Only I can't help but hear that title in Obi-Wan Kenobi's voice where he says, "The force will be with you. Always."
I've been reading some non-fiction lately. One is The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government and the other is Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
The first one did deal mostly with the rise of lobbyism, but one of the other areas it explored was when Newt Gingrich did his whole Contract with America back in the 1980s, and how Tom Delay really worked to cement Republican control of Congress. Part of the tactics used to gain that control, in terms of getting the Republicans voted in, was the use of negative ads. Before, many of the ads focused on the positive traits of the candidates running: what they stood for, what they would do, what they had accomplished. Now, the ads shifted towards negative aids involving the opponents -- and these ads weren't always truthful.
I started thinking about this in terms of the conservative Christian movement, and how drawn they were to the Republicans. I try and put that pull in context of verses such as these:
And now, my friends, all that is true, all that is noble, all that is just and pure, all that is lovable and gracious, whatever is excellent and admirable -- fill all your thoughts with these things. Philippians 4: 8-9
Live like men who are at home in the daylight, for where light is, there all goodness springs up, all justice and truth. Try to find out what would please the Lord; take no part in the barren deeds of darkness, but show them up for what they are Ephesians 5: 8-12
Then put to death those parts of you which belong to the earth -- fornication, indecency, lust, foul cravings, and the ruthless greed which is nothing less than idolatry ... but now you must yourselves lay aside all anger, passion, malice, cursing, filthy talk -- have done with them! ... Then put on the garments that suit God's chosen people, his own, his beloved: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience ... Portions of Colossians 2: 5-13.
And, of course, the ever famous fruits of the Spirit passage: Anyone can see the kind of behavior that belongs to the lower nature: fornication, impurity, and indecency; idolatry and sorcery; quarrels, a contentious temper, envy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, party intrigues, and jealousies; drinking bouts, orgies, and the like ... but the harvest of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity, gentleness, and self-control Galations 5: 19-21, 22-23
Based on those passages alone, I would expect that conservative Christians would've been the last to have been drawn in by the party that first used the negative ads and the lies. Especially as the use of both demonstrates a less than stellar character. Instead, the conservative Christians come across as almost attracted to the very thing that should repel them.
Now, I know there were a lot of complexities behind the marriage of Republicans and conservative Christians. I simply found the correlation interesting, as it doesn't match what -- per the Bible -- one is expected to see.
In the case of the latter book, the author mentioned in the afterward how at one college, the conservative students and state legislatures protested her book in the college curriculum, as they felt it promoted "Marxism." I'm wondering how many of those conservative protesters would claim to be devout followers of the One who inspired their Holy Book -- the same Book that emphasizes, over and over again, how exploited the poor are and how much they need help. And the Nickel and Dimed book operates on the same vein: how exploited the poor are, and the help they need to lead better lives.