Cameron Strang’s Dilemma at the Democratic National Convention + Thoughts on Partisanship, Christian Involvement, and Human Rights

Posted: August 26, 2008 by Rick Hogaboam in Abortion, Ethics, Politics, Social Issues
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cameron Strang, the publisher of “Relevant” magazine, and son of Stephen Strang (publisher of “Charisma” magazine and books), has had ongoing dialogue with Barack Obama about issues of faith and public policy.

I want to say right away that I am grateful for such dialogue. It rarely hurts to have a talk, unless one can discern with certainty that you are being used in such discussions to manipulate perception on certain issues. While some have accused Obama of political expediency in his attention to Evangelicals, only seeking to win a few such votes when the Republican brand has disappointed many in this constituency, I am not going to make a definitive judgment on Obama’s motives.

Anyhow, Cameron Strang was invited to pray at the DNC, and one he found out it would be on opening night before a nationally televised audience, he had second thoughts and refrained. You can read his blog about the whole thing (http://relevantmagazine.com/releblog/cameronsqa/why-i-accepted%e2%80%94and-then-declined%e2%80%94an-invitation-to-pray-at-the-dnc/).

While I understand Strang’s choice to opt out of such a prayer, I do wish he would have given it more thought before he agreed. He did admit that he was humbled at being asked and perhaps generated an automated “Yes….yeah, that would be awesome”. While I commend the wisdom of refraining from such a prayer, I wonder why Don Miller (author of “Blue Like Jazz”) wouldn’t heed the same caution Cameron exhibited. I realize Cameron was in a bind and felt some obligation to refer someone who would fill his post, but apparently he must have known that Don Miller wouldn’t have the same reservations…that troubles me and I wish Don Miller would have refrained from such a prayer.

On another point, I appreciate Cameron switching his affiliation from Republican to Independent. I made such a switch several years ago precisely because of some of the reasons listed by Cameron. I would say that Christians should be “trans-partisan” (above it), and asses both parties in light of the values that one feels to be best reflected by the candidates running for office, irregradless of party affiliation. Having said that, I did support Mike Huckabee…even financially, because he best represented the “wholistic pro-life” position I hold, which not only embodies the protection of life in the womb, but beyond the womb as well. I care deeply about quality of life, accessible health care beyond mere delivery, an overhaul of the adoption process, protection for the elderly, opposition to systemic poverty as a result of government corruption, etc.

I care deeply about life in all aspects and am also assessing each presidential candidate. I am leaning heavily towards one at the moment. Anyhow, even if Mike Huckabee had been the Republican candidate and invited me to pray at the convention, I would decline precisely because I would not want to give the perception that I speak and pray for all Christians. While I may support that candidate, I would avoid platforms that would perpetuate the perception that Jesus is a Republican. Having said that, I would gladly accept an invitation to pray at the Inauguration as I would feel compelled to pray for the civil magistrate, as all Christians are called to do. I would also gladly serve as a chaplain or guest pray at the congress or Senate, for my presence would be as a man only captive to God and not any particular political party. I would best represent Christ in such a setting.

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