How Christians Should Not Approach Political Change
Regardless of politics in a dictatorship, in a democracy things should be different. Things must go through persuasion, the consent of the governed, free and fair elections. And if you lose because the majority is not in favor of your point of view, then you lose. Unless you can persuade people to your point of view, you shouldn’t expect results that support your point of view. Period. No gerrymandering, no smoke filled rooms, no denial and conspiracy, just suck it in and admit like a grown man or woman you’ve lost. Period.
Take for example the difficult question of abortion. Me personally, I am definitely pro-life on this issue. HOWEVER, if the majority of Americans believe that abortion should be permitted in certain exceptional cases (such as the mother’s life in danger, rape or incest), then what we are not doing is imposing a tighter vision in the throats of a majority of people through heavy-handed political tactics. This is a democracy, not an autocracy. You keep trying to persuade others that your point of view is the right one. Note the recent result in Red State, the conservative Kansas. They rejected a total ban on abortion.
Let me clarify that I am not convinced by tenuous arguments like “my body, my choice”, or “the fetus is not a person”, or “I have the right to do what I want matters of abortion”. No one created their own life. Everyone is born through the actions of other human beings. Your body is above all a gift from God and your parents. That being the case, you should not assume that you have the right to do whatever you want with this body, ESPECIALLY IF IT AFFECTS THE LIFE OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING (IE THE CHILD TO NÉER).
In fact, since the unborn child is an unborn child, I don’t think a mother should have the inalienable right to end the life of another. Since life is a gift from God, I don’t even think a person should have an inalienable right to end their own life! All human life has a sacred value. What I recognize is that we live in a fallen world, and there are no flawless human beings in our world. This being the case, sometimes people are placed in situations where a lesser choice of two evils must be made. For example, if a pregnant woman, who is married and has several other young children, has an ectopic pregnancy which is very unlikely to result in the birth of a healthy child with a promising future, but which is rather likely to kill the mother if she carries the pregnancy to term, a choice for an abortion is probably a lesser choice of two evils. The alternative is to deprive her husband and other children of a wife and a mother. It is surely a much worse choice.
Now we can pray for a miracle, and we should. But miracles are not a dime a dozen, and often God leaves the decision in these matters in our hands after praying for a miracle. Polls clearly show that a significant majority of Americans do not support a total ban on abortion. Unless we’re naive enough to ignore the fallen nature of human nature and our world, or don’t realize that loving our neighbor as ourselves means we use persuasion, not arm tactics. strong or new laws, because love involves granting others the freedom to freely accept and respond or not, then we should not support state or national policies that the majority of state or national residents does not favor. We saw what happened in the 1920s, when conservative Christians forced the ban on booze down the throats of the nation. It was a gigantic failure and did not solve the alcoholism problems. The same goes for gambling bans. What changes human behavior is changing people’s hearts and minds with the Good News of the Gospel, not a policy that goes against the majority opinion of a state’s citizens or a country.
I believe in true democracy, not only when it comes to difficult political decisions, but also when it comes to persuading people that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the way forward. And it also involves trusting God, praying for the Holy Spirit to change hearts and minds, and working hard to respect others, even those with whom we strongly disagree.