To say that the Republican Party has changed in recent years is to state the obvious. Once a comfortable home for Christ followers, there is an emerging strain of anti-Christian bigotry that continues to surface from party elites, fundraisers, as well as corporate and wealthy donors. Sometimes it is a bit bolder than other times, like what recently happened in a looming primary battle between a stalwart Christian state Senator from Indiana and his primary opponent.
For years Senator Mike Delph has been a staunch defender of Christian values at the Indiana statehouse. And for years he's been a thorn in the side of sexual revolutionaries and the media elites that back them. But in a state as red as Indiana, attacking Delph's conservative bona fides from a position of progressive liberalism isn't going to work.
So radical LGBT groups like Freedom Indiana, as well as corporate Chamber of Commerce types, devised a new approach – recruit a left-leaning Christian and attack Delph not for his politics, but for his faith. That's not okay.
On March 16, Indianapolis businessman and Chairman of Indiana Business Journal Media Corporation Mickey Maurer gave a full-throated endorsement of Indiana Republican candidate Corrie Meyer who is running to unseat Delph in the primary. What was alarming was that Maurer's piece, while speaking on behalf of Meyer, was far less about promoting her than it was about trashing Delph for being a conservative Christian. I wish there had been more to it than that, but Maurer's 500-word editorial was little more than demonizing Delph for his Christianity.
Perhaps Maurer was inspired in the wake of ABC commentator Joy Behar's pernicious attack on the "mental illness" of believers who talk to Jesus. But whatever his motivation, Christians regardless of their political preferences – including Ms. Meyer – have a duty to reject this kind of stark bigotry.
Maurer blasted Delph for believing, "the unscientific blather that the Earth was created 5,000 years ago." Referring to the Bible's book of Genesis as "blather" is his prerogative of course, but according to Pew Research, a plurality of Americans still believe it more than any other theory of human origin.
That plurality includes a significant number of Hoosiers who correctly recognize a person can believe in a literal interpretation of the Genesis account of the creation of the world and not stand in conflict with a single observed and known scientific law, fact, or reality. It is true that a great deal of indisputable scientific evidence of the natural world is incorporated into the larger Darwinian/evolutionary account. But it is also equally true that exact same indisputable scientific evidence of the natural world can be plausibly and responsibly incorporated into a Biblical understanding of creation as well.
Maurer also takes issue with Delph for having voted for Indiana Senate Bill 404, calling it, "yet another invasion of women's rights." Senate Bill 404 was an anti-human trafficking law that sought to protect young girls from being used as sex slaves and then forced into abortion clinics to keep them serviceable for their captors. What Christian would not vote for this bill? And precisely what does it say about Mr. Maurer that he opposes it?
But what seems to aggravate Maurer more than anything is Delph's traditional Christian orthodoxy on issues involving the institution of marriage and family, suggesting that the Senator put his moral views ahead of the economic interests of the state. But that accusation assumes there was some economic benefit to the embrace of same-sex marriage and rejection of the First Amendment's protections of religious conscience. That assumption is flimsy at best, fabricated and intentionally deceitful at worst.
As was pointed out repeatedly during the national debate over same-sex marriage and the statewide Mike Pence/RFRA circus a few years ago, the most economically prosperous and business-friendly states were those that had both gay marriage bans and religious conscience laws. Amusingly, the very corporations that threatened Indiana over RFRA – companies like GenCon, Cummins Engine, Salesforce – all found economic success expanding into states with identical conscience protection laws.
And since no attack on Christian public servants isn't complete without mention of the abortion of tiny humans that believers understand are made in God's image, Maurer went there too. He promised that unlike Delph, Corrie Meyer won't seek to, "impose severe restrictions on the rights of women to make healthy choices." Having a baby dismembered in the womb is healthy for whom, exactly?
If Ms. Meyer is a Christian, as Maurer assures us she is, she will obviously support laws that "severely restrict" the macabre practice of abortion given that it is a fundamental question of God's natural law and moral authority over life, not a political issue. But she will also do more than that.
Scripture contains a sharp warning to believers that, "bad company corrupts good character." Mickey Maurer's screed, whatever it was intended to be, resulted in castigating reproach upon the beliefs and convictions of Christians throughout our state. As a sister in Christ, Ms. Meyer has the responsibility now to publicly condemn this bigotry spoken in her name and refuse to accept both Maurer's endorsement and his promise of financial contributions to her campaign.
As Christians, we are given opportunities to demonstrate to the world that far beyond divisive politics, we share an impenetrable unity in Christian brotherhood. God has provided such a moment for Corrie Meyer. I pray she will seize it for His glory and set a precedent for other believers whenever and wherever this type of bigoted attack surfaces.