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JAROS: The Christian case for Ron Paul
Question of the Day
As an evangelical Christian, I've thought recently about why it is that we must support outspoken Christians who usually talk about abortion and homosexuality. Perhaps we should identify Christian politicians who may speak about other issues but nevertheless still have our goals in mind. Ron Paul could be exactly that kind of candidate, certainly on par with (if not above) other evangelicals in the GOP presidential nomination race.
First and foremost, Ron Paul is a Christian. He was born and raised by Christian parents. He credits their Christian parenting as having provided the bedrock of his character. It is worth noting that two of his four brothers entered the ministry. In addition, Mr. Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel. He confesses, "I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior, and I endeavor every day to follow Him in all I do and in every position I advocate."
Mr. Paul has a surprising knowledge of the Scriptures and the early church. He cites Leviticus 19:36 when he affirms, "We must follow the biblical mandate of using honest weights and measures." He also is aware that Christ is recognized as the Prince of Peace in both the Old and New testaments and that Isaiah 2:4 speaks of a coming time "when swords will be bent into plowshares and spears into pruning forks" (implicitly affirming that that time is now, as the Apostle Peter declared on the day of Pentecost). Mr. Paul's foreign policy is grounded on Matthew 5:9: "Blessed are the peacemakers." Yet Mr. Paul is no pacifist. Just as the early church advocated for the Christian just-war theory, so too does Mr. Paul. This is evident from a speech he gave at the Values Voter Summit in October. Mr. Paul believes in fighting wars that are just - not going out just to fight another war.
Second, Mr. Paul is pro-life. He is an obstetrician and gynecologist who has delivered more than 4,000 babies. In medical school, Mr. Paul was subjected to witnessing an abortion. A short time later, he watched as doctors worked to save a baby's life. Mr. Paul has asked, "Who are we to decide that we pick [up and throw away] one and pick up and struggle to save the other ones?" As a Christian, he affirms that life is precious. Beginning in 2005, and in every subsequent Congress, Mr. Paul has offered an amendment called the Sanctity of Life Act, which would define personhood as beginning at conception and nullify Roe v. Wade.
Finally, Mr. Paul is very much pro-Israel. In an interview with radio host and political commentator Jack Hunter, Mr. Paul explained that he thinks Israel should be treated as an independent nation and should not have to answer to the United States. He thinks the United States should treat Israel as it would a best friend. Just as such relationships do not include one party bossing the other around, so Mr. Paul would not tell Israel what its policy should be regarding the Israeli-Palestinian border - unlike President Obama's dictate that borders must return to their 1967 position. Also, Mr. Paul was one of the few congressmen who opposed the rebuking of Israel's attack on Iraq in 1981 - Israel is a sovereign country, and as such it should be free to decide these matters on its own. Israel takes charity from our government and takes orders on diplomatic affairs. But this is, as Mr. Paul notes, contradictory to two basic tenets of Zionism that we should support: independence and self-reliance.
So why has Mr. Paul not been outspoken with his Christian views?Perhaps, as noted by his advisers, "Paul's faith is far too serious and important to him to constantly risk cheapening it through politics." Brian Doherty of Reason magazine agrees, "Paul is by all accounts a sincerely religious man, but also sincerely dedicated to not trumpeting it much."
Ron Paul's deep Christian faith, strong pro-life record and pro-Israel, Christian-rooted foreign policy should be sufficient for Christians to consider supporting him.
T. Kurt Jaros is studying theology at King's College in London.
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