By Peter Heck
First, many Evangelical Christians rightly see the importance of a nation’s leadership submitting to the Moral Law (or Natural Law) of God. To them, it’s a simple choice on Election Day ”“ which of the two options for President is either a champion of such submission or at least the most likely to govern accordingly.
They would have to be the densest creatures on the planet if liberals can’t see why Evangelical Christians who have a brain will never enter a voting booth with policy obedience to God’s Moral Law as their motivating factor and then proceed to push the button for a candidate who believes that dismembering innocent infants is healthcare or that religious conscience is synonymous with bigotry.
It’s true that a great number of us Evangelical Christians were too wary of Trump’s character flaws to support him in the election.Â Â But only those who chose to utterly depart from the counsel of Scripture took their refusal to support Trump as a green light from God to support the Democrat candidate. In other words, Trump turning off some Evangelicals did not and will not translate into interest in the Democrats amongst this demographic.
That’s because the problem isn’t personality or messaging, even though that appears to be what leftist leaders have concluded. Getting help from their party propagandists in mainstream media, Democrats have mused about appealing more vocally to “faith values” like social justice causes in an attempt to woo Evangelicals. Some have written about embracing a Thomas Jefferson style religious pluralism to try to gain some Jesus street cred. And I suppose given the right candidate and the right phrasing, they might pull off an election or two with such a strategy.
But long term? It’s not going to work. Because the issue goes far deeper than that, and reveals why the inability to attract God-fearing Christians into their political tent is a big problem that has little chance of going away barring a complete reformation of the modern Democrat Party. What is that problem? Alexandra Desanctis absolutely nailed it recently:
Progressivism has always been premised on the notion that man has a changeable nature and thus is able to achieve perfection during his time on earth. As a result, progressives consistently maintain that government is responsible for transforming men and women into perfect creatures. They develop programs and reforms suited not for man as he is, but for man as he ought to be (and, progressives would argue, for man as he could become, with the right societal structures).
Against that idea, most religious believers contend that man is flawed by his very nature and incapable of perfecting himself without the help of God, and that perfection is in fact unattainable during earthly life. While sects and denominations differ vastly, religion itself — and indeed any dependence on a Creator — is a direct contradiction to the progressive conception of man as changeable and perfectible.
In short, progressivism and religion — understood as a fundamental reliance on God rather than on oneself or on other men — are inherently incompatible. Where progressivism asserts that properly ordered government can and should transform man into a perfect being who lives in a man-made utopia, religion insists that God, not government, is responsible for changing men’s hearts.
Why is the “religious left” of Jim Wallis, Rachel Held Evans, and Tony Campolo so remarkably impotent at moving the dial of Christian conscience towards the progressive left? Because instead of preaching the depravity of man and his desperate need for God’s law in His life, they are selling the perfectability of man through man-made government policy. Wise Christians will smell the rat and never buy it.
Which means for the Democrats to be truly rid of this problem, they must either reform beyond the fundamental lie of progressivism or wait for Christianity to die out in the West.