Voting in the House of Rimmon

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I have said earlier that if Obama is elected, it will be a holy cow moment. And that is true enough. He would be a terrible president. And it is not surprising that conservatives go weak in the knees at the mere prospect.

But when it comes to politics and culture, our first duty is to think straight. Our first duty is to stop kidding ourselves. Our first duty is to face facts. And the basic fact that “country first” ostensible conservatives must face is this: we always get no less than the leadership we deserve. Sometimes God in His grace gives us leadership that is better than we deserve, but as bad as the Left is (and the hard Obama Left is appalling), what they would do to this country by running it into the ground would be no injustice. God judges nations, and He does so without playing favorites.

Too often conservatives use (very true) statements about how appalling the situation is, but they don’t really believe those statements themselves. Take abortion. That is not simply a “policy difference.” The red in “red, white and blue” is that color because it is soaked with the blood of forty million innocents. How many of tens of millions more would it take before we would acknowledge that God would be just to say that we are a burden to the earth, and simply take us out? And what better way to take us out than with false messiah man here? If abortion is what we have maintained all along, then God does not have to give us one more chance to get judges on the court who would honor life. I pray that He does, and I pray that He will do so through this election. But He doesn’t owe it to us, just because we are America. If Roe is overturned, it will not be the manifestation of the latent goodness of the American people, finally overcoming those scoundrels in the halls of power. It will be repentance, our repentance. I pray that God will give it to us. But if He does not, then no complaining at what happens next.

Our political campaigns usually look like competing blasphemies, bumping and shoving each other like a couple of sumo wrestlers. Someone says something, and someone on the other side reacts to it simply on the basis of whether it furthers the current campaign they are working for. This, instead of addressing whether or not it is true. We live a world of talking points and spin rooms, and not a world of debate. Debate can occur in a Christian country. Spin, rhetorical shoving, and blatent image creation is what occurs in a postmodern political campaign.

Ron Paul attracted a number of people to his campaign who were what is called “911 truthers.” That mere fact was cited (by National Review) as damning in and of itself. Their only interest is how such a datum can be used to dismiss without argument the only man in American politics who knows what the Fed has been doing to our economic system.

And in the last month of their campaign, McCain and Palin have begun pounding on the William Ayers connection. This has been dismissed by the chattering classes as “going negative,” while cheerfully neglecting that the charge is true. Obama is a hard leftist, and he came of political age in circles where semi-retired bomber throwers were de rigeur at all the best wine and brie parties. Imagine if Sarah Palin used to go to the same church as Timothy McVeigh. Would the response be a little different? As she would say, you betcha!

And when the nation is in the peril it is in, the only practical alternative that Christians have before them now is that offered by a pathetic “country first” idolatry of the McCain campaign. This goes back to the point I was making about shoving instead of deliberating. Country first is nothing but damned nonsense, but it is nonsense that plays very well in certain quarters.

In thinking about whether to vote for McCain (for reasons I have sketched out before), I need to be very clear that I am contemplating whether it will be lawful for me, in this instance, to bow down in the house of Rimmon. I am coming to the conclusion that it is. But as I do, when I look to my right and left, I see a bunch of evangelical Christians worshipping in the house of Rimmon, and that can’t be good. And I see others, third party perfectionists, who say (because it is an easy point to score) that anybody in that temple must be committing the same sin as everybody else in there. Their temptation, of course, is to worship inside the temple of their own heads.

So, then, Christ first. Gospel first. Scripture first. The gospel is the only answer to the corruptions of our culture. If Christians have that straight in their hearts and lives, then they can be used by God in our generation in merciful ways. Some of them are voting outside the mainstream. Some of them are voting McCain/Palin. But none of them are voting for Obama.

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