For more than 25 years, the Christian Right has carefully constructed a political myth claiming that “GOP” stands for “God’s Only Party.”
Conservative Christians quickly bought into the myth. The New York Times in March 1998 quoted the head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, as saying, “The go-along, get-along strategy is dead. No more engagement. We want a wedding ring, we want a ceremony, we want a consummation of the marriage [with the Republican Party].”
Christian Right leaders and conservative pastors have repeatedly said and implied that voting for Democrats means voting against God. Newsweek quoted Texas Republican in 2006 as saying, “Right now, I wouldn’t vote Democratic if Jesus Christ was running.”
In his book Faith and Politics, former U.S. Republican Senator John Danforth wrote, “Christian conservatives believe that God’s will can be reduced to a political program, and that they have done so. In their minds, there is indeed a Christian agenda for America, and in recent years, they have succeeded in pressing it upon the Republican Party. It is an agenda comprised of wedge issues, which, when hammered relentlessly in political forums, divide the American people.”
In 2007, EthicsDaily.com produced a DVD entitled “Golden Rule Politics: The Rightful Role of Faith in Politics.”
It offers an antidote to the prevailing myth. Rooted in the theological conviction that God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, that neither party is thoroughly moral nor completely immoral, the DVD explores the rightful role of faith in politics through interviews with clergy and politicians in Alabama, Missouri and Tennessee.
It expands the moral agenda from the narrow list of issues prioritized by the Christian Right to the fuller expression of issues found in the Christian tradition, beginning with the biblical priority of doing justice and including the separation of church and state.