Will Ron Paul Be the Candidate of the Christian Right?
by Laurence M. Vance
by Laurence M. Vance
In the typical presidential election, conservative Christians who have some understanding of the benefits of liberty and limited government and don't blindly follow the Republican Party do one of three things: they don't vote, they "waste" their vote on a third party, or else they hold their nose, close their eyes, stop their ears, and fight a gag reflex as they vote for the Republican candidate because they consider him to be the lesser of two evils. But most of these Christians have short memories, for when the lesser evil turns out to be just as evil as the greater evil, or sometimes even worse, they generally repeat the process all over again.
The newest individual to announce that he is seeking the Republican nomination for president is Ron Paul. He formally declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on March 12, 2007, when he appeared as a guest on C-SPAN.
Ron Paul is a veteran. He is a physician. He currently represents the 14th district in Texas (south of Houston) in the U.S. House of Representatives, a seat which he has held since 1997. He previously represented Texas's 22nd district in 1976 and again from 1979 to 1985. Dr. Paul was the Libertarian Party nominee for president in 1988. He is the former honorary chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He consistently scores a perfect 100 on The New American magazine's "Conservative Index." He has received many awards and honors during his career in Congress from organizations such as the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste, Council for a Competitive Economy, and Young Americans for Freedom.
But will he be the candidate of the Christian Right? By the Christian Right's own criteria, their candidate ought to be Ron Paul.
Ron Paul is a man of faith. He is a Protestant Christian and a regular churchgoer.
Ron Paul is pro-life. As a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, he has delivered more than 4,000 babies. Dr. Paul is not just an opponent of partial-birth abortion; he is an opponent of abortion itself. He is also opposed to federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
Ron Paul is a believer in family values. Unlike many Christian "leaders" and Republican politicians who have admitted to adulterous affairs and/or been married multiple times, Dr. Paul has been married to the same woman for fifty years. He and his wife have been blessed with five children and seventeen grandchildren.
Ron Paul is opposed to same-sex marriage. Although he doesn't want to strip homosexuals of their civil rights, he has voted to prohibit federal funding for the joint adoption of a child between individuals who are not related by blood or marriage.
Ron Paul is a patriot. He served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1967. He opposes federal court jurisdiction over the question of whether the phrase "under God" should be included in the pledge of allegiance.
Ron Paul is opposed to unrestricted immigration. Because he believes that true citizenship requires cultural connections and an allegiance to the United States, he favors an end to birthright citizenship. And because he believes that it insults legal immigrants, he does not favor amnesty for illegal immigrants in any form. He opposes welfare state subsidies for illegal immigrants that alienate taxpayers and breed suspicion of immigrants. Dr. Paul also believes that all federal government business should be conducted in English.
Ron Paul is opposed to gun control. Not only does he believe that gun control makes people demonstrably less safe, he also thinks it's a myth that gun control reduces crime. Representative Paul introduced legislation in Congress that would have repealed waiting periods and instant background checks.
Ron Paul is a strict constitutionalist. He never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution. He has consistently voted to lower or abolish federal taxes, spending, and regulation. Congressman Paul was recently recognized, for the tenth year in a row, as a "Taxpayer's Friend" by the National Taxpayers Union.
Ron Paul is opposed to the United Nations. He has introduced legislation to withdraw the United States from the UN. Dr. Paul believes that the UN is rife with corruption. It serves as a forum for rampant anti-Americanism. Instead of being reformed, the UN needs to be renounced. Dr. Paul is against any kind of world government or new world order.
Ron Paul is the premier advocate for liberty in politics today. He believes in absolute religious and political liberty for all Americans. He strongly supports private property rights. He believes that government exists to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens.
But even though he appears to live up to the usual criteria of the Christian Right, the question still remains: Will Ron Paul be the candidate of the Christian Right?
As a Christian, I admire Dr. Paul's principled stand on many issues, but I don't believe the leadership of the Christian Right will embrace him. I think they love centralization more than federalism. I think they love political power more than liberty. I think they love war more than peace. I think they love politicians more than principles. I think they love faith-based socialism more than the free market. And I think they love the state more than God Almighty.
April 26, 2007
Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] is a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor in accounting at Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, FL. He is also the director of the Francis Wayland Institute. He is the author of Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State. His latest book is King James, His Bible, and Its Translators. Visit his website.
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