Journey to the Republican Party: Citizenship and the Faith Factor

This was the hardest part of the series to write (see part 1 and part 2). I don't often articulate these things because they seem so obvious to me. It's stuff that I just know almost instinctively. It was a good exercise for me to write it all down. Next time it will be a little easier and perhaps with your input I'll be a bit more clear.

Fast forward to June 2000. After a few years of wrangling with Immigration and Naturalization Services I finally got to take the oath of citizenship and become a naturalized citizen of the United States. Politics took on a whole new meaning for me because now I could vote. Now I really had to pay attention, I had the duties of a citizen to fulfill. The day after I was sworn in as a citizen I sat at my desk with my voter registration form trying to decide which party I should register under.

Which one of these groups of flawed human beings would I choose to ally myself with? I turned to the one thing that has always served to direct all choices I made and all things that I believed, my faith in God.

The most important part of my identity is my faith in God. Above all else it is the one thing that orders everything else in my life. Everything I think, say, and do (in theory and often in practice) is for the purpose of glorifying God. The question for me was which party was most likely to make policy decisions that I thought would be glorifying to God? I didn't think that allowing unborn children to be murdered under the guise of some constitutional right was glorifying to God. That alone was enough to drive me to the Republican Party but there were other things.

My faith (and my pride) refused to allow me to believe that entire groups of people, that God had made in his own image, were incapable of achieving their goals in life with out the government holding their hands the entire time.

My faith told me to give unto caesar that which was caesar's and unto God that which was God's. In a system where I had a say in who became caesar it made sense to me to chose a caesar who didn't think he was entitled to large chunks of my family's money.

My faith told me that I was responsible for caring for the poor and destitute around me.

I believe that, as the Bible says, all of humanity has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I don't think that I should refrain from saying so because it might hurt someone's feelings or because someone might get offended. I'm a Christian and that will always offend some but I'm not going to apologize for it. I won't try to make it more palatable to others either.

The political correctness and supposed tolerance of the Democratic Party had no place for an exclusivist Christian like me.

There was no hope for it. I couldn't get with Democrats on things like abortion, affirmative action, taxes (having dreams of someday making more money than I was at the time and wanting to keep most of it), and they certainly didn't seem to respect my faith. I didn't buy into the myth that Republicans were all racists trying to keep Black folk down, I had seen otherwise for myself. If I was being honest with myself I would have to side with Republicans.

After all those years of railing against politicians of all stripes, and not a few Republicans, I was about to ally myself with them. I couldn't believe it but I had started down this road many years before. I just didn't know it then. So I checked that little box next to Republican Party on my voter registration form and sent it off. I don't think that Republicans are the saviors of the free world. I don't think that they can do no wrong. They are just people like you and me. But I do believe that they are more likely to look favorably on the things that I think are important. That's good enough for me to give them my support most of the time.


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