by Laurence M. Vance
by Laurence M. Vance
To the dismay of many Christians, John McCain was not elected president of the United States. Were it not for the support of evangelicals and other conservative Christians, McCain would have been more soundly defeated in what was probably his last election. It didn't really matter what McCain believed or didn't believe; these Christians turned out in droves to vote for him because he was a Republican. As bad as Barack Obama was, most Christians who voted for McCain would have voted Republican no matter who the Democratic and Republican nominees were.
Throughout the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, Yellow Dog Democrats in the South consistently voted for Democrats no matter who the Democratic and Republican nominees were. The idea was that they would rather vote for a yellow dog than a Republican. Christians who consistently vote Republican — and especially after decades of Republican compromises and sellouts — are even worse. They would vote for a dead yellow dog over a Democrat.
But it gets even worse. Instead of Christians admitting how detrimental to freedom the Bush administration was, acknowledging that McCain was a pathetic excuse for a real conservative, conceding that the Republicans badly disappointed them once again, holding their noses shut with the firmest of grips, positioning in front of their mouths a barf bag saved from their last airline trip, closing their eyes tightly — and then voting for McCain, some Christians, or rather, McChristians, actively supported him. Some even went so far as to put McCain/Palin bumper stickers on their cars, signs in their yards, and buttons on their shirts.
It is bad enough for a Christian to do evil by voting for what he thinks is the lesser of two evils; it is another thing to embrace, defend, and promote evil.
Whenever I hear anyone, and especially conservative Christian Republicans, talk about voting for the lesser of two evils, I think of an election between Stalin and Hitler. I can just imagine one group of people saying that they are voting for Stalin because Hitler believes in a, b, and c, while the other side says that they are voting for Hitler because Stalin believes in x, y, and z.
This analogy really fits the recent election since the choice was between a socialist or national socialist. The newspaper headlines for the day after Election Day should all have read: SOCIALIST WINS OVER NATIONAL SOCIALIST.
As bad as Obama is, it doesn't change the fact that the Republicans deserved to lose. But because the Democrats didn't deserve to win, some Christians thought they faced a dilemma and, after assuming the position outlined above, voted for McCain.
But there was no dilemma. There were other choices on the ballot — like Chuck Baldwin, a conservative Christian who is miles ahead of McCain when it comes to being a real conservative. But it comes as no surprise that Baldwin was rejected since Ron Paul was likewise rejected in the Republican primaries.
Christians also had the option of abstaining "from all appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22); that is, not voting. For the Christian, it is better to endure an evil than to commit one. Even if McCain is the lesser of two evils, he is still evil. And it is never right to do evil. Period. The Apostle Paul said it was slanderously reported of him that he believed in a philosophy of "let us do evil that good may come" (Romans 3:8). But that is the philosophy of many Christians.
But is McCain the lesser of two evils? Consider his record:
- McCain scores a dismal 36 on the New American magazine's Freedom index.
- McCain is worse on foreign policy than Bush.
- McCain joined with Ted Kennedy to sponsor an illegal-alien amnesty bill (S.1033, 2005).
- McCain is a CFR member who supports expanding the power of the UN.
- McCain has voted against income tax, capital gains, and estate tax cuts.
- McCain was rated an F— on gun issues by Gun Owners of America in 2004 and 2006.
- McCain is the Republican behind the attack on free speech known as McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform.
- McCain supports draconian environmentalist legislation.
Both McCain and Obama voted for the Wall Street bailout bill. Both support more government intervention to "fix" the economy. Both support the war on drugs and the war on terror. Both support the Federal Reserve. Both support maintaining the welfare state and the warfare state. And as Anthony Gregory pointed out before the election: "Both are for preserving virtually everything the government does" and "neither proposes to abolish anything."
McCain is marginally better on some issues than Obama, but how hard is that? There is not a dime's worth of difference between McCain and Obama when it comes to issues of substance like peace, liberty, property, free markets, sound money, and the size and scope of government.
I suppose that the main reason Christians think that McCain is less of an evil than Obama is the abortion issue. There is no question that Obama's views on abortion are reprehensible. But then he doesn't claim to be pro-life like McCain does. If McCain is so pro-life then why did he vote to confirm to the U.S. Supreme Court pro-abortion justices like Stephen Breyer, Ruth Ginsburg, and David Souter? Why did he consider the pro-abortion senator Joe Lieberman for his vice presidential running mate? Why does he think it is okay to kill babies who had the misfortune to be conceived via rape or incest? Why has he voted for Health and Human Services Title X funding for Planned Parenthood?
And then there is the issue of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and God knows where else the U.S. military will be sent on the next mission of death and destruction. There is no ethical difference between being rabidly pro-abortion and being rabidly pro-war. Obama is the former and McCain is the latter — but both positions are anything but pro-life. Killing babies outside of the womb in Iraq is just as much an evil as killing babies inside the womb in America.
But far worse than voting for the perceived lesser of two evils is championing evil. Christians who embraced, defended, and promoted John McCain because he was a Republican and was not Barack Obama should be ashamed of themselves for being pragmatic instead of being dogmatic. They should also be embarrassed, not only that they were so uninformed about McCain (I guess they relied too much on those Christian Coalition voter guides), but because about the only thing they could think of to say about him started with either "Barack Obama is" or "Barack Obama will."
How shallow and how pathetic are these McChristians. They can be counted on to enthusiastically and unconditionally support the next litter of yellow dog Republican candidates.
November 12, 2008
Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from Pensacola, FL. His latest book is a new and greatly expanded edition of Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State. Visit his website.
Copyright © 2008 LewRockwell.com