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I would be remiss if I didn't make mention of the 'Values Voter Summit' held in Washington D.C this past weekend.
But first.....let me point out that one year ago at the 2007 Values Voters Summit, John McCain, in a straw poll, received less than 2% of the Values Voters...umm...votes, for the GOP candidacy. One year ago, after a straw poll, it was Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee in a virtual tie with Values Voters at 28%, followed by Ron Paul with 15%, and then Red Truck Thompson at 10%. Rudy Giuliani received 107 Values Voters votes, landsliding in with just about 2% and John McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, received 81 total votes from those great, patriotic and moral Values Voters.
One year ago, Values Voters thoroughly rejected John McCain as their presidential candidate to represent the GOP in 2008. One year ago, Values Voters took the firm position that ANYONE, other than John McCain, should be their candidate of choice.
I mention this because, today, Values Voters are all charged up about the McCain candidacy. Not because of John McCain, but because of McCain's VP running mate, Sarah Palin. Based on the obvious, I can only conclude that Values Voters will vote for the GOP ticket in November, and do so entusiastically, only because they are voting for the vice-presidential candidate.
Never before have I witnessed such an oddity in a presidential campaign.
The purpose of the 2008 Family Research Council and Focus on the Family sponsored event this past weekend, "Values Voters Summit 2008", was to rally "Values Voters" activists for the upcoming election. Consider the Values Voters issues of concern...."Issues of concern included sanctity of life and marriage, illegal immigration, religious freedom, health care, radical Islam, judicial activism, Hollywood's influence, and the media."
Missing from those concerns, are the major concerns of the Christian Saviour, Jesus. Uplifting the poor, coming to the aid of the vulnerable in society, forgiveness and reconciliation, loving even your enemies, and pointing out religious hypocrisy. None of Jesus' main concerns made the Values Voters list for the 2008 election. The issues of most concern for Christianity's founder are nowhere to be found in the Values Voters concerns for America in the year 2008.
I bring this up because, while analyzing the concerns of today's Values Voters, I came to the conclusion that those concerns, almost without exception, find their ethos in coercing all Americans to live their lives as Values Voters say that they do.
Values Voters are never forced by government to have abortions or use birth control. Values Voters are never coerced to have sex outside of marriage. Values Voters are never forced to donate human eggs to stem cell research. Values Voters are never forced by the state to marry a gay or lesbian. Values Voters are never coerced to practice religion this way or that way. Values Voters are never forced to watch teevee or go to the movies. Values Voters are never forced to send their children to government sponsored public schools.
It would appear on the surface that Values Voters' biggest concerns in 2008 are focused on using the power of government to force other-than-Values-Voters Americans to live like they say they do.
If I'm not mistaken, 1st century Values Voters sought the power of the state to rid themselves of the man who spoke so often about the misplaced and hypocritical values of those same 1st century Values Voters. Pointing out, repeatedly, the value in uplifting the poor, helping the outcasts, loving your enemies, and making peace through love, tolerance and reconciliation....led directly to the 1st century's Values Voters Summit of the Sanhedrin which concluded that their biggest values concern was eliminating that infidel-values loving itinerant preacher.
Evangelical Christians say that they believe in the power of their religion's gospel. The good news of Jesus, his life, death, and alleged resurrection, is, according to Evangelicals, the power of God unto salvation. Evangelicals believe that in the preaching of that gospel, the power of the Word, is found the catalyst for sinners to change their ways.
Today's Values Voters, however, apparently do not really trust in the power of the Word anymore to change the lives of imperfect humans. Today's Values Voters seek the power of the state, not the power of their gospel, for the purpose of forcing behavioral change, not in themselves, but in others.
I'll review those in attendance, in Part 2, including a most compelling Christ-like video.
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