Moral Contradictions

Monday, July 17, 2006

Holding Christians accountable

We need more Christians to run for office. I whole-heartedly agree with that. I also know and understand that all Christians are sinners.

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.

Sources:

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/001147.php
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/15/AR2005101501539_pf.html
http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/print.cfm?story=99450&ran=189579
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Email_shows_Norquist_asked_Abramoff_for_0622.html
http://tpmmuckraker.com/reed.php
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060220/blumenthal
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.keillor06jul06,0,7565688.story
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/15/AR2006011500915.html
http://www.mediatransparency.com/story.php?storyID=74

Previous posts:
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

2 Comments:

  • I think Christians (pereferably laity) also need to go into politics, but there ARE problems. The kind of Ralph Reed corruption is fairly easy to avoid. Other kinds of compromises are harder: You've worked and slaved to get a piece of legislation that will promote justice and the common good and are just a handful of votes away from getting it passed when you get the call: The party chair can deliver those few holdout votes, but only if you hold your nose and vote for something you campaigned against. NOW, what do you do?

    Christian politicians face obstacles BECAUSE of their faith-based ideals. It's tough--precisely BECAUSE most of them have far more moral fibre than Reed.

    By Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White, at Monday, July 17, 2006 6:18:00 PM  

  • I think that applies to any politician with a conscience, something sorely lacking in many of them today.

    By Blogger Vivian J. Paige, at Monday, July 17, 2006 6:49:00 PM  

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