Peter Leithart offers timely advice for Republican Christians:
My advice to Bad Republicans is: Let it come. If the price of regaining power is to abandon any semblance of Christian sexual morality, the price is too high. If the Republican party can’t bring itself to endorse a traditional understanding of marriage, let it split. If the Republican party can’t be bothered about the slaughter of the unborn, let it shatter into a million little pieces. Good Republicans will blame Bad Republicans for tearing the GOP to pieces. So be it.
One might hope for better. One might hope that shrewd and principled leadership from a courageous few would re-galvanize the Republican party on social issues. That might not provide a path to power, but it would turn the GOP into a genuine alternative to social liberalism. One hopes; anything can happen. I think it more likely that Obama will get his way and leave the Republican party in greater disarray than ever.
There is a time for peace, but in my judgment we’re not in such times. For the next four years, perhaps longer, social-issue Christians must recognize that smoothing differences is a temptation, and must learn to resist the temptation. Christians have to be willing to follow the example of Jesus, who came not to unify but to divide father from son, mother from daughter, brother from brother. Division was essential to the social renewal he came to accomplish, because those who followed him, torn from comfortable networks of kin and religion, formed the nucleus of a new kind of community. For Jesus, division was the means for achieving a new unity. Christians have to be willing to imitate the Prince of Peace who declared, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
I tend to think that this future is inevitable. Sellouts on the important policies will continue apace and the GOP will break into an economic party and a social party. It may take one or two more elections for this to happen, but I don’t see how it can be avoided under the current circumstances.
Along with this, sections of Protestant Christianity are hurtling into apostasy on moral issues just as the Mainlines did in the last century. Another winnowing is taking place.