2004 Elections were a Response from the American People, says Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

As the drama and fury of the 2004 elections subsides, one question comes into the minds of many Americans. Were the elections an adequate representation of the consent of the American people? Did the power vested in President George Walker Bush truly come by the approval of the American people? Drawing on a comment made by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Senior Vice President, Russell Dean More, in November, the answer may very well be yes.

Moore had been present in November on a televised debate in Kentucky against liberal commentators Kentucky-state Representative Kathy Stein and Albert Pennybacker, chair and chief executive of the Clergy Network. Moore was joined by conservative commentator Kentucky-state Representative Stan Lee.

Moore commented that the elections represented a rural American rejection against the liberal sway in contemporary society. He argued that conservative-Americans simply could not compromise their convictions concerning same-sex marriage and pro-abortion ideals, leading them to elect a president who respected the basic life-affirming principles of morality, and the sanctity of marriage between man and woman.

“I think abortion and same-sex marriage were preeminent (issues in the election),” Moore pointed out. “I think the reason for that is because they are so clear in terms of issues that the American people are looking at and saying ‘that doesn’t represent who we are as a nation. We don't represent the kind of nation that would attack our most vulnerable through something as barbaric as partial-birth abortion.”

“We're not the kind of nation that wants to say we are going to do away with 5,000 years of human civilization in terms of the definition of marriage. I think that these issues were really defensive as evangelicals and conservative Roman Catholics said “we don’t want that kind of radical societal change.’”

Later, the four commentators were asked to give definitions to moral values. Moore argued that people did not define morals, but intuitively acknowledged ones engrained in the fiber of a world created under the sovereign plan of the Creator. In other words, since people universally and intuitively knew this kind of value, then people are therefore in no position to define marriage, which is a position reserved only for the sovereign Lord.

Base on this argument, Moore believed that sometimes “values” are all too often misunderstood due to the illusion that one can identify values based on ones own misguided interpretation of morality – a task Moore argues that only God can precisely do.

“We don’t decide what marriage is, we recognize what marriage is,” Moore said. “We don't decide what is murder, we recognize and condemn that which is murderous. And so I don't think it is something that we simply gather round and decide.”

Stein curtly replied that marriage had “evolved over the past 5,000 years,” challenging Moor’s notion that values evolve from moral doctrine. Pennybacker also shot back commenting, “I believe in a God of absolute love. That means that the center of religious life is not proposition or doctrinal, it is relational because love is a relationship. And I believe that when the Bible talks about the love of God, it really means it. Love is always relational.”

Nonetheless, Moore revealed statistics adding a relative plausibility to his arguments. “The country is mostly red but when you notice what is blue, they are the idea centers of the country – Manhattan, Hollywood. These are very deep blue places that are really exporting a culture that I really think the nation was revolting against on November 2,” Moore said.

”The American people were saying, ‘we really don’t want imposed upon us the values of the Massachusetts Supreme Court dictating same-sex marriage; we really don't want Whoopi Goldberg speaking for the American people’… they don’t represent the heart and soul of America as John Kerry said.”

Though Moore interpretation is open to debate, one fact remains is that a sustainable number of Americans created a surprisingly united front in support for anti-abortion and pro-marriage policies – ultimately swaying the votes in favor for Bush. Overall liberal agendas promoted by media did little to dismantle this mass united front. From these facts, one can surmise that Moore, perhaps, unwittingly revealed the extent to which Christian values remain rooted in the conscience of this society and nation build on the foundation of God.

Edwin C. Tsuei