Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Why Iowa Christian Alliance and other "evangelical conservatives" won't support Ron Paul

There is going to be a forum for presidential candidates in Des Moines on June 30th sponsored by Iowans for Tax Relief, and a group called Iowa Christian Alliance. And most of the Republican candidates will be present. Except for Ron Paul. Why?

Here's the word from the Ron Paul campaign blog:

Ron Paul Excluded in Iowa

Iowans for Tax Relief and Iowa Christian Alliance will host a presidential candidates forum on Saturday, June 30th in Des Moines. Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Sam Brownback, Jim Gilmore, Mike Huckabee, Tommy Thompson, and Tom Tancredo will participate.

Ron Paul, however, will not participate. Why? Because he wasn't invited.

We heard about this forum from numerous supporters in Iowa who asked why Dr. Paul was not going to participate. Those supporters assumed that Dr. Paul was invited.

The campaign office had not received an invitation so we called this morning; thinking we might have misplaced the invitation or simply overlooked it. Lew Moore, our campaign manager, called Mr. Edward Failor, an officer of Iowans for Tax Relief, to ask about it. To our shock, Mr. Failor told us Dr. Paul was not invited; he was not going to be invited; and he would not be allowed to participate. And when asked why, Mr. Failor refused to explain. The call ended.

Lew then called Mr. Steve Scheffler, president of the Iowa Christian Alliance, to talk with him. Mr. Scheffler did not answer so Lew left a message. He has yet to respond.

Why are the Iowans for Tax Relief and the Iowa Christian Alliance excluding the one Republican candidate who scored at the top of every online poll taken after the MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN debates? Why are they denying Iowans the opportunity to hear from the Republican presidential candidate whose popularity is growing by the day?

Just out of curiosity, I went to the website for Iowa Christian Alliance. And it's pretty much what I was expecting. They're an off-shoot from (but now unaffiliated with) the Christian Coalition. Actually I learned a lot about Iowa Christian Alliance's priorities just by the visual cues on the front page of their website.

And now I understand why it is that Iowa Christian Alliance will not invite Ron Paul to their presidential forum...

Because Ron Paul doesn't favor military interventionism that figures so well into a lot of evangelical Christian pre-trib Rapture fantasies that have guided American foreign policy more than you really want to know.

(And I say this as a follower of Christ, and one who has lived most of his life being exposed in one form or another to this mentality.)

You have to understand something about the kind of mindset that is working against Ron Paul so far as "right-wing Republicans" go. There are two "brands" of evangelical Christian conservative thought going on in America. One - the really nasty one, is Christian Reconstructionism, sometimes called Dominion Theology. And its adherents believe that they must gain absolute control over the Earth before Christ returns. They hold that their purpose is to "prepare" the world for the Lord's coming, and make it ready for Him to govern. To that end, they often make it quite clear that they want to institute capital punishment for things like homosexuality and abortion and even "disrespect to parents", if they gain power over systems of government. I doubt this movement will ever gain serious traction.

The other one, Dominionism (not to be confused with Dominion Theology, we'll get into why they are different in a minute), has had an enormous influence on American politics for going on forty years now.

This is the kind of theology taught by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, and now continued largely by people like James Dobson and D. James Kennedy. Where Dominionism differs from Dominion Theology is that Dominion Theology/Christian Reconstructionism tends to greatly believe in a post-millennial "end of the world", hence its emphasis on "preparing" the world for Christ's return. The more popular Dominionism that was spread in the modern era by Falwell and Robertson preaches that the Rapture must take place first, then a period of tribulation and then Christ's millennial kingdom.

There are some things that the two movements have quite in common. Achieving temporal power is the most obvious. This lust for political power is so pronounced that it often seems that preaching the Kingdom of Heaven as Christ taught about is a distantly second priority... if it's even a priority at all.

Oh very well, I'll go ahead and say it: too many Christians in America have made "winning elections" a far more important thing than living the life that Christ has called us to live. And that is partly why America is suffering as she is: because a lot of Christians have prostituted their principles for a fleeting measure of glory. But I digress...

But in addition to this desire for political power, Dominionism also has a terrible obsession with the Apocalypse. Probably because they have a fear of death (which they shouldn't really) and want to avoid it via the Rapture. And more than most people really know, even with the popularity of books like Left Behind and other Rapture media, there are a LOT of folks who want nothing more than for Armageddon to come... and they think that God isn’t moving fast enough so they feel obliged to "help" Him out.

This is something that they have been actively working toward for years, now. All those young people from Regent University that are working in the Bush Administration: ever wonder "why Regent?" Because Regent was founded by Pat Robertson with the express purpose of training young evangelical Christians to someday "change the world" but a more accurate statement might be to "control the world". And the reason why "evangelical conservatives" flock to support George W. Bush, will steadfastly refuse to abandon him even in spite of all evidence that his is the worst presidency in American history?

Because they sincerely believe that George W. Bush has been anointed by God to set events into motion that will work to usher in the End Times.

Incidentally, this is exactly why these same "evangelical" types are so hot to support Israel no matter what: part of pre-tribulation teaching is that Israel will be largely destroyed before the Second Coming. These people are eager to help Israel so that it will be wiped out! But lobbying groups like AIPAC don't mind why these people believe what they do, so long as these lobbyists can keep employing these "useful idiots". But that's a whole 'nother post for a later time.

All of this is why these same people, in the next presidential election, will be quick to support the most military-interventionist-minded Republican candidate that they can find (I'm assuming they will probably love Fred Thompson now, especially in light of his remarks about going after Iran). Because supporting him, in their minds, will be part of the great plan that they have been working on for decades now. Have invested their children's lives in helping it come about, even...

...and Ron Paul would absolutely wreck all of it, if he were to be President.

Ron Paul would bring the most realistic foreign policy to the White House that we’ve seen since... well, since Reagan at least (and even there some will argue that many policies of that administration were influenced too much by the pre-trib thought as well). Paul definitely WON'T be guided by delusions that he is being led by God to do something apocalyptic with the Middle-East. That's also why the Bush camp would rather Paul go down: Ron Paul's success would repudiate the entire illusion that George W. Bush has somehow been "favored of God" all this time.

And if it's not bad enough that Ron Paul would postpone the Apocalypse, his belief in a strict interpretation of the Constitution plays major havoc with the "evangelical conservative" belief that it must seize power over people's lives in order to create a "moral" country. Just as Ron Paul would be and is now shunned by "liberals" who want more government control over our lives, so too does their "conservative Christian" counterparts, who have just as much hunger for power... if not moreso.

That is why Ron Paul will not be supported by the so-called "evangelical Christians" for the most part: because he's not going to be a "team player" so far as helping God along with the end of the world goes, and he doesn't believe that some people should be given more power... even if they do ask for it in the name of Christ.

I'll close this post with one of my favorite quotes by Stanley Hauerwas, which I think encapsulates this situation better than anything I could say:

"Let me be as clear as I can be: the God of 'God and country' is not the God of Jesus Christ."

-- Stanley Hauerwas


Anonymous said...

Christopher has eloquently stated what many believe to be the truth about the suppression of Ron Paul’s message. By not inviting Dr. Paul, it shows that this agenda of the two mentioned groups’ leaders take precedent over what its members probably would like to hear, unless they are as narrow-minded as their board. And don’t take “Christian Reconstructionism” too lightly, as who would have believed that Hitler, and now the Muslim fundamentalist could have such power. Vote Bloomberg-Paul “08.

Anonymous said...

reading this makes me feel proud to be an atheist. stuff like this is proof the educational system in this country is failing. myth and fantasy over critical thinking.