Bob McDonnell, GOD and the GOP
Politicians have a habit of saying what their audience wants to hear. Twenty years ago, Bob McDonnell’s audience was Pat Robertson’s extremely conservative evangelical university, and the three faculty members who were judging his master’s thesis. Today his audience is the more politically and theologically diverse voting population of Virginia who are judging his Republican candidacy for governor.
“Since 1989, my views on a number of things have changed,” McDonnell said in response to Post reporter Amy Gardner’s inquiries about the thesis. No doubt that is true for everyone over the age of 20. But regardless of whether you agree with McDonnell, then or now, his 93-page thesis for Regent University — whose motto is “Christian Leadership to Change the World” — is worth reading.
McDonnell’s thesis provides one of the clearest expressions I’ve found of the conservative evangelical mindset — especially its view of the appropriate God-ordained roles of church, government and family in society, and its reliance on the Republican Party “to restore the proper balance of church, family and state authority.”
Here are a few excerpts from pages 11-17, wherein McDonnell explains The Nature of Authority of the Family:
“Each institution in society has been instituted by God for specific, limited purposes . . . Family arises out of this divinely created covenant of marriage between and man and a woman, the terms of which can neither be originally set nor subsequently altered by the parties or the state. … the family as a God-ordained government has an area of sovereignty within which it is free to carry out the duties it owes to God, society and other family members under this covenant . . . As the mouthpiece of the creator to be salt and light to individual souls and other social institutions, the church has the teaching to expound upon the scripture and along with the family to care for widows, orphans, the poor and the disadvantaged. It should be the primary source of support, counsel and restoration in the event of family dysfunction . . . The civil government was ordained to secure the inalienable rights of individuals created in the image and likeness of God, and to facilitate a society in which other institutions are free to perform their covenant duties to God and others . . . Government at all levels must ‘support family parenting as the first premise of its social, economic and fiscal policy’ . . . These three institutions interact with the compatible goal of serving other human beings and of glorifying God.”
In the next 50-plus pages, McDonnell goes on to explain in great legislative detail “how to attain the ideal” by implementing and following The Republican Vision for Family Policy. It’s clear McDonnell doesn’t think much of the Democratic vision for family policy.
“The giftedness of the Republican philosophy is that it embraces the talents and worth of all peoples, while Democrats seek to shepherd a nation of powerless incompetents . . .” he wrote.
“Republican domestic policies have demonstrated that man is capable of doing good only in an atmosphere of liberty and faith, not compulsion and atheism.”
In others words, our Judeo-Christian God set it all up this way, and it’s up to the GOP — God’s Ordained Party — to keep it that way.
Of course, that was 20 years ago. Maybe his views have changed.
| September 2, 2009; 4:37 PM ET | Category: Under God
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