Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jerry's Presidential Candidate

As a recipient of Mr. Falwell's regular e-mail (I really only wanted the sticker! ), I typically read them, roll my eyes, and then delete them and kick myself for having wasted the time. But this latest one I felt was interesting enough to warrant some extra attention.

It's entitled "The Candidate who can win in 2008". Falwell starts off by saying he had "decided to break down what type of presidential candidate could win the energetic support of the evangelical vote". In the next sentence Falwell immediately starts saying how no REPUBLICAN candidate can win without the evangelical's support. It's not an accident - it's intentional and blatant in immediately dismissing anyone OTHER THAN A REPUBLICAN as one to win the support of the evangelicals. Through the rest of the lengthy e-mail he references the Republicans three more times - and never any other political party. It's this kind of total garbage that drives me insane. The Republicans are NOT the party of the Christians - they have not done anything to earn that kind of place and this assumption otherwise has got to stop.

To further illustrate this point, Falwell lists four major areas to focus on - two that are essential to him and two more that are just important.

The two essentials are both rooted in conservatism - socially and fiscally.

Socially conservative - to Falwell - means taking a hard stance on "abortion, same-sex marriage and religious freedom".

Fiscally conservative - to Falwell - means one who will "rein in the out-of-control federal spending", but in that same paragraph he also wants them to help in "mending the American family" and the connection to fiscal responsibility with that perplexes me.

The other two "burning issues" are immigration and energy independence. And the positions that Falwell believes the evangelicals must support?

On immigration - "construction of a 2000-mile fence" to keep out the Mexicans and MASSIVE deportation for every immigrant that has convicted a crime or fails to learn English fast enough or pay all their taxes. This will also help with our nation's health because those immigrants are the ones bringing in all the diseases with them.

On energy dependence - Falwell believes we have enough oil in America already if we just went and got it, but "environmental alarmists have convinced many lawmakers to pretend the oil is not there". Once we do go get it, we won't have to deal with those countries that hate us and gas will go back down to a dollar a gallon.

And though it doesn't exactly fit with any of those four points, Falwell also wants us to know that evangelicals "... will not accept a candidate who is soft on the war on terror, whether here at home (the Patriot Act, domestic surveillance, etc.) or in Iraq, or wherever. "

So what conclusions do we come to from all of this? Here is what I got:

Jerry Falwell believes....
1) Christians can ONLY vote for Republicans
2) He is in the position to tell Christians what kind of Republican they need to vote for
3) There is a distinctly Christian position on several issues that there is no scriptural basis for at all (he uses no scripture at all in here) like immigration and energy independence.
4) Other issues where there is scripture that seems to suggest the exact opposite of his position are irrelevant (like protecting God's creation instead of destroying it for more oil or protecting life instead of killing under the feeble defense of it being anti-terrorism).
5) The man who is the current president and who he and the evangelicals have supposedly been totally supportive of for the last half a decade doesn't come anywhere close to being the candidate he wants now, but that's apparently irrelevant, too.

We Christians need to stand up and say that Falwell does not speak for us and even more importantly, does not speak for God to us. And if that has to happen in the ballot boxes in 2006 and 2008 - all the better!