At Gov. Bobby Jindal's controversial prayer rally at LSU Saturday, state Sen. Jonathan Perry, R-Kaplan, asked God to send more born-again Christians to help the Louisiana Legislature deal with the state's budget. Let us imagine Kaplan's prayer being answered. What would Louisiana's budget look like - what would its priorities be - if more born-again Christians steered the debate?
But before we dive into that question, let me say first acknowledge that one of the most important books I've read in recent years is Lisa Sharon Harper,'s "Evangelical =/= Republican...Or Democrat." The book is a reclamation project of sorts. Because so many Republicans identify as Christians, the uninformed might come to see Republican politics as the way to holiness.
But Harper's point is that voting for Republicans isn't the way to heaven. And neither is voting for Democrats. You can only make Christianity completely jibe with a political party by reducing it, by corrupting it, by making it unrecognizable to the original Church. Political parties are fixated on power, and the ways they go about acquiring and maintaining power - and the ways they go about keeping their opponents out of power - can't ever be called holy.
But just because I believe the Republicans have wrongly promoted themselves as the more Christian of the two political parties doesn't mean that I would mind if there were more seriously committed Christians involved in setting Louisiana's budget.