US and UK Christians and Politics

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by The Undiscovered Country, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. The Undiscovered Country

    The Undiscovered Country
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    Looking at some of the debates on these Boards, and following the US election overall, one of the issues that intrigues me is the very different apparant political emphaisis of Christians in the US and the UK.

    The discussions from the US seemed to be almost entirely pre-occupied with abortion and homosexuality. Whilst the occeasional poster tried to raise wider issues, such as poverty, no one seemed to take them up to discuss further.

    In the UK, whilst abortion and homosexuality are issues for Christians, the debates tend to be about wider issues too such as poverty, the government approach to Iraq etc.

    The political affiliations seem to be more diverse too, with many Christians being Labour Party supporters. Whilst I am a Conservative Party member, concerns still seem to be more diverse. For example, the Conservative Christian Fellowship's website and magazine contains many articles on issues like poverty, world hunger, Iraq (largely criical of the govt's action) etc..

    Why do others think this difference is so stark and is it fair to say to US Christians are unconcerned about these wider issues? If they are concerned, why do you think they don't get raised in debates such as those for the US elections on this Board?
     
  2. Salty

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    Excellent question. Stop over to my post "would you run for office". However, I will give a quick recap. I was running for the New York State assembly this year. I spent an hour and half on the phone with a member of the editoral board disscussing many many issues. In fact, I have listed (in my literature) a laundry list of items that I believer should be considered. Yet, the newspaper endorse my opponent, they reasoned (?) only two subjects: Abortion, and homosexual "rights"
    My good friend, it is not always the Conservatives who do not have diverse issues (as we should) but rather it is the "Liberal media" that wants the public to think those are the only two issues we are concern about. :confused:
    As far as abortion is concern, I will never forget the answer that Bob Mcmillian (US Senate candidate '88) told me during an interview on my talk show: "If you cannot respect life, then there is nothing else to respect" [​IMG]

    Yes, my friend, I do want to bring up ALL the issues.

    And BTW, welcome to the Baptist Board! [​IMG]
     
  3. church mouse guy

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    If the English are talking about the 1930s social gospel of the full belly, then I would say that the move to socialism is part of the Democrat agenda. Abortion is a matter of life and death so it should be given first place in the debate.
     
  4. Gina B

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    No, Christians in the US aren't all that concerned with bigger world issues. It's all about us, and Christians who get into politics view themselves more as moral police than anything else, and those are the two biggest moral issues we see.
    If a Christian tries to focus on other issues he is often accused of not caring enough about homosexuality and abortion.
    Being poor in the United States is often a topic in sermons. There seems to be a false assumption of what poor is. Many people believe that if you aren't in such and such a tax bracket and the kids ain't all wearing brand name clothes you're poor, and not paying much taxes, or tithing much, therefore you're pretty worthless to society.
    Once in a while a poor person can overcome this, but in the US money talks, for the saved AND the unsaved.
    Those concerned with societal issues...the poor, hungry, conservation issues, are usually labelled socialists and/or liberals, which is often almost a cuss word in fundamental Christian churches here.
    Likely a number of people in the US will be offended at what I said, but when you listen to them talk and look at their actions you'll see this is true.
    Now that I've said this I'll be labelled as hating America and told I should move to a country like Iraq. [​IMG] Been there, done that, yadda yadda...
    Gina
     
  5. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy
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    Well, people in Ashland are known for their excessive wealth.
     
  6. Gina B

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    No, not really. It's a snobby town, but not a wealthy one.
    Gina
     
  7. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy
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    You have to be wealthy to be interested in the Constitution Party.
     
  8. Gina B

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    No, I'm interested in it because I'm interested in defending the Constitution. Civil rights was an interest for me before I heard of the Constitution Party. In school I taught my daughters to memorize the preamble (along with part of the Dec. of Ind.) and we went through it all and what it means, and why it's important to not let the people who died for such causes to have done so in vain. We must defend and protect the freedoms and liberties of our country.
    It has nothing to do with wealth, it has to do with the obligations of American citizens.
    And I'm a member of the Republican party anyhow. A disenchanted one and one who went with the CP this year, but haven't *quite* given up hope yet.
    Gina
     
  9. church mouse guy

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    The CP attacked the Constitution by falsely calling the war in Iraq illegal and by refusing to move to stop same-sex marriage nationally and by moving to cut off foreign aid to the starving in places like Sudan.

    Money is what is behind the CP. People should discount your posts as biased.
     
  10. Gina B

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    Biased in what sense?
    I disagreed with the CP on the war.

    I agreed with them on the issue of taking away power from the state and making state issues national.

    The US is in debt. People are going hungry, going without medical care, and losing work. When my children and my neighbors children are hungry and I have food I feed them all. When my children and my neighbors children are hungry and I have a little food I feed my children and tell the other children to go home so their own mom can make them lunch.

    You can attack the CP (or any other party) all you want, I really don't care. I'm an American before a party member and as a Christian, arguing with you about it isn't something I want to spend time on.

    You can discount my posts, but that doesn't make them invalid.

    Gina
     
  11. billwald

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    The nature of poverty in the USofA has changed as it has in all civilized countries. The average poor person has a roof over his head, food, and clothing . . . a TV, a VCR, a car, and air conditioning. A poor person has or has the use of every kind of THING that a rich person has but of poorer quality. Everything but vacations and servants.

    The street people generally should be institutionalized but the courts have held that an adult has the right to sleep in the alleys and scrounge garbage cans.
     
  12. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    And posts like CMG's are okay because they are unbiased?
     
  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    ROTFL - you've onviously never been to my house [​IMG]

    Can we get this back on track to the intent of the OP please?
     
  14. Matt Black

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    An excellent OP and welcome to the boards!

    I think that Christianity in the UK is much less of a party-political issue than in the US, and even than it used to be in the UK. Whilst it was the case that issues such as gay rights used to be associated exclusively with Labour Party and the Conservative Party used to be associated with conservative social policies, that is no longer the case (Michael Howard now talks in terms of an inclusive Conservative Party) and moral hot button issues such as abortion have always been decided by free votes in the Commons, not by party politcal platforms and manifestos.

    In addition, we have a long tradition here of Christians - evangelicals included - being involved in all three major parties. Indeed, the thrust of the UK Evangelical Alliance has been and continues to be one of encouraging Christians to join all three to be salt and light therein. You tend to find that British evangelicals tend to vote for the party that most closely corresponds with their own interests and outlook. Thus, blue-collar evangelicals will tend to vote Labour or Liberal Democrat just like their neighbours, middle-class evangelicals who are in business will tend to vote Conservative just like their colleagues, whereas those middle-class evangelicals with a bit of a social conscience will tend to vote Lib Dem or sometimes Labour. The only slight variation there is that it is more likely for middle class evangelicals to have that social conscience than their non-Christian neighbours and colleagues; this is because whilst evangelicalism here promotes the Gospel as paramount, it also promotes social action as a subsidiary to it.

    Comparing all this with the American scene, one of the more puzzling things for me is why evangelical Americans, particularly blue-collar ones seem to be exclusively in just one party and that they spend so much energy complaining about the Democrats' stand on abortion and gay rights instead of joining that party and seeking to change its policies. Any ideas why that might be so?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  15. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I think it is peer pressure Matt. I was stunned at the universal support for one party, right or wrong, while I was in the States just before the election. I am not sure that anyone is willing to "buck the trend." Look what happened here to those who decided to vote for anyone other than the Republican candidate..
     
  16. Matt Black

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    It just seems weird to me that, as a consequence, many blue-collar American evangelicals vote against thier economic interests. It would be extremely interesting if the Dems abandoned abortion and gay rights as major issues and concentrated on the economic issues - would a lot of evos then vote Dem?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  17. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Until the 1970-80s the Democratic Party totally ruled the Deep South, the elections then were settled in the primary elections (used to choose party candidates).

    The shift of the Dems to the moral left in the 80-90s alienated that massive voting block, and along with it the "Bible Belt" evo vote.

    Since Reagan, and the advent of folks like Rush Limbaugh, it has become almost unthinkable for an evo (I like that moniker ;) ) to vote anything but Republican.

    If the Dems would take a conservative stand on morals I think they could win back some support. However, the Reps are becoming increasingly weak on the moral issues, i.e. the election of Arlen Specter, an openly pro-abortion candidate for the Senate, with the full support of President Bush.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in 2008 if Rudi Guliani runs against Hillary Clinton. My gut feeling is that Rudi will get the evo vote even though he is a liberal in virtually every area.
     
  18. Matt Black

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    Thanks, Roger. But I suppose my question remains unanswered - why could the social liberals inflitrate the Dems in the 70s and 80s (ie; why didn't the evos/ socially conservative Dems stop them) but the evos can't seemingly infiltrate/ influence the Dems now and make them nore morally conservative whilst retaining a more left-wing economic bias?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  19. Matt Black

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    Apologies for double-post, but an interesting site to visit is that of the Movement for Christian Democracy: www.mcdpolitics.org . The idea of this is to get Christians involved in politics and also to get Christian MPs from all parties meeting and praying together. Of the four main organisations linked to on the home page, only one, the Christian People's Alliance, is actually a political party in its own right; the other three are Christian 'pressure groups' and fellowships within each of the three main parties. Have a look at them all to get a feel for the way that Christianity and politics interact in the UK

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  20. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Great Britain is much further down the road to socialism than the US, at least chronoligically. That is probably why poverty is more of a political issue there than in the U.S.

    God charges individuals with caring for the poor, and governments with keeping a lawful society.

    We should be discussing hunger primarily at home and in church, not in the political realm. I'm not advocating the "social gospel", simply charity as taught by in Scripture.

    Both the U.S and Great Britain are off track, following Karl Marx rather than Jesus Christ.
     

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