The EFM Feature

Sometimes I feel like my blogging is an endless stream of apologies for not blogging. Well, not this time, because I’m not apologizing. I’ve been largely absent from EFM for the past few weeks not because the presidential race hasn’t been heating up, but because of a higher priority, the one that makes it essential that I engage with our culture in the first place.

And that is my family. On February 22nd, George Washington’s birthday, my wife and I got to meet the newest Evangelical for Mitt, our newborn daughter Adeline. Needless to say, this parenthood thing has proven rather time consuming, whether it be changing diapers (my first task upon waking up this morning) or discovering there’s a beautiful old song called “Sweet Adeline” and searching iTunes for the best version (how I spent the last hour).

Here’s a version of “Sweet Adeline,” if you’re interested. One part of the song goes, “Sweet Adeline, for you I pine.” And since those lyrics are definitely in my head right now, I want to plunge back into presidential politics by sharing the top three things I sure don’t pine for, all of which I’ve found in my Google Reader or my e-mail lately.

3. Shameless spin. See David Axelrod’s recent comments. Funny, the President didn’t seem too “inspired” by Gov. Romney’s plan when he ripped it during the campaign as being not generous enough. His team is spinning big time and no one should buy it.

2. The incredible way the history of the fight for marriage in Massachusetts has been rewritten. See this op-ed by a George Mason prof. Amidst a long reflection on how the Tea Party will handle 2012, he says evangelicals in the South “may not feel comfortable voting for a Mormon” who “once supported gay rights and abortion rights.” Mormon? True. That’s why we’re here. Formerly pro-choice? Sure. Gov. Romney is a “get” for the pro-life movement, pulled away from the mealy-mouthed moral mismash that infects so much of the elite, particularly in leftist cities like Boston. We’ve been clear on that and so has he. But the rest doesn’t pass the laugh test. Yes, Gov. Romney played nice with the Log Cabin Republicans and so on. Did I mention he’s from Massachusetts? But the professor’s descriptor here is totally unfair for the man who (as a coalition of Massachusetts social conservative leaders wrote in 2007) tirelessly led the fight against same-sex marriage in the first state in which a court legalized it. Yes, yes, Gov. Romney has changed his mind on some things. He’s a politician. So have all the rest. But to include same-sex marriage in that is to botch the facts hugely. Unfortunately, that happens over and over, partly because some people have loudly argued that rather than fighting a bad court ruling using legal means, Gov. Romney should have flouted it. If you want to take legal advice from a man with Gov. Huckabee’s history of fast-and-loose pardons, I must suggest you are doing yourself a disservice.

1. E-mails that cite Scripture but steam with contempt for anyone who disagrees with the sender’s political views. Often these denounce us in shocking language and then close with “In Christ, Joe.” Thankfully, the most recent one I got (subject line: “Dupes”) signed off with “Where is the puke bucket?” This came after citing 1 John 1:7. I’ve decided I no longer reply to these missives, but if I did, I might suggest reading James 3:7-10. We evangelicals would do a great service to our nation, no matter whom we ended up backing, if we simply engaged in the debate in a more gracious manner.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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