Why I am not impressed with Chuck Baldwin

Sprittibee hates talking about politics, and yet she can’t seem to stop.  I love talking about politics, and yet I just haven’t desired to wade into those waters.  But I’ve been asked so I thought I would answer.

There is a rather popular idiom common to Western nations, but peculiarly prevalent in American politics which summarizes the way many of us on the conservative side feel about our political choices:

I will be voting for the lesser of two evils.

Meaning, of course, that we see two options available to us, neither of which we are particularly keen on.

And in this election, with a strong Christian in the running, many have responded to this frustration with a slight turning of the phrase:

If you are voting for the lesser of two evils, you are still voting for evil.

But there I must beg to differ.  The “lesser of two evils” is merely an idiom.  It does not, in fact, mean that either choice is “evil” in the biblical sense of the word.  It means only that they are both unpleasant.  There are a number of issues I disagree with John McCain on, but I cannot call him “evil” merely because we have a different vision for the direction our country should take.

And honestly?  I have as many concerns about Chuck Baldwin as I do about John McCain.  He is a pastor, not a politician.  That is not a bad thing, but at this point I have no idea how well he can lead a city, let alone a state or a nation.  He has said a lot of things as a pastor which are good and right, but I do not know what that means when I try to apply it to politics.  Perhaps with more familiarity, my discomfort would be alleviated, but I know from experience that not everyone who starts talking about “biblical principles” and “our founders’ vision” means the same thing I do when I bring up these phrases. Some of them mean something very different, and worse than anything John McCain or Barak Obama would bring to the nation.

The Volokh Conspiracy passes Baldwin off as “an enthusiastic purveyor of all manner of far-right conspiracy theories.”  Baldwin has stated that on the day he is elected, “the New World Order will come crashing down.”  Really?  And how does he propose to do that?  Conspiracy talk always pushes me away, but I have not yet been able to decipher what kind of conspiracy theorist he is.  The problem is that in all of my research, most of the theories I have tracked down have their origins in very anti-semitic and often racist ideologies which began to surface in the late 1800s, with the focus shifting from the “Jews” to the “international bankers” in the 1930s.  That is not to say that everyone who holds these views is anti-semitic or racist.  Baldwin certainly isn’t.  I only mention it to provide some context for my own biases in these discussions.  That and the lizard people.  I tend to lump it all together, fairly or unfairly.

But to get back on track with this, to say that the NWO is going to “come crashing down” is a rather odd rallying cry.  And why I would like to know more what he means when he is talking about the NWO.  To me, I cannot separate it from the notion that the Free Masons and the Illuminati control the world…in which case the election has been decided.  But then to focus heavily on our nation’s founding seems odd since most of our founders were Free Masons, a factor which contributed heavily to their ability to meet “in secret” under the noses of the British.

I question his biblical interpretation when he reaches to Ezekial 22:25 as proof that there is a “conspiracy.” There was a “conspiracy” or “treason” of Israel’s prophets, but that is not proof of what most conspiracists are talking about, and fully irrelevant to what he is talking about.  And he completely lost me somewhere between the moneychangers in the temple in John chapter 2 and the international bankers setting up shop in the “temple. What temple?  Then there is his reading of the Declaration of Independence:

In the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” If that isn’t a clear reference to conspiracy, I don’t know what is.

I’m sorry, I don’t see it.  I see no reference to conspiracy, only to the right and duty of people to throw off despotic governments.  Ironically, the Declaration of Indpendence was a “globalist” document as our founders attempted to make their case for independence before the court of the world.

I am a devout Christian.  And I do have concerns with what we often call the “secularization” of America.  But words like this concern me in a world leader, regardless of his religious leanings:

After all, the United States of America was a nation established in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and for His glory. The founders of this country were emphatic about that! Therefore, the imprint and influence of the Savior are seen and felt throughout the length and breadth of this nation. And it is that same imprint and influence that the secularists are feverishly attempting to expunge . . . Therefore, if America wishes to remain a free and independent republic, if this nation truly desires future peace and prosperity, and if we genuinely aspire to remain a blessed and protected land, we must quickly throw off this foolish infatuation with multiculturalism, which is nothing more than an attempt to de- Christianize our country, and humbly return to the God of our fathers!

This is what I’m talking about when I say I don’t know how to take his positions as a pastor and apply them to politics.  Is he going to “expunge” America of secular influence?  Does that mean doing away with freedom of religion and liberty of conscience?  Does it mean a theocracy?  I may agree that we’d be better off returning to Christ, but bringing that about is not the role of government.

Then there is this, written right after 9/11, which I have read five times and I’m still not entirely sure I know what he is saying.

Second, the architects of an internationalist, New World Order must not be allowed to expunge the fundamental freedoms guaranteed in our Bill of Rights. We cannot allow our own government to do by fiat what foreign terrorists want to do by force. Americans must not surrender their liberties to any government. It is more important to be free than it is to be secure! In truth, liberty by its very nature is a risk. We must never give in to the temptation to acquiesce our God-given freedoms.

America doesn’t need the approbation of NATO or China or anyone else. We certainly don’t need the blessing of Pakistan! The United States of America is a free and independent nation and must never accept any attempt by internationalist influences to diminish our freedoms or abridge our rights.

I think he is saying we don’t need to work together with other nations or ask their permission to invade Afghanistan and go after Al Qaeda.  If so, I disagree and wonder what kind of foreign policy we would have if this were followed.  As noted above, we sought the approval of the world in our own fight for independence.  How much more do we need to work with other nations in order to go to war abroad?  And we must remember that the attack on the World Trade Center was not just an attack on the US.  It was an attack on all nations, and other nations have suffered terrorist activity within their own borders as well.

Perhaps I am left voting for the lesser of three evils, but I am seeing it less that way every day.  None of the candidates embody all I would have in a president, but what does that say?  We are not raising up leaders to the task.  Even we, who talk about limited government, are looking to central government to secure that.  Something has gone awry, but it happened long before this election season.


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36 Comments on "Why I am not impressed with Chuck Baldwin"

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Rebecca
Guest
Thanks for doing my homework for me, Dana. I’ve been trying to hammer down my vote; I spent about an hour last week reading up on John McCain and decided I like him much better than I thought I did, but didn’t really know anything about any of the third party candidates. I’m not really sure I believe that pastors *should* be presidents — I think the calling to shepherd God’s people kind of trumps that, not to mention there is too much room for confusion. Leaving public ministry to work in a factory or teach algebra is a very… Read more »
Dana
Guest

I was surprised at how many things I agreed with him on when I really started researching. I think he has become a focal point for all conservatives’ frustrations with the Republican Party.

Linda
Guest
Thanks, Dana for an outstanding post. I have been praying and researching until I feel like I can’t even read (or think) straight! This was VERY helpful. My thinking has been going in a similar direction. McCain is NOT an evil candidate. In fact, he is a good candidate…he is further right of center than he is often portrayed by conservatives. Obama’s policies (on defense, the economy, gay rights, and abortion) make him an incredibly dangerous candidate for our country. We need to NOT elect him. Period. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it!! Thanks again.
Rebecca
Guest

BTW I recently had a Facebook exchange with my cousin in England who said that elections are much the same there…most people feel that they are simply voting against the candidate they don’t want rather than voting for a candidate they do want.

Shauna
Guest
If you are voting for the lesser of two evils, you are still voting for evil. I don’t see this phrase as meant to be taken literally. As I see it, the point isn’t that one candidate or another is evil in the biblical sense but rather that you’re voting for Candidate A primarily because you fear Candidate B getting elected, not because you support A or he’s your top choice among all candidates running. As an independent who does not limit my choices only to the major parties, I view the “no one is perfect except Jesus” argument (which… Read more »
Christy
Guest

Thanks Dana.

April
Guest

Good post, Dana. I’m uneasy with pastors running for public office. Pastors are shepherds, father figures, confessors. They bless, absolve and guide. These are good things, but they don’t fit the model of our government (IMO). We don’t need someone to guide the minute details of our lives. This was my biggest problem with Huckabee, he seemed to want to be our Pastor-in-Chief.

LynnP
Guest
“These are good things, but they don’t fit the model of our government (IMO).”: What exactly is the model of our government?? People are making assumptions on what ‘should’ be our president and ‘who’ he should look like. The model of the government is looking rather ugly and our past speaks for themselves when it comes to us ‘picking’ candidates that have political background. That doesn’t seem to have helped our country out anymore than a person off the street to run. To run for president you DO NOT need ANY political background. You only need to be 35 yrs… Read more »
Dianne
Guest

Thank you, Dana, for a very well-written post. I’ve always struggled with the “lesser of two evils” perspective and you’ve brought some light to this matter for me. I also enjoyed the link to Del’s post at Truth Observed.

Sunniemom
Guest
Thanks for posting that, Dana. Every time I start reading Chuck Baldwin’s platform my eyes roll into the back of my head- what’s up with that? :p Seriously, I don’t have a problem with anyone who wants to run for President, but it certainly helps if they have a resume, so to speak. A pastor does administrate and govern in his role of shepherding a church, but I want to hear specifics about plans and policies and qualifications, not just grand claims. I was rooting for Huckabee, and he got major points from me for being a supporter of the… Read more »
Jacque
Guest
So, you decided to write a political post! Good. Thanks for your perspective. In my research about the candidates and our gov’t recently, I found out things about the Republican Party and the “goings on” behind the doors for years, so I won’t be hearing them for some time without wondering what that ‘really means’. Of course, I don’t believe Obama, because I have seen him say two different things about the same issue just two days apart. [No one’s memory should be that bad who will govern the US]. I agree with Lynn about politicians and pastors. I would… Read more »
Jacque
Guest
“but at this point I have no idea how well he can lead a city, let alone a state or a nation. ” I know you know this, but as far as anyone leading a nation… God did appoint a shepherd boy to be the King of His most beloved people. He looked as though he was not ready either [and in many regards was not ready, but who really is?], but God told Samuel that he should not pick David’s older, stronger brother. God wanted the man in there who was after His heart. I am not saying Baldwin… Read more »
Rebecca
Guest
Lynn wrote: “To run for president you DO NOT need ANY political background. You only need to be 35 yrs old and been a natural born citizen, and have lived in our country for at least 14 yrs.” An excellent point which makes all the media hype about Sarah Palin’s and even Barack Obama’s “lack of experience” fall flat. It is wisdom, character, and the ability to lead which matter, and these can be developed in almost any sphere. Lynn again: “Did you ever think that IS his calling to shephard God’s people?? Nobody can understand what God calls us… Read more »
DJ (Deb)
Guest

Thank you for your post. I always appreciate your thoughts. I have added a link to it at my current post: “Last Thoughts On The Election” at my blog.

Blessings!

Dana
Guest
Lynn, please read what I wrote carefully what I wrote about pastors and politics. I’ll requote it here to be clear. He is a pastor, not a politician. That is not a bad thing, but at this point I have no idea how well he can lead a city, let alone a state or a nation. I never said nor implied that a pastor cannot be a politician. But just because he is a pastor does not mean he will be a good leader. Just because he is a Christian does not mean he will be a good leader. I… Read more »
sprittibee
Guest
I read both of those articles the other day when they came across twitter. I am glad to see you sounding in on the issue. I guess that I can conclude you won’t be voting for Obama? LOL I decided after reading those articles that I have a greater duty to my children and country to defeat socialism than I do to vote “Christian”. And while I have no idea of McCain’s religious beliefs, I do know that Palin is decidedly and vocally a Christian. It isn’t like we aren’t voting Christian at all by voting McCain. I know where… Read more »
Dana
Guest
Jacque, I just wanted to reiterate in response to this part of your comment: I am just saying that we put these stipulations of career politics on offices, when, sometimes who we really need is the little guy who has not forgotten what it is like to be the little guy I do NOT believe that his lack of political experience disqualifies him for office. But nor is it a plus. The difficulty I have is that he has said a LOT of things in his role as pastor which are fine for a pastor to say. And I think… Read more »
Dana
Guest
And also Jacque, you and Baldwin may share a lot on a political likeness test. I don’t know, but if so, that is who you should vote for. I think I differ too strongly on a few issues which are important to me and I don’t know quite what to make of other stances. Someone here or elsewhere mentioned abortion. I may have a very different view of where abortion should be in this nation than some…at least those who have been calling McCain “pro-abortion.” Either they are being intentionally disingenuous about his stances, or we disagree on how abortion… Read more »
Dana
Guest

Thank you, Sprittibee. A couple months ago, I finally sat down and really dug into his record. And I realized he isn’t that bad. Not just in comparison to Obama, but all on his own. He isn’t as conservative as I am and I do have some concerns. But mostly, I’ve held a few highly controversial bills against him with little consideration for the other work he has done.

Dana
Guest

And thank you everyone for the discussion. I’m really enjoying it.