutiny they invite, and the farther they have to fall.
I refuse to be a "wacko" that does the bidding of a politician simply because he claims to be a Christian, yet does not live as one. I have a fundamental and constitutional right to hold politicians accountable, and a further right to hold those that claim to be Christian to the most important standard, the Bible.
We'd all be better off if folks stopped claiming Christian culture and started living out their Christian faith, especially those aspiring to lead our country.
Walking in the light
This guy's still running?
Concise summary of Reed's misdeeds
Ralph Reed lied
Who's your general?
Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff
Righteously cast out?
Fundie Watch: Ralph Reed