Here is Joe's recent Q&A with Christianity Today. This interview annoyed me to no end, so I had to break up the questions. Sorry if it gets a little confusing, but let's jump right in:
Why does conservatism appeal to you as a Christian?I almost don’t know where to start.
Conservatism is about the basic rights of individuals. God created us. As far as the government goes, the Founding Fathers based the Constitution off of Christian values. It goes hand-in-hand. As far as the Republican Party? I felt connected to it because individual freedom should not be legislated by the federal government.
One thing I've been thinking about is taking the social issues out of national politics. For example, if Georgia wanted abortion and Alabama didn't, that's going to be up to the people in Georgia. I can't sway them. Would I give them advice not to? Absolutely. Would I say it's wrong? Yes. I'll go to Alabama where they say, "I don't want abortion." Trying to get 350 million people to agree on an issue is not going to happen. That way, people can live the way they want to as opposed to being imposed on by the federal government.
First, conservatism is NOT about the basic rights of the individual. I don't even know where he would have gotten that idea (maybe because of Conservatives obsession with small government?). Even though I think both political views promote liberty, I think it's evident that liberals are more concerned with individual freedoms based on the way equality is such a major issue for them. Every push forward has been done because of the progressive liberals demanding it (at the constant irritation of a party based on stagnation).
Conservatives really only promote the freedom of upper-class white Christian males (which is clear to anyone who doesn't fit in one of these groups).
Second, history teachers everywhere must be rolling in their graves at the constant speculation that the constitution was based off of Christian morals. It's simply not true. In fact, I would say the constitution is pretty much the opposite of the bible.
Third, while I do agree with his comment, “individual freedom should not be legislated by the federal government,” what he fails to realize is that many of his proposed “ideas” of how the government should work would essentially limit MY individual freedoms.
Of course, since I don’t agree with him I’m sure he could care less.
Fourth, the reason the Republican Party has been talking about social issues being moved to the background (Meghan McCain did so here ) is because they know they can’t win. As I showed in a previous post, social issues are hurting conservatives because they're blatantly unwilling to take any step forward (or towards the middle for that matter) even though the views of the country have shifted.
Finally, the major flaw in his abortion example is very obvious: Abortions aren’t imposed upon people by the government. So what he’s really saying with his comments about “people can live the way they want to as opposed to being imposed on” is that people should have the fundamental right to not only live how they see fit (which, except for a few exceptions like child marriage or bestiality, they already do), but should also have the right to impose those views on other people.
Way to support the “basic rights of individuals” there Joe.
In the last month, same-sex marriage has become legal in Iowa and Vermont. What do you think about same-sex marriage at a state level?
At a state level, it's up to them. I don't want it to be a federal thing. I personally still think it's wrong. People don't understand the dictionary—it's called queer. Queer means strange and unusual. It's not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what we're supposed to do—what man and woman are for. Now, at the same time, we're supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins. I've had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn't have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they're people, and they're going to do their thing.
(Ok, for the sake of this argument I’m gonna pretend that the bible is God’s word and not just the Bronze Age fairy tale those of us with rational minds know it to be.)
First off, a slur towards a group of people doesn’t have to be defined by the dictionary as a slur. The words “nigger” and “cunt” all have a genuine lingual meaning, but people still use them to verbally attack other people.
Second, the bible is pretty explicit about what a man and a woman are for. Too bad the woman is only property to be bought and sold, allowed to be paid off when raped, and considered nothing more then a breeding vessel without any valid thoughts of her own.
Luckily, all children can rest easy knowing they aren't going to be stoned to death because we live in a secular society and it doesn't matter what the bible says.
(I don’t understand the need to live our 21st century lives based off the behavior of people who lived two thousand years ago. Most of us think the Amish are silly for limiting their lives because of their aversion to technology, but we have essentially made it the norm to limit our minds the same way. Then we thrust our children out into a word without that narrow view and wonder why shit goes wrong.)
Third, I always find it amusing how people, like Joe, who are against gay marriage always talk about having all these “gay friends.” Like that somehow makes it okay. (“It doesn’t matter if I’m an ignorant narrow minded bigot cause I have a gay friend. Woohoo for me!”)
Again, he fails to recognize the hypocrisy in thinking the freedom of the individual is most important while simultaneously comparing gays to child molesters.
(I didn’t think I could be more disgusted in this guy, but that comment has taken the cake.)
Does the Republican Party reach out to evangelicals enough?
No. None of them stand up for anything. They use God as a punch line. They use God to invoke sympathy or invoke righteousness, but they don't stay the course. That's why I think that all needs to be taken out of the federal level and give it back to the states. We've lost our American history. Every state has "In God we trust" or "With God's help" in their constitution. God is recognized as, if you will, America's religion.
Does anyone know what he is even talking about here? Take what “out of the federal level and give it back to the states?” God? They already have that. The right to persecute anyone who doesn’t agree with his idea of god? Yeah right.
People seem to constantly forget that politicians are supposed to represent the people. All of the people. Not just the constituents who agree with them, but everyone. Obviously, the majority will be the one who gets what it wants (hopefully), but a politician is not entitled to “stay the course.” At least not if he or she hopes to stay a politician.
I think the statement, “God is recognized as, if you will, America's religion,” is my favorite because it shows, very clearly, the idiocy of the Republican Party.
We should take a moment to applaud the constant effort by some people to convince us of our Christian beginnings, but the size a person’s ego must be to assume that this “god” must be their god never ceases to amuse me.
Who do you see as the emerging leaders for the Republican Party?Were you as shocked as I was that he read a book? (Too bad it wasn’t about philosophy or history.)
There isn't one. You got the RNC talking about repackaging principles and values to make them hip and cool to the younger generation. You can't repackage them. They are what they are. You can't make what they are.
I like Sarah Palin a lot, actually. I just don't know if that's where God's leading her. I just know the Republican Party's done its best to blackball her. I don't know what her agenda is. If she ran, would I vote for her? Absolutely. John McCain was the lesser of two evils.
Who do you see as the emerging Christian leaders?
James Dobson. I love Dobson. I love John Eldredge's Wild at Heart. The last book I read was The Five Love Languages [by Gary Chapman].
Really though, when will this guy just disappear and leave us alone?
Hopefully all his bashing on the Republican Party will piss enough of them off and his platform will finally be pulled out from under him.