With all eyes focused on the South Carolina Primar Election, McClatchyDC.com has posted the following article…
ROBERTA, Ga.- Inside the Sunshine Coin Laundry near the Piggly Wiggly supermarket, Lagretta Ellington removed her family’s clothes from one of the large dryers and began to neatly fold them on a nearby table.
The air was moist and smelled of detergent. The floor was concrete. Her views of the presidential race were anything but. She was unsettled, and distrustful. The candidates just seemed like entertainers.
“I’m going to pray on it,” the 48-year-old Ellington said. “Hopefully, God will lead me in the right direction.”
In the South, now the pivotal battlefield of the 2016 presidential campaign, faith and politics walk the aisle together. And while Christians have always dominated American politics – Bernie Sanders this week became the first non-Christian ever to win a presidential primary in U.S. history – conservative Christians feel under siege.
Marriage is being redefined, and they’re being forced to go along. A new health care law mandates free contraception, even if it violates their core beliefs. Even the greeting “Merry Christmas” feels under assault.
Their anxiety and anger help explain the rise of Republican outsider candidates such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (“Any president who doesn’t begin every day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander in chief”) and even billionaire Donald Trump (“If I’m president, you’re going to see ‘Merry Christmas’ in department stores, believe me”), perhaps the unlikeliest of vessels for such support.
And their clout is at its peak right now.
In South Carolina, white evangelicals account for 51 percent of the likely Republican vote in the coming GOP primary. Six more Southern states, including Georgia, will vote on “Super Tuesday” March 1. Nearly 600 of the delegates chosen the first week of March will come from states where white evangelical Christians are a majority of the electorate, according to Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a political newsletter from Larry J. Sabato and the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
And whether they pray at small chapels or sprawling megachurches, Christian conservatives across the South are driven by worries that their values are being threatened.
“Biblical values we would not be willing to compromise,” explained Dennis Lacy, lead pastor of North Highland Assembly of God in Columbus, Georgia.
“Do we not have any moral compass anymore?” said Dr. Randy Brinson, an evangelical Christian and physician in Montgomery, Alabama, who founded a group, Redeem the Vote, encouraging young people of faith to register and participate.
“Are we to say to people who have a more liberal viewpoint, ‘Does everything go?’ If there are no boundaries to things of moral behavior as Christians believe, if we throw out everything . . . there’s no more faith.”
June Bond, 61, a children’s advocate in Spartanburg, South Carolina, said many evangelical Christians “feel extremely pressured.” But she also tries to imagine what it must be like on the other side of the cultural divide.
“It’s one thing to listen to what our leaders say to us, but we also need to look at the other side and say, ‘What if . . . ?’ ” she said. “The South sometimes looks at things just kind of like, ‘This is what I was told.’ ”
Many say their objections to same-sex marriage are misunderstood.
It’s not “rooted in hostility and animus toward other people,” but because Christian conservatives believe marriage involves one man and one woman, said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.EDITORS: END OPTIONAL TRIM
David Cooke Jr., the Georgia district attorney for Bibb, Crawford and Peach counties, doesn’t buy the “under siege” mentality of his more conservative brethren. He’s an evangelical Christian, and a Democrat, which he said was not as rare as you might think.
“When you limit the gospel to gays and abortion, there’s not a whole lot of talk about taking care of the stranger and the orphan,” Cooke said, seated in his courthouse office in downtown Macon. “I think it shows that for so many folks it’s not really about the message of the faith. It’s about cultural Christianity.”
Religion has always been part of the South’s DNA, a legacy of its rural past.
It was the lifeblood of many communities, a cornerstone of the culture. In “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” author John Berendt’s widely popular book about a Savannah, Georgia, murder, he wrote, “If you go to Atlanta, the first question people ask you is, ‘What’s your business?’ In Macon they ask, ‘Where do you go to church?’ ”
It would never occur to someone that you didn’t, added Cooke, who met his wife at a Macon church.
When you limit the gospel to gays and abortion, there’s not a whole lot of talk about taking care of the stranger and the orphan. David Cooke Jr., an evangelical Democrat and Macon, Georgia, district attorney
Even today, the states of the old Confederacy – along with Utah and Oklahoma ‑ make up the most religious states in the country, according to a 2013 Gallup survey.
“Now change is on the doorstep, and many are worried about what it’s doing to their communities,” said Marc Farinella, a Democratic strategist who oversaw President Barack Obama’s successful 2008 campaign in North Carolina. “There is a sense that their way of life is under attack.”
Christian conservatives feel it deeply, and resent it.
“We live in a society that has a lot of respect for diverse opinion and views, but it seems like anytime Christians express theirs, they can be lampooned,” said Lacy, the Columbus pastor. “We’re kind of open game. You can criticize any Christian and not get into trouble. But you try to criticize any other sect or group, that’s politically incorrect.”
Pastor Lacy is absolutely correct. In fact, as a Former Radio News Director in College, I can detect a condescending tone in this whole article.
In every single presidential election, since I first voted for Future President Ronald Reagan in November of 1980, the voters of the South have proven to be the linchpin upon which all presidential candidates’ victory depended upon.
If you were able, as a Democrat or a Republican, to get the voters of the South to cast their ballots for you, you became the President of the United States of America.
The South, to this day, remains essential to winning the White House.
The Liberals in the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, alike, or the Vichy Republicans, as I call them, are all too aware of this political fact.
However, those who believe that the South, in the Year of Our Lord 2016, is still backwards, or somehow inferior to their point of view, or political ideology, jump at every opportunity to negate a period of our history in which American blood on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line was shed in combat.
For example, since we are on the subject of South Carolina…
Why did these Professional Politicians, Democrat and Republican, shiftd the focus of the nation away from the mental illness of the sociopath who gunned down 9 innocent Christians at a Wednesday Night Church Service in Charleston, South Carolina, shifting our country’s attention, instead, to the perceived offensive nature of the Battle Flag of the Army of Virginia?
Simple: Political Expediency.
By marginalizing the South through this effort, American Liberals, from President Barack Hussein Obama on down the line, were hoping to diminish and possibly negate the leverage that Southern States have in molding the Political Landscape of America.
Even after 7 plus years under a Far Left President, America is still a Center-Right Nation, in which Christians comprise 75$ of the population.
Through their efforts to make an inanimate object responsible for the death of the Pastor and 8 members of Emanuel AME Church, these politicians and their minions were hoping to swing the Political Pendulum toward their side of the Political Aisle.
They thought that, if somehow, they could place the Southern States in a “bad light” and at a Political Disadvantage, that perhaps our voice in the political affairs of this nation, would not carry as much weight.
Plus, between you and me and the water cooler, Liberals in the Northern and Western States remain ticked off that both American and International Businesses are still relocating to the South, where the climate is friendlier, the Unions have not made the cost of doing business unprofitable, and, where Old-Fashioned American Work Ethic still exists.
But, I digress…
Unfortunately for all of the Establishment-Preferred Presidential Hopefuls, being a Christian Conservative, including being one of us dreaded “Evangelicals”, means that while we all worship Christ as our Savior, we also each possess our own FREE WILL.
Unlike Modern Liberals, including Socialism-embracing Millennials, we are not a part of a Hive-Mind. We think for ourselves, voting for the candidate whom we believe will be the best leader for our nation and who will be able to be more effective in cleaning up the unholy mess that Barack Hussein Obama has created, during his time in office.
As a Christian American Conservative, living in Northwest Mississippi, I have watched, like those featured in the article, as our viewpoints here in “Flyover Country”, have been scorned and ridiculed.
And now, the Professional Politicians (i.e., the “usual suspects”) want us to give them permission to continue their mistreatment of us.
It ain’t happenin’ this time, Skippy.
Check out the poll numbers.
Until He Comes,