Why Christian Woman Must Vote the Issues
- 2004 6 Oct
In the last presidential election, candidates coveted the votes of soccer moms. In this election, some news organizations say single women, gays and Hispanics will determine the outcome.
Phyllis Schlafly, founder of Eagle Forum, has a different opinion. The conservative radio commentator and prolific author believes the strategy of at least one political party is to target the four million evangelical Christians - regardless of gender - who didn't vote in the last election and get them to the polls.
"The strategy of the Bush administration is to target evangelical voters - regardless of gender. They don't think evangelical women vote too much differently than their husbands, so they are targeting evangelicals in general," said Schlafly.
"And I believe the evangelical community is going to be very supportive of George W. Bush. I believe they like George W. Bush and his wife. The question is: Will they vote? The effort of the Bush Administration is to get them to vote. I think a lot of evangelicals are non-political and are just not voting."
Schlafly also said that although neither political party made a specific effort to appeal to evangelical Christian woman voters during their conventions, she believed that it was for two very different reasons. "I don't think the Democrats have many evangelical Christians voters. And the Bush Administration's plan was to appeal to the general public."
However, she cited two crucial issues she believes should compel evangelical Christian woman to vote: pro-life causes and the proposed defense of marriage amendment to the Constitution.
Janet Parshall, host of nationally syndicated "Janet Parshall's America," agrees that these two issues should compel Christian women to vote. Further, she sees the passage or defeat of the marriage amendment as a critical step in maintaining religious freedom in the United States.
"Evangelical Christian women need to know that the day may come - and this isn't fear mongering by any stretch of the imagination because the Bible says God hasn't given us a spirit of fear - but (the marriage amendment) is an issue that will determine if pastors are able to preach the word of God declaratively if it ties back specifically to sex outside of marriage in the form of homosexuality. There are those who want that deemed a hate crime and to be punishable by imprisonment," said Parshall.
As evidence, she cited examples of other countries that now allow homosexual marriage. "We've seen it (fines and imprisonment of pastors) in Canada; we've seen it in Australia. If we think that we in the United States are immune from that sort of hellish attack - and that is the genesis of that attack - we are woefully foolish. That possibility is residing in the wings and depending upon who becomes president that will either die in the wings or be facilitated out into the sunlight."
Women Should Get Active
Schlafly said she believes every evangelical Christian woman should find a cause and support it or a candidate to believe in and work for his/her election.
"I believe in being active," said Schlafly. "Women can volunteer at least every two years. In their churches, they can run a voter registration and voter education programs."
Parshall also feels that evangelical Christian women need to be involved, but she said that there are two primary reasons why many are not.
"From a practical perspective, Christian women in this country are exhausted. We are trying to do 'way too much haven't abandoned the idea that we should 'have it all together.' If we aren't doing everything to perfection, we are fully convinced we have failed. Taking on the challenges of the culture is just one more thing on our plate. We don't think we do everything else particularly well, so why on earth would we take on anything as big and burdensome as those cultural battles? We have bought into the idea that we can have it all. It's true: we can have it all, just not at the same time. Hopeless, hapless and helpless and burned out and the results are that we are rendered ineffectual for the kingdom.
But Parshall thinks that there is a second reason as well: "We women have decided to listen to the majority report from the spies rather than the minority report. As a result, we are convinced that there are giants in the land and we are just grasshoppers. And we think, 'Abortion has been the law of the land since 1963 and it's only gotten worse. What role could I possibly play in redeeming that?'
"We look at the radical homosexual agenda in this country and we think, 'They're too big, too powerful, too well financed. And after all, I'm just a grasshopper.' So we silence ourselves."
Parshall concluded, "Our mandate is to be faithful, to be obedient. It's not necessarily to be successful. If we can't pass a certain piece of legislation, we think we should no longer stand up and let our voices be heard. That's a hellish lie and it's gotten us into a position of silence and being ineffectual for the kingdom.
"We've forgotten how victory in the kingdom is defined," she added. "We win every time we speak the truth in love in the marketplace of ideas. It's not whether we get a particular judicial nominee on the bench: we win every time we articulate the precious truth that sets the captive free."
Author and speaker Rebekah Montgomery is the editor of "Right to the Heart of Women" ezine and co-publisher of Jubilant Press.