Christapendent

Well, I finally did it: I unregistered from the Republican party and am now an independent voter.  It was hard, but I feel it is the right decision.  I even started a group on Facebook called “Christiapendents”  (Get it, Christians who are Independents?)    I started this group precisely because most Christians will blithely join political parties because they think that they’re supposed to.  In the past, the Democratic party held the moral high ground as the “party of the people.”  There are still conservative “Dixiecrats” who will never leave their party and who have strong Christian values.  Equally, the 1980’s brought “conservative” Christians into the Republican party (a counter to “godless Democrats.”)  I, for one, have had enough of this bickering and recrimination.  I feel that the political party system is so inbred that as Christians, we ought to seek to be independent of them.  I understand how many Christians will see this as losing “our place at the table.”  (I wonder if this is why some African Americans might be reluctant to leave the Democratic party and I know it’s one of the things keeping Christians in the Republican party, having heard the statement on more than one occasion).  I believe Martin Luther King said that the Church isn’t the State nor is the State the Church, but that the Church is the conscience of the state.  Now, this doesn’t mean I’ve made my mind up on who I’m voting for (both candidates have merit and although John McCain would be good for my home state and “…all politics is local” he is out of touch with many other issues of importance to me besides foreign policy) nor am I opting out of the voting process.  I think Christianity isn’t a fiefdom that belongs to either party and so by declaring my independence of parties, I have the freedom to vote for either.  I hope other Christians of conscience likewise choose to separate themselves from political parties (Geo. Washington encouraged us to not have them at all) and find their voice on their own.  It’s scary and it has risk, but I think it’s the right thing to do (okay, that last part sounds like an oatmeal commercial).  I think in my next blog, I’ll probably comment on why I am now a moderate instead of a conservative or liberal.

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2 Responses to “Christapendent”

  1. carlos benjamin Says:

    I don’t think we need to separate ourselves from party. I don’t register based on candidates because candidates in either party can vary widely in ideology (as you pointed out). I register based on the platform that most closely aligns with my beliefs in the hopes (often disappointed) that the candidates offered in the primaries (the only place our registered preference in Arizona locks us in to a particular brand) might also be more closely aligned with my beliefs.

    When I vote I can exercise all the independence I care to. I can cross political boundaries at will, splitting my votes evenly between D R or Ind candidates in various races. I can even throw all my votes behind the candidates in the “opposing” party. What I choose to do is find the individual candidates with whom I agree more closely and vote for them regardless of which logo adorns their marketing materials.

  2. fredvw Says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful response! My personal choice is based on the concept of “Boundaries” (Cloud/Townsend’s excellent book series). I have drawn a boundary to protect MYSELF from exploitation (I’m not hoping to change anyone else’s opinion or the parties themselves.) Whether I ever choose to return to a party in the future is something I’ll consider in the future, but in the mean time, I will stick with my conviction that I do not wish to be part of someone’s “fiefdom.” Everyone should make this decision on conscience rather than with the expectation that “all Christians vote Republican.” I applaud your choice to vote your convictions rather than party. It makes us less predictable and that might have positive side effects (such as candidates having to EARN our vote rather than EXPECTING it.)
    Again thanks for your comment!

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