Hitch your wagon to a political movement and watch that party fly off, dragging you along, letting the wheels fall off, and you’re left barely hanging on.
Evangelicals did this with Republicans in the 70s and 80s. It took into the 90s and then early 2000s before the realization hit: “Hey, they’re not paying very much attention to us.”
It was too late, we had then raised another generation that saw that mistake… then went and made the opposite mistake. They have hitched their wagon to the Democrats and now the same thing is happening with them.
What is funny is that in both instance we all swore at the time, “Oh, no! I don’t vote lock, stock, and barrel for…” (insert political party here). But truth be told, we did.
So, when the GOP came knocking and gave serious air time and platform time to evangelicals because we were “pro-life” (which is a misnomer I will explain), we sucked it up. Power is heady stuff. Then… nothing happened. We would blame the Democrats. (“Well, if we had Republican majorities we would get things done!”) We got that in 2000 and guess what? Nothing.
The next generation saw the hypocrisy of that… and went right out and made the same mistake. This is where we are currently.
Correctly, the next generation saw that the “pro-life” movement gave all the attention to the unborn but did nothing for the poor and the marginalized. So… be born! And then… good luck!
The Democrats came calling. They let evangelicals into the national conventions. Pastors prayed at their big events. They weren’t so “anti-Christian” as they seemed before.
But then, evangelicals who really did still believe that unborn life was still life found out something: Democrats didn’t want to hear it. At all.
So, we’ve reached another dilemma.
We get these horrific stories like Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia who was an abortion doctor doing horrific things. It should have raised the flags then. While all this time pro-abortion (and that will be my label. I’m not bowing to the “pro-choice” moniker on this one) touted the need for Roe v. Wade to be held up as law in all cases so there wouldn’t be any more “back alley” abortions, here was Kermit Gosnell doing procedures that acted like back alley abortions.
Then this week, the leaked video of the Planned Parenthood exec talking matter of factly about selling body parts from aborted babies.
The progressive Christians and evangelicals who have cuddled up to the Dems are now in a tight position. They truly hold a pro-life position, but if they speak up to the horrors of this particular issue, the PRESSURE from their liberal friends will be awful. The shaming on Facebook!
Here is the crux of the matter: social shaming is tough stuff. For the left to make fun of Christians and say, “Hey! You’re not being persecuted!” I agree. Not like in the Sudan or Syria. But the social shaming in our context is awful.
Don’t believe me? Fine. But on my Facebook feed I have friends all over the political and theological spectrum, and I have good numbers in all camps. I’ve had ONE friend post a blog post from someone else who was progressive and made a case for being pro-life. (And it was a good case.)
But friends I have who are quick on the trigger (and rightly so in my view) on racism… silence.
Friends who were quick to put the rainbow meme on their Facebook picture… silence.
Bigger progressive voices in the evangelical world? They’ll eventually figure out how to say something with all kinds of qualifiers. But for now, on this date… silence.
You know why? It’s not “persecution” but it’s unbelievable pressure.
And THAT is what we’re left with when we hitch our wagons to political movements lock, stock, and barrel. We lose our PROPHETIC voice… and we have only become PATHETIC.
I will readily confess it.
I am far more “pro-life” in my ethic than most conservatives. I am womb to the tomb pro-life. But there was a time when it meant more to be pro-life in the Republican sense. So, when I hitched my wagon to that issue and voted, I was rabid.
Then, I began seeing the poor. I began talking about the poor. I began asking about how to meet the needs of the marginalized. And things got quiet on the GOP front.
Since even saying the label “pro-life” (and not getting an opportunity to explain it) gets me sniffed at with derision by any Democrat, I’m a man without a party.
And I don’t care. It may not make voting easy, but I have found an uncomfortable place in the prophetic where I can raise a voice for justice on many issues… and get accused of being liberal… or conservative… or Green Party… or Tea Party… at just about any given moment. I have lost “friends” on Facebook with regularity because of all kinds of things. I’ve spoken against actions Israel took, I’ve raised questions on the changing of the meaning of “marriage,” I’ll say something about gun control… you name it… it just doesn’t fit neatly into any one party.
That’s not a comfortable place to be. But when a young white man walks into a black church and starts firing away, I call for justice and a conversation on racism. I want to learn more. And when a Planned Parenthood exec is caught on tape spewing out their basic philosophy of death and it’s finally exposed, I am calling for justice again.
Dear friends, we have lost our way. To the right… to the left… we have lost our way. Years ago, it was my turn to walk away from the “right” politically. I am making a desperate plea to my friends “on the left” to PLEASE make your move away from the Democrat Party. Don’t allow their death agenda to mute your heart’s cry. You KNOW what you saw in that video was wrong. You KNOW how valuable life is… even in the womb. You KNOW the unborn are as marginalized.
YES, there is a greater conversation to have that goes beyond “Well, you guys don’t care about them once their born!” Let’s quit the bumper sticker politics. We need a deeper conversation.
But it will only start when WE as BELIEVERS rise up above the political trench digging and call for JUSTICE.
Let us LOVE GOD! And, dear friends, let us love one another.
I plead with you.