SBC launches voting initiative in view of 'critical' '04 ballot

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  1. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
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    NASHVILLE (BP)--The head of the Southern Baptist Convention's moral concerns and public policy entity believes the 2004 election may be one of the most pivotal elections in U.S. history. Thus, Richard Land told the SBC's Executive Committee, he is spearheading a voter education and registration drive to encourage Americans to vote their values, not their pocketbook or their political party.

    "I believe this election will be one of the most critical elections not just in my lifetime but in the lifetime of our republic," said Land, president of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Feb. 16, adding it might well be the "most critical election since 1860." The 1860 election saw Abraham Lincoln defeat Stephen Douglas in a race that reflected the nation's bitter divide over slavery.

    In underscoring the importance of the upcoming election, Land announced to the Executive Committee the launch of a far-reaching initiative, iVoteValues.com, to educate voters and register new voters.

    The initiative, which seeks to "promote awareness of the immediate and long-term importance of values-based voting," will encourage people to register to vote and to make sure their friends and family members are registered to vote.

    At the heart of the initiative is the push for voters to vote their values, Land said. The effort's yet-to-be-launched website, www.ivotevalues.com, lists those broad values as life, family and freedom. The Internet site eventually will offer voters a side-by-side comparison of the major presidential candidates' values, gleaned from their statements on key issues and their political party's platforms. Among the issues that will be covered are abortion, fetal stem cell research, same-sex "marriage," the Pledge of Allegiance and the public display of the Ten Commandments.

    "We learned in the last presidential election that every vote counts," Land said, noting that political observers estimated 4-5 million evangelical Christians sat out the 2000 presidential election campaign, perhaps making the race much tighter than it otherwise would have been. The iVoteValues.com effort hopes to see 2 million new voters registered to vote in the 2004 elections.

    Prior to Land's presentation, SBC President Jack Graham referred to the iVoteValues.com effort. In his presidential address to the Executive Committee, Graham expressed his gratitude that "Southern Baptists are going to get involved in initiating voter registration and encouraging people to vote their values."

    Land said his understanding of Romans 13 is that it is incumbent upon Christians to be a part of the political process: "It means that you become an informed voter. We need to help our people understand that; we need to help make certain they're informed. We need to encourage them to look for candidates who endorse them, who endorse their values, who endorse their beliefs and who endorse their convictions.

    "It is absolutely critical that we impress upon [Southern Baptists] the need to be registered, to be informed and to vote their values," he said.

    Christians have not only a right, but an obligation, to be involved in the political process, Land said. "To be uninformed or to not be involved in the process is to be irresponsible and to become part of the problem rather than part of the solution," he said. The initiative calls on churches to mark Sunday, July 4, and Sunday, Sept. 26, as "National Voter Registration Days."

    "We must make our voices heard. We must never try to tell people how to vote, but we should tell them that the Lord wants to talk to them about how they're going to vote, and the Lord is going to talk to them someday about how they voted," Land said.

    The iVoteValues.com initiative, which will focus on encouraging churches to have registration rallies, will feature Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice; Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council; Ed Atsinger, the founder of Salem Communications Network; and others in appearances with Land across the country on behalf of the effort.

    The website also will aid church leaders in discerning what type of political activity is and isn't legal for a church according to the Internal Revenue Service.

    Details Direct is creating the iVoteValues.com website. Details Direct, on the Web at www.detailsdirect.net, works with local churches in the development of communications tools to aid in their communities for Christ.
     
  2. CalvinG

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    This is very interesting. I am interested to see whether the group includes all sorts of Christian values or just the ones that seem to favor the Republican party.

    I have been getting a lot of Republican political propaganda through my church's email listserves. :(

    Is mortgating the future of our children through deficit spending a value on which to vote?

    Is candor toward the American people a value on which to vote?

    Is waging only just wars a value on which to vote? I would certainly like to see the candidates compared in terms of what would be a potential basis for armed conflict during their prospective terms as Commander-in-Chief.

    Is freedom going to be defined to include civil liberties? Such as the liberty not to be arrested or have your home or business searched pursuant to a secret warrant if you are a US citizen?

    Is the abortion portion of the site and literature going to specify whether the candidate believes that Abortion is ever acceptable? Will it specify exactly what the candidate promises to do over the next presidential term in order to ensure that fewer abortions take place? (Because Republicans give great lip-service to the pro-life cause and then say they won't use pro-life as even a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees and then subsequently make court appointments of folks who- Surprise! -fail to overturn Roe v. Wade.)

    Will the family portion specify exactly what future legislation the candidate will propose? Will the positions on Constitutional Ammendments refer readers to exactly what role the President has in the Ammendment process? (None other than through the bully pulpit.)

    I vote my values, too. And I would be offended by any assertion by the SBC that I don't. And I would hope that all sorts of moral considerations would be part of any political effort on behalf of the SBC and not just those moral considerations for which Republicans seem to be the party of choice.

    And maybe...just maybe...the site should disclose how much government largesse the SBC has received from Bush II's "faith based initiatives" programs. Because after all we wouldn't want anyone to get the impression that folks would fail to disclose financial incentives to make Bush II one's candidate of choice.

    Just a few thoughts.
     
  3. JGrubbs

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    There was another article on BPNews that went along with this about Pastor Jack Grahm speaking on this same topic:

    http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=17661

    Here is a email I sent Pastor Grahm:

    Dear Pastor Graham,

    I just got done reading the article "Vote with convictions, not pocketbook, Jack Graham says" by Michael Foust in the Feb 17, 2004 edition of the BPNews, found online at the following URL: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=17661. I agree 100% with your statement, when you said, "I'm not talking about Republicans or Democrats -- I'm talking about conservative Christian values as compared to either no values or the liberal values," The article goes on to say that you said that rather than "voting pocketbooks" or political parties, Christian should vote with their convictions. Our nations first president, George Washington warned us of the danger of blindly following any one political party in his farewell speech, but it appears that most voters either never heard his warning, or ignored it.

    Richard Land said, "I believe this election will be one of the most critical elections not just in my lifetime but in the lifetime of our republic," adding it might well be the "most critical election since 1860." The 1860 election saw Abraham Lincoln running as a third-party candidate, defeat Stephen Douglas in a race that reflected the nation's bitter divide over slavery.

    I used to be a very strong supporter of the Republican party, but over the years the GOP has abandoned the conservative principles it once held dear in efforts to reach out to the moderates, to appear to be a more "compassionate conservative" party. In doing this I feel they have compromised on too many conservative principles and have started to quickly drift towards the left. We have pro-choice Republicans, "log cabin" Republicans, Republicans who support big government, etc., just like "moral relativism" has ruined the school system and worldview of so many Americans, so has "conservative relativism" ruined the Republican party that started out as a small third-party in the 1850's

    There are many reasons why, as a Christian, I can't vote for George W. Bush, Dr. Patrick Johnston has done a great job of outlining these reasons for the Christian community, with endnotes to prove that this is based on facts and not just opinion. You can find Dr. Johnston's reasons in his article, "Why Christians Should Not Vote for George W. Bush" found online at the following UR: http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article3114.html

    In my search for someone that I can vote with my convictions that has as you say, "conservative Christian values as compared to either no values or the liberal values". I have found the Constitution Party and Michael Peroutka, I would encourage you, if you haven't already to check out Mr. Peroutka's web site at http://www.peroutka2004.com/. I believe that by voting for Michael Peroutka in November the 4 to 5 million evangelical Christians sat out the 2000 presidential election campaign, because they didn't know that there was a Christian candidate they could support, can as you said, "vote their values" in 2004.

    Thank you for all that you are doing for the Southern Baptist Convention and for Christians around the world.

    In Christ,
    Jonathan Grubbs
    Sanford, FL
     
  4. Charlesga

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    Here is my take on this: Part of my tithe goes to the Cooperative Program, which supports missions. That is why I don't mind part of my tithe going to the SBC. However, I don't tithe to support political causes. Therefore, I don't like this at all. It is not the job of the SBC or religion to educate the public on how to vote. It is the job of the SBC and Christians to tell others about Christ and fulfill the Great Commission. I don't believe the church was built to win a culture war, but a spiritual war.

    Charles
     
  5. Pennsylvania Jim

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    If Mr. Land gets what he is asking for he won't get what he wants, I suspect.

    He is asking for Christians to vote based on moral, Christian principles. That would certainly spell defeat for Mr. Bush, as well as any existing Democratic player.

    I suspect that what he REALLY means to say is that he wants you to vote for GW Bush.

    Still looking fot the verse that says the Republican party takes precedence over God's law and grace.
     
  6. Charlesga

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    Jim,

    Great observation. To be a real Southern Baptist/Christian, you need to vote Republican.

    Charles
     
  7. CalvinG

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    I think I should add:

    This is a particularly poor choice of elections for the SBC to become involved. Because the Republican candidate isn't someone one would necessarily support if one came to the election based solely on Christian principles in the opinions of many Americans.

    It will make the SBC look very Republican if they come out with a voting initiative for the first time in this particular election.

    But if that is the truth...then let us all know the truth. After all, isn't that part of the Baptist Board logo?
     
  8. Pennsylvania Jim

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    My perception is that that is pretty much what they are. I do respect and support many of the political stands that they have taken but sadly, like with many Christians, Party trumps Truth in the end.
     
  9. just-want-peace

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    Jim, I find it hard to accept anything you say now, cause you turn any/every post that you participate in into a "Bush-bashing"! You have made some credible points in the past that made me think, but you are so obsessed with your (hatred?) of Bush that you are no longer relevant when you speak of him.

    Your cheap sarcasm doesn't add to your credibility either. (Last part of above quote)

    Just to clear the air, I disagree with MUCH that Bush has done/is doing, but when the only other choice (for now) is Kerry/other Demo., I'm going to stick with Bush; That is unless the H. S. guides me in another direction prior to the election.

    I FIRMLY believe that if the Dems get power one more time, this nation as we know it is doomed. Can you just see the gov't once the 2 amendment is declared for NG only. Then Big Brother will "have" to step in to protect you.

    You should be able to fill in the blanks from there.

    If the Rep's win; same scenario but over a longer period of time, thereby giving your(?) Constitution party some time to build a grass root base and THEN, and THEN only, be able to really have some voice in the direction of this country.

    We didn't get to this point overnight, and we certainly aren't (short of a miracle from God) gonna get it back to what we all want overnight.

    So the way I see it, we can start to reclaim what satan has taken from us, knowing it won't be a slam-dunk, or we can blow it all in this one election and, if we lose, it's "so long AMERICA"!

    So obviously we don't agree on this election, but let's hope that the choices will be such that we can in the next!! (if there is a "next"- MARANATHA) [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. JGrubbs

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    That was my thought when I sent the email, I copied Land and many other SBC Pastors. When I read this I thought, "this must be their message to the SBC Democrats." I would love to see them support Peroutka and the Constitution Party, but most Christians believe that the Republican party is God's party.
     
  11. JGrubbs

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    Most people know that the President and Congress take an oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States", but I wonder how many voters know that in many states when they singed their voter registration application form that they too are taking an oath, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United Sates".

    The problem we have in Washington is that both the voters and the politicians have NO clue what the US Constitution says and means so they have no idea how to protect and defend it.
     
  12. Pennsylvania Jim

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    just-want peace,

    Thanks for the kind remarks, I'm glad that you like my posts. :D


    I understand your sentiment, but the fact is that Bush pushed us further left in three years than Clinton did in eight. I don't like the Dems either, but at least a bit of gridlock stopped us from the rapid spiral that we now have with bush and the Republican congress.

    As to "big brother"...was the "patriot act" pushed by Clinton, Gore, or Bush?




    As I pointed out above, the opposite is true. We're going down much faster with Bush and the R's than we did with Clinton and the R's.

    Your scenario is just what the Republicans have been telling me for YEARS..."just give us a few more years". Look what they have done with the repeated sets of "few more years" that we gave them. No more support from me, except for the increasingly rare good individual candidate.

    THE TIME TO BUILD THE CP IS NOW!



    I agree. But Bush and the R's are not even slowly changing direction...they are full-blast in the wrong direction worse than the Dems ever were.

    We can agree in this one, too...all you have to do is change your mind. :D [​IMG]

    -PA Jim
     
  13. CalvinG

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    Net Publicist,

    I enjoyed your post. I must confess that I was once someone who thought GOP meant "God's Own Party." I have sense been disabused of that notion.
     
  14. The Galatian

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    So Jim, where does one go to get involved with the Constitutional Party in Texas?

    Will they even want to take in a libertarian, with a tolerant outlook on social issues?
     
  15. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Thanks, Ken. And Galatian, I suspect that the CP is more libertarian than you perceive, although that's for you to judge. From you posts here, I think that you fit them better than you fit with the DemoPublican Party.

    If you were to lay out all of your positions I'm not sure how far you'd get as a party activist, but it would be interesting to see. Do you differ with them on:

    abortion
    gun control
    role of federal and state government
    government preferences toward sodomites
    illegal wars??
     
  16. just-want-peace

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    No Jim, all you have to do now is give me a candidate that has a realistic chance of being elected; even if it's small, just realistic!

    Yes, we're further left than I like, but to say that we're further left than Gore (Dems) would have taken us seems to be quite a strech. Do you honestly think the partial birth ban would have even been a remote possibility, or the tax cuts?

    It has been noted that, because of the electorial vote, that a vote for the C party is NOT necessarily a vote wasted. Well, that MAY be, but just suppose that there is NO, repeat NO third party to siphon off the liberal vote---your vote could be decisive in which party gets that (your) state's votes.

    Yes Jim, I do believe that we need a better representation than we're getting from the R's but I still feel that we'll be trying to score a field-goal from our own 30 yd line when we need to wait till we get to the opponents 40 at least, so's we have A CHANCE of scoring. Any attempt now, to me, is admitting that all is lost, & we're going to grab just any old possibility that comes along, even if the odds are <1 out of a 1000 for us to succeed.
     
  17. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Go for it, friend. I only say that the longer you keep the liberals in power in the Republican Party, the farther we have to go and the less chance of saving anything.

    As to election odds...what would you have figured the odds were of the walls falling by marching around them and blowing trumpets? What odds would you have given David against Goliath? Or the Hebrew children in the fiery furnace? Or for that matter, Christ on the cross? See, it's up to us to be obedient to God's word and the principles found therein. God decides who will be President. Maybe he's just waiting for us to obey.
     
  18. KenH

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    That is why each and every conservative must give due diligence prior to election day to determine if his State is competitive or not(you are in South Carolina and I can tell you right now that I believe Mr. Kerry has absolutely no chance of even coming close to carrying your State or any other State in the Deep South regardless of who his running mate is).

    Also, I think there is a pretty good chance that Ralph Nader will announce this weekend that he will run as an independent candidate, not as the Green Party candidate, this time.
     
  19. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Ken, I have to disagree with your tactic of determining whether a vote for Peroutka will hurt Bush. IMO, Bush has done more damage to the Republican Party and to our nation than any president in memory. We have no need to protect him politically.

    I am against "lesser evil" voting, but if I were not, I'd have to judge Kerry as a lesser evil than Bush, based on the record of the last three years. At least with a D president the R congress would stop some of his destructive actions.

    Vote for the CP, period.
     

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