Tags: The | Black | Sheep | the | GOP

The Black Sheep of the GOP

Friday, 13 June 2003 12:00 AM

Since the publication of that issue, I have been on Fox News and other news venues discussing the issue.

Here's a brief rundown of the situation:

Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot had a furtive meeting with the Human Rights Campaign, a prominent homosexual-rights organization. Following that meeting, Mr. Racicot rightly met with several evangelical leaders who addressed their concerns that the party remain committed to the protection of traditional marriage and other social issues that concern Christians.

But after that meeting, Mr. Racicot suggested that conservative Christians oppose the homosexual political agenda out of a sense of fear and ignorance.

"They probably don't know gay people," he said. "[They have] their own fear and lots of misinformation and disinformation, which some do for political expediency."

My chief concern with this statement is that Mr. Racicot – after meeting with homosexual leaders and Christian leaders – chose to target the Christians for their beliefs. As usual, it is the conservative Christians who become the easy targets of criticism.

This reminds me of when the Washington Post referred to Christians as uneducated and easily led several years ago. (The Post later issued a reluctant apology; Mr. Racicot has not.)

I sometimes think the GOP looks at conservative Christians as the black sheep of the party. Sure, they desperately want our votes because there are multiple millions of us (unlike the handful of homosexuals who vote Republican).

But some party leaders don't want to be identified with us because Hollywood, the mainstream press and chic politicians who have values that change with every social/sexual wind have made an art form of inventing us as malevolent ogres straight out of 17th-century Salem.

I explained to Bill O'Reilly on his "O'Reilly Factor" broadcast last week that in recent years I have traditionally voted with the Republicans because, for the most part, the party has adhered to a platform of traditional values. I also greatly respect and admire President Bush and continue to believe he is leading this nation in the tradition of Ronald Reagan.

However, as an evangelical leader, I assume the responsibility of ensuring that pastors across this nation encourage their congregations to be intelligent voters. So when Mr. Racicot makes such a wholesale implication that conservative Christians are somewhat less sophisticated than the rest of the party brethren, it makes my job difficult to encourage support of the GOP.

He may think we are somewhat obtuse, but evangelical pastors and their constituencies are very politically aware and savvy.

I fully understand that the GOP is not a religious organization and that party leaders must reach out to people of somewhat conflicting points of view. But if we can't all live together without the religious conservatives being rendered as the slightly embarrassing party abnormalities, this will be an enduring problem.

In the meantime, it's important to remember that Christians are to pray for people who are in power, as defined in I Timothy 2:1-2: "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercession, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. ..."

Mr. Racicot may not understand us, or have a desire to do so. That's fine. But we are nevertheless commanded to pray for him and all those who serve as our leaders.

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Since the publication of that issue, I have been on Fox News and other news venues discussing the issue. Here's a brief rundown of the situation: Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot had a furtive meeting with the Human Rights Campaign, a prominent...
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2003-00-13
Friday, 13 June 2003 12:00 AM
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