Friday, July 29, 2005

Civics 101

Steve Camp seems to be a little bit befuddled about the nuts-and-bolts of the democratic process.

***QUOTE***

What happens when an ally in the co-belligerent fight against a liberal judiciary defects on an important value-based piece of legislation like this one? With Roe v. Wade considered to be a political plumbline for Supreme Court appointees by the White House and stem cell research a litmus test for conservative family values (thought by many to be another form of ending human life by pro-life advocates including myself) is not upheld by political conservatives, it could have a polarizing effect within the Republican Party. Do the ECB Fab Four now stand against their "Washington ally" because he’s changed his position on this issue and is no longer "in-sync" with their agenda? The ironic and interesting thing is now Senator Frist is being co-belligerent against the co-belligerents he once was co-belligerent with. Fun isn't it? Will FOTF begin a "recovery program" for former ECBers who have defected on a key point of evangelical backed valued-legislation? How will they confront this with Frist and not alienate him on other issues? Can anyone say, "Potomac two-step?"

Once again folks, when someone’s cultural burden for society, though noble, is played out by vacillating political ethics rather than immutable biblical ones, then this what you get.

***END-QUOTE***

There’s a simple solution to this pseudo-dilemma: it’s called “voting.” You vote for those who support your views, and you vote against those who oppose your views. If they change their views, you change your voting patterns accordingly.

This is why elective representatives are called…well…are called elective representatives. They are elected to represent the views and interests of their constituents. If, at some point, they cease to represent their constituents, then their constituents have the right to vote them out of office.

BTW, the same thing can happen in church. If, say, the pastor goes liberal, you either leave the church or make him leave the church.

7 comments:

  1. Hey Steve,

    I hate to jump in with an off-topic question, but I was wondering why you don't use blockquote tags in your posts? Using ***QUOTE***...***END QUOTE*** tends to become rather confusing.

    Thanks,

    -joe

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm following the practice of James Taranto, blogger for Best of the Web (www.opinionjournal.com).

    There is no doubt, though, that Triablogue is pretty primitive when it comes to formatting amenities. But at least it's a better than a Greek MS! :-)

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  3. What's so nonsensical about Mr. Camp's point is that it has no bearing on ECB whatsoever. His point, if valid, would generate an alleged conundrum for any cooperation whatsoever, in any area. Let's say that Mr. Camp promotes John MacArthur Jr.'s books all over the place. "This guy is great, he's one of us, wow, check out his commentaries, have you ever heard his preaching?" Then one day let's say one day JMAC goes amil, or -- God forbid ;-) -- theonomic. What do you do then?

    Do you tell all your friends to avoid anything JMAC has ever written? Do you accuse yourself of a "two-step"? If you're not amil or a theonomist, then the sensible thing to do if you want to continue to promote (what you are personally convinced is) a sound theological agenda, you give a _qualified endorsement_ of JMAC. You say things like, "Man, JMAC's series on the family is top-notch. So is his stuff on Ephesians. However, I can't support him in his views of eschatology or the civil law anymore. Oh well."

    Is this some sort of "two-step"? Is it not rather the height of sensibility?

    Ditto for any ally in political activism. Even as (in the scenario imagined), you would count on JMAC to promote your theological agenda in some areas but not in others, so (in the Frist scenario to which Mr. Camp draws our attention), if you oppose stem-cell research you would count on Frist to promote your political agenda in some areas but not in others. What, exactly, is so difficult to understand about each of these scenarios?

    What, would Mr. Camp actually say to himself, with any seriousness: "Do the Mr. Camp Fab Four now stand against their 'theological ally' JMAC because he's changed his position on this issue and is no longer 'in-sync' with their agenda? The ironic and interesting thing is now JMAC is being co-belligerent against the co-belligerents he once was co-belligerent with. Fun isn't it?" How absurd.

    Here's where Mr. Camp has gone wrong. He says:

    <<<
    Once again folks, when someone's cultural burden for society, though noble, is played out by vacillating political ethics rather than immutable biblical ones, then this what you get.
    >>>

    Notice you could apply the same comment, _mutatis mutandis_, to the imagined JMAC scenario. "Once again folks, when someone's theological burden for the church, though noble, is played out by fallible biblical interpretation rather than immutable biblical truth, then this what you get." And it would be just as nonsensical. People, being fallible, change their views over time, in various areas, for various reasons, whether in theology or politics. Does this propose some sort of insuperable objection to cooperation with them? Why would it?

    Notice how Mr. Hays' advice provides a model of what any sensible Christian would do in the JMAC scenario. If someone changes their theological views, in any area, you change your endorsement accordingly. Nothing mystifying about this at all, in the theological or political realms.

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  4. Joe Carter wrote:

    I hate to jump in with an off-topic question, but I was wondering why you don't use blockquote tags in your posts? Using ***QUOTE***...***END QUOTE*** tends to become rather confusing.

    Well, I _do_ know that blockquote tags don't work in comments. If you try it, you get:

    Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is not allowed: [blockquote]

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would like to second and emphasize JD's point. In politics, you have three options: don't vote, vote for a loser, or vote for the best electable candidate.

    We don't expect a candidate to agree with us 100% of the time. So it's a question of priorities. Which electable candidate offers the best overall package?

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  6. It's also just a matter of simple common sense. On Mr. Camp's view, apparently, if a Christian engages in an endeavor that isn't absolutely sure of success, then when something arises to thwart his original plans, he is worthy of ridicule.

    I can't help but think that people who think this aren't living in the real world. If an endeavor to write a book, or start a church, or take a cross-country road trip falls through because one of the intended participants changes his view on a matter, does it follow that the endeavor wasn't worthy of pursuit? What sense does that make?

    So, as one can see, Mr. Camp hasn't posted a criticism of ECB in any meaningful sense. He's posted a criticism of something much more fundamental, which is all the worse for his criticism.

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  7. I think you guys need to read a lot more of what Campi is trying to say. Go back and read some archives. His point is that those in the Religious Right who think they are going to influence public policy enough to make people who have not been changed by Jesus Christ into conservatives and pro-lifers are wasting their time. He wants to show that politics will never change a nation. We should instead focus as Christians on evangelism and tow the line on our own theological and cultural issues rather than trying to find others who disagree with us on fundamentals of the faith and work with them on an agenda that will never work to change this nation. What we end up doing is setting ourselves up to compromise in order to get our agenda accomplished when our agenda all along should have been sharing the love of Christ with the people we end up sparring with. Doesn't that make sense?

    Honestly Campi has influenced me a great deal to stop the politiking and start focusing on the message of Christ. I think we all need to do that a little more.

    ReplyDelete