Thank You beautiful women of America for coming out in unprecedented numbers to make your voices heard this election! This election was not just about choosing which candidate the nation desired for President, it was also a crucial election to choose who was going to provide a mandate for progressive action or not. It was clear that the views around rape and abortion by U.S. Senate candidates Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin were flat out rejected by the majority of women and so they rightly lost their bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate. It gives us pause for celebration for a minute. There is still work to be done. There are still ensuing discussions that demand examination.
Rev. Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Billy Graham, advocates the resurrection of the Moral Majority movement where people who have a moral background come together and vote for moral issues that are important to this country. In an interview with David Brody at the Christian Broadcasting Network, Rev. Franklin Graham said, “If that [Moral Majority] would take place, we would see a great change in this country, but our country is in trouble. It’s in trouble spiritually. We’ve turned our back on God.” Perhaps he was not aware that a majority of American people did come out and vote for moral issues that were important to them and this country.
But the majority that seems to matter most to those who pick at the results of this election are perhaps those mentioned by Dennis Miller and Bill O’Reilly, who speak of “traditional America”. An America that seems to be not inclusive of the large and diverse minority populations of America today but a “traditional America” divided along racial lines that would perhaps be a more fertile ground to recruit the “moral majority” that would keep the rest of us in check. It saddens me to think that in the year 2012, after we had the historic reelection of the First African American President and so many wars fought for our freedom as an American people, that the America of today is still more deeply divided along racial lines than I thought. I wonder if Rev. Franklin Graham and others who support similar points of view see their stance as a moral violation to each person’s constitutional rights to freedom and full self-expression and I would venture to say that if I tapped into their lifeline to God, I would find that their behavior would turn God’s proverbial back.
Rev. Franklin Graham also suggested that Mitt Romney lost the election because the “vast majority of evangelicals did not go to the polls.” He told David Brody at the Christian Brodcasting Network, that “God is in control, and if Christians are upset, they need to be upset at themselves. We need to do a better job of getting our people – the church to vote. Now, I’m not trying to tell you how to vote, you can vote, but vote, my goodness, and vote for candidates that stand for Biblical values.” But a national post-election survey published by the Faith and Freedom Coalition found that a record 27 percent of the electorate in 2012 were evangelical voters. And about 78% of white evangelicals cast their ballots for Romney. “evangelicals turned out in record numbers and voted heavily for Mitt Romney yesterday as they did for George W. Bush in 2004,” Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed said in a statement recently. But Romney underperformed with younger voters and minorities and that in the end made the difference for Obama.”
It is quite revealing to hear Graham’s assertion — and implication that had white Christian evangelicals just showed up in bigger numbers, President Obama would have lost. In fact, white evangelicals/born-again Christians made up the same percentage of the electorate as they did in 2008 – 26%. They voted for Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon, by a wider margin than they did for Sen. John McCain four years ago. And, they made up a larger share of the electorate in 2012 than in 2004, when the Christian Right was allegedly supporting George W. Bush’s reelection. Evangelicals also voted for Mitt Romney with the same margin as they did for George W. Bush in 2004. It must be mentioned that, Barack Obama won the 48 percent of the electorate that was Christian and not Protestant or Mormon. Among Catholics he won 25% of the electorate and 50%-49% of “Other Christians” (23% of the electorate).
Perhaps the discussion yet again is not a moral or biblical interpretation of historical data, a debate on whose religion has more favor with God or a spin on the election results. What is urgent is a shift in consciousness to a paradigm of cultivating personal responsibility from an early age and a willingness to work together to build a country that works for everyone. It seems to me that it is not religion and moral mumblings that will move this country forward and drive the next wave of political promise, it is the growing diversity among the nation, bringing needed skills, desires, dreams and spirit that will be the salvation of this country. It is time we put our attention on promoting collective and open discussions that encourage and unearth the best inherent tendencies in each of us and explore greater choices and avenues as to what is dignified and sanctified in one’s own life and the life of our country. This is a worthy mission and mandate of those in authority and will inevitably reverse the growing trend towards fear based evangelical dictatorship who feel they have the direct line to what will turn God’s proverbial back.
Denise Buchanan PhDc
Denise Buchanan is a PhD candidate at Beurin University. She is writing a book, Sins of The Fathers. A true story of rape, abortion and deception in the Catholic Church, which will be completed in November, 2012.
Denise can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or through her blog: http://sinsofthefathers.org/