Do Religion and Politics Mix? They do Now.
In days gone by, Christians lived in a land of opportunity, under God, with minimal intrusion by government. But society has steadily changed. An anti-morality ‘push’ has been reshaping our culture since the ‘60’s. Words and images that were unthinkable just a decade ago now flood the air waves. The assault on capitalism and free-markets bothers many, as does the war on free speech and freedom of religion. Stories are emerging of coaches who aren’t allowed to pray before games, and students who are prohibited from wearing crosses in classrooms. Recent bail-outs of Wall Street, banks, and the auto industry have made the slope very slippery. With Socialism toddling, not creeping, future generations may be strapped with a malignant, out-of-control, healthcare debt.
In a politically charged climate, Christians are now, more than ever, faced with threats to their values. The question is, How do every day, ordinary people react to those threats?
Turning the Other Cheek
Being ‘in the world but not of the world’, should Christians even care? Dorothy Towns, a grandmother and former AARP member, has an opinion.
“There is too much at stake, and I’m no longer passive,” says Towns, a retired nurse. “Jesus was busy and brave in the the streets. It is an example we can relate to in this current climate. Christians are waking up and tuning in.” Towns believes that when backed into a corner, Believers have always fought the good fight. “Our founding fathers risked treason in the Continental Congress for the cause of liberty. The Republican Party of Abe Lincoln outlawed slavery and later fought for civil rights.”
Asked when she first became politically aware, Towns replies,” I have sat by and watched this slide to the Left. But when AARP started aggressively promoting an agenda that ran counter to my beliefs and best interests, I dropped them. Aside from voting and raising my children conservatively, that was my first political step.” Towns now follows the healthcare debate on Fox News. “I might turn the other cheek it was just a matter of me defending myself. But with the liberty of my kids and grandkids at stake, I’m digging in for a battle. I think we have a duty to protect our families. I can also chew gum and walk at the same time. I can pray for the president while protesting his policies. And I can make phone calls and send emails to the officials who are hurting my family.”
“I can pray for the president while protesting his policies.”
Tea Parties: You are Invited
Felicia Winfrey Cravens is busy . . . busy taking back America, that is. Cravens is a wife and mother and GOP Precinct Chair who attends Kingsland Baptist in Katy. She is also the founder of the Houston Tea Party Society (HTPS). “It is a calling,” says Cravens. “I couldn’t stop if I wanted to.” When asked how the Tea Party movement got started, she explains, “Back during the TARP business – the Troubled Assets Relief Program – plenty of Conservatives got irritated. We knew that sub-prime lending was a disaster waiting to happen, and through social networking we were able to expose it. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about politics and economics, and it scared me.”
Motivated to do something about it, Cravens founded the HTPS and focuses on the narrow topics of fiscal responsibility and Constitutionality. “We work hard, we network, and we rally,” says Cravens, who joined thousands in Washington D.C. on September 12. “We are making a statement. Tea Parties are springing up all over the nation and we are offering a wide tent where Libertarians, Conservatives, Republicans and Independents of all faiths can combine forces. Every day people – patriots – are signing up and supporting the cause. You can see footage of rallies in Houston, Austin, and in hundreds of cities on youtube.” When asked how she responds to “Right Wing Extremist” taunts from the Left, the current administration, or the media, Cravens answers simply, “We own it. We won’t be silenced by the name-calling. They can’t intimidate or bully us. Our cause is righteous and we have work to do.”
The Harris County Republican Party
He’s modest. He prefers to remain in the background. And he swears up and down that he is neither a writer or public speaker. But Bill Kneer got involved . . . all because he got mad. “I first served in a public forum because I was just plain fed-up. I didn’t like the way things were going on our water board, so I got involved. For the same reason, I became involved in the Republican Party.”
Kneer was elected Harris County Republican Party Precinct Chair 0593 during the Republican Primary 2008 to promote the values of his community. “These values are laid out in our party’s platform,” he states. Kneer attends networking meetings, Town Halls, Tea Parties, and makes every effort to support the GOP. “This is an exciting time in the history of our party,” he exclaims. “Never before have we had to fight against such a heavy-handed socialist agenda. Every day I talk to citizens – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – who aren’t willing to take this lying down. They want their country back, and it all starts in our own back yard. I’ve noticed that Christianity and Conservatism often go hand-in-hand.”
As a conservative voice who rallies the base, Bill is a strong proponent of social networking. “Facebook is a great tool to inform people and bring them together. Venues like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace give busy people a chance to learn the facts. People get inspired and join groups. They accept invitations to events and attend. I have been able to reach thousands thanks to the Internet,” says Kneer.
How Christians are Getting Involved
Harris County Republican Party – harriscountygop.com
Houston Area Texans – houstonliberty.com
The Houston Chapter of The FreeRepublic Network – FreeRepublic.com
Houston Tea Party Society – houstontps.org
Katy Tea Party – Wake Up America – katytea.com
The Conservador Alliance – conservadoralliance.org
Raging Elephants – ragingelephants.org