There is so much misinformation in the media and the lack of good press makes it virtually impossible to really garner a solid grasp on the GOP candidates. Where they actually stand now, what their records have been in the past, and honest comparisons of each are few and far between. Although Christians rarely can defend why they don’t support Ron Paul, I’d like to examine a few issues or arguments that come up often when talking politics with my Christian fellows.
The War on Drugs
Many people think the Ron Paul advocates legalizing drugs. To be clear, Ron Paul does not take this position. What he does support is eliminating the “war on drugs” and decriminalizing drugs on a federal level. He supports letting states decide what is and isn’t illegal and requiring those states to enforce the laws that they put on the books. Paul feels strongly that the current federal drug laws are not only inefficient and ineffective, but that they target minorities and the poor.
Although the war on drugs has cost over a trillion dollars, been the cause of tens of thousands of deaths, and been ineffective in reducing the drug problem in the US, it seems that most of the Christians taking this stance feel that the government’s role should be to protect us from ourselves. Many feel that the government knows better than our doctors or we do regarding what should be put into our bodies and what should be allowable for medicinal purposes. There is an entire area of holistic medicine largely ignored by the government. That’s likely not caused by drug lobbyists, but true, genuine concern for the public’s well being… Right?
I simply have to ask one question, where does that “protection” end? Sugar, fat, hydrogenated oils, prescription drugs, certain raw meats, over-eating in general, sun bathing, driving too fast, using certain cleaning products… All of these can be hazardous to our health. Some of these even cause more disease and problems than narcotics. Does this mean the government should protect us from ourselves by telling us what we should eat, drink, or clean our house with? Where does it end?
In the Church obesity is rampant, diabetes and heart disease problematic, and over-eating commonplace. Perhaps we need to protect Christians from themselves by stopping these terrible and often terminal habits.
Although Ron Paul is a lifelong Christian who states he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, many Christians think he is for legalizing gay marriage. The truth is that Ron Paul doesn’t think the government should be sanctioning marriage at all.
“I think the government should just be out of it,” says Ron Paul, “I think it should be done by the church or private contract, and we shouldn’t have this argument, who’s married and who isn’t married. I have my standards but I shouldn’t have to impose my standards on others. Other people have their standards and they have no right to impose their marriage standards on me.”
Ron Paul is right on this issue. Why are we as a church allowing the government to define what marriage is or is not? Marriage is a religious institution, formed between two individuals under the authority of their church. That idea used to mean something. Gone are the days when people asked, “What church were you married in?” This question used to be asked to find out what authority was governing the union and how much stock people could put into it. Now, it seems Christians want to give this power to the government, not realizing that any power that we give to the government can be changed later on. Why give them the power to begin with?
Many Christians think that Ron Paul believes abortion should be a states rights issue. This is inaccurate and not what Ron Paul expresses his views to be. Ron Paul believes that life begins at conception and would define it as such by passing the “Sanctity of Life Act”. Additionally, Ron Paul would work to immediately eliminate Roe v. Wade by effectively repealing it. He would do this by removing abortion from federal court jurisdiction through legislation modeled after his “We the People Act”. By doing these things Paul would not only ban abortion by linking it to a violent act against a valuable life, but would also prevent activist federal judges from interfering with state legislation protecting it.
As if this were not enough, Ron Paul takes abortion even further. His website states, “he agrees with Thomas Jefferson that it is ‘sinful and tyrannical’ to ‘compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors,’ Ron Paul will also protect the American people’s freedom of conscience by working to prohibit taxpayer funds from being used for abortions, Planned Parenthood, or any other so-called ‘family planning’ program.”
Support for Israel
Christians I speak with often agree with the way that we support Israel currently. Perhaps they truly do agree with US policies or perhaps they are unaware of the fact that 75% of the money sent to Israel in “aid” must be spent on defense contracts with US corporations like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Maybe they don’t realize that we give seven times more money in aid to Israel’s enemies than we do to Israel itself. Maybe many Christians don’t realize that along with our aide comes great pressure that often supersedes her sovereignty to protect herself or create peace treaties.
Ron Paul doesn’t believe Israel should have to answer to the United States. While he feels that we should be at peace with Israel and an ally in defense and information sharing, he thinks Israel should be able to make the decisions they feel necessary to protect their nation or define their borders. Ron Paul doesn’t think we should be sending foreign aid to anyone, translating in a net gain to Israel and Israel’s people. Paul also thinks the US citizen should keep the fruits of our labor, meaning that we can charitably support the nation of Israel through ministry and outreach rather than forced defense contracts with US corporations.
Lastly many people don’t see Ron Paul exploiting his faith for political gain and therefore don’t think Ron Paul is Godly or religious. Possibly they think he should be pandering to the religious right with incendiary remarks or parading his Christianity in the streets. On the other hand, maybe Ron Paul has the right idea and thinks it is better to draw people with earnest character and example, that prayer should not be for public show, and that religion should be a personal guiding force that directs our individual paths and judgment.
It seems to me that Christians aren’t going to vote for Ron Paul, not because they disagree with his positions or policies, but because they either haven’t taken the time or don’t want to take the time to understand what his positions are. It seems Christians are listening to what the television media is saying, what the radio talk shows are saying, and it seems they are doing very little research on their own. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems Christians won’t vote for Ron Paul because they are misguided and misinformed.