Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson has written an interesting piece called “A pounding at the polls.” In it he says this:
“My hope and prayer is that conservatives in America will do some serious, sober soul-searching. We need to get our own act together before we can preach to others, or before we deserve to hold power. And if we break trust, we are breaking trust with the very essence of who we are. Our own character is at stake.”
He begins the article by saying that Bible-believing Christians should be conservative and that Republicans have let the movement down by corruption and scandal and a lack of character. As far as an analysis of conservatism goes, it is fine.
What the article belies, however, is the assumption that conservatism and Christianity are the same. Colson quotes conservative thinker Russsell Kirk next to G.K. Chesterton, Christian author, poet, defender of the faith. Coslon assumes this oneness of Christianity and conservatism that simply doesn’t exist. And nowhere does Mr. Colson – a man I respect greatly and like very much – offer a single thought on how the election may have impacted the perception people have of Jesus. That, is a question of far greater weight.
Ultimately, however, I think Mr. Colson’s view is on the way out. Evangelicals are looking elsewhere and away from politics. Beliefnet’s poll showed nearly 40% of Evangelicals are in favor of a fast from politics. I think they understand something – Jesus reputation is being slimed by political activism.