Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Share your values?

I have seen the polls after the voting and many evangelicals voted for Bush even if they believed he wasn't doing a good job on the economy and/or the war on terror (which was different than the war in Iraq, but since moved together). The reason that they gave was that Bush "shared their values".

Now "shared values" comes down to apparently only five. According to the Washington Post (free registration required), " The Rev. Rick Warren, author of the best-selling "The Purpose Driven Life" and one of the most influential ministers in the country, sent a letter to 136,000 fellow pastors urging them to compare the candidates' positions on five "non-negotiable" issues: abortion, stem cell research, same-sex marriage, human cloning and euthanasia."

Funny thing...I don't remember Jesus speaking about any of those issues in the Gospels. That isn't to say they aren't issue that are important to Jesus and aren't things that Christians should be thinking about when they cast their ballots. However, in Matthew 25 Jesus does lay out what will happen at the time of judgement, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Those seem to be Jesus' values.

If we grant that abortion, gay marriage, stem-cell research, human cloning, and euthanasia are the defining issues upon which Evangelicals should vote, can we see where President stands.

Of the 11 states that passed some sort of state constitutional amendment, 3 were mere definitions of what marriage is, but
8 were stronger in their language and forbid any sort of benefits being extended to same sex couples. The federal defintion of marriage is well covered territory. Under Bill Clinton, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

The DOMA states two things:

    First, it allows each state (or similar political division in the United States) to recognize or deny any marriage-like relationship between persons of the same sex which has been recognized in another state.

    Second, it explicitly recognizes for purposes of federal law that marriage as "a legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife" and by stating that spouse "refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."

Therefore the 3 states that passed legal definitions of marriage, were merely catching up with the federal government. However, 8 states went further and denied same-sex couples any benefits of marriage and/or marriage type relationships. It should follow that since President Bush shares these values, he must be for a strongly worded amendment.

According to Karl Rove, "the architect of the re-election", Bush wants a constitutional amendment that says marriage consists only of the union of a man and a woman. Bush believes states can deal with the issue of civil unions between gay people, an arrangement that if enacted would grant same-sex partners most or all the rights available to married couples.

So President Bush wants a Constitutional Amendment version of the DOMA. A legal definition of marriage, but it doesn't stop states or the federal government from recognizing and giving rights to civil unions between homosexuals.

Is this the values you voted for? Have evangelicals gotten value for vote?