GMTC Friend Jama Oliver-“Values Voter”
September 21, 2007, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

One of the political buzzwords (buzzphrases?) being tossed around over the last several years has been “values voter.” We could spend our time arguing semantics, but I think we would be better served to talk about what is meant by a values voter, rather than snipping about “everyone voting their values” (see May 18, 2006 Washington Post op-ed piece by George F. Will).

Let’s first talk about what a values voter is not.

           A values voter is not someone who merely “votes his/her values.” Everyone votes their values and, as I said before, this is a matter of semantics meant to draw attention away from the real issues and to make conservatives look condescending.

          A values voter is not a “one issue voter.” Someone who votes based only on the abortion issue or the gay marriage issue holds at least one value related to the “values voter,” but this, in and of itself, does not make one a values voter.

          A values voter is not merely a “social conservative.” There are many who believe that values voters (or Christians in general) have no understanding of government as a whole, but merely vote based on social issues, e.g., traditional marriage, right to life, etc.

          A values voter votes based on the following (these concepts are from, taken from the “Values Voter Contract with Congress):

– The belief that our government is of the people, for the people, and by the people, and that all governmental authority is granted by God.

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1

– The belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, and any governmental attempt to declare it otherwise is a breach of God-given authority.

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him…The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.’ For this reason man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:18, 23-24

– The belief that parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit, without government interference in discipline, education, and information due parents concerning their children.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children in anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 (there are several verses that point to parents’ responsibility to their children, and it was hard to pick just one to place here!)

– The belief that human life is sacred, and that abortion, euthanasia, and cloning are unacceptable attacks on human life.

“God created Man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created him.” Genesis 1:27

– The belief that freedom is given to us by God and our government is meant to uphold those liberties, rather than limit them.

“Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

– The belief that property ownership is a fundamental right of the people.

“God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it…” Genesis 1:28

– The belief that over-taxation is an unbiblical and unacceptable form of oppression that needs to be strictly limited.

It’s difficult to narrow this concept into one verse, so I’ll use a few to make my point:

We are to give our “first fruits” to the Lord (Ex. 23:19, Le. 2:12, Le. 23:10, De. 18:4, Pro. 3:9, etc.). The government, through withholding, now gets first dibs on our income. We are to give one-tenth of our income to the Lord (Le. 5:11, Nu. 5:15, etc.). It is unjust that we now give more of our income to the government than we do to our Lord. Further, we are to encourage work, rather than giving to those who refuse to work (2 Th. 3:10, “…for if anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”), and through the welfare state we are forced to break this command by allowing our tax dollars to go to those who refuse to work.

I am unable to find a Biblical reference for these last two concepts, although I’ll be more than happy to interject my two cents on the issues.

– The belief in the sovereignty of our nation and the need to secure our borders.

It is easy to see that, if our country is going to base its government on certain principles, we need to be careful in aligning ourselves with those nations who have principles antithetical to our own (see 2 Cor. 6:14 on being “unequally yoked” with unbelievers). Protecting our borders is a safety issue, and our government is given the authority – both through scripture and the Constitution – to protect us from invasion.

– A respect for the checks and balances system in which judges are meant to interpret rather than create law (which is reserved for the legislature).

Judges are not elected and are, therefore, not being held accountable to the people (accountability is an important biblical concept). It is therefore unjust (and unconstitutional!) that they should be able to create laws.

We can safely conclude, I believe, that a “values voter” is one who votes based on Christian principles, who uses the Bible as their bases for picking a candidate, and who honors God with their right to vote.

In that, my friends, I am a Values Voter.


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