What About Freedom?

I noticed a post on a website called Dolphin while surfing the Blog Explosion earlier this week, and since I had to actually work on something then that I could bill my time for, I promised him I would respond this week. So here we go.

Dolphin, you showed in your post that you don’t know squat about evangelicals. But that’s OK. The reason you don’t is because you’ve made the mistake of listening only to the most vocal leaders of the religious right. You quote Pat Robertson in your piece. To assume that Pat Robertson speaks for the broad coalition of what is already being called “values voters” makes as much sense as conservatives quoting Michael Moore as the representative of the Democratic Party. They represent the extremes and crystallizing our impressions around their positions does nothing constructive.

I contend in another post today that the new values coalition is much broader than the white evangelicals of the old Moral Majority (which I sense you are too young to remember). And last Friday, Nov. 5, I explored what it is that the broader evangelical community may want from the Administration. These pieces will give you a more complete view of evangelical Christians.

Conservative Judges

Cultural conservatives will indeed argue for judges who are strict constructionists. It’s not likely that Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned, but the entire judiciary has drifted to activism that is not healthy for our republic, so putting more conservatives on the bench is a worthwhile goal, in my view.

No Homosexual Marriage

There aren’t many evangelicals that really want to think about what you do in your bedroom, straight or gay, not to mention restrict your freedom to engage in whatever consensual activity you wish. Have at it; it’s your body and your soul.

There is a range of opinion in the evangelical community and among cultural conservatives—and certainly in the larger coalition of values voters—on what rights and benefits should be provided to homosexuals in committed relationships. And that is where the homosexual community and those who took up their cause made such a grievous tactical error. Done gradually, homosexual couples would have eventually received all of the important benefits, such as insurance coverage, afforded married couples. There would be continuing opposition among the most conservative groups, but they would be on the losing side.

Through either stupidity or arrogance, those pushing what evangelicals call the “gay agenda” instead went for broke in Massachusetts, and then San Francisco, and New York, and on and on. By threatening the definition and what Christians believe is the sanctity of what Western Civilization has called marriage for 4,000 years, the liberals pushed a dangerous button. The values voters said “no” in a big way. Gay marriage is dead in America for our lifetime, at least. It’s a non-starter.

How did restricting the right to gay marriage make me feel any better? You have to look at an issue such as the institution of marriage outside the realm of personal rights or freedoms. Societal institutions are important glue to maintaining civilization, as we know it. Preserving marriage as marriage does keep a piece of the foundation in place. Doesn’t help my marriage—my wife and I have the challenge of keeping it together. But I believe it is one of the pillars of our society.

The homosexuals will have to come up with something new. God gave this one to the men and women.

Stop Abortion

Many people believe that aborting a fetus is murder. Strip away all of the extra rhetoric and the argument comes down to your answer to the question of whether ending the life of a fetus is murder or tissue removal.

Those who believe that an abortion is an act of murder are committed to doing what they can to restrict the freedom to murder. If you don’t believe that abortion is murder, you will never understand why the pro-life people so passionately want to take away your freedom to do so.

Dolphin, I don’t really think you’re in a freedom deficit. You’re just whining! That’s the way I see it.

–James Jewell


About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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