In the debate among Christians about who should be the Republican nominee for president, the discussion is unfortunately informed more often by the Gospel According to O'Reilly and the Book of Limbaugh rather than the Bible. I have therefore undertaken in this article to apply Biblical principles to four issues that are under discussion in this year's presidential campaign, which are or should be important to Christians, including foreign policy, life, education, and monetary policy. I conclude that Ron Paul's positions are by far the most consistent with Biblical principles and indeed that the other candidates have decidedly unbiblical views on these issues.
Before proceeding, please note that I have entitled this article "A Biblical Case…" because I am sure there are other applicable Scriptures and perhaps other better Biblical arguments to make on this subject, but I offer the arguments below in an attempt to help my Christian brothers sort out to what extent the candidates conform to Biblical principles on the four issues that are addressed in this article.
- Foreign Policy
- Sound Money and Ending the Federal Reserve
Matthew 7:12 (ESV) — "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
Matthew 5:9 (ESV) — "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
Romans 12:18 (ESV) — "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."
Hebrews 12:14 (ESV) — "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord."
Duet. 5:17 (ESV) — "You shall not murder."
A government is nothing more than a group of men who possess certain powers and authority over those residing in a certain geographical area. Relations between governments are essentially relations between groups of men. There is nothing in the Bible that exempts the groups of men known as governments from the commands of God.
Therefore, applying the commands God gave, as quoted above, Christians should urge their government to do to other nations what they wish other nations would do to them. Christians in the U.S. no doubt would like their own country to be free from invasion, attack, assassinations, covert operations, or other violent and subversive interventions by other countries' governments, so they should advocate a foreign policy that will not involve invasion, attack, assassinations, covert operations or other violent and subversive operations by the US government in other countries, and they should support candidates for office who will oppose such unbiblical practices.
Moreover, Christians should not advocate an interventionist foreign policy that will inevitably produce unjust wars, the killing of innocents, and the subversion and overthrow of other countries' governments, because to do so would be to thwart the command of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:18 to live peaceably with all. Indeed, not only do interventionist actions violate Paul's command in themselves, but they also provoke violent responses and thus perpetuate conflict, as the United States has experienced a number of times. Such responses are known by a term the CIA coined: "blowback ". It illustrates the truth that violence begets more violence, and as Jesus said in Matthew 26:52 (NIV), "[A] ll who draw the sword will die by the sword."
Furthermore, a foreign policy that advocates aggressive wars (that is, wars that involve the invasion of other countries and not the repelling of an invasion of the U.S.) is anathema to the Sixth Commandment, which prohibits murder. Wars of aggression are unjust (as the Nazi leaders learned from the Allies in the trials at Nuremburg), thus making the killing associated with them unjustified (even the killing of enemy combatants) and therefore murderous. Even just wars become unjust when the means by which the war is conducted are unjust, as in the killing of innocents.
In addition, because rulers are not exempt from the commands of God, they too must abide by the law of the land in accordance with Romans 13. The law of the land in the U.S. is the Constitution, which gives limited powers to the executive branch and only allows for war in the event that Congress has issued a declaration of war. No war since WWII has been a declared war, which means that all wars since that time have been unconstitutional and illegal, in violation of Romans 13.
To these arguments, one might object: What about all of the dictators and repressive governments in the world? Should we just sit back and do nothing about them? First, the U.S. government for decades has been a supporter, financially and otherwise, of repressive dictators throughout the world, including Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the 1980s, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt until he was overthrown in 2011, the Shah of Iran (whom the U.S. government installed after overthrowing the democratically elected Mossadegh), Pinochet in Chile, Noriega in Panama, Diem in Vietnam, and many others. If Christians are concerned about repressive dictators, then they should urge the U.S. government to stop supporting them.
Second, if we were to operate on the principle that the U.S. must overthrow repressive dictators, there would be no end to war until our own country collapsed economically, because contrary to popular belief, wars destroy wealth, not only for those whose lives and property are destroyed, but also for those who pay for the destruction (e.g., U.S. taxpayers).
Third, the best way to influence a country is through open and free trade, which leads to the exchange of ideas. As Ron Paul has said, "Ideas are very important to the shaping of society. In fact, they are more powerful than bombings or armies or guns. And this is because ideas are capable of spreading without limit. They are behind the choices we make. They can transform the world in a way that governments and armies cannot. Fighting for liberty with ideas makes more sense to me than fighting with guns or politics or political power. With ideas, we can make real change that lasts." China provides a great example of this principle. The U.S. opened relations with China in the early 1970s, and since that time, owing to trade and the consequent exchange of ideas, China has liberalized more and more, and the people of China have prospered. Of course, China is not yet a beacon of liberty, but the point is that it changed for the better without the use of sanctions or bombs. It is no longer Mao's China.
The lesson is clear: The U.S. should stop installing and supporting repressive governments, stop overthrowing and attempting to overthrow other governments, and instead pursue peaceful commercial relations with other countries. (Note: This is precisely what George Washington’s foreign policy was.)
Ron Paul is the only candidate who advocates a Biblical and Constitutional foreign policy. He is not an isolationist. Rather, he advocates peaceful commercial relations with all and denies the right of the U.S. government to intervene in the political affairs of other countries. His foreign policy is essentially the Golden Rule given by Jesus in Matthew 7:12, as applied to governments (remember, governments are just groups of men). Moreover, Ron Paul would refuse to go to war without a declaration of war by Congress, thus upholding the Constitution and the idea that political leaders are not above the law.
Every other candidate (including Obama) supports an interventionist foreign policy, which is to say they advocate aggressive wars and military operations (e.g., Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and the coming wars in Iran and Syria), assassinations, economic sanctions (which do nothing but harm the poor, destroy the middle class in the target country, and solidify support for the existing regime in the target country), as well as violent and subversive operations in other countries. Rick Santorum, for example, recently cheered the assassination (murder) of Iranian scientists, calling it a “a wonderful thing” and saying he hopes that the United States was involved in their killing, and he has been beating the war drums against Iran more and more each day. He also apparently has no problem assassinating (murdering) American citizens without due process of law, notwithstanding the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits it. Mitt Romney advocates imposing "crippling sanctions" on Iran, taking covert action to overthrow Iran's government, and even waging war against Iran to prevent it from doing something that the U.S. government and the Israeli government have already done hundreds of times over — obtain a nuclear weapon. Newt Gingrich agrees entirely with Romney's approach on Iran. Like Santorum, both Romney and Gingrich approve of the disregard Obama showed for Biblical prohibitions on murder and the Constitution's guaranty of due process when he ordered the assassination of an American citizen.
(As an aside, Does any of the discussion about Iran's nuclear program sound familiar? The people who are beating the war drums against Iran for its supposed nuclear-weapons program are the very same people who lied the country into war against Iraq in 2003 on the false premise that Iraq possessed "weapons of mass destruction," notwithstanding abundant evidence at the time that no such weapons program existed. They led us into one crippling disaster, and hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. Why should we follow them into the abyss this time?)
Lastly, neither Santorum, Gingrich, nor Romney have any qualms about a president initiating war without a declaration of war from Congress. This means that they are willing to violate the Constitution that they would be sworn to uphold. Christians cannot support someone who would violate the law of the land without themselves violating Romans 13.
Much more could be said about the immorality and illegality of the foreign policy of Santorum, Gingrich and Romney, and the disaster that would be unleashed on the world if one of them were to become president, but the reasons above are sufficient to show that none of the candidates other than Ron Paul can be said to comply with the Biblical mandates quoted above; indeed the other candidates advocate the exact opposite of those commands.
What about Israel? Isn't Ron Paul's foreign policy against Israel's interests? Actually, Ron Paul's foreign policy would benefit Israel. First, he wants to end all foreign aid (because it is not authorized in the Constitution and is therefore illegal). Given that Israel's enemies receive seven times more foreign aid from the US than Israel, this would be a net benefit to Israel. Moreover, Ron Paul advocates allowing Israel greater sovereignty. Currently, Israel must obtain the permission of the United States government before implementing any plans to deal with the Palestinians internally or Israel's enemies externally. That is not sovereignty. Ron Paul would allow Israel to deal with internal and external matters without obtaining permission from the United States, and far from opposing Israel, he would advocate friendship and peaceful trade with it, as he would with any other country.
For those who are not yet convinced about the foreign policy argument, please watch the following videos. The first is Ron Paul talking about a Biblical basis for foreign policy. The second is a striking video of Ron Paul's predictions in 2002 about the consequences at home and abroad of the prevailing U.S. interventionist foreign policy — and how they have largely come true.
Christians, it is not sufficient to say that the world is a violent place, that there are wicked people who are intent on the destruction of the United States, and that our country must destroy them before they destroy it. That view ignores what the U.S. government has been doing in the world for the last 70 (or more) years, and it is more akin to the Golden Rule according to Boss Hogg ("Do unto others before they do unto you.") rather than the Golden Rule according to Jesus. If you are going to support an interventionist foreign policy, you must find Biblical support for it. I submit to you that there is none.
Psalm 139:13 (ESV) — "You knitted me together in my mother's womb."
Duet. 5:17 (ESV) — "You shall not murder."
As an OB/GYN, Ron Paul delivered more than 4,000 babies and saved many lives by counseling women considering abortions not to abort their babies. He supports a bill called the Sanctity of Life Act, which would define life as beginning at conception.
Since at least 2004, when the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency, Ron Paul has been introducing each year a bill known as the We The People Act, which would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade with a simple majority vote in Congress, by prohibiting federal courts from having jurisdiction over abortion-related cases and making federal-court decisions on that issue non-binding on state courts. This would return the issue to the states (which is where it should be under the Constitution), enabling individual states to prohibit abortions. How many thousands of lives would have been saved if the Republicans, who claim to be pro-life, would have passed this bill when they had the power to do so?
Rick Santorum, by contrast, did not support the We The People Act, but he did VOTE FOR FUNDING FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD, and he has supported rabidly pro-abortion candidates for office, including the notorious Arlen Specter and Christine Todd Whitman, while they were running against pro-life candidates. How can a person claim to be pro-life and still vote for and support those things? Moreover, how can a person claim to uphold the law of the land and vote to fund Planned Parenthood, when there is no authority in the Constitution to do so? This is lawlessness.
Newt Gingrich has previously supported federal funding of abortions in cases of incest, rape, or to save the life of the mother. Even if you think abortion in such cases should be legal, there is no basis in the Constitution for providing federal funding for abortions. Gingrich also sponsored the Global Warming Prevention Act of 1989, which would have, among other things, eliminated the federal ban Ronald Reagan imposed against funding international groups that perform abortions.
Mitt Romney is notorious for his conveniently timed flip-flops on abortion. As recently as 2002, when he was running for governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed a Planned Parenthood questionnaire stating that he supported a woman's so-called right to choose. Ted Kennedy summed up Romney well when he said that Romney wasn’t pro-choice or anti-choice, he was multiple choice.
Lastly, Christians should consider that a candidate's position on war is just as relevant to whether or not he is pro-life as his position on abortion is. War in the 21st Century inevitably involves the killing of innocent civilians. There is no way to drop bombs on a house in a neighborhood without killing innocent people. Moreover, in unjust aggressive wars like those that Santorum, Gingrich and Romney advocate, all of the killings are unjustified murders. Christian conservatives need to stop taking their marching orders from neo-conservative talk-radio hosts and start taking their orders from the Bible. We should take seriously the Bible's teaching on the value of life, including the lives of those in other countries, and we should evangelize people with Bibles, not bombs.
Eph. 6:4 (ESV) — "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." (emphasis added)
Deut. 6:6-7 — "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." (emphasis added).
God gives children to their parents and charges their parents with the responsibility to raise and educate them (i.e., to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord). Nowhere in Scripture is the government given any authority or responsibility to educate children.
Ron Paul supports the biblical role of parents in educating their children and opposes the encroachment by the government in the parents' freedom to educate their children as they see fit. He believes that no country can remain free when the government has more influence over the knowledge and values transmitted to children than parents do. Ron Paul would uphold the law of the land on this issue — the Constitution — which gives no authority whatsoever to the federal government to meddle in matters of education. Ron Paul would work to eliminate the disastrous Department of Education, and he has also introduced legislation that would give homeschoolers a tax credit (not a welfare voucher with strings) of $5,000 per child for educational expenses. He also has promised to veto any bill that encroaches on homeschooling parents' rights. Homeschooling Christians will not find a greater friend in this campaign than Ron Paul.
Rick Santorum, on the other hand, apparently does not have a problem with disregarding the Constitution when it comes to education, given that voted for the No Child Left Alone Behind Act, and he voted to double the size of the federal Department of Education. He also supports the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As Wikipedia states, the IDEA act has grown in scope and form over the years, just like every other big-government program. If you want more of these types of programs and mandates, which will grow and metastasize, then Rick Santorum is your man. Santorum also has taken $100,000 in taxpayer money to pay for his children to take part in an online charter school, and he did so by claiming residency in Pennsylvania while he and his family actually lived in Virginia. That kind of practice sounds suspiciously unlike what an honest, small-government conservative would do.
Newt Gingrich worked with Jimmy Carter to create the Federal Department of Education, notwithstanding the lack of any Constitutional authority for such a thing, and one of his noted accomplishments in the House was the dramatic increase in the department's budget that the Republicans passed. As for homeschooling, Newt's idea of “protect[ing] the rights of homeschooled children” is "ensuring they have the same access to taxpayer funded, extra-curricular educational opportunities as any public school student." What?! Who cares about that? We simply want to be left alone. Newt also proposes education welfare programs, including a "Pell Grant-style system" for grades K-12, which would get all participating schools — public, private, and homeschools — on the public dole and under government control. He also wants to make sure children are being adequately indoctrinated into the government's view of American history, which would have to be done by some sort of federal mandate or funding threat. More government, more government, more government.
Mitt Romney, like Gingrich and Santorum, sees no difficulty in flouting the Constitution concerning education. He believes that the Federal Department of Education plays an “important role” in education, and he advocates more government involvement in education, such as standardized testing, merit pay programs for teachers (presumably directed in some way by the federal government), and taxpayer-funded "scholarships".
The proposals and records of Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney show that they have little or no regard for the law of the land or for the fact that government has no Biblical authority to raise and indoctrinate children.
Lev. 19:36 (ESV) — " You shall have just balances, just weights…"
Deut. 25:15 (ESV) — "A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you."
Proverbs 11:1 (ESV) — "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight."
Micah 6:11 (ESV) — "Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights?"
Deut. 5:19 (ESV) — "[Y]ou shall not steal."
In Biblical times, weights and balances were what people used to measure how much goods were worth for purposes of purchases and sales. Using improperly weighted scales was a way to steal wealth and purchasing power from others. The modern equivalent to weights and balances would be money, and the modern equivalent to stealing purchasing power from others would be the use of paper money (1) that is unbacked by any real asset and (2) that can be and is created out of thin air for the benefit of those in power.
When government prints more money, there are then more dollars in the system chasing after the same amount of goods. Prices inevitably rise, thus robbing people of their purchasing power. However, because not everyone in society will immediately realize the fact that more money has been printed and the effect it will have, prices do not rise immediately or uniformly. In fact, it may take a while for the new money to work itself through the system. Those who receive the new money first benefit the most because the prices of goods and services will not have risen yet. These beneficiaries would include the federal government and investment bankers like Goldman Sachs. People at the end of the chain, like retirees and those on fixed incomes, receive no benefit and in fact lose purchasing power because of the rise in prices. In other words, with more money chasing the same goods, people on fixed incomes will find that their money will buy fewer goods. Thus, the fiat-money system transfers wealth (i.e., purchasing power) from the poor and middle class to the politicians and their financiers. Under this system, the U.S. dollar has lost more than 90% of its value since 1971, when Richard Nixon finally severed the dollar from the gold standard. This is a dishonest system, equivalent to unfair weights and measures.
Ron Paul is the only candidate who understands the immorality and unconstitutionality of this monetary system. In fact, he wrote a book against the system, called End the Fed. Ron Paul advocates a return to honest, sound, Constitutional money (i.e., money backed by gold and silver).
The other candidates generally do not even talk about monetary policy, but when they do, their statements show that they will largely perpetuate the status quo. Rick Santorum believes that we need inflation, that is, we need our purchasing power to be stolen from us. See this video at about 2:40. His views are taken apart by Tom Woods in this video.
Mitt Romney's biggest donor is Goldman Sachs, one of the chief beneficiaries of the fiat-money system.. Thus, he is unlikely to do anything about this immoral monetary system.
Newt Gingrich talks about auditing the Federal Reserve, which is good, but he does not go far enough. Auditing the Fed will reveal to some extent how much the Federal Reserve is used to enrich the Wall Street banks, but what we need is honest money. Gingrich has nothing to say about that.
In this article, I have not discussed the fact that Ron Paul is the only evangelical Christian in this race (Santorum and Gingrich are Catholics and Romney is a Mormon). Nor have I discussed Ron Paul's high moral character (e.g., honest, consistent, married to the same wife for 55 years vs. Gingrich's three wives and alleged open-marriage proposal, etc.). Much more could be said on those issues. However, on the four issues I have identified, which are or should be of great importance to Christians, there is only one man among the four remaining contenders whose approach approximates the Biblical approach — Ron Paul. The other three candidates will grow government, will launch more murderous wars, will ignore or be ineffective in dealing with the abortion issue, will continue the expansion of the government's involvement in education, and will do nothing about the monetary system that is systematically robbing you of purchasing power and giving it to investment banks. I therefore urge my Christian brothers to abandon Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich and support Ron Paul. Oh, and by the way, he can beat Obama.
Michael Eversden [send him mail] is a follower of Christ, a devoted husband, a homeschooling father, and a passionate defender of liberty.