Christian worldview in politics ties values, core beliefs
By Allen Palmeri
November 23, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – The Democratic Party attempted to articulate the Christian worldview this year by using the word “values,” with presidential candidate John Kerry stating in his acceptance speech, “It’s time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families.”
In an Aug. 5 stump speech at the Missouri State Capitol, Kerry alluded to the Republican Party speaking about values without taking proper actions in accordance with the comprehensive Christian worldview.
“We have the right to expect that we stop talking about family values in America and start valuing families in the policies that we put in place,” Kerry said.
So why did exit polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans who adhere to a Christian worldview failed to vote Democratic? Why did the Democrats’ bid to embrace moral values fall short of preventing the re-election of President George W. Bush, an evangelical Christian whose style is to talk openly about his faith? How did Kerry, a Roman Catholic who explained that he does not wear his faith on his sleeve, manage to lose the Catholic vote 52-47 percent as he failed to convince “Red State America” that his was the better Christian worldview?
“The problem is, he’s the last person to talk about family values,” said Rodney Albert, chairman, Christian Life Commission, Missouri Baptist Convention. “That rhetoric comes forth while doing nothing to protect marriage. The evangelical Christian voter realizes the difference.
“The comment is a good one. We do have to do more than talk about valuing families. So I would agree with the statement if it came from someone authentic. We need to value families. That’s the real core of this whole movement. However, I would quibble with the statement a little bit.
“If you’re going to value families, you’ve got to talk about family values. If I’m going to value the pre-born, I’ve got to talk about things that relate to life and protection of babies. If I’m going to value marriage, I need to talk about it. So that was just rhetoric and it was ineffective.”
Brian Baker, assistant pastor and ministries director, First Baptist Church, Belton, also happens to be a Republican state representative. He said that Democrats run into difficulty with voters when they talk about a Christian worldview that revolves around taking care of the poor while at the same time obviously implying that pro-life, pro-biblical-family Republicans have callously and even immorally overlooked that particular moral value.
“Conservatives have always cared about the poor,” Baker said. “In fact, they’ve worked to help them get out of those situations.”
Albert pointed to the conclusion that many pundits came to after the election, which was that Democrats, for the most part, seek to package values for the sake of appearance while Republicans, for the most part, seek to tie values to core beliefs.
“Christians, I think, have been around a little too long to be fooled by counterfeit values politicians,” Albert said. “We’ve learned to recognize that there has to be a walk and a talk.”
In other words, the old line about “separation of church and state,” the one where the politician says, “I am personally opposed to abortion but my public policy will support a woman’s right to choose,” may no longer be an acceptable way for a Christian politician to do business. It simply does not harmonize with the Christian worldview, Albert said.
“If you really believe in the Christian worldview, which says we have a Creator, then it stands to reason that the Creator knows best how this life, our bodies, government, entertainment and every other aspect of society works,” Albert said.
So what will the Democrats do? They will assure the general public that they do indeed understand this “Christian worldview stuff” to the point where future Democratic leaders will be eager to lecture the majority of Americans on this topic, Albert said.
“They’re going to emphasize values like work justice, class issues of caring for the poor,” Albert said. “These are biblical issues, there’s no question about it. But how can I take you seriously that you’re really going to fight for justice over a man’s job when you continually advocate murder of innocent children? I simply refuse to trust anybody who on the one hand who will say, ‘I care about your job,’ but will say to an unborn child, ‘I don’t care about your life.’”
Albert was asked what it would take for the Democratic Party to put forth an authentic Christian worldview that is truly aligned with the Bible.
“Full-blown repentance,” he said.