The election is upon us. At the risk of being guilty of using a tired cliche, this may be the most important election in my lifetime. I say that because of the stark differences between the two major candidates for president. I realize some will chaff at my neglect of mentioning the third party candidate alternatives but let's be honest here. On Wednesday morning, November 3rd, (or whenever the courts get around to sorting through all the legal challenges which are sure to come from both sides) either John Kerry or George Bush will be president. Period. End of sentence. Since, like it or not, this is the way it is in our current, two party dominated system, I want to focus some of the issues which will be crucial from a Christian worldview perspective over the next four years. I wholeheartedly agree with Charles J. Chaput, the archbishop of Denver who, in an amazing op-ed piece in the liberal New York Times said, "If we say that we ought to do something, we are making a moral judgement. When our legislators turn that judgement into law, somebody's ought becomes a must for the whole of society. This is not innherently dangerous; it's how pluralism works." Chaput goes on to say, "Democracy depends on people of conviction expressing their views, confidently and without embarrassment. This give-and-take is an American tradition, and religous believers play a vital role in it. We don't serve our country ....in fact we weaken it intellectually, if we downplay our principles or fail to speak out forcefully out of some misguided sense of good manners."
This idea of "oughtness" should give us pause. We must realize government is the entity which establishes and then enforces the public "oughtness" we all must adhere to. Don't misunderstand and think I am suggesting everything the government decrees ought to be done. But on the whole, the direction of our culture will be shaped by government's understanding what is right and what is wrong.
To me, comparing Senator John Kerry and President Bush when it comes understanding what fuels their since of "oughtness" is like comparing fire to ice. They just couldn't be further apart in their fundamental philosophies of life or in their approach to government, or their attitudes toward the war on terror. If elected, John Kerry will do everything in his power to defeat the Marriage Protection Act. He will be an unconditional supporter of abortion on demand at every stage of pregnancy. A Kerry presidency will mean the possibility of the appointment of at least two and possibly three Supreme Court Justices who will complete the highjacking of the court, turning it into a rubber stamp factory for every loony, leftist, liberal idea that comes down the pike. A Kerry administration will only pursue terrorists AFTER more Americans have died and then only if it is alright with France, Belgium and Germany, and the rest of the appeasers in the European Union. Do you remember what it was like before 911? How every move we made had to be agonizingly pushed through the United Nations where countries dedicated to our destruction have a voice and a vote? Do we really want to go back to the days when the UN Secretary General dictates United States policy?
Am I completely satisfied with the first four years of President Bush? No...I believe the president has been soft on immigration (but so has every other administration) and much to quick to expand and already bloated federal government. I believe he could have done more to curtail abortion and I would like to see more vigor in his defense of marriage. His support of civil unions is very troubling. But fundamentally, I believe President Bush is a good man who seeks God's wisdom before he acts. I believe he will defend this country vigorously against those who seek to destroy us. If we can get a Federal Marriage Protection Act through Congress, President Bush will sign it and his administration will promote it to the states.
What in the worldview are we to do? Pragmatically speaking, it's Bush or Kerry. Given the fact those are the choices before us we must choose Bush.