Is voting against B.O. because he is a Negro a sin?

Posted by T on November 28, 2008
Current Discourse

The rumor mill has it that some of our jewed preachers are already starting to broach that idea.

Think about it.  The Cherokee braves are holding council to elect their new chief upon the death of the previous one.  Someone suggests an Apache fellow should be elected, and a brave murmurs, “we don’t need no stinkin’ Apache as our chief.”

Comes our preacher and says, “that brave is in sin!”

Tags: ,

24 Comments to Is voting against B.O. because he is a Negro a sin?

  • Technically, in BO’s case we should not vote for him because he is a non-white. Of course we should not vote if he were Negro, but he is not such, but rather a mulatto.

    If B.O. became the leader of the Black Panther party, would the headlines read “First White President of the Black Panthers…?” Then why is he the first Negro President elect, or a Negro anything? He has no race–as he says, “I am a mut.”

  • Joshua (and T),

    So, you think we are justified in not voting for someone because they are black or non-white? Could you explain please?

    Have you read Joe Morecraft’s two part series entitled “A Christian Approach to Racism”? In that article, he quotes Hebden-Taylor who writes, “Racism is fundamentally the attempt to supplant the Biblical antithesis between obedience to God and disobedience to Him with the white-black contrast.”

    Unless I am misunderstanding you, you seem to be on dangerous ground.

  • Troy — The first pair of questions is answered by the short thought-experiment of this post itself. If, as a Cherokee or Apache brave, you cannot understand that, then I think detailed argumentation will not help.

    Note, it does not follow logically from the thesis of this post that it would necessarily be a sin to vote for B.O.

    What Hebden-Taylor means by “racism” I have no idea. However, broadening from whatever his context and point might be, we would observe that the biblical antithesis of obedience to God, which is certainly the most important antithesis, does not eliminate all other distinctions and loyalties. For example, I would not expect you to exhibit the same filial devotion to my mother that you do to your own.

  • T stated:
    For example, I would not expect you to exhibit the same filial devotion to my mother that you do to your own.

    This point is often missed in todays discussions especially by our Arminian influenced theology.

    God makes all nations, yet has a ‘special’ love for Israel. Jesus has twelve disciples and yet one (John) is referred to as the ‘one whom Jesus loved’. The apostle Paul still had a love for his brethren ‘according to the flesh’ (Rom. 9:1ff) even in their unregenerate state. Matthew Henry, commenting on this verse, noted that we will give a special account as to how we treated our brethren:

    “Paul was a Hebrew of the Hebrews. We ought to be in a special manner concerned for the spiritual good of our relations, our brethren and kinsmen. To them we lie under special engagements, and we have more opportunity of doing good to them; and concerning them, and our usefulness to them, we must in a special manner give account.” (Matthew Henry on Romans 9:3)

    Everyone else seems to understand this. For example, the ‘Reformed Blacks of America’ (which is linked to by and many other major Reformed websites) state the following concerning their vision:

    “Along with this endeavor, we desire to further the advancement of the historic Christian faith as it has been particularly expressed through the Reformed tradition to more Black communities. Therefore, we desire to see the these Black communities and churches grow in truth, number and devotion to God because we have a particular affection and calling to them.”

    They seem to better understand Pauls feelings more than the average guilt ridden, egalitarian, white Christian today. I applaud them for this. However, may ‘we’ repent of our own failure to love our own people in the same way.

  • T,

    I asked for a further explanation because it seemed like Joshua and yourself were saying that race alone is a sufficient reason not to vote for someone. I wanted to let you clarify.

    I am glad that you agree that the biblical antithesis between obedience to God and disobedience to Him is the most important antithesis. I agree that this important antithesis does not eliminate all other distinctions and loyalties. However, I do think it minimizes the race distinction to relative insignifance.

    For example, if there was a white candidate and a black candidate, and both were equally obedient to the Law of God, then I do not see any problem with a white person voting for the white candidate. However, the whiteness of the candidate is close to the bottom of the list of reasons to vote or not vote for a candidate.

    How would you answer this scenario? There are two main candidates, one black and one white. The white candidate opposes the Law of God at many points, whereas the black candidate is obedient to the Law of God at many points. Is it a sin for a white person to reject the black candidate, and thus not vote for him, because he is black?

    If someone answers ‘no’ to this question, then I think they are guilty of racism according to Hebden-Taylor’s (and Joe Morecraft’s) definition. They are supplanting the biblical antithesis between obedience to God and disobedience to Him with some racial distinction.

  • hi t,

    just a passing idea, with all the chi town ties and strange relations one wonders if Al Capone has finally made it to the White House.

    s. hoffmeister

  • Southland — good comment.

    Troy — Well, Luther said something about rather being ruled by a wise Turk than a stupid Christian. So his perspective adds yet another dimension to consider.

    As I pointed out before, I don’t consider “racism” to be a useful word. According to internet lore, the word and concept were coined by Trotsky for propagandistic purposes. I have not been able to confirm that, but it rings true to what I do know. We don’t find Dabney and Thorwell and Hodge condemning some sin known as “racism.” Like the word “anti-semitism”, this word also plays on an ambiguity. So if one is trying to identify a biblical sin, may I suggest sticking to biblical categories? Being “color-blind” is no more a biblical concept than being “sex-blind” is. I’m not sure why Pastor Joe has adopted the modern viewpoint on this, other than, I can speculate that he is suffering from too much self-consciousness about misunderstandings that might arise in view of standing for the Southern Presbyterians. In this one subject area, however, I see in Joe’s work less Bible and more judaica.

    As to all differences fading in importance compared to the Antithesis, I would suggest the opposite: the light of the Word of God puts those differences in sharper relief than before. Things become more sharply defined as to their identity in the concept/individuation nexus. Lewis was the master at showing this. Your assignment is to reread The Last Battle.

  • T,

    I will reread the Last Battle; although, I am not sure you have really responded to my position.

    (1) You said being color-blind is not a biblical concept. This is a straw-man. In my last comment I said, “I agree that this important antithesis does not eliminate all other distinctions and loyalties.” I, then, gave an example where someone could choose a candidate based on race.

    (2) You said that you do not think ‘racism’ is a useful word, and that if someone is trying to identify a biblical sin, they should stick to biblical categories. I am not sure I understand your point here. By sticking to biblical categories, do you mean that the word “racism” or some other similar label has to be used by Scripture? I am assuming that this is not what you mean. For example, the word “Trinity” is not used in the Bible, nor is there some kind of similar label used in Scripture; however, the concept is clearly present in Scripture. And we all think this is sufficient. I have no allegiance to the term “Trinity” or “racism,” but I think the concepts are in Scripture. You have already admitted that the most important antithesis is obedience/disobedience to God over racial distinctions. But what if someone exalts racial distinctions over the most important antithesis, would this not be a sin? And would it, then, be wrong to label that sin with an extrabiblical word?

    (3) In my last comment, I asked you how you would answer my scenario. Could you please answer?

  • Troy,
    Since I’ve been referenced a few comments back, I’d like to answer your last questions.

    1. But to vote for the law-keeping black over then pagan white would amount to being color-blind. It would assume that the black man has loyalties to me and my kin in the same way that he has to his or any other race. In my own view, to reject the law-abiding black is a choice made on the basis of other presuppositions such as the myth of racial equalitarianism (see this excellent book), the invalidity of the 14th Amendment, the naiveté, impossibility, and danger of racial diversity, etc. These beliefs are formed by gathering premises both empirically and revelatory and making conclusions and applications.

    2) I’m not sure what it means to "exalt racial distinctions over the most important antithesis." If you mean exalting an alternative ethical system over the Biblical one, then yes that would be a sin. But you make a leap when you suggest that he who doesn’t vote for the lawful black man over the pagan white man is supplanting the biblical ethic with another, namely an ethic of racism.

    3) There are a number of ways to answer this–one is Constitutionally: the black man is unqualified to run for president, and citizens are not obligated to vote for unqualified candidates. I would like to suggest another later, but the book I linked answers your question indirectly, though powerfully.

  • Troy — greetings from Leipzig. Due to traveling, I will just answer a teaspoonful at a time.

    It`s not the word but the concept that I am highlighting. If “racism” means, “fostering an irrational hatred toward someone based on accident of birth” then most people alleged to be racists (e.g. David Duke) are not at all.

    If you define it as “exalting racial distinctions over the most important antithesis,” — yes, but first, why would this be the only such imbalance that pops into people`s heads? Why is there no deploring of, say, men who worship their wives to the point of idolatry. The sin of wifism we could call it.

    For some reason, communist-style ism-epithets are not seen as necessary or useful when dealing with any sin except when it seems to touch on the sacred cows of today’s politically regimented discourse.

  • Troy — I would first reflect on your question in an historical sense, in order to achieve a little distance. Can we imagine a Nubian emerging to rescue the Roman Republic or Empire in its moment of crisis? Or for that matter, a Nubian emerging to rescue the Germans from conquest by the Romans?

    I can’t, realistically. But if in a great stretch of imagination, such a thing occurred, then so be it. It is what it is. But making that a norm, or something one should advocate, is something else.

    You are inspiring me to do a review of Addison’s play Cato, where a subplot deals with this very issue. Addison shows himself very modern, but also puts some major arguments against the ascendancy of a Negro in the Negro’s own mouth.

    I am more comfy with Joshua’s analysis in #10. At the bottom of this dispute is not a Theory of the Negro so much as a theory of who we are as a people, how we got here, and what is it that constitutes a folk as nation.

  • Perhaps a further brief word on the theology of race advocated by Joe Morecraft and those that have gathered around him might advance the discussion.

    Apparently, he believes that the NT completely wipes out the tribal organization of man displayed so vividly on every page of the OT. “From every tribe and nation” really amounts to, “there are no nations any more.” Now, we are to see only individuals tossed into geographical regions and subject to this or that government regime that happens to be able to exercise jurisdiction in that territory. The only important quality of any individual is, Christian or non-Christian. The only “nation” is the church, and the only history is the history of the church, which started with the apostles. The history of nations in the old economy was apparently for the purpose of being shown to be foolishness and cast aside.

    Thus, where the regime is a “democracy,” choosing a leader is nothing but an abstract calculation of virtues and propositions. To deviate from that calculus is sinful departure from the Only Allowed Rule.

    Frankly, I see affinity between this view and the Anabaptist mistake. The Anabaptists saw the church as only an ingathering of elect individuals. The deracination of its membership naturally led to believer-baptism. Some, as the Münster radicals, extended their theory to the state. This is my current hypothesis of what the Morecraft men’s view amounts to, and I hope to unpack this as time goes on. They still hold to infant baptism, but I will suggest that this is based on tradition rather than an organic aspect of a coherent theory of church and state.

  • Let’s face it, we were all led astray for a time by Doug Jones’ youthful Biblical Offense of Racism — even my friend Doug at the time. The thesis in that pamphlet that has abiding truth is that evolutionists have no basis on their world-view to accept the communist view of race, yet they invariably do. The mistake however was going on to say that we of the biblical world-view have every right to adopt the communist view! The communist/jew establishment that has a near death-grip on American politics, education and media has “put the skear” on our people, and it seems to take years of careful reflection and courage to rise above it. The strength of the Morecraft men is also their weakness — when they make a mistake, they make it in a really big way.

  • Joshua (comment 10),

    You wrote, “But to vote for the law-keeping black over the pagan white would amount to being color-blind.” I suppose you could say this in terms of obedience to the Law of God, in that it trumps racial distinctions. However, this does not mean that racial distinctions are irrelevant at every point.

    You said that you would not vote for the black man who is obedient to the Law of God over the white man who is disobedient to the Law of God. All the reasons you gave simply demonstrated that you do not think that the most important biblical antithesis is obedience/disobedience to God’s Law. What Scriptural evidence is there that racial distinctions are more important than obedience/disobedience to God’s Law?

  • T (comment 11),

    You said it is not about the word but the concept.

    You then ask why this is the only imbalance that pops into people’s heads. What about men who worship their wives to the point of idolatry. We could call this wifism. In response, it does seem like your problem is with the word not the concept. I am fine to throw away the word ‘racism,’ in favor of some other word. This other word should not be a problem, unless you think it is wrong to use extra-biblical words to identify concepts in Scripture.

    Or is your problem simply the fact that ‘the exalting of racial distinctions over the most important antithesis’ receives more attention than something like wifism. If so, it reminds me of the way pro-homosexual Christians get upset because Christians are spending too much time on homosexuality and not on other sins. The fact that the culture has made the race issue a hobby horse simply gives the church the opportunity to clarify and sharpen it’s own biblical understanding of these things.

  • T (comment 12),

    I am simply saying that when choosing a political candidate, his obedience/disobedience to the Law of God should be the most important consideration, with race trailing behind. No one is advocating that all white people search out a black candidate that obeys biblical law in order to prove we are not racist.

    You said you were more comfortable with Joshua’s comment (#10). However, Joshua seems fine with saying that racial distinctions can indeed trump obedience/disobedience to the Law of God. I thought that in comment #4 and #11 you basically agreed that obedience/disobedience to the Law of God is the most important antithesis.

  • T (comment 13),

    I am not so sure that Morecraft says that all distinctions have vanished so that the only distinction that has any meaning is whether you are a Christian or not. I do not think this follows from what he has said. Perhaps, you could demonstrate this.

  • Troy,
    I never said that a racial distinction trumps God’s law. I am saying that your question (a pagan white or righteous negro?) assumes your color blind position which I do not think the bible permits. The fastidious practice of tribalism in the old church with God’s sanctions and strictures are enough for me to realize that when pressed with your question I am dealing with a false dilemma. I’m never required to vote for an unqualified candidate. The reason you keep setting my race distinction/ethic against the biblical ethic is because you wrongly read the latter as opposed to the former.

  • Troy — I think Joshua has nailed it, but I’ll try it from a slightly different angle. There may be an equivocation, when you repeatedly state “obedience/disobedience to the Law of God should be the most important consideration.” That maxim is not helpful unless it is applied skillfully to each case. So in the case of the candidate, it sets up the choice between the biblical principle of tribal loyalty, and the biblical principle of desiring a leader that is after God’s heart.

    Imagine a Christian teenager saying, “I’m going to obey Pastor Jim rather than my ungodly father.” Yeah, but… your father is designated by biology, not godliness.

    Apart from the logical confusion (category mistake?), there is the problem of introducing a framework that is out of kilter with the order established by Creation. Some hypotheticals do not illuminate, like the schoolboy life-raft question. The very act of pondering “who should we throw overboard to save the rest?” sets up a nest of assumptions that does more harm than good. While attempting to focus on one point of discussion, the example ratifies a whole tapestry of assumptions that we ought not to embrace uncritically.

    What is the chance that a Nubian would emerge in a German tribe and say, “make me your chief, and I will lead you into national godliness by enacting the law of God.” Not only is it unlikely to occur, but even if it did, it would be for naught. For, what is the chance that the pagan nation will submit to the foreigner’s urging of the law of God? Nill. This is the point at which we need to remember Rushdoony’s doctrine of bottom-up reform (though I think he overstated it). He pointed out that you don’t go into Africa today and start enforcing the biblical penalty of death for adultery. That would mean killing the entire nation. The penology of the law of God only makes sense as a hedge at the margin, after personal sanctification is quite wide-spread. Not just the law of God, but the framework of how to reflect upon and apply the law of God, is needed. And that framework is not deduced from the law alone. There is a hermeneutic.

  • Joshua and T,

    Joshua wrote, “The reason you keep setting my race distinction/ethic against the biblical ethic is because you wrongly read the latter as opposed to the former.”

    Okay, I think I understand what you are saying. I was making a distinction between biblical moral imperatives (God’s Law) and race distinctions. You seem to be saying that the race distinctions themselves are a part of the biblical moral imperatives.

    So, in your view tribal loyalty is commanded by God. If this is the case, then the question is not simply, “Is voting against B.O. because he is negro a sin,” which would clearly be ‘no,’ but rather the question is, “If you are white, is it a sin to vote for a black candidate?” It seems like you would say ‘yes’ to this question regardless of who the black candidate is. Is this right?

    Could either one of you please give me some of the strongest biblical evidence for tribal loyalty being commanded by God.

  • First, note that in the OT, a “nation” is a grouping of descendants of a common patriarchal ancestor; often the name of the nation is the name of the patriarch: Moabites, Ammonites, Israelites.

    The Rechabites are a tribe that Jeremiah praised for continuing to obey their patriarch’s tee-totalism command, Jer 35.

    The Law ratified many differences honoring the in- versus out- of tribe status. For example, Deut 15:12, Hebrew slave to be released in sixth year (but non-Hebrews could be enslaved for life).

    Now someone might reply that the nation of Israel was unique in redemptive history, and typological for the international church. But, even so, some reflection on why the tribal association is so deeply embedded should be made. To say, “the Messiah came in order to show that the tribalism that thoroughly stamps the OT is completely misguided” seems like a pretty big hermeneutical stake. Someone should show this, if it is true.

    Moreover, there is more tribal principle at work in the story of Israel than what can be resolved as typology. To see this, recall that the boundaries between tribes and nations are fuzzy in that they cannot always be sharply marked a priori. What we have is essentially this division of the world:
    extended family
    ethnic nation-group
    Noah — i.e. all humanity [added 2/10]

    One’s loyalty decreases slowly as one goes down the list, while one’s sense of corporate solidarity with all humanity increases.

    This or that people-group might recognize a subset of those divisions, and savages probably give up around “clan” or so. The boundaries are not rigid. But the hierarchy is indisputable.

    The land has great typological significance in OT, but why was it divided up by tribe? The petition of Zelophehad, and the counter-petition of his kinsmen that the daughters should not be able to take the deeds to their land by marriage into another tribe should be pondered (e.g. Num 36).

    Did it stop with the division of Israel/nation into the 12 tribes? No it did not. The story of the Achan incident, Josh 7, should be studied in this connection. The ordeal to discover the culprit was conducted in such a manner as to reinforce the concentric rings of solidarity, viz.,
    family [of Achan]
    clan [Zabdi]
    tribe [Judah]
    nation [Israel]
    Note the clan and tribe stages in the ordeal do not have a simple typological analogue of church/world.

    With this understanding, and using the principle of the particular illustrating the general, we can see that, still in the NT, turning one’s back on his tribe is to reject the Word of God, I Tim 5:8. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

    Likewise, the Apostle said he would himself prefer be condemned for the sake of his kinsmen according to the flesh, Rom 9:3.

  • T,

    Thank you for taking the time to give some of the biblical evidence. However, I am looking for tighter argumentation. Could you lay out more distinct premises leading to the conclusion that tribal loyalty is commanded by God.

    Much of this is new to me, so bear with me. You used 1 Tim. 5:8 to say that turning one’s back on his tribe is to reject the word of God. But what does it mean to turn your back on your tribe? In this passage, it is talking about providing for your family. Is there a principle here that can translate to the question we have been discussing? Let me try to illustrate a possible problem. Let’s say my brother is an apostate, yet he is running for president. His opponent is another white man who fears God and is obedient to the Law of God (in his life and his political views). Am I turning my back on my family contrary to a principle laid out in 1 Tim. 5:8, if I vote for the other white guy? If no, then I am not sure how relevant this passage is to the question this post is addressing.

    Also how do Matt. 10:34-37 and 12:46-49 fit into your perspective?

    Matt. 10:34-37 says,

    “Do not think I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daugther against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daugther more than me is not worthy of me.”

    In a sense, family takes a back seat in this passage. This does not mean that Christ came to abolish all family distinctions, but in some ways it is secondary.

    Matt. 12:46-49 says,

    “While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand towards his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers!’ For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'”

    If some people did not know these were the words of Jesus, I think they may have responded by saying,

    “This is a false dichotomy. You cannot pit obeying the Lord against allegiance to your own kind, since God commands you to have allegiance to your own kind.”

    Of course, no one is claiming that Jesus abolished any and every kind of allegiance to your own family/tribe/kind. However, it does seem like it takes a back seat in some sense to those who obey the will of God.

  • Troy, when you ask for “more distinct premises leading to the conclusion that tribal loyalty is commanded by God” you should ask yourself what the thing you are demanding would look like. The basic argument would be (1) care for household reaching out to kin is commanded, as outlined in previous, (2) “tribe” is a concentric circle that is reached before all humanity.

    But in a way, this is like a mother asking for “scriptural proof” that she should love her baby. The very asking of such a question by such a person would indicate that something had gone wrong somewhere. And the “fix” to the problem would probably not be a list of premises and logic.

    The natural tribal loyalty that everyone already feels is not disharmonious with the narrative of Scripture. Every tribe, that is, except the Aryan under the influence of certain forces over the last 50 years. The Aryan today has become so confused he is like the mother asking for scripture proof that she should love her baby.

    I don’t want to dwell too much on the voting examples because probably our respective views as to the importance of voting, the necessity or privilege thereof and its function today already differ so radically that we would be talking at cross-purposes. I would prefer the kingship model, and reflect on how we as a tribe should pick our chief or king. Again, see the discussion thereof above.

    Re the Matt 10 and 12 passages — as Lewis pointed out, the shock-value which the teaching depends on to make the point presupposes the kind of loyalty I am talking about. Someone who would respond, “no big deal — I hate my parents anyhow” would of course not get the point of the Lord’s teaching at that point at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *