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.