Pat Robertson has thrown a curve ball in the minds of many conservatives with his endorsement of Rudy Giuliani today. Robertson is widely viewed as one of the pillars of the conservative Christian movement. He is the founder of Christian Broadcasting Network, the Christian Coalition and Regent University in Virginia.
Robertson announced his endorsement at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. this morning:
Robertson’s support was coveted by several of the leading Republican candidates and provides Giuliani with a major boost as the former New York City mayor seeks to convince social conservatives that, despite his positions supporting abortion rights and gay rights, he is an acceptable choice as the GOP nominee.
“I thought it was important for me to make it clear that Rudy Giuliani is more than acceptable to people of faith,” said Robertson. “Given the fractured nature of the process, I thought it was time to solidify around one candidate.”
For his part, Giuliani cited Robertson as simply the latest evidence that he shares large swaths of common ground with people of faith — emphasizing his work to rid Times Square of pornography and his promise to appoint strict constructionists to the federal bench if elected president.
Sure. But we cannot forget Rudy’s words that betray his worldview at the recent Values Voter Summit last month:
“Religion is about love, forgiveness, and inclusion.”
This was my response while live blogging and it’s still accurate now:
Actually, Christianity isn’t about religion. It’s a relationship. And it certainly isn’t about inclusion. It’s about truth. Absolute truth to be more specific.
Christians are to love everyone just as God does. But in order for them to be “included,” they must accept Jesus as their personal Savior. Only then are they considered “included” in the body of Christ. From that point forward, a Christian’s life is spent walking with Christ, being sanctified, and living daily by faith. The emphasis is not about religious acts or deeds, but about your daily decision to die to yourself and live by faith.
I realize that this may be too much “Christian-speak” for many and could even give off tones of “holier-than-thou” to other religions. To the first group, I’d say you’ve either not given Jesus a fair shot in your life or you’ve never tried Him at all. You need to. To the second group, I point them to John 14:6:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.(emphasis mine)
Of course, there is more to the point, but that suffices for the scope of this post. I realize that we aren’t voting for the office of Theologian. But Rudy hasn’t even been influenced enough by the bible to understand that life is non-negotiable. Much less the fact that abortion is not a Constitutional right. It was manually inserted forced into law by breathingist judges.
Robertson has rationalized the threat of terror for abortion. He forfeited his Christian values – something most socons still won’t be able to do. Robertson would do well to study one William Wilberforce. Starting in 1780, Wilberforce labored against all political odds to abolish slave trading in Great Britain, which took until 1833. He would never have achieved his goal by simply passing legislation. Wilberforce, weighed down by the oppression intrinsic to the slave trade, wrote in his diary, “Almighty God has set before me two great objectives: The abolition of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.” He raised the moral aptitude of his country as well.
While I’m certain it will help Giuliani make the sale to some social conservatives, it strikes me as rather bizarre. It’s not exactly the kind of statement that lends itself to an image of practical, tough leadership that Rudy normally projects.
Well, so much for religious conservatives abandoning the GOP. The question is whether Robertson’s followers will, well, follow.
If anything, I’d rather see him out of politics than at the side of a perspective Republican nominee. And while I realize Rudy needed the help with the Christian Right, Robertson abandoned his principles to support Rudy. That’s a fact and not surprising to me. The surprise could be that this hurts Rudy more with Independents than he might think.