It’s rare for me to make a foray into politics. But in light of the recent election, I am going to make an exception.
Here is a simple analysis that I think is beyond refute. Bush’s election is due to one person alone. Not Rove, who almost cost Bush the election, but Margaret Marshall. When Marshall, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, wrote an opinion that the Bay State’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, and in a self righteous fit of activism demanded that the legislature legalize it, which they were quite willing to do in a “thank you sir may I please have another” kind of way, she dove headfirst into the law of unintended consequences.
Her activism ultimately resulted in the energizing of the Christian vote, a vote that in large numbers had said “thanks but no thanks” in 2000, resulting in Gore’s plurality.
This time, the Christians came out to vote. This was a different sort of phenomenon that the Moral Majority of the 1980’s. This was an under-the-radar grass-roots uprising. The Moral Majority was a dispensational apocalyptic movement. In 2004 we have witnessed a different dynamic, one for the optimistic postmillennialists.
I know Christians who voted for Kerry. While I don’t doubt their faith, I don’t understand their logic. For me, the abortion issue trumps everything else. Bush could have told me he was going to raise my taxes and reinstitute the draft, but as long as I believed that he is a man of God, and that he will endeavor to appoint pro-life judges (even if he is stymied) he’d have my vote.
I wish he hadn’t gone to Iraq, but that is nothing compared to the genocide this country perpetuates on the unborn.
Now the Republicans are giddy, but they should take heed. The return of the Christian vote is not guaranteed. Will a secular conservative, even one who (like Kerry) gives unconvincing lip-service to matters of faith, energize the evangelicals and conservative Catholics? I don’t think so. He/she would be doomed.
In 2008, the Republicans must run either a conservative Christian or a moderate. The conservative base without the Christians is not big enough.