Dear Editor:

In two articles, "Christians and Voting," and David Roach, in "Political Engagement Seen as Key Facet of Biblical Faith," pages 1-2 and 7 of the October 2004 Olive Branch] edition, say words to the effect voting is a "sacred duty," a "minium duty," alleging that "believers must vote," etc., yet "more than 4 million evangelicals failed to vote in 2000 presidential election." The article further alleges "that in 21-st century America, the Republican Party often is more consistent with Christian cultural values than the Democratic Party."

Sad to say, but to the four million evangelical non-voters, there may well be many reasons to doubt the truth of these notions. Here is a list of the many, but not all, likely reasons the four million may well have.

1. For centuries, indeed, over a millennium, it is infallible Christian doctrine--and you’ll be killed, burned at the stake, etc., if you disagree--that God condemns voting emphatically, that God is for the "divine right of kings" and emperors and tsars; that "Constitutions," horrors, are abominations before God, even warranting banning saying the loathsome word "Constitution."
A. God, so the story went, absolutely commands autocracy, rule by a single monarch, without the people having "rights"– horrors!! And Churches reacted in horror to monarchies’ overthrow and replacement by "voting" systems.

B. All Bible references to government are to monarchy, including when God personally established the monarchy in Israel under Saul, then David. And the four million will surely know that the Bible has much to say about a restored Davidic throne, and Christ Himself enthroned, but not one word about God establishing "voting"in the Biblical Kingdom of God.

C. Using the Bible time scale, a thousand years as day, 2 Peter 3:8, it is only in the last couple hours that the extreme ultra opposite viewpoint has been invented, the alleged "sacred duty" to do what God so long was alleged to have imperatively forbidden on pain of death, and has no intention of ever establishing in His Eternal Kingdom. The four million may rightly wonder, who are we to believe: (i) the thousand years emphatic Church doctrine, or (ii) the new-fangled "voting" story that not one Church denomination has adopted in writing as specific express commanded Bible doctrine!–citing chapter and verse.

D. The four million evangelical non-voters may rightly conclude that perhaps the vote advocates, who cite not one Bible verse commanding "voting," but only verses (e.g., verses such as Matthew 5:13-16 on Christ’s hearers being "salt and light") read by sincere people and clergymen for a thousand years as having wholly different meaning are NOT actually providing official written Church doctrine, but their own personal HERESY.

E. The four million may well suspect, someone is LYING to us; and conclude, it is far wiser and "circumspect" (Exodus 23:13; Matthew 4:4) to adhere to Bible words, i.e., to the viewpoint of the vast overwhelming majority of all Biblical Israel and of all subsequent Christendom in most all eras, and deem voting as abominable sin.

2. On the other hand, the four million evangelical non-voters may well remember the gross and extreme errors of so-called Christendom, institutionalizing as law–and punishing non-adherents–with many of the most outlandish and asinine notions in all history.
A. That the Catholic Church is God’s sole representative; and government–monarchies, remember– are to enforce this via law passing, book-burning, tortures and executions,

B. That the Bible teaches that the earth is flat (contrary to Isaiah 40:22!).

(i) The stars, sun, planets, and moon, revolve around the earth on spheres.

(ii) The spheres are perfect circles, no irregularities of orbit.

(iii) The universe is stationary, fixed, not in motion.

(iv) God made the universe at 9:00 am on October 1, 4004 B.C.

(v) The planets and moon are perfect on their surfaces, no irregularities.

(vi) The earth is the center of the universe.

(vii) It is a sin to look into outer space through a telescope, invading God’s privacy.

(viii) The earth has only three continents: Europe, Asia, Africa.

(ix) Only three races (white, black, yellow). (Indians, they’re orangutans, OK to kill).

(x) Crusades are the way to put Christianity back in control of Palestine even if it takes killing all the Moslems and Jews there to do it.

(x) Medical, biological, and scientific research via dissection of the dead is a sin, desecrating the human body. (Desecration by burnings alive apparently OK!)

(xi) Being "pro-life" is mandatory, except for nuns’s abortions–six thousand infant skulls at a single nunnery fish-pond.

(xii) Popes are infallible. (xiii), Well, maybe its Luther or Calvin, or some such; anyway it is OK to kill those who disagree, heretics!

C. Perhaps the four million evangelical non-voters remember 2 Samuel 12:14 (the David-Bathsheba incident), showing that outlandish behavior leads to ridicule of God as outsiders assume God is behind the actions of those who profess Him. In any case, maybe the dictates of the professed righteous aren’t so "infallible" after all.

3. The four million evangelical non-voters may well share the doubts of the Founding Fathers, who institutionalized freedom of religion, BECAUSE churches had such a horrible record as to leave no reasonable doubt that their leadership cannot be trusted. "Absolute power corrupts." When the clergy ruled, there were evils without end.
A. As shown at http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/john_murphy/jamesmadison.html, Founding Father James Madison, http://www.churchstatelaw.com/historicalmaterials/8_7_3.asp, warned: "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded project" (1774).

B. A vestige of this Founder view is evident in Jesse Ventura's more recent view, "Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people. . . ."

4. The four million evangelical non-voters may recall why the Republican Party came about.
A. It was founded to reject, repudiate, condemn, wage war against, the "Bible Belt," the "Religious right" of the time.

B. The four million may well remember that the then "Religious Right" Bible-Belters supported slavery. What was slavery?: (i) adultery, (ii) axe-murder, (iii) Bible-refusing, (iv) branding, (v) burning-alive, (vi) concubines for clergy, (vii) extortion, (viii) eye-gouging, (ix) genocide, (x) kidnaping white women, (xi) making infidels, (xii) racism, (xiii) racking and salting, (xiv) rape, (xv) reign of terror, (xvi) robbery, (xvii) Seminole War, (xviii) skinning, (xviv) three-fourths of Christians "of the devil," (xx) torture, (xxi) torture-murder, (xxii) violence, (xxiii) war of aggression against Mexico (xxiv) whip-to-death, making the Bible-Belt, in the words of Methodist Founder John Wesley, "the vilest that ever saw the sun," "the sum of all villanies," "the worst of thieves, in comparison of whom high-way robbers [car-jackers] and house-breakers are comparatively innocent."

Quoted by Rev. William Goodell, Slavery and Anti-Slavery, (New York: William Harned Pub, 1852), pp 27-28, http://medicolegal.tripod.com/goodellsaas.htm.

C. The four million evangelical non-voters may recall that Lincoln credited, NOT the "Bible-Belt," the "Religious Right," with ending slavery, but instead: "The logic and moral power of Garrison and the Anti-slavery people . . . And the army [not U.S. clergy and churches] have done it all," freed the slaves, cited from Truman Nelson, Documents of Upheaval: Selections from William Lloyd Garrison's THE LIBERATOR, 1831-1865 (NY: Hill and Wang, 1966), page xvii.

D. The four million evangelical non-voters may recall that after the Civil War against the Bible-Belt, clergymen were so embarrassed by, wanted to hide from public view, their bad record, that they attempted to falsify U.S. history, tried to blot out the truth of who really got rid of slavery–themselves who had fought for slavery; or radical oft anti-organized-religion abolitionists; and the drunks and hooker-customers and other bad characters of the Union Army. The four million may recall that it was one of the few surviving abolitionists, Rev. Parker Pillsbury, exposed the cleric scam by living enough decades after the War, to do so, in his Acts of the Anti-Slavery Apostles (Concord, N.H., 1883), http://medicolegal.tripod.com/pillsburypacts.htm.

5. The four million evangelical non-voters may recall the massacres, the not very "pro-life" attitude of Middle Ages Christendom.
A. In the article, "'Crusades': The holy wars proclaimed by the Christians in Western Europe at the end of the 11th cent. with the avowed purpose of wresting the Holy Sepulcher from the hands of the infidel Moslems; the c. marked a turning point in the history of the Jews of Christian Europe. From the prime objective of defeating the infidels in the Holy Land, Christians turned in an outburst of hate against the Jewish 'infidels' in their midst. As early as 1094, Godfrey of Bouillon declared that he would avenge the blood of Jesus on the Jews, leaving none alive. The First Crusade of 1096 brought with it the virtual extermination of the ancient Jewish communities of Speyer, Worms, Mainz [Germany], and others.... When the Crusaders finally reached Palestine and stormed Jerusalem (1099) they drove all Jews there into a synagogue and burned them alive. The pattern of anti-Jewish massacres... was repeated throughout Europe during subsequent c. (especially the Second and Third [Crusades])."—Dr. R. J. Zwi Werblowsky and Dr. Geoffrey Wigoder (Hebrew Univ, Jerusalem), The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion (NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc., 1965), p 103.

B. The four million evangelical non-voters may also recall that during the Middle Ages' Plague, Jews were blamed. Killings of Jews began by "charges originating in Savoy" blaming Jews. The killings had the support of [Holy Roman] Emperor Charles IV [1347-1378]. The result was that "60 large and 150 small communities were exterminated. . . . This was the greatest disaster which occurred to German Jewry in the Middle Ages."—Cecil Roth, B. Litt., M.A., D. Phil., and Geoffrey Wigoder, D. Phil., The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia (Jerusalem: Masada Press, 1959-1975), p 319.

C. The four million evangelical non-voters may also recall that Hitler resumed the Middle Ages Christian killing process. His "capital punishment" policy was "that the killings should be done as humanely as possible [pursuant to] his conviction that he was observing God's [alleged] injunction to cleanse the world of vermin. [So] he carried within him its ["religious right"] teaching that the Jew was the killer of God. The extermination, therefore, could be done . . . as the avenging hand of God so long as it was done impersonally, without cruelty. Himmler was pleased to murder with mercy. He ordered technical experts to devise gas chambers which would eliminate masses of Jews efficiently and 'humanely.'"— Toland, p 803. Hitler followed medieval precedents, as a Catholic "in good standing," "I am now as before a Catholic, and will always remain so.'"—Toland, p 803. http://medicolegal.tripod.com/hitlersmoker.htm .

D. The four million may recall that Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) called Hitler's anti-Bolshevism "high-minded gallantry in defense of the foundations of Christian culture,"—John Toland, Adolf Hitler (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co, 1976), p 774.

E. When Hitler attacked Russia in June 1941, "A number of German bishops, predictably, openly supported the attack. One called it 'a European crusade,' a mission similar to that of the Teutonic knights. He exhorted all Catholics to fight for 'a victory that will allow Europe to breathe freely again and will promise all nations a new future'" (p 774). The four million evangelical non-voters may doubt these "Religious Right" types, doubt that Hitler’s starting World War II, killing fifty million, was OK!

F. The four million evangelical non-voters may just be thinking of how so many may realize, how nice that those awful liberal Democrats such as Franklin Roosevelt ignored the Pope and Bishops, or we’d all be saying "Heil Hitler."

6. The four million evangelical non-voters may recall, if not all the wars during the Christian era, perhaps just those involving the Old World and the New World, in inter-continental wars (in essence, "world"wars), with Christians killing Christians–each of course, for his "divine-right" ruler, king, emperor, tsar.

A. DateWar Title(s)Old - New World FoesPurpose, Comments
1. 1492-1890'sIndian WarsWestern Europe Explorers/Colonists vs N. and S. American IndiansTo eliminate most Indians (orangutans)

America at Columbus'
time had had 150,000,000
natives, "cent cinquante
millions d'hommes," says
Dr. Hippolyte A.
Depierris, Physiologie Sociale
(Paris: Dentu, 1876), p 25.
http://medicolegal.tripod.com/depierris1876.htm

2. 1689-1697King William's War / England, Holland To reduce French War of the League vs. France, Spain, monarchy power of Augsburg New England, New York, Canada
3. 1702-1711Queen Anne's War/War of Spanish SuccessionEngland, Holland, Austria vs France, Spain Florida, New EnglandTo have different Spanish King
4. 1739-1748King George's War England, Holland, To control / War of Austrian Succession Austria, vs France, Spain, Austria’s Prussia, West Indies, monarch New England, Canada
5. 1756-1763French and Indian War England vs France, Spain For England to / Seven Years War Ohio country, Canada control Ohio
6. 1776-1783American Revolution England, France vs. U.S. Colonies To obtain independence
7. 1812-1814War of 1812 England U.S., Canada impressment, slavery
8. 1840's-1850'sChina War (aka England vs China, Japan, To force drugs Opium War) U.S. aiding/abetting England (opium) into China, bully Japan to alter its foreign policy
9. 1898Spanish-American WarSpain and colonies, e.g., U.S. goal to Phillippines, Cuba, etc. expand its own Empire under McKinley- Roosevelt (see Mark Twain's War Prayer) http://www.libertystory.net/LSDOCTWAINWARPRAYER.htm
10. 1899-1902Philippine-American Philippines vs. U.S.U.S. assaulting War Philippine people to keep them as part of U.S. Empire
11. 1914-1918Great WarGermany, Austria, To save Turkey, etc., vs. Serbia Europe’s France, Russia, England, etc. monarchies, Spreading to U.S., later called, War to End War!
12. 1939-1945World War IIGermany vs Poland, To end France, England, Russia, U.S., etc. aggression
13. 1948 - 2004Conflict over Arab States vs Israel, spreading to To establish, Israel U.S.S.R., Britain, France, etc. and continue & the U.S. & U.N. Israel
14. 1950-1955Korean Conflict U.N. vs Korea, China, U.S.To defend South Korea
15. 1955-1974Vietnam WarSouth Vietnam v North U.S. goal to prevent Vietnam and U.S. Vietnamese unification per treaty
16. Mid 1983Falklands War Britain Argentina Falklands Islands
17. 1990-1991Gulf War Iraq v Kuwait, U.N. & U.S.To save Kuwait
18. Oct 2002War on Terror, Afghanistan vs. U.S. To fight "terrorism"
19. 2003-2004Operation Iraqi Britain, Iraq, U.S., etc. Issues of "freedom," Freedom "weapons of mass destruction," oil, Israel
B. In this context of war after war, often massively Christians killing Christians, with nary a word from the Churches opposing each monarch’s "cannon-fodder"of Christians killing others–usually for political objectives of their respective monarch–four million non-voters may have developed some grave doubts about the accuracy of the "Religious Right" when they say things like, "War and capital punishment"are not inherently evil, but abortion and euthanasia are. Killing hundreds of millions in Christian vs Christian war is OK; killing tens of millions of Indians is OK, just so long as the label is organized "war" or organized "capital punishment," all is well when done en masse. But woe to the individual who does an abortion or euthanasia.

C. Not to mention the "Bible Belt"killings as opposed by the Republican Party, after the "Bible Belt" viewpoint had already led to massive numbers of slave-killings. Most (2/3 - 3/4) slaves were killed, 35-45 million or so. "Robert R. Kuczynski, the world-known authority on migration statistics, estimated that a minimum of 15 million slaves landed alive. Because of the brutal treatment on transport and the conditions of crossing, the total number of people of which the African continent was depleted amounted . . . to several times more. "Carter G. Woodson [1875-1950], in 'Negro in Our History,' estimated the total at 50 million, while W. E. DuBois, in 'The Negro,' gives the figure of 60 million," says Peter M. Bergman, The Chronological History of the Negro in America [New York: Harper & Row, 1969], p 2.

D. The four million evangelical non-voters may just have in mind the "mote" vs "beam" message of Christ in Matthew 7:3-5. When the "Religious Right" says, war and capital punishment are NOT inherently evil, and have apparently never met a war or a series of capital punishments (even of Indian orangutans, or Jews by Hitler) that they couldn’t stomach, even gushingly support, perhaps the "Religious Right" story that the REALLY REEALLY big issue is abortion and euthanasia, perhaps the four million evangelical non-voters say, maybe not!

E. Maybe the so-called not-"inherently-evil" ends up killing FAR MORE overall and is the "beam" and not the smaller number of so-called "inherently evil" abortions and euthanasia; maybe the latter are the true "mote" in actual reality and body count.

7. Perhaps the four million evangelical non-voters have noticed that the alleged "pro-life" "Religious Right" leadership regularly, routinely, almost invariably, supports politicians over a period of centuries, who were regularly wrong, who caused numerous wars for "divine-right" monarchy sake, who were pro-slavery, and who now are pro-capital punishment, pro-war, pro-tobacco, pro-liquor, pro-gun, soft on pollution, pro-big business, anti-union, anti-worker, anti-higher minimum wage, anti-health care, anti-Social Security, etc.?
A. Perhaps the four million evangelical non-voters notice that the "Religious Right" seems to still be taking the "monarchy" divine right view, regularly supporting politicians who oppose benefits for the poor and middle class, while routinely coming out for legislation of the old monarchy style, supporting the aristocracy vs the masses.

B. Perhaps the four million evangelical non-voters notice that the "Religious Right"leadership [insert ___________ error/misdiagnosis ___________].

C. The four million evangelical non-voters may observe that the "Religious Right" has a "don’t ask, don’t tell"! approach on revealing their bad record of misdiagnosis of just who is such a great politician! When they have been wrong, and wrong, and wrong, time and time again, but they never seem to admit it, maybe to the four million evangelical non-voters, the "Religious Right" advocates just don’t have credibility any more! How many centuries of their gross and ultra errors must we put with, before we catch on?!

D. A person who never admits an error, cannot learn. Perhaps the four million have doubts about such leadership?

Conclusion: I realize this is an unfortunate and sad commentary. I have personally resolved the dilemma for myself. But it is easy to understand why so many may not be able to trust a "leadership" that is so often, and for such a protracted period, wrong, and so wrong as to contradicted by subsequent events, and of course, contradicted by each other over the centuries.

Perhaps the four million evangelical non-[voters] are obeying the pertinent principles. Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. Romans 14:23 Without accompanying faith, a specific action (e.g., voting a certain way) cannot please God. Hebrews 11:6.

Rather than chastising such persons, we should be supportive. Perhaps they have valid points. Perhaps at Judgement Day, those who chastised them, will be the ones deemed in error.

Rather than demanding "Get out the vote," you "must vote," voting is a "sacred duty," it may be far better to say, unless your voting is of faith, do NOT do it. If in doubt, stay home. That response is far more likely to find Divine Favor, than a coerced, ‘I just gotta do it’ attitude.

Sincerely,
Your reader,
 
Leroy J. Pletten
8401 18 Mile Road #29
Sterling Heights, MI 48313-3042
(586) 739-8343